The reality is, social media can help you be more efficient with your time so you can spend more time focusing on your clients and growing your business. Financial professionals should check their social media a few times a day, for a total of at least about 10 minutes. You may still be skeptical, so let’s compare it to another digital medium you most likely use every day. . .email.
The average person spends 28% of their workweek reading and answering email according to a study from McKinsey & Company Global Management Consulting. In a typical 40-hour work week, that’s nearly 2½ hours a day spent on email alone. While this isn't all in one sitting, even spread throughout the day, it’s a large amount of time. The point is, many people have become accustomed to the daily chore of email, and for most of them it’s automatic and rarely given a second thought. Despite the amount of time spent on email, it is still a vital business activity. It is a communication tool to learn about your clients’ needs, set up appointments, and establish action items. Social media can be just as important in achieving the same things in addition to helping clients and prospects find you, but doesn’t require a quarter of your day.
Thumbing through a social network feed is very similar to scanning your email inbox in certain respects. Posts are presented in a linear fashion, and depending on how attention-grabbing the headline or story, it may cause you to pause and click, like, or comment. Where it differs is in how quickly you can get a sense of what is happening within your network. In just a couple minutes, you can absorb relevant updates from a wide variety of media. Status updates, pictures, links, and videos can all inform you of important life events happening in your network. Job changes, job anniversaries, marriages, babies, and birthdays are just a few of the things you can learn from the type of content people share on social media.
When you’re checking your social media networks for business purposes, you’ll want to focus on activity from your clients and prospects and ignore everything else. Undoubtedly, your social media networks will consist of personal and business contacts, so using features like lists or groups can help separate the two. Consider non relevant posts the same as spam email and skip past them. Because you can check any social network on your mobile device, you can check your feeds while waiting in line for coffee, riding up an elevator, or in those few minutes before your next appointment.
It has now been established that it doesn’t require a lot of time to check your social media feeds, so then comes the titular question, how often should financial professionals check their accounts? For the average financial professional, a few times a day should be more than sufficient.
However, it can be less or more depending on how large your network is. If you have a small network, the frequency of new posts will be a lot less than if you have a large number of connections. A good test is to see how long you can scroll through your feed before you see a post you have already seen.
If it takes you longer than a couple minutes to reach it, you’ll want to increase the number of times you check your accounts throughout the day.
If you do not use social media frequently, getting used to checking your feeds is just a habit you can develop over time. The value to you is the opportunity to know your clients and what is important to them, stay connected and grow those relationships, and identify opportunities to share your expertise. If you can spend a quarter of your day checking email, spending 10 minutes on social media is an efficient and effective way to complement your relationship-building strategies.
Learn more about social selling for financial professionals.
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