Social media can be a blessing and a burden for financial planners.
On the one hand, it can be hugely powerful for boosting your online presence and brand engagement. Social media channels can also be great lead generation tools when used properly.
On the other, platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and others can take a lot of time, attention and energy to get right. The result is often irregular or lower-quality updates sent out to your followers.
One solution offered to get through these issues presented by social media concerns scheduling. For instance, platforms such as Hootsuite will allow you to create pre-written Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn posts and set them to publish on specific dates.
The idea is to try and cut out some of the heavy lifting involved with social media management, allowing financial planners to take a more “set it and forget it” approach to their marketing.
It’s an attractive option for many financial planners and advisers, but does it work? What are the pros and cons of this social media marketing approach within this specific sector?
Advantages of Social Scheduling
- Stability and predictability. By planning and scheduling your posts in advance, you can help ensure that you do not forget to post out at a particular date or time because you forget, or are busy. This helps to build up a relationship with your social media followers, and mitigates the potential harm done to your brand perception caused by periods of “radio silence.”
- Accountability when delegating. Financial planners often feel that they need to check that their social media posts are compliant, and not misleading in any way. If you plan on delegating your Facebook or other posts to a more junior staff member who is less knowledgeable in this area, then having all of their proposed posts “lined up” in a programme like Hootsuite can make them easier to check, review and approve before publication. You do not need to sit down and check every tweet, post or comment before your employee posts it.
- Ensure you hit peak times. Financial planners are typically busy with running their business and serving the needs of current clients. There might be moments of the day or week when you are usually busy, but your social media followers are more active. By scheduling your posts for these times, you increase your odds of gaining greater brand exposure. This is particularly useful if you are a financial planner working with clients in a different time zone (e.g. expats in Asia).
- Efficiency. If you don’t use a social media scheduling programme and need to send out a similar post across Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, then you will likely need to log in to each platform and craft an individual post for each one. With a dedicated programme, however, you can save time by logging into it and crafting a message which goes out to all three of them.
Disadvantages of Social Scheduling
- Outdated posts. If you schedule your social media posts weeks or months in advance, then the content of those messages might appear appropriate and timely at this moment in time. However, come the actual date and time of the post, something might have happened in the market or in your company which means that it would be untimely or possibly inappropriate to send that post out. If you wrote the post months ago and forgot that you scheduled it, then you might even fail to notice the post going out and people’s negative reactions to it.
- Reduced engagement. By scheduling your social media in advance you are trying to reduce the amount of time you spend on these platforms. However, this tends to hinder financial planners from responding effectively to followers’ comments on the posts they have scheduled. If someone asks a question under your Facebook post on pension planning, for instance, it would be easy to not notice it if you are not actively monitoring your page at least once every few days.
- Putting off your audience. Many people can tell when a company is not “really present” on their social media pages, and can often intuitively spot when the content is automated or pre-scheduled. This can be alienating for people who want to get to know you and engage with you. Often, this system also causes financial planners to get “overly-salesly” on their social media platforms. After all, if you are not using Facebook and similar platforms to “be social” with your audience, what’s the next logical use for it? Push out your value proposition and try to get some sales! Sadly, this rarely works. People generally don’t want to be sold to on social media. They want to know you.
- Errors. If you arrange your social media posts months in advance, what happens if the link to your article changes during that period of time and you forget to update the post accordingly? Such mistakes do often happen, and it can look quite bad when people click on these links and see a huge “404 error” in their browser. There is an argument to say that post scheduling increases the chances of this sort of thing happening. On the other hand, you could argue that it reduces the likelihood since the social media manager needs to check everything before hitting “Schedule.”
There isn’t really a “correct” answer the question of whether you should schedule your financial social media posts, or not. Here at MarketingAdviser, we help many clients with their digital marketing and scheduling social media can be a viable option for them. Others would prefer to take a more “hands-on” approach to their Facebook, Twitter or linkedIn and that works well for them.
Interested in finding out more about how we can help your financial planning firm with its content marketing and social media strategy? Get in touch today, to arrange a free consultation with a member of our team:
phone: 01923 232840