Financial services professionals and organizations have been reticent to reach out to and engage their clients through social media platforms. This may be partly due to compliance fears, although a lack of familiarity with the channel could also be to blame. The Covenant Group blog is working to squash any fears that exist.

A driving aspect of high-quality client service is doing whatever it takes to satisfy your clients. Trends indicate that people of every age are starting to expect the companies they do business with to be available not only over the phone, via email and (when appropriate) face-to-face, but also on social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Social media has already been tapped by many sectors as a means of marketing, but it also presents significant opportunities for connecting with clients.

Have you considered how social media can advance your business goals? Do you already use social media to connect with clients? Have you used the information you’ve found on these networks to inform client interviews and interactions?

At The Covenant Group, we encourage clients to learn more about these platforms and integrate them into the existing client relationship management strategy given the increasing relevance of these communication channels. Since most of these sites’ basic services cost little more than your time, it is wise to start thinking about how you can work them into the daily schedules of your team.

For example, Twitter can be a great way to “listen in” on conversations about a variety of topics, and may give you insight into what your clients want but have not yet articulated. Additionally, it can enable you to stay up to date with the latest news and product offerings, helping you determine the ways in which your business needs to evolve and grow. You man not find your clients are Twitter users, however, all news sources and most financial and business columnists are. They can provide you with relevant content that you can communicate to clients via other social networks or in a newsletter or email.

As Lorie Konish writes for OnWallStreet, the networks can also serve to build and deepen client relationships. Facebook can reveal what prospects and clients are passionate about – their family, a social issue, a business – and may be a means of showing the human side of your business through the backstories of your advisors and supporting staff.

On a more professional level, Konish emphasizes the networking and reputation-establishing potential of LinkedIn. This can help you connect with others in your sector, research clients before sales interviews and expand awareness of your own areas of expertise.