When it comes to marketing your finance brand you can’t create content in isolation. To achieve engagement and reach your content strategy needs to be supported by an always-on best-practice social media strategy.
Wondering why social media is such an essential ingredient in your marketing mix? Because it’s all of these things.
The reach of social media platforms today is staggering. Monthly global users:
The social media marketing model works across nations and industries, allowing you to target and reach multiple different audiences around the world.
Budgets vary between different businesses, within a business, and even between segments, so scalability is important.
When you’re running a cost-per-click model you’re only charged when a user clicks through to your website. (In contrast to impressions, where you’re charged even if the viewer scrolls right past your post.)
There are many options for filtering users on social media platforms to find your target – whether that’s wholesale, institutional, high net worth individuals, or retail banking customers.
Success on social media can be measured by platform metrics, e.g., cost per click on the campaign line, click-through rates, impressions. At a more granular level, brands should also track onsite goals, based on your brand KPIs. These onsite goals – including website traffic, conversions or brand engagement, etc., can be measured using analytics tools like Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics.
When you successfully nurture social communities around your brand, it can make your followers feel more connected to each other and your brand. It can help you increase brand awareness, gain feedback to understand your customers better and build brand loyalty.
Aberdeen Standard Investments
Through a consistent, 5-year always-on program The Dubs client Aberdeen Standard Investments has grown its organic follower base by 2,400% across LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to more than 300,000 followers.
So that’s what a best-practice social media strategy feels like. Here are my eight key steps for getting there.
“ Your always-on social strategy goes hand-in-hand with your content strategy. ”
8 steps for developing a best-practice social media strategy
- Goals that align with your content strategy
Your always-on social strategy goes hand-in-hand with your content strategy. Social media’s main job is to make your content marketing work, and it is fuelled by your content. So look at your content marketing goals, whether they’re brand awareness, leads, sales or web traffic; then make sure your social media is supporting those, and that you’re using social media to exploit the full value of the content you’re creating.
- Content pillars
To guide the content you produce it’s imperative to establish clear content pillars that encapsulate your brand’s strengths, values, capabilities, and perspective on the market. Every outlet you have, every platform that’s out there promoting your brand needs to be saying something consistently, helping strengthen your brand and ROI.
- Robust workflow
Always-on content needs to run constantly. Your brand needs to have something to say, every week, every month and compete with other publishers in your niche. You need to be covering the important issues of the day and be seen as a credible publisher. When our clients are embarking on an always-on social media strategy, we go back to basics and ask how they’ll be producing the content. Do they have internal content makers? Or do they need specialist finance writers to help articulate their brand stories?Once the content is being produced and distributed organically, is it being published in the right places? All this thinking is essential for a robust workflow; without it, you can’t ensure the quality of content and frequency of promotion.
- User journey
Imagine you’ve reached someone with exactly the right job title on LinkedIn, they’ve clicked through, ended up on an appropriate landing page, they’ve read your thought leadership article… where are they going now? Have you signposted next steps to push your reader to related articles? Even if you have lots of useful content on your website that you’re pushing to social, you’re not exploiting its full value if the user ends up on a dead-end page.
- Platform identification
When it comes to identifying the right social platform for your finance brand there isn’t a set definitive mix. Choosing the right platform comes down the nuances of your brand as well as the needs and behaviours of your audience. There’s no point in investing time and resources distributing content across a platform your target audience isn’t naturally drawn to. Identifying the right platforms for your brand can also be an iterative process. While many of our clients may begin by only having a LinkedIn company page, we work with them to not only strengthen their presence on this platform but also establish a voice on other platforms. This process of launching on a new social platform covers both the nature of the content shared as well as the visual personality and positioning of the brand.
- Content calendar
As we outlined in an earlier Financial Marketer blog, your content calendar shouldn’t be viewed as a static document; you should be tracking content performance metrics and revising and optimising your content calendar regularly. When we’re creating a client’s paid posts, each of those paid posts is built individually with tracking codes embedded to measure campaign success and optimise content ongoing.
We’ve also explored posting frequency in a previous Financial Marketer article. As an overarching guide, it must be quality, regular and consistent. We strongly recommend brands start posting organically, regularly, for at least a month before starting any paid promotions as it establishes a bank of content for your audience to engage with.
Once a paid campaign is in market it needs to be optimised in real-time, not just to ensure that budget is spent on the best performing platform, but also the best performing targeting options. Experience has shown us that investing in social media advertising is a balancing act between cost and performance. When executing a best-practice social media strategy it’s important to stay close to the metrics to ensure the investment is delivering the right value and outcome for your brand. Social media metrics and goal data really do go hand-in-hand.
The end game of a best-practice social media strategy
A consistent and relevant content stream that is published regularly across organic social platforms and then promoted can build momentum for your brand and lift your profile as a credible publisher. This in turn strengthens your brand’s relationship with your audience and increases brand awareness, along with social media follower growth, and visitors to your website, with the ultimate end game being increased ROI for your finance brand.