The use of social networks in the financial sector has many advantages. But beware: There are some things you should know before you start posting, twittering and sharing.
The financial sector surely is modern and up to date in a lot of aspects – but when it comes to social media marketing, it clearly needs some tutorials. Your customers are on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. Our hot tip: You should be there too.
Sounds logical? Good. Time to put the theory into practice.
Communication via social media: go fishing business
Most financial institutions use rather “dry” communication methods when they interact with their customers. Formalities, courtesy, politeness – in short: boring communication. But yes, maybe this is necessary to show your professionalism and your commitment. Nevertheless, on social networks you can choose a more informal tone. This is important to attract the part of your target group that does not feel comfortable with very formal communication. To them, your presence on social networks shows your accessibility. To others, you prove your credibility and your transparence.
In short: On social media you identify new prospects, find new customers, keep in touch with the old ones and diffuse your company’s values.
Furthermore, your presence on social media will improve your natural referencing – which means it boosts the digital visibility of your business. You increase the traffic on (= the number of visitors of) your website, which will naturally accelerate your business.
Six hot tips for social media marketing
Many financial institutions perceive social media as risky. Eminence understands, in your sector it is all about trust, reputation and confidentiality. Financial institutions tend to give anything that puts into risk those three elements a wide berth.
Fact is, if you miss out on social media as a part of your digital strategy, you lose an important part of your digital groundwork. Here is what you should know before you start posting, twittering and sharing:
1. Establish and diffuse your social media planning
A social media plan is an agenda (for example in form of an excel sheet) that summarizes on what date you share what content on which online platform. The strategy behind your social media plan has to be in line with your digital marketing strategy as a whole. In the end of the day, your social media planning is part of a strategic reflection that you have to share with everyone who is diffusing content about your enterprise. Don’t hesitate to share it with all your employees because each one of them could potentially be an effective marketing vector.
A detailed social media planning is one of the most powerful arms if you wish to conquer the online market. Think about the following points before you tweet, post articles on your blog and share content on Google+ and Facebook:
- What information do you want to pass?
- Which target group do you want to reach?
- Who is the person assigned with the task?
- On which social media platform are you going to publish the content?
- Are you publishing an article? A graphic or a video?
- What’s the status of the article? Has somebody started doing research already?
- Did you think about connecting the content you want to share with a current promotion campaign? Is there any other link with what is going on right now on social networks, in your city or on the world?
- What are the key words you want to include? (This is important for SEO reasons.)
- Should you link your content to other pages of your corporate website/blog?
2. Find your social tone
One of the big advantages of social networks is that you can interact with your online community in an informal and relaxed way. You can show yourself from your sunny side. Be funny. Surprise. Engage your prospect’s interest.
3. It’s not only Facebook
Be present on different social networks in order to reach different audiences. Not everyone who is on Twitter has a Google+ profile. And not everyone who spends their bus rides on their Facebook app uses Twitter.
4. Speak to the heart
Your social media profiles are not mini-websites. Their only raison d’être is not only to improve your notoriety. Of course, this is the final goal but you will reach it with more success if you publish information and share content that touches your target group on an emotional level – share what interests them and what provokes their reactions. An active online community that discusses the topics your share contributes to your branding. Let your community do your work.
5. Learn from criticism
Learn from your clients by picking up their ideas. Always take criticism to heart that is shared on social media. You may learn from it.
6. Trust, but verify!
Because your (e-)reputation is very important for your business, check from time to time the type of content that is shared about your company. Check as well which groups discuss your brand and make sure you know who is part of your online community. Only if you monitor the comments on social media about your institution, you can turn a bad user experience into a good one.
Furthermore, make sure nobody diffuses inappropriate information or information about your company that is not supposed to be read by the whole world. Everybody who shares information on your social media profiles has to know what they can do – or, more important: what they cannot do.
Social media and your corporate image
Corporate identity, notoriety, e-reputation… If you want to do branding, social media is an excellent platform. Diffuse your corporate image to a big number of users and build a big community around your brand.
Think about LinkedIn for example. It has proven very effective in generating leads. On your LinkedIn profile you don’t only show off your personal know-how to the whole world but you also demonstrate your company’s values. It is on social media where you best work on your e-reputation.
Of course, all your publications should follow a certain e-reputation strategy. This is especially important in the financial sector, where a good reputation decides over success or failure. Thus you need to make sure you know what people write and share about your company and you need to control if the information your employees are publishing about your company is corresponding to your current e-reputation strategy.
If you are in a leading marketing position, never forget that your own employees are actually an efficient vector of communication. Teach and incite them to use it.
A success story
On social network you have a big audience. Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter have been growing in fast rates. Some companies have realized that – and they took the wave. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney for example. 45% of all employees of the investment bank have attracted new customers due to a creative social media marketing strategy. Additionally, 90% have confirmed that LinkedIn has helped them growing their professional network and thus as well identifying new prospects.
Nowadays, social networks have become an inevitable part of a successful marketing approach. Financial institutions that have faced the challenge to go online on Facebook&Co were rewarded: They are perceived as more transparent, more accessible and more trustworthy by a part of a target group that one might not reach through formal communication.
Eminence is a digital marketing agency based in Geneva. We have a global and a local expertise in successful digital marketing approaches. Our social media and content managers are available for an analysis of your social network strategy. They will consult you about content marketing or establish a social media plan with you. If you wish so, we can handle your social media communication and/or we take the responsibility to feed your blog with articles, videos and other content about relevant topics.
Would you like to contact us? Please click here. Give us a call or come around for a coffee.
G.L. Junior Account Executive, Eminence