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Financial pros who are tempted by pre-approved content may want to consider the experience of Raymond James Financial. The firm, which works with more than 6,000 advisors serving about 2.5 million accounts, has discovered something valuable as its social efforts have evolved.

“Seventy percent of the content is pre-approved and 30 percent is original by the advisor,” says Chief Marketing Officer Michael White, “but the advisor-created content gets four times the engagement as the pre-approved content.”

Four times the engagement! If that's not reason enough to make social media training and personalized content a priority, I'm not sure what is. Clearly the advisor who is crafting his or her own messages grows to become adept at the process, a process that their brokerage or registered investment advisor (RIA) can accelerate by extending their own educational efforts.

Raymond James' Content Portal Provides Content and Workflow

FIGURE 33.1 Raymond James' Content Portal Provides Content and Workflow

Raymond James has given the subject some thought. The platform they use today features four primary components (see Figure 33.1):

Compliant, Approved Content – Advisors can access a portal with preapproved content and then choose which social platform he/she wants to use to share it.

Advisor-Created Content – Advisors can submit a photo or link or post through a workflow at the brokerage. The content is sent to compliance for approval and, once approved, is posted. This happens within a few hours, White says.

Metrics – The advisor can see the number of connections through the different social platforms, changes from the prior week, social listening, and engagement.

Marketing – Last but perhaps most important is social listening. For example, advisors can get tipped off to key events in the lives of friends or others in their social networks – who might have changed jobs, moved, or had a baby. For these important life events, if the advisor is connected, he or she can congratulate them and then suggest a 401 (k) rollover or a 529 college account.

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