13 Mar 2018

The importance of remaining professional on social media

For financial advisers, social media provides a whole range of opportunities. Connecting with and researching competitors, and getting across your message can all be done instantly online via social media. However, with these opportunities come risks, and what may have seemed like a harmless thing to post could be interpreted differently and in effect, end up damaging a reputation that you have worked hard to create.

There are countless examples of when people have posted inappropriate updates to their social media profiles that have ended up costing them their job. For example, a PR executive posted an inappropriate comment while on an aeroplane, only to find she had lost her job when the plane landed. In addition to showing the power of social media, this example also proves the instantaneous nature of the platforms, in that in such a relatively short space of time, this post had spread sufficiently far to make her lose her job.

For advisers, who rely on having a loyal client base, this could be disastrous, so it is vital to maintain a professional image when you are online.

The following tips may help you maintain your professional image:

Tip 1:
Separate your business and personal profiles – This is not only beneficial for yourself, but also your clients. It may come across as unprofessional if you are talking about your personal life on the same account that you promote your business and interact with existing and potential clients. By having two accounts, you can be sure to remain professional by only discussing work-related topics on your business profile, and not what you got up to at the weekend.

Tip 2:
Consider making your personal account private – If your social media account is only being used to communicate with friends/family, for example, consider making your account private. You don’t want something that you post on your account to impact your professional working life, so by making your account private, only the people that you are connected with can see your posts.

Tip 3:
Use social media to your advantage – Billions of people worldwide use social media for a variety of reasons. Social media gives you a phenomenal opportunity to instantly communicate with people who may be interested in what you have to offer. By having a professional and approachable manner on social media, you can use it as a force for good, instead of worrying about the consequences if you post something negative on the platform.

Social media presents a new dimension for financial advisers to consider. The opportunities that it presents are endless, and you can communicate instantly with people from all over the world, for free. This may seem, and most of the time actually is, a massive plus point. Despite this, its positives can sometimes become negatives. Through an ill-thought-out post or abusive comment, the instant nature and scale of social media can soon turn against you.

By following the tips above and making sure you remain active and respectful with what and when you post, social media can help advisers reach a whole new type of client and ensure that you come across as well online as you do offline.

By Liam Cross