How to make social media work

How to make social media work

Staying on top of the platforms, trends and opportunities in social media is crucial for advisers wanting to offer the best service to their clients. Here’s what you need to know.

Staying on top of the platforms, trends and opportunities in social media is crucial for advisers wanting to offer the best service to their clients. Here’s what you need to know.

Social media and finance might not have started out on the best of terms, but in spite of the reluctance of the industry to embrace it as a business tool, it’s well and truly here to stay.

Connecting with clients in an authentic way online can give advisers insights on how to improve client service, help iron out any issues and win over detractors.

For life insurance companies like BT, social media matters because online channels allow us to broach the topic of insurance in a more engaging way, such as through YouTube videos of customers sharing their life-changing moments or through our award-winning BT Insights blog.

For financial advisers, there are many good reasons to get social.

Why does it matter to me?

In a nutshell: everyone should be using social media. More specifically however, the facts can tell a very interesting story about the impact of social media on the financial advice industry.

Engaging high-net-worth individuals: 75 per cent of Australia’s high-net-worth individuals (with at least $1.1 million in investible assets) are using social media for information, according to LinkedIn – and LinkedIn is the most popular platform for this group.

Social media is an important tool for most advisers: 75 per cent of financial advisers use at least one social network for business and more importantly, those who prospected on LinkedIn achieved a 62 per cent success rate.

Social media has levelled the playing field: Historically, large financial services companies were the only ones with the budget and resources to appropriately execute key marketing strategies. With the emergence of social media, however, smaller companies now have the same opportunities to strategically approach brand awareness and publicity campaigns.

The benefits are proven: Social media can help you: provide free, valuable content to clients and other target audiences, demonstrate expertise, build brand awareness, reach large audiences for less cost, acquire new clients, build networks, develop and promote the business, strengthen your reputation, address complaints, create buzz around a product launch or event and demonstrate value to clients.

In a nutshell, if you’re one of the 25 per cent not using social media, you’re handing business to your competitors.

Measurement is the key to success

Analytics can help you understand the magnitude of your success.

While not every aspect of social media can be measured, it’s important to set up a framework to evaluate social media activities, in order to determine how to generate the greatest impact.

How can you measure impact?
Set clear and realistic goals – it’s important to have a goal as a business to ensure you’re on the right track to delivering social media impact.

Monitor success regularly – through the insights tools provided for each social media channel used, as well as paid analytics sites. Be sure to measure key elements such as traffic, brand impressions, engagement, sentiment and number of followers, and look for trends on how these have improved/decreased.

Measure your return on investment – this may be in terms of actual financial return on investment, or through cost and time savings achieved through social media promotion.

Identify key influencers – these are the people you should be engaging with to ensure you are reaching your target audience.

How can advisers maximise the benefits of social media?

Be part of the conversation and distinguish yourself as an expert in the field by sharing advice and information.

Build an active profile for yourself and engage with key influencers online and ensure your content reflects your company’s personality and core values.

Make and nurture relationships online – prove you are a trusted resource.

Use your connections to your advantage – tap into the resources of your peers in order to build a stronger, better industry that benefits everyone.

Provide thought-provoking and engaging content to clients and consumers to increase financial literacy within Australia.

Analyse your data to improve your results – it’s important to make sure you’re measuring your results regularly to identify areas for improvement.

Assess risks – although social media is a proven tool for building and strengthening awareness of a company, there are risks involved.

Ensure the content is checked thoroughly before uploading, and experienced resources are allocated to monitor social media sites regularly to avoid privacy issues and reputational damage.


 

Jodie Osborne is social media community manager at BT Financial Group. She uses all things social – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, blogs and others – to humanise the BT brand and generate stellar community engagement.

She formerly held marketing and communications roles at Citi and UNY Haines Norton. She has a Bachelor of Commerce with Honours in advertising and marketing from the University of Canberra.

How to make social media work
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