In a report by research company, Mintel, it was found that 36% of consumers are comfortable with brands interacting directly with them on social channels and are significantly more likely to be satisfied with their financial services provider across a range of factors including the branch, ATM, website and mobile app.
This suggests that a proactive social media strategy is critical because the more you can get your customers to engage with you on social media, the more satisfied and loyal they are likely to be.
8 Social Media Tips For The Finance Industry
1. Avoid being over promotional.
The safest way to sidestep this challenge is to avoid using your social media channels to sell; use them to educate and inform. Use them to promote your helpful content like tips for saving for a wedding/holiday/car). Show how your institution is helping serve the wider community through charity work, or running some competitions. That way, your brand's content is shared a lot more and your business will be seen as helpful and trustworthy. And that will get you more business.
2. Know the rules of engagement.
Follow the two ratio guidelines regarding publishing the right balance of content.
- First, there’s the basic 5-3-2 rule that states for every 10 posts:
5 posts should be content from other sources that are relevant to your audience, otherwise known as curation. 3 posts should be content you've created, that's relevant to your audience. And 2 should be personal, fun content posts that humanise your brand to your audience, to be referred to as humanization.
- Then there’s the more, “inbound” 10-4-1 rule which says for every 15 of your social media updates:
10 posts should be your own blog articles, 4 should be pieces of other people’s content and 1 should be a direct link to a landing page. That being said, fun, trendy posts should always be utilised.
Make it a rule to follow your own version/combination, using these ratios as a guide (because they work). It will help you grow your reach, send traffic to your website and generate leads.
3. Devise social media guidelines and incentivise content creation.
Set out strict social media guidelines that your employees can use. These need to be written in a way that is understandable by everyone. It should be very clear in terms of what employees can and cannot do on social media. This document should be covered at length during training.
From there, it's important to make sure that social media content comes from many sources/people - so incentivising content creation among experts in the organisation is highly recommended.
4. Focus less on products/services and more on trends.
Face it - people aren't entertained by your service offerings. Therefore, it's far more effective to tackle more broadly appealing issues like: "How to get more bucks when someone makes your car goes bang - tips for selecting the best car insurance plans." Content like that is what we call 'native' meaning it doesn't sound like an ad and is much more appealing. You can still weave your products into the piece but let the focus be on how you can help and educate (after all, it sits on your website where people can see your services anyway.)
For more on being trend-focused and generating more leads, read our blog called, "Best New Digital Strategies For Financial Services"
5. Make use of video content - it works.
To give you an idea of how important video content is for your digital marketing, here are some key statistics:
- Social video generates 1200% more shares than text and image content combined.
- By 2020, online videos will make up more than 80% of all consumer internet traffic.
- Using the word “video” in an email subject line was found to increase open rates by 19% and click-through rates by 65%.
- YouTube is the second most trafficked site, after Google.
- Including video on landing pages can increase conversion rates by 80%.
6. Utilise fine-targeting for Financial Services with paid social media spend.
Platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn allow brands to reach specific groups of people (preferably your target personas) with messaging designed to resonate with them. And this becomes incredibly powerful when these social messages point prospects towards landing pages which collect information. Using LinkedIn as an example, it is possible to send a promoted message from an expert in your organisation that goes directly to your target personas' inboxes! You can target them based on their job title, industry and years of experience. Are you imagining the possibilities?
Yes - it does take a lot of skill with the platform to get your cost-per-send down to a level that's feasible because social media platforms can be fickle. It takes someone who really understands them and how quickly they're changing through everyday experience to get you the finest targeting and the lowest cost. Not to mention - the copy, images and calls-to-action that get more leads.
If you'd like to learn more about the best digital strategies, we recommend you read our longer form piece called: Best New Digital Strategies for Financial Services
Or better yet: download our asset on the same topic, which includes a lot of 'best in class' examples linked below:
7. Develop a crisis plan.
Social media failures are never good for any company, but in the finance industry, they can be particularly detrimental. That's why it's so important to outline a step-by-step process that should be followed if something happens on social media that shouldn’t have - such as negative interactions or a hacked account, for example.
This is sometimes referred to as an escalation guide. It should outline points of contact. If hacked, usually the first port-of-call would be to change your password, log out and log back in and report the hack to Facebook (the most commonly used and thus commonly hacked platform). Perhaps then you’d release a statement and apologise for any confusion if necessary.
8. Tap into in-house knowledge.
Take advantage of people in different departments within your company who have a wealth of knowledge about the industry, clients, thought leaders, trends, and insights. As marketers, we don't always have the technical know-how or even data to back up a blog post and social media content we want to write. Tapping into in-house resources is something that can effectively fill that knowledge gap.
“Don’t be afraid to be ballsy in terms of bold headlines/ titles - providing they are true to content. Sometimes I feel like a tabloid editor when searching for a good headline but it really is important to gain that all-important reader attention - and our metrics prove this.” Mark O’Byrne, Marketing Director at Goldcore. (Nearly 35 000 followers on social media at the time of writing)
If you'd like more help in the pursuit of a more engaging blog, we highly recommend our Executive Guide to Going Inbound linked below...