Did you hear? Financial services professionals who don’t have a quality LinkedIn page are being let go because they are stuck in a time warp. Yep, they never moved beyond the days of cold calling and don’t understand the power of social selling. Yikes.

April Fools! Okay, those people are not being fired (at least, I don’t think so). However, they are being foolish, and most likely losing out on business opportunities and sales. If you don’t want to be a fool, avoid these top five social fails:

  1. Using social media just for personal use. Sure, social media is still a great way to keep in touch with family and friends, but social media is also now a critical component of the business environment. Today’s business to business (B2B) buyers do a ton of research on you and your company before they ever make direct contact. This means your LinkedIn profile must be up-to-date, and your value-add must be clearly stated in customer-oriented terms. Check out 8 Ways You’re Using LinkedIn Wrong for more specifics on what to include in your profile.
  1. Not building centers of influence (COI) on LinkedIn. Are you skipping the gold mine of COI networking? By effectively using LinkedIn, you can find and cultivate referrals, and nurture and enhance your existing connections. Want to know how? Attend my April 21 Digital Institute broadcast, Boost Your Centers of Influence with Social, and learn how to unlock the power and potential for cultivating COIs on social, and share ways to add value, mind your manners, and avoid common mistakes.
  1. Not sharing your smarts. Why did you get into financial services? Why do you do what you do? How do you help your clients? The answers to these questions should drive your business and the content you provide to clients and prospects. In other words, consider the information and insights that only you can offer, and then share those smarts in bite-sized chunks via blogs or emails.
  1. Not using social to drive traffic to your website. While some aspects of social media are fine to conduct exclusively on a site, at some point you also want to use social to attract people to your website. Why? Because if you want to build your own contact list of followers—one that isn’t tied to an outside social site—you need to get people to your website, and have them opt-in to your mailing list by signing up for lead magnets, newsletters, or other value-adds. Using your social media posts to promote your blogs and other content is a great way of Throwing Down a Website Drawbridge.
  1. Skipping visuals. If you’re like many people today, you barely notice content that doesn’t include a visual. Imagery helps break up digital noise and can often impart information much faster than mere words. Perhaps not everything needs a visual, but when you can, try to include photos, graphic icons, and/or infographics to help your readers grasp your subject matter and make content more appealing.

Light-hearted hoaxes and pranks are fun once year. However, missing out on business opportunities is no laughing matter. Don’t be an April Fool. Get going with your social skills today.


With 25 years in the financial services industry, Sheri is a recognized influencer, popular social media speaker, and a creative marketing force. As president of ShoeFitts Marketing, she collaborates with broker/dealers, financial advisors, third-party administrators, and financial professionals to help them leverage marketing tools and social media strategies to make meaningful connections that build business and grow sales.

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