Well I’m so glad you asked. Ok so you didn’t ask me directly, but I do get asked this question from financial advisors everyday. If you use any social media platform (yes even LinkedIn now uses hashtags) you’ve probably asked yourself the same question.
The truth is there are several professional benefits to using hashtags, from growing your network to connecting with potential clients. But we’ll get into that in a minute. Let’s start with the basics and another common question “What is a hashtag?”
According to the digital marketing agency Mapplinks a “hashtag is the name given to the word or set of words prefixed by the symbol #. It is used on social media platforms where hashtags help categorize tweets on particular topics. This helps people find all the tweets related to a particular topic easily and in one place.”
So what does all that really mean? I like to describe #’s in two ways:
1. As an afterthought. It’s a word or phrase related to your social media share that isn’t actually in the text.
2. A # can also be used to replace a word in the text of your social media share.
But what’s the point?
3 benefits of using hashtags on social media:
Grow your connections
It’s easy to connect with people when you have something in common – whether that is a profession, a hobby, a personal interest or sport activity. If you have kids and enjoy running you can search #runningmoms on Twitter. Go ahead do it right now.
What you’ll find is everyone on Twitter (because #’s are unique to each social media channel) posting photos and sharing information related to that hashtag. If you also talk about being a mom or about running it would be very easy to connect with these like-minded women.
If you want to grow your network quickly, search through #’s that you enjoy – both personally and professionally – to connect with people who share your interests.
Engage with new followers
If you have a look at #retirementplanning or #RRSP on Facebook you’ll find everyone on the social network who is talking about those subjects. As a financial advisor it’s important to find people who are talking about – or more importantly, asking questions – about your area of expertise.
Scan the posts and engage with users where you see fit. This can be liking or sharing a post with information about #retirementplanning or #RRSP. Every time you do so, the user will be notified that you took action on their social media share. In turn hopefully the user will see your name and title, click on your profile to learn more about you and contact you for more information. That’s the basic first step to engaging on social media.
The more in depth approach is to comment and answer questions related to your field. It’s important to be helpful and don’t forget to leave the door open for follow up. In the post below from CBC there are 166 comments from people talking about #RRSP. That’s a big opportunity for financial advisors to join the conversation, answer questions and get your name in front of people who may otherwise not know about you and your firm.
Help prospects find you
What’s better than finding the perfect client? Finding the perfect client on social media networks. Why? Because it’s easy to prospect on social media, you can learn a lot about clients before your first meeting from their profile information (especially on LinkedIn) and it’s a new way to constantly stay connected and communicate with clients.
Use local #’s to help others find you, learn about your firm and contact you for next steps. If you’re talking about #ThunderBay or #Kitchener or #Edmonton on social media, everyone who is searching for that # will find you and see your post along with your name and title.
This is especially important if you belong to any local organizations, volunteer for local charities or attend local events. Find out which # they’re using, post photos with it and let the locals come to you.
Using hashtags on social media to grow your online presence and your firm can be very simple, all you need is a plan – and time to make it happen.