Social media marketing may be helping consumers find and research financial advisers but in the age of digital media, an online presence is just a ticket to the game, according to Hans Egger, director of Astute Wealth Advice, creators of the AstuteWheel.
“The good news is that if an adviser has executed the right social media strategies via Twitter and Google Adwords, for example, and has maximised SEO to improve rankings, then the adviser’s LinkedIn Profile, website, business and social Facebook pages, Twitter and blog should all appear on the first page of a consumer search,” Mr Egger says. “The bad news is that unless each of these touch points is engaging, consumers may simply move on – without the adviser ever even being aware they dropped on by.”
Each time consumers ‘touch’ the adviser, the adviser’s process or the advice business they make decisions about whether or not to proceed, according to Mr Egger. “If the adviser’s blog, tweets, website or social media accounts don’t resonate with people then they can very easily move on – and often do,” he says.
Mr Egger said that ideally, an adviser website should start a journey full of touch points that lead to moments of truth. “It should start as an education process that tells consumers not only what the financial adviser does but whether or not that particular adviser can help them,” he says. “If the answer is yes, the website should also contain a clear call to action that puts the consumer in contact with the adviser and starts the process.”
Consumers, he says, either consciously or sub-consciously, want answers to the following questions before actually making contact with an adviser:
- What is my experience with this financial planning practice going to be like?
- Will I like you?
- Will it be an easy process?
- How much value can you add to my financial situation initially, and ongoing?
- Can I find answers to all these questions before I make actual contact with you so that I can make a decision about whether or not to engage you?
“All adviser touch points present an opportunity for advisers to not only answer these questions but also to engage the potential client in the financial planning process and start preparing them for the first meeting,” Mr Egger said. “Websites, for example, can now include tools such as a welcome video, a five-minute health check and education about what financial planning actually is, to help them to start understanding their own specific financial advice needs.”
Websites can also be used to capture basic consumer data, according to Mr Egger. “Technology can now very efficiently help consumers provide answers to simple ‘fact find’ type questions like, age, date-of-birth, details of dependants, birth dates, financial position, etc., in preparation for the first adviser/client meeting,” he says. “That creates great efficiencies for the adviser – and the more efficient an advice business becomes, the better the outcomes are likely to be for clients.”
Social media presence not enough to engage: planner
Five minutes with … Hans Egger, Astute Wealth Advice