Social media is one of the most powerful tools to drive awareness and generate a sense of community.
However, folks working in regulated industries often struggle with embracing the power of social platforms.
Legal, financial, accounting, real estate... each of these industries has a set of regulations that directly apply to what can and can’t be spoken about.
It’s critical to understand these rules but not let them hold you back from leveraging a social strategy. To help you get started, we invited our friend Winnie Sun as the special guest for Magnet Marketers.
Winnie Sun is one of the most trusted financial voices on social media today. With 20+ years of experience in the financial services industry, Winnie serves as Managing Director of Sun Group Wealth Partners, she’s on the CNBC Financial Advisor Council, she’s a Forbes contributor, a regular on Good Day Los Angeles, and is also tv host of LevelUp With Winnie Sun on NASDAQ, Amazon Fire and Roku.
It’s clear that Winnie knows exactly how to go about creating community and generating brand awareness despite working in a regulated industry. If she can do it, you can too!
Why Social Media Matters in Regulated Industries:
When working in regulated industries, there are a number of things to be aware of including federal and state laws.
Because of the regulations, it can be easy to overthink what we can’t do.
Instead, we encourage you to lean into what you CAN do! People don’t actually want to be bogged down with jargon and huge complicated terminology. They want you to meet them at their level.
Social media provides a chance to make your expertise known and your personality seen. The folks that appreciate what you have to say and how you say it, will find you.
Often, people working in regulated industries feel because of the rules and restrictions, social media is a waste of time. They are busy and don’t want to risk getting in trouble and/or saying something wrong.
However, not showing up at all isn’t the answer. Instead, it’s about practice!
“If you really know your stuff, you can communicate it in a way that anyone can understand it whether they are 8 or 80. Before you jump on social media, practice your messaging!” @winniesun (click to tweet)
You need to talk more about people; that is how you build trust because it’s what allows people to understand you better.
There’s a true art to having such strong communication that you’re able to simplify a topic and speak to it in a way that anyone can understand.
When you combine that skill with your unique personality, you have something that literally nobody else can offer.
The Importance of Personality:
While knowing your stuff is critical, the reality is that people do business with people they know, like and trust. Infusing your personality into your social media presence is the best way to allow people to start to get to know you.
While it’s critical to know what you are and are not allowed to say in your specific industry, nobody is telling you that you can’t have a personality.
In fact, that’s probably the most common misconception about social media in regulated industries: that you have to apply some cookie-cutter standard to the process.
So often, people in these industries are overly safe and so routine that it comes across as stale and doesn’t even actually speak to anyone specifically.
“Don’t let people put you in a box, and don’t put other people in a box.” - Winnie Sun
Just because you have to abide by a set of rules doesn’t mean that you can’t bring your unique self to the table in the process.
“If you’re doing social media just to do social media, but you’re not doing anything different from the people in your industry and don’t have any personality, what’s the actual point?” @jessikaphillips (click to tweet)
Don’t be afraid to let yourself be you because that is the only way to build relationships through social media.
Best Practices to Apply:
When getting started using social media in a regulated industry, there are a few best practices to follow.
By doing these things, you’ll be started off on the right foot:
- Share best practices in your industry: While you can’t go into detail about a number of specifics, there tends to be a set of best practices across almost every industry that are safe to talk about. Share those and infuse your personal style. You can be informative without oversharing and stepping into dangerous territory.
- Help people: While you can’t give specific advice for investing, for example, you can share best practices for cutting back on spending. Sharing valuable information (using the 10:4:1 rule) that people can apply directly, will earn you their attention. By being helpful and solution-based, you're setting yourself up as top-of-mind when it is time for them to choose an investor, attorney, etc.
- Be honest: Be upfront about what you can’t talk about, especially when you’re doing a live show/interview. If you get asked a question that you can’t answer, be direct.
It’s important that you not let the rules and regulations in your industry scare you from tapping into the power that social media has for positioning yourself as an expert in your field.
Understanding the Big Picture:
Regardless of the industry you work in, social media is worth your time because social media is all about people and relationships.
Don’t discount the power of social media.
Even if you don’t think you have clients that are spending time on social media (which Winnie’s client roster could show otherwise) your followers will often become friends that support and help spread the word about your brand!
Social media is about building community.
When you build a community, you talk about each other and sing each other’s praises. This generates awareness and exposure for both of you and a closer sense of connection.
That is the key to generating organic growth which is the true driver to repeat and referral business.
“You have to earn your place; the best way to do that is to be there for other people. The 'like' is the pat on the back. The RT/comment is the hug. When you do that from your heart, media companies will take notice.” @winniesun (click to tweet)
Once you understand that, you won’t worry about paying to play. You’ll have the confidence to show up and know that others are going to show up for you.
What do you think? Are you ready to show your personality on social media? What are your best practices for showing up on social media in a regulated industry?
Share in the comments below!
Resources mentioned during the show: