Social media marketing that drives growth for advisors

Mar 26, 2024

What advisors need to know

  • Investors are using social media to seek financial advice, especially younger investors, who are critical for the future of a financial advisory practice.
  • Connect authentically with clients and prospects and drive stronger business growth by optimizing around the three pillars of a successful social media strategy.

Social media marketing is ‘business critical’ for advisors

Social media is invaluable for advisors. Where else can you prospect for new business, network with other financial professionals, communicate with your clients at scale and build your brand – all at little to no cost? It’s no wonder that 94% of advisors use social media for their business,1 and in this digital age, the future looks bleak for those who don’t.

Investors expect you to be on social media. About half of mass affluent and high-net-worth investors report they are more likely to engage with advisors who use social media,2 and 20% of investors across age, income and asset levels say that an advisor’s social media was the sole factor by which they evaluated them.3 This is particularly true of younger investors. Among Gen Z adults, 23% said they wouldn’t even consider talking to a financial professional who didn’t have a social media presence.3

Advisors are putting more effort into the social media component of their marketing plans4 as more investors are seeking financial advice across platforms, especially younger investors. In the U.S., 79% of Millennials and Gen Z adults have accessed financial advice on social media.5 Engaging young investors is critical as the great wealth transfer will make them the core of your business over the next decade.

Investors are also using social media to research investment ideas – a trend that surged as the pandemic gave rise to a ‘do it yourself’ mindset. DIY investors enjoyed strong returns during the 2020-21 market rally. A sobering 2022 compelled many to hire an advisor to help them navigate a more volatile market,6 yet social media continues to thrive as a forum for investors to research and explore ideas. Advisors need to be part of the conversation in order to be relevant and to prospect for their next generation of clients. Adults between the ages of 18 and 34 use social media to research investment ideas more than any other resource.

Young investors favor social media for investment research
% of adults ages 18-34 who say they use the below to research investment ideas

chart showing young investors favor social media for investment research

Source: CNBC/Survey Monkey Poll: “Invest in you,” Aug 2021.

Social media allows you to show up where investors are and show them how your services can benefit them. Stand out from your peers by sharing your story and examples of how you’ve helped clients achieve goals, navigate complex matters and avoid costly mistakes.

Create a high-impact social media strategy

Which social media platform should you use? What kind of content should you post? How often should you be active? Our online class can help you elevate your social media strategy to drive stronger business growth.
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The 3 pillars of social media success

Advisors who have effectively driven growth with social media have optimized their strategy around three key pillars: platform, cadence and content.

1. Pick the right platform

You don’t need to be on every social media platform. Your strategy will be more impactful if you concentrate your efforts on one or two platforms where you can connect with your target audience in a way that suits your communication style.

Start by asking your best clients which social media platforms they prefer. Next, consider the features of those platforms and how well they align with the way you want to engage with your followers. For example, YouTube is a video-based platform where users go to be educated or learn new skills. LinkedIn is a professional information-sharing networking platform, while Facebook is a more casual one. X (formerly Twitter) is ideal for microblogging (posting short and snappy real-time updates) and Instagram is best suited for sharing personal stories in an authentic way through photos and videos.

It may be tempting to simply choose the platform where you’ll have the largest target audience, but if the format and tone isn’t right, your posts won’t feel authentic and will be less effective in driving connections. There is no best social media platform for advisors. In fact, advisors use a variety of them. Compare social media platforms and choose what is right for you.

Advisors use a variety of social media platforms
How often advisors use platforms as marketing tools

chart showing advisors use a variety of social media platforms

Source: SmartAsset 2022 Financial Advisor Survey.

2. Commit to a cadence

Consistency is key to building a following on social media. If you don’t keep the conversation going, there won’t be one. Best practices vary by platform, so it’s important to consider how often you want to engage on social media as you choose where you will focus your efforts.

For example, X requires multiple microblogs each day to remain relevant. On Instagram, you would need to post stories on a daily basis to maintain visibility. If you prefer to engage less frequently, consider Facebook or LinkedIn, where users expect several posts over the course of a week, or YouTube, where one high-quality video each week is the norm. Be realistic about the cadence you can commit to because your visibility will suffer if you don’t keep pace with other influencers on the platform.

Advisors who successfully gain clients using social media are active on their platforms an average of 35 times a month,1 which may include “liking,” commenting on or sharing posts from other contributors in addition to posting content. Your overall activity on a platform – your posts and reactions – drives the visibility of your social media presence. For each one of your posts, comment on three others from different contributors as this will ultimately drive more traffic to your posts. Be selective and only react to posts that you find interesting and aligned with your philosophy and the clients you serve.

3. Captivate with your content

An effective social media post sparks an ongoing, meaningful conversation with clients and prospects. Let your client conversations inspire the topics for your posts. What have your best clients been asking about lately? Answering the questions that are top-of-mind for them will attract similarly minded clients and prospects.
Post content for three different purposes: 

  • To educate – Break down the problems that are most relevant for clients today and offer solutions or ideas for them to consider. These topics might be seasonal, such as tax-loss harvesting, or lifecycle-driven, like saving for college or estate planning. Videos are a particularly effective format for informative, educational and ‘how to’ content.
  • To connect –Share news about your team, celebrate milestones, showcase your volunteer work, reflect on recent events or news headlines. Getting personal helps you humanize your practice and foster genuine connections with your audience.
  • To invite – Encourage clients and prospects alike to attend webinars or in-person events. Offer prospective clients a free consultation.

Optimize your social media strategy for the future of your practice

Elevating your social media presence with an intentional focus on the three pillars of platform, cadence and content will help you stand out from your peers and drive a meaningful impact on the growth and sustainability of your practice.

We’ve collaborated with FiComm Partners,* a leader in financial services communications, to bring you online resources, tools and guidance to create a high-impact social media strategy for your practice.

BlackRock can help you grow your business as a digital-first advisor. Learn more about the BlackRock Business Consulting team.

Katie Cullen, CFP
Head of BlackRock Business Consulting
Katie Cullen, CFP®, is Head of BlackRock Business Consulting. She helps advisors identify opportunities to accelerate business growth to include collaborating with outside experts in all fields of growth leadership and transformation.

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