Finance industry contributor
TL Nguyen – Director of Marketing, NRL Mortgage
Social networks are growing at a pace unlike any before, yet the likelihood of a lender or financial services provider trending or going viral on a social platform is rare. Bound by regulations and compliance, financial marketers tend to play it safe when it comes to social media. At the core, our business models center on offering financial services that typically involve a large, substantial amount of money—and for that reason, clients expect a level of seriousness and formality that gives them security and trust. Taking a risk for the sake of likes, engagements and comments if it doesn’t land with your audience can be damaging for a finance brand. However, play it too safe and you become camouflaged.
So how do you play it safe with social media strategies, and yet dare I say… have fun?
1. Consistency and transparency // This one’s easy
The key to social media and overall marketing is simple. Being consistent in your brand allows you to grow your audience engagement and reach. From the tone of voice used in social posts to the aesthetics of your profiles, you need to be recognisable to gain traction among your intended audience. Already feel that you’re doing this? Take it to the next level by using real candid photos of clients and associates versus stock photos. Surprisingly, our highest engagement comes from pictures of families in their kitchen. We have always found that real, authentic moments are what gives our audience a snapshot of our company. Lastly, all financial services will post their good reviews but consider posting the bad and ugly ones too (with your company’s response on how you’re making it right).
2. Land the plane // Content-rich destinations
Alas… social media, a platform rich in opportunity but lacking in rich content. Consider the social media experience as a plane ride that begins on Instagram, flies over Facebook, a qualifying landing page and lands… nowhere. When building social media campaigns, we typically like to start with the end in mind. Whether this is a whitepaper or a monster landing page with tons of content, work backward to have a content-rich destination ready-made.
3. Know your audience // Educate millennials and give boomers an experience
Does your team take one piece of content and create multiple sizes to repost on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and more? Well stop…
Recent research found millennials are skeptical of financial service providers, likely finding it hard to trust anyone in a commission-paid position because they were not able to provide unbiased advice. While we all understand this is quite the contrary, this explains the misconception millennials have of our industry. Know your audience and their mediums. For this reason, we’ve embraced educational content for millennials shared via Instagram, which allows us to position ourselves as the educator, providing motivation for potential clients to connect with us and ultimately choose our services.
“ Does your team take one piece of content and create multiple sizes to repost on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and more? Well stop…”
On the flip side, research has also shown that baby boomers (Gen X) have a strong loyalty and longevity towards brands. Even more so, boomers appreciate the experience of a purchase compared to all other buying criteria. For this reason, we encourage content that focuses on the experience during or post-transaction, such as taking a luxurious vacation, contributing towards a college fund, or paying off debt. We have also found that this market is highly active on Facebook, therefore making it a great destination to post experience-focused content.
4. Use your associates as a megaphone // Your ready-made cheer squad
A few years ago, LinkedIn released (and have since evolved) Elevate, which allowed companies to create and share compliant content for individuals within the business to publish across their own profiles. It worked like a dream; companies were able to brand across the board using their associate’s profiles to be the megaphone for their message. Ingenious but also reproducible. We hacked the same strategy by producing ready-made content along with the text and sent it to all employees at the beginning of the week. It allowed for our campaign to have an outstanding reach and our sales team loved having the ready-made content!
5. Bonus Strategy // Easter eggs
While Easter eggs are categorised with UX and the customer experience, I felt it necessary to give Easter eggs a little spotlight in social media strategies. An Easter egg is a purposely well-hidden message of a feature in a digital product or marketing campaign and can be hidden into any part of the customer experience. They’re not practical nor functional, yet clients all love a good Easter egg once spotted. As financial marketers, we may shy away from Easter eggs as we may feel they are reserved for consumer brands, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. Add some Easter egg joy by injecting delight into your lead capture forms. Coca-Cola went to the source, quite literally, by building their logo into their website’s code. And not to mention, MailChimp has fun with their automated responses by utilising their company’s mascot.
The Financial Marketer is an industry publication that addresses the nuances and unique challenges of financial marketing, drawing on our experience at The Dubs, research and industry experts to provide tactics and relevant solutions to marketers. If you’re a financial marketer and would like to contribute to the publication, get in touch.