It’s 2023, do you know where your clients are?
For much of the last 25 years, if a wealth management firm wanted a client to find them, they had to rely on Google
While Google held more than 90% of the global search engine market as of June 2022, fewer people rely on the search engine as much as they used to. Other social media platforms such as Reddit, TikTok, and X (formerly known as Twitter) are becoming first destinations for finding information quickly.
When people do use Google — once one of the most reliable search tools —they’re increasingly finding search results crowded by advertisements and so-called “SEO-spam.” What that means is if you want your firm to be noticed on Google, you have to hope that your clients and prospects are patient enough to do some scrolling.
So what does this mean for wealth managers? No one expects Google to go the way of the Yellow Pages any time soon, but RIAs should be mindful that if traditional search engine results become more cluttered, it’s just good business to have a presence on other platforms such as LinkedIn, X, and perhaps even TikTok. For starters, that just means having more representation across platforms, but it also helps to move your firm’s results up in Google’s search results.
That does not mean simply copying and pasting the same message across platforms or veering too far from the firm’s message to appear hip on certain platforms. There likely isn’t a large audience for RIA TikTok dances, for instance.
LinkedIn remains the dominant spot for corporate networking. This is where advisors may want to be connected with others related to the industry — such as accountants and estate planning attorneys — for business development. It is also a fantastic platform for showing your firm’s thought leadership. While there may be a temptation to share a firm’s full white paper or investment outlook, a better strategy could be showing a snippet of your firm’s findings, perhaps in an infographic form, to drive engagement. Also, it’s important to not just highlight the firm on LinkedIn but also the firm’s advisors and other client-facing employees.
These days, it’s rare that people are just searching for a financial advisor by firm name. They are also going to look for the people involved, which is why it’s important to make sure that advisors — and their work — are findable on Google and LinkedIn.
If LinkedIn is the natural hub for RIAs, then platforms such as TikTok and Instagram would be at the other extreme end of the spectrum. TikTok, for starters, is the fastest growing social media platform and more than 60% of Gen Z uses the platform daily, according to a Morning Consult report.
TikTok and Instagram may not be the platforms to wow users with investment insights — especially between dance videos, but firms may want to show off their expertise in other ways. Roughly two-thirds of Gen Z and three-quarters of millennials say they feel they are starting out financially behind other generations. Using a platform such as TikTok or Instagram to promote financial literacy or making short videos explaining the financial issues of the day — such as high mortgage rates and the resumption of student loan payments — could be one way to build trust with this demographic. For this age group, videos can also be a potential recruiting tool to inform young adults about careers in finance.
To be sure, it’s a totally distinct strategy than the one being used on sites like LinkedIn but it can be just as crucial for business growth. Just remember, if your clients and contacts may have a hard time finding you on Google, you’ll want to be online at the next place they look.