Most Financial Brokers today are using social media to some extent. Some are using it very effectively and view it as a core part of their marketing mix, others see it as a bit of a necessary evil and grudgingly engage with it to a much lesser degree.
Over the last number of years, I’ve been a real advocate for the opportunities enabled by social media. I still am a big fan, but my views are changing in relation to some aspects of using social media.
So first of all and very briefly, my views have not changed about the following,
- A social media presence is so important to enable you to be found online, for people to engage with you and for you to connect with people and demonstrate expertise.
- LinkedIn is still the most powerful platform for Financial Brokers, particularly if your target market includes professionals and business owners.
- Email marketing is the most under-utilised tool in online marketing. How can you ignore a tool where you end up in the inboxes of your target market, a place they visit every day?
- Generating a constant and consistent stream of content remains the biggest challenge, bar none. Everybody can produce a on-off piece, the challenge is consistency.
- I’m still not a fan of using Facebook pages to engage with friends and followers (sorry!). I still can’t find examples of advisers doing this well, and who are not interrupting their friends and followers who are on Facebook for other reasons (sharing photos, looking for a laugh, sharing gossip etc.).
So what has changed?
I’m really struggling with Twitter
I’ve been a fan of Twitter, admittedly as a distant second in importance for financial advisers behind LinkedIn. However now I find I’m not really using Twitter at all. Yes, I still share my content on it and continue to build up followers as a result, but I find it’s now just information overload. I’ve loads of followers I know nothing about and have followed back a lot of these people. I’ve no interest in what a lot of them say. It’s just not the same as LinkedIn or Facebook, where it takes both parties to build a connection.
The proof for me that I’m not alone in this is when I go through my Twitter feed. Apart from a few celebrity / high profile people’s updates, there is very little interaction with most of the content that people are sharing. It’s just disappearing off into the ether…
Facebook has a place (for advertisers)
As I said earlier, I’m not a fan of Facebook pages being used by Financial Brokers to interact with friends and followers. But it does have opportunities for advertisers in some situations, as a result of the capability to target specific groups of people by age, gender, location, interests etc.
But be careful, these ads need to be really carefully created in order to cut through your target audience’s browsing on Facebook. Remember that these people are generally on Facebook for social interactions, even a bit of escapism! Do they want to see financial services ads?
Sharing lots of links is not enough
Some people spend their time finding links to good articles and sharing these. Yes, this is valuable, but on its own is simply not enough. Your connections want to hear your views. So at a minimum, add your take on the article in the introduction to the article before you share it. But better still, write your own content and share that. Then your audience get a real sense of what you’re about.
Images are really important
To be honest I used to scoff at this one a little. But research shows time and time again that using images to accompany your posts really does matter. It’s worth spending that bit of time sourcing a good image to go with your post as that visual trigger increases the chances of your content being read.
A well thought out social media strategy is still a must for Financial Brokers. As is spending time on building an excellent LinkedIn profile. Social media still offers you lots of opportunities, but like all other marketing methods it continues to evolve. Watch this space!
Image courtesy of Samara Gerard