Does social media marketing work for financial services firms? If so, how do you use it properly to achieve your marketing goals?
Few things are as humbling as setting up your business profile on Facebook, LinkedIn or other social platform and watching the aftermath after you first press “Post”. Many of us fancy ourselves as “a natural” on social media – after all, how hard can it be? If an 11-year-old with no professional marketing experience can become a YouTube sensation just by playing video games, why couldn’t a financial planner or similar first also “hit their social media for six”?
Social media marketing is not easy, however. If it were, then every financial planner would be doing it – and they’d be doing it well. If you take a quick look around, however, you’ll likely notice that it is the exception (not the norm) to find a financial services firm “crushing it” on social media (as our American friends say). Why is this?
There are at least two reasons. The first is that financial firms often do not persist with the hard work needed to succeed in social media marketing. It can take years to build an audience and see results on a social platform. The second is that financial firms are not always aware of the best strategies, tactics and etiquetee required to success on Facebook, LinkedIn or another platform (and each one is different).
Below, we’ve outlined 10 tips for social media “beginners” and “pros” to help you get started. We hope you find this helpful. Do get in touch if you’d like to discuss your social media strategy with a member of our team here at MarketingAdviser.
#1 Get the presentation right
Perhaps you have a poorly-designed logo and brand which needs updating. Or, perhaps these visual assets are strong but have been integrated badly onto your social profiles. For users on these platforms to take you seriously, make sure their design and presentation “look the part” and are consistent.
#2 Coordinate & synchronise
If your financial services firm will be using different social media accounts (e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter) then a good place to start is to synrochise your posts. If, say, you have published 4 articles in the past month on your blog, then consider scheduling these to post on weekly basis across your profiles. Consider investing in a social management tool like Hootsuite to help with this.
#3 Use great imagery
It is often easier for businesses in the fashion, sports and entertainment industries to include amazing imagery on their social media posts. Financial services is, by nature, more abstract. Yet this should not bar you from being creative and including compelling, attractive and high-quality imagery on your social media posts. These will attract more eyes and engagement than purely text-based posts.
#4 Use the right hashtags
If you want to give your posts the chance to reach further than just your followers, then you’ll need to do some research into the hashtags that are trending in your industry. Has the government budget been trending in the news lately, for instance? Consider finding the hashtag associated with social media conversations on this topic, and make sure you include it in your post which features your recent article on the subject. A tool like Buffer can help you find the hashtags you need.
#5 Use interactive content
Tools such as Twitter polls to Instagram Q&As are great ways for marketers in many industries to boost engagement from their audiences. There’s no reach why financial services firms can’t do this too. Could you push out a poll/survey on recent changes to pensions, inheritance tax or another topic, for instance?
#6 Be social
You will only get so far with building a following if you just post on your social media accounts. On most platforms, you’ll need to put in the hard work of also engaging with other users’ content. If you’re active on LinkedIn, for instance, consider spending 15-20 minutes a day liking, commenting and sharing the content you find from other relevant users. They’ll usually take notice.
#7 Tap into people’s emotions
The content pushed out by many financial services firms on social media is often purely technical and, frankly, boring. Few people who see this content are going to get animated by it. Most viral posts on social media achieve their results because they ignite humour, outrage or other powerful emotions that lead people to comment on them and share them. Be careful with how you approach this, but it’ll be important to think about if you plan on using social media effectively in your marketing.
#8 Use paid promotions
So far, everything we’ve talked about can be done for “free” if you’re able to put in the effort yourself. Yet the nature of most social media platforms in 2020 is that you need to “pay to play”. The organic reach of your posts will always be limited so long as you refuse to spend money. At some point, therefore, you will likely need to consider paid ads or promoted posts if you’re going to significantly increase your reach and engagement.
#9 Get the timing right
It’s important to monitor the analytics of your social media accounts to determine which days and times produce the most engagement from your audience. You may be limiting yourself, for instance, if you only ever post when your audience is busy at work or fast asleep at night!
#10 Use lead magnets & marketing integration
You can do some very clever things with your social media marketing once you find your rhythm. For instance, could you promote an upcoming webinar on your Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts where people can book a place to attend? This could even be pushed out using paid ads to get in more attendees. From there, you can use this to build your email marketing list or even entice some to book a free consultation with you – possibly leading to them becoming a client!