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Personal vs. Professional Social Media Posting For Financial Advisors

Financial Advisor Social Media Posting:  Personal vs Professional - The world of social media is a fast-moving, sometimes ‘controversial’ one, where financial advisor success  with followers and influencers can be enhanced or broken by what is posted or commented on.  Following are important tips that will help you decide what you should and should not do.

Keep Personal vs Professional separate by creating two accounts.  Your Personal Social Media Account is about you as a person and not you as a financial advisor. On the personal side, you will connect and post with people who know you personally outside of work. On the business side, your Professional Account should help you build credibility and trust based on what you post and bring qualified prospects to you.  Your Professional Account should be your ‘DBA’ account stating your employer, profession, etc.  It is like a professional resume and gives viewers a look at how you do business and what your values are.  DO NOT CONFUSE THE TWO!  In some instances, not separating your results is grounds for job termination (financial advisors take note)!

Posting Content on Your Professional Page.  Post what is relevant in your industry or to your clients.  A good example of what not to do is post golf tips on your professional pages like you’re a golf pro with photos of you golfing.  Do you teach golf all day or work as a financial professional?  Think about the message you are sending.  A ‘happy quote’ is nice once in a while, but don’t fill your posts with only that.  Use your posts to position yourself as an industry expert, leaving biases, politics, religion, and overindulgent options out.

‘Friending’ or ‘Connecting’.  Be careful who you ‘friend’ or ‘connect to’.  Do you really know all of these people?  There are SPAM friend requests that are out there that are like a computer virus.  They will automatically post to your account things you didn’t post.  Examples are porn, rude jokes, and job leads that are BOGUS.  As a recommendation, do not ‘Connect’ or ‘friend’ to the cute waitress at the bar you visited last night on your professional pages.  Remember two words:  Professional Connection. 

Posting Photos.  Do you want people that trust you with their money or financial future seeing a photo of you at an awkward moment?  Things such as “private” events (those that are embarrassing), booze photos, even damaging photos that are meant as a joke can be sensitive to others.  If you’re posting professionally, don’t even go there!  It’s advised to NOT post this type of material even on your personal pages.  Remember this stuff can come up in an HR background check (this is the world we live in).

Editor's note: This blog article was originally published in 2016 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness. Originally published August 26, 2016, updated October 23, 2020.

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