Over the last few years, social media usage has become one of the most popular activities among individuals of all ages.* With more than 3.6 billion users currently, the expanding reach of social media is a great reminder of the medium’s power and influence on consumers.
Whether it is through Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, or even Snapchat, financial professionals can greatly benefit from the opportunities available through these platforms. An active social media presence can help you build credibility, engage clients, and market your practice to prospects online. In turn, this can contribute to the overall growth of your practice, as nearly 90% of financial advisors in a recent study stated they have gained new clients through social media.**
While it is never too late to take the first step to expand your reach online, it is important to remember that developing a successful social media presence requires patience, persistence, and, most of all, a well-planned strategy. To grow your brand and attract new clients online, you need to have a good understanding of your goals, audience, and capabilities.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when building a social media marketing strategy for your practice:
Set Goals that Make Sense for Your Practice
Ask yourself why you what to be on social media. Are you looking to drive traffic to your website, attract new clients, educate existing clients, or build a community around your brand? This initial thought exercise should inform your goals and help to drive your overall social media strategy.
While you will likely have more than one social media goal, it is important to make sure that you and your team have the time and ability to execute on each goal. Consider setting only two or three goals for you and your team to achieve every year.
Research and Define Your Audience
Understanding your audience and their needs can help you more effectively strategize when, where, and what content to share. This analysis will also make it easier to reach clients and prospects with your message in the long run.
One way to do this is to research and create audience personas that outline basic demographics (age, gender, job title, etc.), online behaviors, values, and financial needs and challenges. While you may already have a good grasp of your audience personas, writing it down can be helpful for the rest of your team and help ensure future social media initiatives align with your audience.
Determine Where to Post
While there are numerous social media platforms out there, not every platform is right for you and your audience. For example, it is important to note that those 65 and older are among the fastest-growing group on Facebook, while Millennials and Gen Z make up the majority of Instagram and TikTok users.*** Meanwhile, LinkedIn tends to have a well-educated user base, which makes it a great place to engage an audience with more in-depth financial content.
Every social media platform has different audiences and requires varying types of content and media. Take the time to research and match your audience personas with the platform(s) that fit them best. Remember to consider your capabilities and bandwidth as well.
Create (and Curate) Engaging Content
A key factor in the success of your social media marketing strategy is sharing engaging content to your social media. This will require you to thinking carefully about not only your captions but also what graphics, photos, website links, videos, etc. you include with your posts.
While the goals, audience personas, and social media platforms you have selected can help guide your content decisions, you may find it beneficial to carve out a dedicated time in your workweek for creating and planning out future social media posts. Posting a minimum of two to three times a week is optimal for keeping an audience engaged with a brand. Check out lesson three of our Marketing and Social Media University course for more best practices on posting to social media.
If you need assistance managing your content, consider utilizing a content scheduling platform. WealthVest has partnered with Gainfully, a platform designed specifically for the financial industry, to make it easier for financial professionals to schedule and share their content, as well as content from WealthVest and other leading financial firms. Learn more and sign up at wealthvest.com/gainfully.
Assess Your Strategy
As with any marketing initiative, it is important to be able to adapt and pivot your strategy. Establishing metrics for success can help you determine things you are doing right, areas for improvement, and growth opportunities. This will mean tracking, recording, and comparing monthly likes, post reach, clicks, engagement, and more.
While it is easy to get bogged down in all the data, it is important to remember that social media is about figuring out what works best for you and your audience. Focusing on metrics that align with your social media goals can put things into perspective and make it easier to adjust your content and strategy.