Missed the MarkWhy is it that with marketing, you never quite know if you’re doing it right? Like many elements of business, sometimes you just have to try, test, see results, and adjust as needed. On our blog, we talk a lot about tips for improving your social media presence, following, content, and likability. But today, we’re going to focus on the bad and the ugly: the four things you may be doing on social media that you shouldn’t.

1. You Self-Promote 90% of the Time

As much as you want to remind your followers of your services and capabilities, social media is a form of inbound marketing, and the ultimate goal of inbound marketing is to educate. Rather than talk about your specific process for financial planning, or your offering for a complimentary consultation, share unbiased education, including videos and content on the topics your followers care about. Keep 75% of your posts education-focused, 10% about firm updates or upcoming events, and 5% purely self-promotional, such as offering a free portfolio review.

2. You Post Inconsistently

Consistency is key for successful social media marketing. Avoid posting 10 posts in one day and then neglecting to share content again for two weeks. You’ll drive followers away with too much posting, and followers will forget about you if you don’t post often enough. Each social media platform has its own posting frequency etiquette. As a general rule, Twitter users post continuously throughout the day — as much as 20-50 tweets in a day. Facebook and LinkedIn users are more likely to post once each day. That being said, the actual amount that you post will depend on how much content you have and how high-touch you want your outreach to be.

More important is to focus on your cadence. Cadence is how regularly you post and your posting pattern on which your followers can count. Maintain a rhythm rather than try to stick to social media rules for posting. Prospects would rather engage with an adviser who consistently posts twice a week on Facebook than someone who posts every day one week and then disappears for the next month.

3. You Don’t Show Your Personality

The world of finance doesn’t have to always be steely and serious. Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through in your social posts. For most advisors, the goal is to work with an ideal base of clients – people you actually enjoy being around. The best way to attract your ideal target market is through your personality and social media content. If you like to keep your office relaxed and casual, share the occasional joke or share a picture of your office when it’s time for spring cleaning. If you solely want to connect with retired folks, you may share your thoughts on your last golf game or recommendations for vacations.

4. You Don’t Respond

There’s nothing worse than reaching out to someone and never receiving a response. It’s annoying with friends, but it can lose business for a professional. One survey found that 25% of people are annoyed when a business doesn’t respond to their question on social media, and 15% unfollowed a business because of the lack of communication. Yet, despite these numbers, reports show that only 10% of messages to brands on social media receive a response.

Even if you are automating your social media posting, you still need to check in every few days and respond to any private messages or comments you receive. On most platforms, you can adjust your settings so you receive an email when someone has commented on a post, responded to a tweet, or messaged you privately. Aim to respond as quickly as possible with a personal message, not a canned response. Checking for messages and interacting with followers can be a good task for your assistant if you prefer to stay away from your social media pages.

Social media marketing isn’t easy, but it is forgiving. Tweak your posting schedule, crack a joke or two, and interact with your community. Learn from your (and others’) mistakes and you’ll see your social media following and ROI improve over time.

Want more social media guidance?

Download our free whitepaper, “The Financial Advisor’s Guide to Social Media.”