Benefits of Using Social Media in Financial Services
On a recent survey conducted by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research, it was discovered that virtually every one of the Fortune 500 financial services organizations currently have active profiles on social media. A similar survey conducted by Putnam Retail Management among financial service advisors, discovered that 84% of them will routinely use social media in their advisory businesses.
Another revealing statistic show that 92% of these companies considered that social media has been a big part of new client acquisition for them. These statistics should make it clear that these days it’s not really an option to be involved with social media if you’re in financial services, it’s really much more of a requirement. Here are some tips and benefits related to using social media in the field of financial services.
Nearly half of all financial services organizations are at the stage of social maturity, which means that for them, using social media goes far beyond the marketing department. Having been in business a while, these companies realize that social media efforts are responsible for genuine business results. This has led to inter-departmental cooperation and team efforts to use social media in a coordinated manner.
While this usually involves some kind of shared social media management platform, this kind of collaboration can take other forms as well. One of the biggest benefits of having a consolidated social media strategy is that it leads to a huge improvement in your company’s data and analytics, while at the same time lowering costs.
As an example, one prominent insurance company which has 80 active social media accounts, decided to consolidate them all using HootSuite. After that, they established a content library which made it easy for regional teams to access all that improved content and other assets. This had the effect of significantly reducing duplicate efforts, thereby saving the company considerable expense.
Humanizing your brand
Most people prefer to deal with trusted financial experts who are real people, as opposed to working with a cold corporate entity. Social media offers a fantastic opportunity for your company to put on a human face, and make your brand seem much warmer. If your company’s executives are willing to become active on social media, that can be one of the most effective ways of humanizing your company, because most clients prefer to trust a person, as opposed to some kind of institution. It’s even better if your company executives are comfortable with straying beyond financial topics, and can inject a little personality into their social media presence.
An especially important use of social media is in building relationships with other financial professionals. People tend to be very careful and cautious about their money, and they are always looking for someone they can completely trust when it comes to money management. Social media is a great way to help your brand build that kind of trust, and establish the kind of relationships you really want.
It can be extremely valuable to involve yourself with social selling, which is simply interacting with various prospects online, and slowly building trust and a solid relationship with them. It can be something as simple as setting up a social media alert which allows you to remember important moments in the lives of prospects and clients.
You can learn about such significant events by checking out your clients’ and prospects’ accounts on LinkedIn. In social selling, all you’re trying to do is build up relationships which will eventually culminate in sales. A simple congratulatory message on a major achievement by one of your prospects will go a long way toward building trust and enhancing a relationship.
Build brand awareness
Rather than trying to drive traffic to their website, many financial services brands instead use social media to generate brand awareness. Since videos and photos are by far the most common kinds of Facebook posts for financial services organizations, these are the most effective at generating and enhancing brand awareness.
The majority of financial service organizations consider that brand awareness content is the top-performing type of content they post on social media. Keep in mind that using social media involves much more than trying to increase sales volumes, and you should do whatever you can to get your company name out before the public.
That way, whenever potential clients are seeking a new financial services company, your name will be out there as a possible solution to their issue. One of the most effective ways social media can be used is by extending the reach of any kind of events which your company sponsors. This is an area which is completely different from any advertising you might do in printed materials or on television, and it will reach a whole different audience.
For example, if your financial service organization sponsors a sports team, you might be able to arrange for live social media broadcasts which will help drive conversation on social media.
Gaining important industry insights
It is very possible to use social media for conducting industry research into financial services topics. This is a great way to stay abreast of all developments and key moments which occur in financial services. It might be something as simple as a recent product offering by one of your competitors, or it might be a looming public relations disaster which one of your rivals is about to suffer. Using social media in this way allows them to serve as a kind of early warning system, so you can be apprised of critical occurrences before they happen.
There’s an awful lot of information to be learned just by monitoring the things that brands post on social media accounts. Even if you’re not sure what kind of post to put up on your own account, you can learn a great deal by observing what other companies put online. By engaging in regular social media listening, you can be updated constantly on whatever’s happening with your rivals, your customers and potential customers, and your industry as a whole.
You’ll also be able to observe the reactions of others, and to stay abreast of any challenges within your field. If you’re really paying attention, you’ll be able to determine the online mood regarding your own company and that of your rivals. This can be very useful information, because it will help you to identify needs and pain points of potential clients, so that you can customize your solutions to them. You might also identify common questions among clients which you could address in one of your posts, or possibly in a blog.