Raymond James has partnered with Actiance to provide financial advisors compliant access to social media tools, including LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. In addition, the firm is offering advisors optional marketing support with access to a library of pre-approved content and tools to measure audience engagement. 

Advisors have long wanted to connect with existing clients and prospects via social media networking sites, said Anthea Penrose, public relations manager at Raymond James. The new tools allow them to do that while ensuring regulatory compliance. 

The tools, which were beta-tested with a small group of advisors, are already live and performing as expected, said Penrose. 

Social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and particularly LinkedIn are gaining greater acceptance among brokerage firms, said Todd Colbeck, president of Colbeck Coaching Group. He added that firms that don’t use them are at a competitive disadvantage. “They’re one of the easiest referral systems that an advisor can use. They [advisors] just have to learn how to use them,” said Colbeck, author of the book, “How to Get New Clients Using LinkedIn.”

Raymond James also developed guidelines, training sessions and marketing and communications support to help advisors leverage social media in their client engagement and prospecting activities. For example, advisors will have access to a library of pre-approved content, including tweets and Facebook and LinkedIn posts.  They will have the ability to schedule content to any of their social media sites and to customize their URL links. 

In addition, advisors will be able to measure the level of engagement with online followers. “The marketing tool tells advisors which content is most popular and also lets them know which posts are being clicked, liked, shared, re-tweeted or commented on, so they can measure audience engagement by the day, week, month—even time of day and by social media site,” said Penrose in an e-mail statement. 

Colbeck likened the level of social media acceptance among advisors today to the early days of e-mail.  “When e-mail first came in, [firms] were slow to accept it,” he said. Now, it’s pervasive.