Top 5 Tips For Sharing News Articles On Social Media

This article was first featured in Financial Advisor Magazine on May 1st, 2023.

There’s no more powerful message than original, insightful content written by a financial advisor. As a financial professional, you can serve as a guide and mentor, interpreting and explaining the ups and downs of market events, helping clients set financial goals, and explaining retirement strategies, among other things.

However, not every advisor has the time, resources, or desire to write carefully crafted, information-dense content. That’s when it helps them to supplement their original content by sharing articles written by other reputable sources. When you share the right content, especially news stories, it greatly complements your outreach strategy overall.

With that in mind, here are a few dos and don’ts when it comes to sharing news articles on social media.

1. Pick The Right Stories

Your clients and prospects have strong preferences about their news sources. Make sure you are sharing from a publication and reporter who isn’t a lightning rod for controversy. Also, don’t share an article unless you are genuinely interested in the topic. Remember that you’re sharing this because it’s of interest to your network. Ask yourself: What about it made you want to share it? You don’t have to limit yourself to financial topics and publications. You might share sports stories, human interest stories, or features about hobbies. More often than not, the articles that perform best are those from your local news outlets.

2. Share Your Opinion

Few people will read a full article, even about a topic they’re interested in. Your network likely wants to know why you are sharing it. So answer that question when you are posting, and then provide a few bullet points that include your key takeaways from the article. You can then get a conversation started by asking a question or two to promote comments and opinions. The more engagement your post gets, the more people will see it. (The social media platforms like this, too. They want to keep you on their sites rather than have you clicking a link that sends you off to consume content elsewhere.)

3. Summarize The Article

Never just share the link with a “check this out” caption. Take the time to not only share your opinion and key takeaways but also provide a high-level summary of the article using bullets and even emojis to add some personality and visual elements. Don’t think of your goal as getting people to read the article. Your goal is to show interest in a topic, explain why you share the pieces, offer your opinion, and provide valuable information to your target audience.

4. Consider Your Clients

Before you post anything, think of three clients. Better yet, pick three who have almost nothing in common (the more unlike they are, the better). What would each of them think about your post? You’re asking this because you want to make sure the content is so valuable that even vastly different people would find it interesting. A mentor of mine once said he held his content to the “wife/partner/friend test.” Is your post something your clients will read and likely bring up in conversation later with their spouses, partners, or friends? If the answer is yes, then you can feel good about your post.

5. How Often Should You Post?

One of the most common questions advisors ask about social media can also be one of the most difficult to answer: “How often should someone post?” The pithy answer is, “As much as you want!” But it’s more important to aim for consistency. You want to set a goal and plan for the month ahead with some evergreen content. That serves as a foundation on top of which you add timely content. Vary your topics, and don’t forget to engage with others’ posts. Our rule of thumb is that for every post you make, you’ll want to engage with four others (by “liking” or commenting). Look for posts from key clients and prospects, centers of influence, reporters, or community leaders, and consistently add meaningful comments to their posts. This could not only dramatically increase your network, but it will often lead to offline conversations.

A Few More Best Practices

Here are a few more things to keep in mind as you share news articles on social media:

  • Paywalls are frustrating. Double-check to see if an article is accessible to everyone before sharing. For some news sources, you may be able to “gift” an article from your subscription for free.
  • Avoid divisive topics or wedge issues. People are passionate. Some may decide whether or not to work with you based on values completely unrelated to your skills as an advisor.
  • Are you forwarding real news? Or paid opinion? If your audience regularly engages with financial content, there’s a chance competitors have bought ad space next to any article you want to share. That’s fine and shouldn’t concern you. However, you’ll want to check to make sure anything you share is unbiased reporting and not written by a firm that paid to place the article.
  • Check the comments section. Some compliance teams won’t allow advisors to share articles with an open, unmoderated comments section. Even if your team does, check the comments to make sure they don’t contain a river of toxic content.
  • Keep it fresh and current. Posting week-old news that everyone has already seen won’t serve anyone. The sooner you post, the more advantage you’ll have in setting the tone with your perspective.

Why Sharing News Matters

Your clients live in a media-saturated culture. Online news content surrounds them. While you can’t control what they see online, you have an opportunity to help shape their financial worldview. Think of your posts as an anchor in a stormy sea. Even if misinformation floods your clients’ devices, a few steady posts with your seasoned perspective can help them establish credible sources and understand the critical context.

As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Phone calls, meetings, and other client communications may go more smoothly if your clients receive regular insights into your views on market conditions, economic trends, legislative change, and other timely news items that may affect their financial goals.

Beyond that, remember that your social media feed doesn’t always have to stay serious. The best news story might often have nothing to do with the markets. Don’t hesitate to share a recipe, a travel destination, or an inspirational story. And when you see a client sharing something you appreciate, consider taking a moment to “like” it or leave a friendly comment, which makes it even more likely that they’ll do the same for your posts.

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