It’s no longer news that social media is a vastly powerful force in marketing. More than 73% of marketing professionals said that social media marketing was either “very effective” or “somewhat effective” in a 2019 Buffer study. And social media marketing is an increasingly important part of a strong financial marketing campaign as well, partially because of the personalized content and testimonial feel that it can provide.
But how can financial advisors looking to create social media campaigns or expand their preexisting campaigns be sure that they are gaining traction within a larger online community?
The double-edged sword of social media is that, while it’s easy to post, it’s much harder to ensure that your content is correctly geared toward your chosen demographics. If your posts aren’t getting the meaningful engagement that you are aiming for it can be difficult to decipher what you are doing wrong. The issues you run into could stem from a number of different variables, including timing, consistency, style of content, the content itself, or overall strategy.
If you are understandably confused about how to best create or refine a social media campaign, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Research Your Demographics And Build Content Around Them
It’s always important to know who your target audience is when crafting any kind of social media strategy. As an advisor, you may already have done research about who your organization sells the most to, and which type of clients have the highest retention rates. You can take this same data and use it to fine-tune your social media content.
When thinking about how to produce effective social media content, consider where your clients are in their lives. Are they college students? Single child families? Much larger families? Seniors? Once you’ve figured this out and broken down your client base into a few different categories, you can begin to develop posts that demonstrate how you can help solve different individuals’ financial challenges.
Be Thoughtful With Your Posts
Don’t just post for the sake of posting; taking the time to create valuable and interesting content is worth it in engagement and ROI. One way to do this is by creating a consistent “voice” for each of your social media platforms. You will probably need different content and a different voice when you post to Instagram than when you create content for LinkedIn, and for different audiences, but it is a proven way to develop more engaging and interesting content. Similarly, it’s important to establish credibility and relevance with your target audience, creating a trustworthy link between your organization and potential customers.
Be Consistent With Your Scheduling
Regular posting is very important with social media. Plan out your content for the month ahead of time, and post it regularly. While more content is almost always better, what may be more important is consistency. Instead of blowing all your content at the beginning of the month, space out your posts so people are constantly reminded of your organization’s presence. For example, If you can only produce around four posts a month, schedule them out one per week so you can maximize the impact that each will have.
Post At The Right Time Of Day
Each social media platform has different optimal times of day to post to them to maximize engagement. Those stats are worth knowing. But, in general, studies have found that early in the morning on weekdays is the most effective time to post across most platforms. Your goal is to avoid busy times when your audience may not be looking at social media, like late at night or over the weekend.
Focus On The Platforms That Are Right For You
If you are prospecting younger populations, platforms like Instagram and Snapchat may get you further. Older people more commonly frequent LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
This is another point where knowing your customers is essential to creating a strong campaign. If you almost exclusively sell to a certain group, feel free to spend your valuable time creating a greater volume of higher quality content for just a few of the major platforms that are more likely to fit your needs.
Make Content That Feels Personal
One of the greatest advantages of social media is the perceived feeling of personal connection it can achieve.
One great way to achieve this feeling is to share content that may be helpful to your audience. Instead of just using platforms exclusively as a forum for advertising, people may more easily connect with your organization if you create informative content that “gives back” to the audience. Using this method, your social media is no longer a one way street for your advertising to reach potential customers, but is instead a two way exchange of information that makes your target demographics feel included in the process.
Testimonials are a good format for making social media advertising that doesn’t feel overly produced. Having a few excited customers speaking about their experience with your advisory firm can make people feel more positively about considering your services. It can also be useful to produce the videos in a way that is relatable. For example, instead of using the highest quality camera you can get your hands on, try using a normal cell phone camera. This can help people to relate to your product and may make the testimonial feel more grounded.
Cover News And Developments To Fill Gaps In Your Content
While content such as testimonials and helpful guides are useful, they are also time-consuming to create. While your campaign might feature these formats, you might find you have some gaps that you want to fill. You can keep up a more steady stream of content by covering developments in your field, or by commenting on changes in average rates or premiums.
Focus On Building A Spreadable Grassroots Following
The whole point of social media is to allow people to communicate ideas on a peer-to-peer basis. This means that you’re missing out on a huge portion of social media potential if you’re not encouraging people to spread the word on their own, using the same platforms that you’re already engaging with. Asking people to share posts, or using strategies that encourage them to share with each other in exchange for social media shoutouts, small prizes, or swag can be an effective way of getting your message to take flight on its own.
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Important Reminder: If you are a regulated advisor, it is your firm’s responsibility to ensure all material is reviewed and given final approval by your internal compliance/legal department prior to publication.