What value does social media hold for a financial services firm?
A range of views exist, with many financial marketers swearing by it whilst others holding it in immense frustration and contempt.
Regardless of one’s view of the value of social media, financial firms across the board often struggle to clearly articulate its value on paper.
In this article, we’re going to give you 7 ways social media can benefit financial firms. There are many other advantages in addition to these, but this should hopefully be enough to whet your appetite!
Google has said that it does not value links from social media platforms to your financial website as much as it used to. However, at the very least having an active social media presence can have a very positive impact on the volume and quality of traffic on your financial website, through link building.
There is certainly a widely-recognised strong correlation between social media signals and a strong SEO profile. In other words, the better your content is the more likely it is to be shared on the likes of Facebook or linkedIn. From there, you can generate solid links to your website – which Google loves.
Social media can be a very effective form of lead generation if financial marketers know how to leverage it properly. Whilst email marketing sends out notifications directly to subscribers, and SEO positions your brand in front of target search queries in Google, social media presents the chance for your brand to get in front of a larger target audience – especially if your financial marketing goes viral!
There are also lots of opportunities to advertise on social media using Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads and other platforms. Certain social media networks also give you the chance to approach qualified prospects directly with your content and value proposition (e.g. connecting with your audience on LinkedIn).
#3 Thought Leadership
If one of your marketing objectives is to build your reputation as a thought leader amongst your target audience, then social media is a powerful channel open to your financial marketing.
It’s great when you post your content on your financial website. However, if you simply leave it there then you are limiting the number of eyes that it will be exposed to. When you promote it on social media by posting it out to your followers, then you have the potential to grow your brand reach and impact.
LinkedIn is probably still arguably the most important social network when it comes to attracting new talent to your financial firm. Other networks like Facebook and Twitter are useful because they can show what the culture at your business is like, which candidates will certainly be interested in.
By posting regular, high-value content on your social profiles you not only have the chance to build up trust and authority with your prospects. You also have the chance to do this with potential future hires. When the time comes when they are looking for a new opportunity, you will be high in their minds.
#5 Industry insight
Social media isn’t just the chance for financial marketers to talk to their audience. It also provides a valuable opportunity to listen.
This could be as simple as keeping an eye on the social media activity of your competitors. Or, it could be that you employ a social media listening tool to monitor the conversations and topics which your target audience are concerned with. This way, you have the chance to expand your reach by riding trends.
#6 Public relations
By turning to social media, you have a fantastic channel to leverage for the purposes of managing and improving your brand’s reputation. You can also quickly and powerfully disseminate important company news and messages to your target audience, as and when needed.
Sometimes, managing your public relations might involve sending out a press release to your social media followers in light of some important industry news.
Following the British Steel pensions crisis, for instance, many financial institutions turned to social media to inform their clients about what had happened, how the events affected them, and what the company was doing about it.
Sometimes social media can be an indispensable tool for brand damage control. For example, if a competitor is spreading false news or allegations about your business on social media, you can confront it quickly and release the correct information to your follower in order to reassure them.
Other times, social media is simply a chance to reinforce a positive message and image of your company. For instance, you could share a picture of a recent staff birthday celebration to show the more human, caring side of your financial brand. Or, perhaps you want to share news of a recent industry award you received. Not only is this a chance to put out some good news which others can share in, but this also gives you an opportunity to demonstrate your industry competence.
#7 Partnership building
Quite often, it is through social media that media outlets, future business partners and industry event managers hear about your brand and take notice. This can be a great way to build relationships with other businesses and platforms which expands your brand exposure and lead generation opportunities.
For instance, suppose you are a financial adviser specialising in financial planning for dentists. Suppose also that you have regularly been publishing great content about how dentists can invest more effectively, or plan for their retirement.
One day, it could be that a dental association notices you and invites you to one of their events. Perhaps you build up enough of a relationship that one day you are invited to speak at a conference where hundreds of dentists (your target market) will attend.