By Ian Bloom
“Financial advice is changing.” This statement or headline dominates the news cycle on repeat.
Your preferred financial news source is always talking about the next wave sweeping over the financial advisory profession. That’s with good reason, technology has made access to different ways of doing business much more possible in the 2010s and 2020s than they ever were before.
Look no further than the movements like the growth of the solo-RIA or robo advisors to see how our profession has shifted.
One space where our profession is notably more stubborn, however, is social media. Financial planners are slow to adapt to the way their clients are consuming new information. Part of this is compliance-driven, but I think part of it is just the conservative nature of the profession. Facebook is old, by social media standards, so why are firms still so excited about what they’re doing on it?
For the uninitiated, let this article serve as a bit of a primer for you on two very valuable social media platforms you should participate in. The first is #FinTwit, the financial industry’s pulse on Twitter. The second is TikTok, a social media trend you’re about a year or two behind on if you have no presence there.
Twitter is an invaluable resource for networking within the profession. Incredible advisors, industry giants, technology platforms, and other resources are accessible with 280 characters or less.
You can use this community to keep up with what your colleagues are writing about, what their clients are thinking about, and the next ‘trendy’ investment or finance wave that’s going to wash over the public. This is not a platform for your client marketing, so much as it is a platform to keep you educated.
CE is great for the technical aspects of the profession taught in lectures, but Twitter is the place where you can keep up with the movements within the profession in real time. #FinTwit is the hashtag you can use to get connected initially.
TikTok is a social media platform that debuted years ago, but achieved mass popularity over the last two years. It serves as a unique opportunity for you to establish your own voice for two reasons.
The first reason is that TikTok is uniquely designed to make all content discoverable – since the videos are short, there is an endless hunger for new content that the platform can feed to its viewers and so each video is getting hundreds of views or more, even if it’s your first post!
The second reason is because people are consuming financial education content there already. There are very popular investing, insurance, and other channels where non-licensed creators are posting tons of hot stock tips and other bad advice.
Whichever social media you choose to use, it’s my assertion that you need to be present to stay relevant. This is especially true in the post-pandemic era where social media use and habits are especially prominent.
You might use Twitter to keep up with what is going on in the profession and the waves in the media, or you might use TikTok as a way to put your voice out to the public and disrupt the voices of the bad actors in the space. Then again, you may choose to use neither and simply stick to only doing blog posts and posting pictures of your cat on Instagram.
Every planner’s path will be changed by their compliance needs, their marketing needs, and the goals of their practice. But, as the profession attempts to gain relevance, staying entirely silent online is no longer an option.
Ian Bloom, CFP®, RLP® is the owner of Open World Financial Life Planning and specializes in financial life planning for nerds!
FPA NexGen, a community of the Financial Planning Association® (FPA®), aims to provide support and collaboration for those professionals new to the financial planning profession. With more than 2,500 like-minded young professionals, members of FPA NexGen are ready to share their experiences and further the future of the financial planning profession. Learn more about our engaged community and join the conversation on Twitter.
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