Social media (SM) has become big business for, well, businesses of all sizes. It can be a great way to engage your audience, foster a community, and establish yourself as a leader in your field. However, remember that social marketing it for entertainment mixed with information; it’s not a platform for you to pitch, sell, or provide big chunks of content. The occasional link to a relevant article, such as a 22-year-old prodigy who’s already retired with billions, is an entertaining link your customers might enjoy. However, it’s not the best way to use social media.
There are a lot of things about finances and retirement that scare people, even when it’s something as “simple” as understanding how a 401(K) or savings account works. It’s intimidating, it’s boring, and it’s easy to put on the back burner for down the road. As a financial services company or advisor, your job is to educate your audience so they understand the need for such products (and for you!). SM can be your best friend, but only if you follow these tips and use it correctly:
1. Post at the right time
There’s a best time and place for posting, and this is going to take some trial and error/research on your part. You might find from your social media analytics that you get the most action on weekdays around 2pm EST. Many of these analytics tools are free, and Venture Beat has broken down the best for your budget and needs. You might discover that a lot of your audience is from a certain region and you’ll need to adjust your time zone difference accordingly. Maximize your exposure with timing.
2. Use images and videos
While the Brunei Times and other outlets are reporting people in general prefer images over text, a lot of businesses on social media aren’t using that fact to their benefit. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use any text at all, but it does mean you should be generous peppering in high quality images and videos whenever you can. People learn in all different ways and prefer different types of entertainment (like television vs. books). The more people you cater to, the farther your reach will be.
3. Embrace Layman’s Terms
Don’t assume that everyone knows financial jargon, even if it doesn’t feel like jargon to you anymore. There’s a fine line between being transparent and condescending, so make sure someone else (preferably not in the financial industry) double checks your posts before they go live. This isn’t a platform for showing off, it’s a platform for building your audience. It doesn’t take much time to include a brief explanation or link to an explanation when discussing complex subjects.
4. Include actionable, fast items
The idea of saving X amount of dollars for retirement can seem insurmountable, but cutting out that daily coffee habit in favor of a cup at home isn’t. While you’ll need to discuss more complicated, long-term goals, don’t make it seem too difficult to attain. Mix equal parts easy challenges and long-term goals to make finances seem achievable for your audience. Remember: you have no idea of knowing where your audience is in their journey, so appeal to all.
5. Show your personality
Financial experts can seem like entities that aren’t really “human”, and that shouldn’t be the case. Use the first person, share pictures of your office, and otherwise let your audience know there’s a real person behind the agency. It’ll work wonders, especially if you’re a consultation company that offers B2B services.
Most importantly, commit to posting at least five times per week. Otherwise, your profile will look deserted and that doesn’t bode well for a financial pro.