Spotlight on financial services: The power to transform through social media 09 January 2020
For brands in the financial services industry, social media is no longer optional, it’s a necessity. In the past, compliance and regulatory standards often acted as barriers – discouraging financial marketers from deploying social media. However, today, financial services firms are gaining pace in social thanks to advances in education and training that are helping overcome past concerns. Conversations are now less about accommodating compliance restrictions and much more about embracing a social media strategy that best connects with a company’s target audiences. This empowers marketers to demonstrate their brand values and amplify relevant thought leadership.
Four ways social media can enhance your brand
Financial services brands that have fully embraced social media are gaining a competitive advantage in the marketplace. That said, in our recent Living Ratings of the world’s leading asset managers, only 49% are demonstrating a clear social media strategy. So there’s a substantial need – and opportunity – to formulate a well-planned strategy that will result in many benefits:
Provide potent touchpoints: By sharing value-added content, you can build enduring connections and forge deeper relationships with your audiences. Creating a two-way dialogue provides an opportunity to better understand them and how and why they interact with your brand, allowing you to repeat, reinforce and repurpose engagement.
Welcome your audiences with brand consistency: Your brand should be instantly recognisable and familiar to your audience. By promoting consistently branded social channels that mirror the visual and verbal language of your website, you strengthen the bond of awareness and engagement. Regular ‘rich-in-content’ posts create valuable synergies across your online presence, helping to drive a more holistic brand experience.
Build trust in your brand: Relationships require a consistent presence and a clarity of communications. Audiences need to know what you stand for and why you matter to them. Social media is the opportunity to share your narrative. But financial brands have been slow to leverage various channels. Our Asset Manager Living Ratings found only 43% provide a high-quality Twitter channel, only 45% offer a good presence on Facebook and only 32% use Instagram at all. We recommend creating proprietary, channel-specific content that’s snackable and sharable. Enhancing your brand experience invites trust.
Generate leads: According to LinkedIn and Cogent Research, “... close to 90% of those with investible assets between US$100K and US$1M are active social media users. Of that, 44% are engaging with financial institutions in social media, with more than a third actively following companies, liking, commenting and sharing content.” Planning a regular programme of convincing insight – from distilling industry trends into actionable ideas to expounding on meaningful and topical issues – will help you better connect with your audiences and ultimately lead to new and more business opportunities.
Firms who are doing it right
Through Living Ratings, we have established that PIMCO keeps up with social media trends by elevating the power of the platform through the use of video content. PIMCO’s Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn accounts use short videos that share industry news and insights into market events, making it easy for investors to quickly engage with topics that interest them.
Another leader in the space is BlackRock, who shares a wealth of content online, including thought leadership pieces and market insights across Facebook and Twitter to educate and inspire investors. Consistent use of deisgn, tone of voice, and editorial style all help to reinforce the brand personality as a trustworthy presence, strengthening the bond with the firm’s followers. BlackRock’s LinkedIn account is especially active with wide-ranging, timely content, including podcasts, imagery, video and editorial that keeps the brand centre-stage among its large group of followers.
Keep evolving but be original, be bold
No longer a ‘nice to have’, social media is now a must have for financial services firms. Determined firms use social media strategically, selecting carefully curated content for each channel, demonstrating a true understanding of their target audiences.
Take a look at your firm’s social media footprint and ask yourself what can you do to elevate your approach and strategy? Do you have an overarching social media strategy that can be activated through channel specific plans? To find out how we can help you diagnose your challenges and construct an actionable strategy, please contact Greg Hobden in London, Kevin Windorf in New York or Gigi Yung in Hong Kong. The global Living Group team can support you with content generation, design and performance tracking to meet your social media needs.