The Coronavirus pandemic has accelerated impending changes in many institutions and systems across the world and Family Offices are no different. Today, we are finding that wealthy families have realised the importance of fostering a good reputation:
- A poor reputation can expose family offices to disclose family and personal information to the risks of misinterpretation and criminal exploitation. In fact, it can destroy the family’s ability to operate discretely and avoid the constant social media chatter.
- A good reputation is akin to the family’s legacy i.e. a useful asset for fundraising and preferential treatment by those seeking investment, especially social impact initiatives. It is easier to avail oneself with public support and public funding if a social impact is financed by a family office of repute.
- Many decision-makers and successors of family offices have capitalised on their personal brands for financial and/or political gain. Eventually, their following is bound to scrutinise the family’s reputation. Any conflict between the personal and family brand can pose serious damages to the financial credibility of a family.
- Family offices compete with VCs and private equity funds as investors and investment vehicles. These financial transactions mandate transparency and accountability, hence the need to manage the family office’s reputation.
- A good reputation also attracts good talent. It is crucial for attracting the highest calibre of talent: Attract the best finance professionals, fund managers, asset managers before they opt to join a hedge fund, consultancy, bank or other financial institution.
- Reputation can be immunised from economic downturns and utilised to widen asset base before the next phase of growth. This has also resulted in the emergence of multi-family offices.
Why use LinkedIn?
All your social media accounts are an indivisible part of your reputation. They do not have to work in isolation. Each account must have a prescribed role and they must complement each other. LinkedIn is an integral part of your social media strategy for successful reputation management for the following reasons:
- It establishes your credibility. Researchers have validated LinkedIn as the most trusted social media network for 3 straight years from 2017 to 2019. They also estimate that its trustworthiness shall remain uncontested in 2020.
- It produces 277% more leads than Facebook and Twitter. While FB and Twitter give you a much wider audience and greater public visibility, LinkedIn helps you establish strategic relationships with professionals and influencers.
- It is perceived as a safe custodian of personal data, while FB became infamous for granting 3rd party access to personal information of more than 87 million users.
- You are less vulnerable to fake news, bot infestation, fake profiles, pop-up ads and trolling. You can anchor your entire reputation on your LinkedIn presence and use it to sustain a good reputation on other social media.
How to use LinkedIn for Reputation Management?
1. Express your institution’s values and strengths:
The family office should be represented by a Company Page as well as the personal profiles of the key decision-makers. In this digital age, if you do not specify your values and strengths, social media may define an immoral and power-hungry narrative around you or much worse, label your family as ignorant and irresponsible. On the other hand, unambiguous values and known key strengths can transform your family office into a source of inspiration that utilises your entrepreneurial acumen and moral pursuits to yield initiatives that are socially and environmentally responsible. We assist with and strongly advise family offices to search engine optimise their pages and use key words to reflect their branding and values.
2. Optimise your LinkedIn presence:
Similarly optimise your page content to be SEO friendly. I suggest as follows:
a. Strategic use of keywords, including your values and strengths.
b. Creating a Vanity URL. It provides an easily remembered and easily located website name.
c. Using appropriate high-resolution images that are renamed with your keywords.
Additionally, you must also optimise your personal brand to align with the reputation of the Family Office. Live up to your values by:
a. Practicing what you preach: Social media will put your profile to the test. If your value is honesty, you have to exhibit transparency.
b. Building a Worthy Network: Your online reputation and pursuits need credible endorsements. Furthermore, you also need brand advocates and ambassadors whose profiles align with your values. LinkedIn can help you connect with the most apt subject matter experts, like-minded investors, entrepreneurs, organisation heads, journalists and social activists. You can achieve this through online conversations, direct connections, or networking through LinkedIn Groups.
c. Engaging with Authenticity: “Get real” with your conversations. While you are receptive and present an authoritative source of information, you do not have to be the person with all the answers. Instead, you can collaborate with other participants of the conversation and try to arrive at certain answers together. Adding phrases like “In my opinion” or “Based on my experience” can give a personal context to your information, without restricting others to a narrow-minded point of view.
3. Consistently publish Reliable and Relevant Content :
Content is central to your LinkedIn activities. Your reputation is built on your content. If it is relevant and reliable to other professionals, they will show a willingness to connect and engage with you. If you are regular, you will build a following that keeps you trending in a hashtag category and improve your visibility across LinkedIn.
Emerging global trends necessitating an increased presence on and utilisation of the LinkedIn platform by the private wealth sector will shape the course of family office development as these organisations continue to grow and evolve. Those that embrace them will position themselves at the industry forefront for the years to come.
If you would like to learn how to use & leverage LinkedIn professionally, please join our online course which you can follow at your own pace #LinkedInMastery2020 – click here to learn more.