LinkedIn is no longer just a tool for recruiters. The site has matured into a powerful marketing platform, and it is changing the way advisors do business in financial services. According to a survey by Putnam Investments, 75 percent of financial advisors, are on social media and of those, nearly 95 percent report LinkedIn as their network of choice.
LinkedIn has clearly become an essential tool for advisors to network, prospect, and establish themselves as industry leaders. Beyond the basics, are you getting the most out of your LinkedIn profile and connections? While many features are free, should financial advisors consider paying for LinkedIn premium?
LinkedIn offers a variety of premium account options for people with different goals, based on their specific needs. A Premium Business account allows advisors to send three InMails a month. An InMail gives Premium clients access to LinkedIn members, even if they are not already personally linked, and offers a seven-day response guarantee. In theory, this guarantee means there’s less of a chance that the recipient will ignore your note.
There is also Business Plus, which offers 10 InMails monthly. With Business Plus, you can see who’s viewed your profile in the last 90 days as oppose to the last five viewers that free members see. In this manner, you can reach out to people you are interested in working with in your practice. With InMail, you can contact anyone on LinkedIn – from the potential client who just viewed your profile to the investor who’s interested in your company.
Looking to hire an assistant? Recruiter Life was built to be an essential tool for recruiters. Its search engine supports the most detailed queries. Once you’ve found the right people, you can organize candidates in project folders, take notes on their characteristics and status, and even set reminders to follow up with them. You can find and view unlimited profiles for your first-, second- and third-degree connections. With access to eight premium search filters, you can find the right candidate quickly and easily. The program also lets you refine your search by years of experience, seniority, function, company size, interests, and more.
The newest sales tool, developed with financial service professionals in mind, is Sales Navigator. The social-selling tool uses LinkedIn’s database of professional contacts to recommend the sales leads you should connect with on the site, allowing you to track updates and news related to important leads and companies, and find mutual connections that can introduce you.
Sales Navigator also allows for customer relationship management integration with CRM systems, Salesforce, and Microsoft Dynamics. Although the new tool is not integrated with Redtail and Junxure, LinkedIn is rumored to be looking for additional CRM partnerships. Users who do not use Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics can manually enter their contacts.
According to Investment News, the results of social selling are impressive. Salespeople using social media are 51 percent more likely to beat their quota than traditional sellers, said Mike Derezin, LinkedIn global head of sales, in a blog post.
“We are now in an era of social selling, where the art of appealing to the savvy buyer takes place online, long before the deal is closed,” writes Derezin. “It has the power to reduce cold calls and turn them into warm introductions.”
Should financial advisors pay for LinkedIn Premium? The answer depends on how you use the service.
*Financial Advisors, please consult your Compliance Department for their policies on Social Media.
Summit Brokerage Services is a member of Cetera Financial Group, RCS Capital Corporation’s (NYSE: RCAP) retail investment advice platform.
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