Every month, we provide a roundup of all the latest social media news that financial advisors need to know. Read on for updates from the big social platforms, new studies that reveal how consumers use social, and some resources that can help you improve your social media efforts.

Google+ Announces Shut Down Date

As you may have heard, Google+ is getting shut down. After a bug caused the data of half a million users to be exposed, they made the announcement that the social platform would be eliminated. At first, they were going to give it until August 2019 to completely shut it off, but that date has been accelerated to April 2, 2019.

If you’ve been using Google+ to promote your advisory, make sure you’re prepared for the shutdown. We recommend you:

  • Make a plan to remove Google+ share / follow buttons from your website
  • Phase out posting content or sharing on Google+
  • If you run a Community on Google+, make plans to migrate it to a different platform. Facebook and LinkedIn Groups are two great choices.

LinkedIn Hits Record High Levels

According to parent company Microsoft, there are more than 610 million professionals interacting on LinkedIn. They released the following stats, which are pretty good arguments for joining the platform and using it to promote your business:

This data (and more insights!) are available through their new ebook, The Social Media Manager’s Guide to LinkedIn. If you want to get started with advertising on LinkedIn, this is a good place to learn the ropes.

Courts Rule Buying Followers is Illegal

After the New York Times investigated a company that allows you to buy social media followers, a court case has ruled that practice effectively illegal. The company that was investigated, Devumi, allows customers to pay them for more followers on their social media pages. According to the NYT, Devumi operated by “drawing on an estimated stock of at least 3.5 million automated accounts, each sold many times over. The company has provided customers with more than 200 million Twitter followers.”

Hopefully, you did not engage in the practice of buying followers for your business. If you did, it’s recommended you stop immediately. While having a high number of followers can be helpful, it means nothing if those users don’t interact with your content. That’s why it’s important to organically grow your following with real people that you know are actually interested in your financial advisory.

What Instagram Users Expect

Facebook (who owns Instagram) released a new report that provides insight on what Instagram users expect from brands on the platform. Advisors who are interested in getting started on Instagram (and who have received clearance from compliance) may find some of the data persuasive. According to the report, 57% of the 21,000 people surveyed indicating that they’re now using Instagram more than they did a year ago, and 44% saying that they’ll use it even more in the coming year. These graphics provide other useful info, like which age brackets use the platforms the most (are you surprised that it’s not just teenagers?):

Plus, it reveals which types of marketing content users like to see. Clearly, they’re interested in short and well-targeted content, with specific creative designed for Instagram:

Have you thought about using Instagram? This video might help you decide whether or not the platform is for you.

Compliant Social Media

We know that using social media compliantly can be a bit of a headache. So we broke down what you need to know to create social content that doesn’t break any guidelines. Read the blog here.