January 17, 2017 Neal Quon

Can advisors leverage Pinterest?

Pinterest has come a long way since it launched. In fact, Pinterest was one of the first social networks to reach 10 million as quickly as it did in terms of users. But today, as of 2016, it has more than 100 million active users, of which in the United States nearly half of those are adult women. So there’s an interesting mix of a constituency for us in the financial services field to reach on Pinterest. And it’s really even more different than a Facebook or an Instagram which allows you to get a sense for people’s personal interests, especially when you’re thinking about your clients or your prospects.

But it also, because of the nature of how Pinterest is built it also allows you to ensure that people understand who you are as an individual, as an organization, and as a team. So let’s just think through a couple of basic fundamentals. One, you want your prospects and clients to get to know you a little bit better. And this is where you can decide to allow a little bit of the personal to blend into the professional. This doesn’t mean pulling back the curtain, so to speak, on your personal life, because many organizations prefer not to do that.

However, because of the relationship nature of what we do in this industry, there’s a little bit more of that going on at the business level than perhaps in other industries. And especially when it comes to financial advice and planning and goal-making, often we’re using some of our own personal experiences and some of our successes and failures in life with our financial goals to inform how we communicate to our clients and our prospects. So step one with Pinterest, before you get to know your clients, is to make sure that folks can get to know you. And the beauty of Pinterest is it is boards-driven, so it’s very visual. But that doesn’t mean that everything has to be a picture. Pinterest allows you to share links, to share videos, pictures, and other pointers, so to speak, that can drive folks to other content.

You can think about this from a business perspective and what we’ve spoken about before on the Social Media Minute. What you’re really doing with your social networks that wrap around your business and your business website are to find meaningful ways to bring people back to your website where you have something valuable to share, to give to them as information, or you’re driving them towards news or information, valuable data, that will help them make decisions based on conversations that you’re having with them.

So number one is think about those boards. You may wanna board for your business, to talk about the services you provide, the things that you think about as an organization. You may wanna expose your team and allow them to share some of their specific pursuits, again from a professional standpoint, what they do for you and what interests them. And then of course, you can have a board for yourself as a principal, or as an adviser, with an organization to tell a little bit about where your focus is and the things that you’re thinking about. These could be anything from global monetary policy news, all the way down to how to dress at work, interesting places where you eat or meet with clients. So it can be a little bit of everything that you can bring to the fore. What you’re really trying to do is let prospects and clients get a better sense for your culture and how you run your organization.

Now, you can turn the tables here. We often talk when we’re talking about CRM and Customer Relationship Management, that we wanna track personal interests, who’s interested in art, who’s interested in wine or beer-tastings, who’s interested in specific kinds of restaurants? Who likes to travel? Who likes sports, specific events, specific community activities or maybe philanthropic organizations? You can learn a lot of this by connecting with your clients and your prospects through your Pinterest account and start to understand what matters to them, what they’re sharing. And that leads us to kind of the wrapper that allows you to turn this into engagement. We’re always talking to you about how to connect with others on Twitter, on Facebook, on LinkedIn especially, and how to reach out and engage properly.

Similar to Twitter, you can engage with the @ symbol when you want to reach out and connect to a particular user, organization or account, as well as you can use the liking pins and sharing pins functionality, which plays along very nicely as you would see on Twitter again or on Facebook or LinkedIn. So a very common set of tools to allow you to span engagement across those networks. But equally as important is how you weave your Pinterest activity into your overall communications to your clients. If you’re going out in a newsletter on a regular basis, you can reference some of those activity or perhaps call out your favorite pins of the week or the month or the quarter. You can have recommended pins for others to see. You can also start to think about, if it makes sense, to share personal interests through your communications. For instance, calling out the best restaurant referenced, or the best vacation or event referenced, something that would generate interest across a broader group of individuals.

And then finally, we wanna think about ways that you can drive people to you, and there’s some ways to do that beyond just direct engagement. For example, if you’re a subject matter expert in a particular area, you may want to cultivate a board specifically on that topic that you can drive and curate yourself. If you’re with a group of peers in the industry, even potentially competitive peers who are not in your direct geographical reach, you may want to curate content from all of those individuals or some of those individuals to create a very rich destination on a particular topic. So as you can see there are a number of different ways to leverage and get started with Pinterest and you’ll also find, as I’ve mentioned, that it’s a very common set of tools that should not be a learning curve for you beyond understanding the basic layout of Pinterest. And so, with that, I would encourage you to take a good, strong look at Pinterest and let us know if you have any questions.

Neal Quon

Neal Quon began his career in the financial services industry in 1997 and is a graduate of Texas Tech University with a Bachelor of Sciences degree in Family Financial Planning. Being an independent advisor gives Neal an understanding of the challenges financial advisors face when selecting the tools to best meet the needs of their clients. He helped establish the technology for a Texas-based Registered Investment Advisor as he also built his initial book of business. Neal also bridged many channels in financial services, with a consistent focus on the front office of operations. He has worked for and consulted for many of the the industry’s leading service providers. This includes Albridge Solutions and CashEdge, Inc. Neal also directly coached financial advisors, serving as the Practice Consulting Manager for the Pacific Life group of broker dealers prior to their sale to LPL. In founding QuonWarrene with Blane Warrene, he brought client-facing technology expertise and regularly speaks and advises on practice management issues today.