Quite a few years ago I wrote an article about the role of social media in the financial services marketing space. This was in response to advisers asking us whether they should start using Twitter and/or Facebook to communicate with clients and reach out to their marketplace.
Rolling on five or so years to a time when we are immersed in a world seemingly governed by what every person thinks, says and photographs, I thought it timely to review the answer to “Does social media work for financial planners?”
You’re going to hate me because I’m going to repeat what I said all those years ago! When it comes to successful marketing you must cater to the wants, needs and habits of your market! So if your client base and target market consist of people who would use social media, then, by all means, use it as part of your marketing mix. Easy!
Well, maybe not. Unlike five years ago, social media has changed and the people using it have become smarter and wiser, so you need to be smarter and wiser in what you put out into this space and how you manage it.
“Build it and they will come” not only worked for Kevin Costner in the movie Field of Dreams, but it was also the mantra for the early days of business social media. Now with millions of people using Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram on a second-by-second basis, like your website, you need to stand out and capture the right attention amidst the thronging crowds.
It’s a massive field – and only getting bigger!
Facebook now has over fifteen million active users in Australia  Research by Sensis  tells us that 8 in 10 of Australians, 79% use social media. This is an increase of 10 points from last year. Of those, 59% access social media every day or most days, with over a third checking social media more than five times per day.
If you’re wondering if your ideal client is among these masses, consider the usage of social media by Australians in these age brackets:
|18-29||99% (of course!)|
That’s a lot of eyes looking for information and, potentially, services. How can you possibly go wrong attracting even a minuscule percentage of this gigantic field of attention?
This is where many advisers either make the most of social media – or completely blow it.
The ‘pioneers’ of social media told us that we must post information regularly, regardless of what it is. “Post every day”, they said. This meant sharing basically anything – inspirational quotes (usually uttered by other people), photos, mainstream news – anything to keep your pages active. But now with almost 30 million LinkedIn profiles, Facebook pages and Instagram accounts in Australia alone, nobody has the time to see everything – and your latest snap of “look at us at the ZYX event” isn’t grabbing enough eyes (and really, who cares?).
How do you stand out in the social media field of dreams?
Simple - by being relevant. Sorry, it’s not that mind-blowing.
Social media is an excellent way to keep your current clients aware of what’s really happening in the financial services world that could affect them directly. Don’t let them rely on the hype written by others with the sole purpose of getting clicks to increase advertising revenue for news websites. Share the facts, be they good or bad.
Obviously, social media can be an exceptional tool to attract and engage potential clients. But you can’t possibly do this by doing what everyone else is doing. Stand out from the rest and post content that will demonstrate your expertise.
Financial planners are in the spotlight for the wrong reasons again – you can turn this around to show that the vast majority of advisers care about their clients’ lives by sharing your knowledge and experience via social media.
Don’t have time to do this?
I know how you feel! Neither do I!
With so much available from our library, you have no excuse when it comes to having engaging, relevant content to post on your accounts, but finding the time to set up your campaign (yes, you have to plan ahead to get real results) and then actively posting this content can be a challenge.
So I rely on people who know what they’re doing. If you want someone to get you started using social media or set up and run your campaigns for you, please ask us for details here.
We only recommend people we trust and who work in the financial services sector so you can be assured they understand your unique needs when reaching out through this cluttered space. (And they’re not going to rip you off!)
Tips to make your social media work for you
|1.||Consistency is the key. Social media is a marathon, not a race. Keep posting regularly - with a caveat – see next point;|
|2.||Make sure your content is varied, engaging and RELEVANT. Lazy posting can destroy the best profiles.|
|3.||Choose your platform carefully. You want to know that your content is reaching your clients. Many advisers continue to use only LinkedIn despite the fact that only 17% of Australians have profiles.|
|4.||How do you know what channels your clients use? Ask them!|
|5.||Link your social media feeds to your website to duplicate the power.|