RBC introduces mobile app for DS advisors

Many advisors recognize how invaluable having a social media presence can be. But the costs of maintaining visibility online can be steep, in terms of both time and effort.

Outsourcing some of the work to a social media specialist can relieve the stress of worrying about your online reputation. That person can also free up your time to focus on what you do best, nurturing client relationships, face to face.

“If advisors do too many things, it’ll take up more time and cost them more [in the long run],” says Sylvia Garibaldi, founder of SG & Associates, in Toronto. “There are experts for a reason.”

Though hiring more help means changing your budget, there are several options to keep expenses low, says Garibaldi.

Here are four factors to consider when hiring social media support:

1. Examine your strengths and needs
Do your research first before setting out to find a specialist. Ask yourself how often you want to post or tweet, what social media platforms you plan to use and who you want to connect with.

And reflect on the challenges you’ve encountered trying to do it yourself, before settling on a specialist or consultant.

2. Find the right specialist
It’s rare to find someone who can both execute your strategy and develop it, says Garibaldi. Specialists have different skills and areas of expertise. Distinct skill sets can range from brand building, to managing online communities to developing strategies for engaging people.

“It can be overwhelming, because there are a lot of solutions out there,” says Garibaldi.

To narrow the search, you need to pinpoint your priorities. Some experts will offer free consults, which can help give you a sense of how to define your needs.

3. Consider a trial run
The marketplace is filled with options in this area. Advisors don’t have to commit to staffing an in-house social media position right away.

There are web sites, such as Upwork and Fiverr, where freelancers can be contracted for individual projects, suggests Garibaldi. They can be called on to design a logo, write blog posts and produce videos, among other creative tasks.

If you want to find someone closer to home, LinkedIn is a good source, she adds. For instance, advisors can connect with a student looking for extra work in the summer, who might take on the task of sending LinkedIn invites and messages.

4. Seek out resources online
If you find yourself unable to take on the additional costs of hiring someone, you can access online webinars or tutorials. There are even webinars on how to keep your social media compliant, such as those found on Hearsay Social. Start small and focus on the most relevant social media channel, says Garibaldi.

“The reality is you need to be on social media to grow your business,” she says. “If you want to dabble a little bit and start on your own, learn as much as you can,” she says. “If you’re in a tight-budget mode, look for free resources.”

Photo copyright: georgejmclittle/123RF