NEW ORLEANS (March 19, 2011) – The American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries (ASPPA) held its annual 401(k) Summit at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on March 18-20. Social media is changing the way of the world, including the way advisors grow their practice, according to the “Optimizing Social Media: Join the Click” panels held Monday and Tuesday.
“While the regulations are challenging, advisors can have success in this new media,” said social media panelist Bruce Johnston, President, Advisolocity. “Advisors should begin their efforts with a written social media policy. Much like an Investment Policy Statement for your retirement plan clients, this policy provides guidance for your firm and its employees about social interaction, including creating profiles, posts and responses.” Johnston also pointed out that one key component of a compliant policy includes a way to archive activity.
James Holland, Director of Business Development, MillenniuM Investment & Retirement Advisors (MIRA) was an initial skeptic of using social media. “Now we post our webinar invitations in LinkedIn groups. We have 70 to 80 plan sponsors showing up for an early morning webcast…on Monday morning!”
All the panelists recommended advisors begin with LinkedIn. “Even with compliance challenges surrounding posting to your community, you can move the needle,” said Johnston. “Social media profiles and activities play a role in driving search engine optimization – or Google rankings. There are nearly 700,000 Google searches each minute and you want your firm to be in the top 10 rankings.”
The answers varied when asked how much time advisors should spend on social media. “It really depends on the day and the other things I have going on,” said Holland. “Focus on making the connections and building social capital. If you need to, set a timer. But count on some time as you come up to speed.”
On a final note, Johnston counseled advisors to work closely with their compliance department, particularly as more advisors begin to use social media. “Organizations will need to embrace social media and support advisors in this critical form of inbound marketing.”
-Sheri Fitts, Vice President, Advisor Marketing – Retirement Partners
NAPA Founding Member
ASPPA Member Since 2001
Category: Member Focus