How to plan your financial services social media campaign

Financial services social media

Stephen O'Toole

Posted on May 16, 2016

Social media can be a potent ally to financial service organisations, but use it haphazardly or unskilfully and you can end up achieving little, or even doing more harm than good.

If your social media presence feels like a damp squib, chances are you need to change your technique. Audiences are out there and receptive, but they’re a discerning bunch. To optimise your chance of them paying attention, you need an informed strategy.

We’ve put together a step-by-step workflow to help. Work through these questions and resources as you plan your next campaign and see what a difference it makes.

1. Create objectives and goals

Questions to ask:

  • What are you trying to achieve? Use SMART methodology (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound) to create goals that have real meaning, e.g. “grow Twitter followers from 100 to 150 by the end of May 2016”.
  • Why is this important?  Remember that your social media goals must align well with your broader marketing/business strategy to be of any real use. Add a qualifier to your plan to help keep you focused – for example, “Grow Twitter followers from 100 to 150 by the end of May 2016 to help our business to…”

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2. Choose the right social media channels

Questions to ask:

  • There are a wealth of channels now available: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and plenty more, but not all are equally relevant to the financial sector. Which could best help you achieve your goals?

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3. Improve those channels

Questions to ask:

  • Take a look at your profile and business descriptions on each channel. Are you communicating anything of worth? Think about your brand’s key messages, tone, and identity, and rewrite your profile copy accordingly.
  • Are you using identical words on every channel? Your audience, their expectations, and agendas are likely to vary from channel to channel: aim to optimise your profiles for each audience.
  • Do your channels look good, visually? Use rich media, well thought-out and appropriately cropped header banners, avatars and other imagery that provide themed consistency across all platforms.
  • Do your accounts integrate and cross-promote each other? Modern audiences use multiple channels and often switch between them. How can you encourage that to grow your reach?

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4. Consider your content

Questions to ask:

  • What will people gain from following you? Unconsciously or consciously, your audience will always ask: “What’s in it for me?” You need to make sure their attention is rewarded.
  • What different kinds of quality content can you provide? Links to blogs, white papers, and case studies are great, but what about succinct thoughts, facts, summaries, infographics, video, images that communicate a point, and calls to action, too? Aim to accommodate different attention spans.
  • How are you different? There’s a wealth of content and knowledge already available online so what you can you provide that will cut through the noise? Do you offer a different perspective or solution? Think about how you could use social media content to help build your thought leadership on relevant topics and issues in your industry.
  • Who could you look to for inspiration? Companies in every industry imaginable have managed to distinguish themselves through advanced social media strategies. Follow them and learn everything you can.

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  • Visual communication is often more powerful and memorable than written content, especially when you have to grab attention quickly or have a character limit. Here’s how infographics can help.

5. Check compliance

Questions to ask:

  • Compliance considerations don’t need to hold you back, but they are important. Are you following all relevant, current guidelines?

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6. Schedule and analyse

Questions to ask:

  • When will your content be published? Agree dates and times for posts and updates on your chosen channels and put them into an editorial plan.
  • Can you automate the process? We highly recommend using automation software to manage the flow of updates and content. It’ll save you a lot of time, and help track your engagement.
  • How will you measure your success? Analytics and tracking are vital, but they need to be analysed well and linked back to your objectives. How else could your data be useful? Use what you learn to help you refine future campaigns.

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  • Evaluating and proving the success of a campaign isn’t always clear-cut. This simple analysis strategy should help you qualify your results in relevant, meaningful terms.

Social media is an unpredictable, exciting and creative opportunity. Let us know how your next campaign goes? We’re always here to talk through what’s working and what’s not and offer new ideas and solutions, so do get in contact, anytime.

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