The Tale of Our Social Media Strategy

Anyone who has Charter Communications (Ticker: CHTR) as their cable television provider or regularly watches Fox 2 News, which is owned and operated by Tribune Media Company (Ticker: TRCO), has likely seen one of our commercials or one-on-one interviews.

If you have not seen us on television, it is nearly impossible to miss hearing a report from the “Wamhoff Financial Planning & Accounting Business Desk” during the morning rush hours on KMOX, a subsidiary of CBS Corporation (Ticker: CBS).

For those of you who live under a rock, Bob is celebrating 40 years of being in business! I am not ashamed to admit that Bob has been in business 8 years longer than I have been living on this spinning rock. Bob has been able to accomplish so much since he left Emerson Electric (Ticker: EMR) and started doing tax returns on washing machines and in his clients’ homes.

In addition to creating a business from virtually nothing, Bob has also built a large team of accounting and financial planning professionals who are eager to assist our client base. Not only has Bob achieved great success in the local marketplace, but he is also consistently recognized at the state and national level. Recently, Bob was ranked among the top financial advisors in the country according to Barron’s and Registered Rep magazine (Based on Assets Under Management).

Much has changed over those 40 years, with technology truly transforming the financial services sector. Business today is conducted much differently, from a technological standpoint, than when Bob first started his business. Today health records, taxes, and even social security statements are all available online. Fast forward into the more modern era of technology and we arrive in the world of social media with sites such as Facebook (Ticker: FB) and Twitter (Ticker TWTR).

When Bob started his business, regular mail, telephones, and fax machines were the best forms of quick and convenient communication. Today, the nearly instant communication available via various forms of technology can become confusing and intimidating for many people, especially adults with considerably more vintage than a millennial such as myself.

From these eyes, what is truly unique and compelling about Bob is his willingness to accept and integrate technology into his business. Wamhoff Financial Planning & Accounting is on the cutting edge when it comes to technology compared to most of our peers in the financial industry. How many financial firms of our size have an on-site information technology (IT) specialist? I would surmise very few, and certainly almost none have the pedigree and background in information security and networking that Otto, our “IT guy” has.

After receiving permission from Bob about nine months ago, Otto and I began working toward the development of a social media strategy for our office covering both the financial planning and accounting departments. We were both excited about the opportunity Bob had given us, but nervous about the amount of work that we knew would lay ahead. The final output of our efforts resulted in a 50-page plan, and a presentation to Bob, Ted Hemmy (Wamhoff Director of Operations), and the entire VSR Financial Services compliance department. That plan included nearly every social media channel – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and more – as well as the development of a new website that would lend itself to showcasing the thought leadership we would be creating through our original content. We pushed the limits, took chances, and challenged each other to move deeper into our creative consciousness. The culmination of our efforts was evident when VSR’s compliance department openly stated that there were several pieces of our social media strategy that they were unfamiliar with themselves. It was at that moment when Otto and I both realized we were moving in the right direction, but we still had a variety of details to work through before we would be able to synchronize the website with the various social media platforms.

Our ultimate objective was to create a website and social media strategy that worked congruently with one another so that we could build a huge online following through our efforts. The real momentum was initiated when we started forging relationships with friends, both new and old, through a variety of online mediums. Throughout the entire process, Bob was supportive of our endeavor. Not only was he supportive, he was like an enthusiastic cheerleader the whole way, despite the financial investment and his unfamiliarity with all of the granular parts and pieces of our strategy. Trust, support, and loyalty are the attributes that make him a great leader and they were very evident throughout the process.

Having moved forward with the plan implementation and the completion of our new website, Otto and I would like to invite you to join Wamhoff online. If you have not looked at our website recently, please check it out at www.wamhoff.com. I assure you that you will not recognize it, and it may be a site unlike any others you have seen.

Our home page features a live feed of our blog articles, videos, news, and posts from our social media pages on Facebook and Twitter. You will find weekly updates from both financial planning and accounting, as well as monthly email commentaries and bi-weekly videos of our Fox 2 news appearances. We are committed to providing valuable content that you and your family will find useful, informative, and actionable.

We are currently active on both Facebook and Twitter, and we encourage you to like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WamhoffFinancial, and follow us on Twitter @TeamWamhoff. Please feel free to email us at wamhoff@wamhoff.com if you would like to suggest a specific topic to be covered in an upcoming blog or podcast.

Throughout this entire process, I have come to realize that much of Bob’s success is built around his willingness to adapt and evolve over time. Forty years in business is not a small feat, and the business continues to grow nearly every year. While Otto and I might have increased Bob’s awareness of social media, I am confident that through this entire process we have both learned more from Bob than he has learned from us.

In closing, I will leave you with the following muse, “Neither a wise man nor a brave man lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him.”
~ Dwight D. Eisenhower ~

Sources:
http://ir.charter.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=112298&p=irol-irhome
http://investors.tribunemedia.com/
http://investors.cbscorporation.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=99462&p=irol-irhome
http://www.emerson.com/en-us/Investors/Pages/investors.aspx