3-minute article

5 essential tactics to build your social media brand

LinkedIn held a competition for the "Best Company Pages of 2019," and the winners shed light on what makes a brand powerful on the platform. Successful companies used consistent brand imagery and interesting artwork and featured company leaders to put a face on their content. To drive engagement, they shared news and optimized their content for the platform.

For financial professionals, there is a real benefit to using social media effectively: In a survey 92 percent reported that they gained new clients through social media. Keep in mind that you face unique compliance and regulatory constraints when using social platforms to post content and communicate with prospects. Having a clearly defined social media strategy may help ease the compliance process and lead to better engagement with the right prospects. Here are a few tips to get started.

  1. Optimize your messaging
    Publishing the same content on every social media platform is efficient, but just copying and pasting your writing between LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram may not be enough to satisfy each audience or expand your reach. You need to optimize the content for each one. You'll want to edit your posts so they are best suited for each platform. For example, blog posts are suited to Facebook, while quotes from those blog posts may be better for Instagram. Company news should be reserved for LinkedIn.
     
  2. Visuals are important
    First, make sure that all of the financial professionals at your firm have photos taken by a professional photographer, ideally the same one firm-wide. Your profile picture is a key element of your social media presence. LinkedIn research has shown that just having a picture makes your profile 14 times more likely to be viewed by others. Second, the images you include in posts and banner images — your visual content — should have consistent and recognizable attributes across platforms. This means you should maintain consistent colors, logos and styles.
     
  3. Share your people
    Readers want to see other people on social media, so put your own in-house financial experts front and center, whether they serve as authors on posts or are quoted as sources. Sharing your company news is important, but your experts — thought leaders — will likely bring more engagement, discussion and reaction. Let your financial professionals share their opinions and points of view. Establish a vetting process before posts go live so you can ensure their writing aligns with your company standards and vision as well as meets compliance standards and regulations for advertising.
     
  4. Post at the right time
    High-quality content can help drive more traffic to your website, whereas high-volume, but low-quality, content generally does not. So instead of overloading your audience with quantity, focus on a few well-crafted pieces of useful content posted at the right time. In looking at the data science, the best times to post can vary depending on the social platform.
     
  5. Let your team be authentic
    A 2020 Hearsay Systems financial services social media content study found that authentic and personal content written by local financial professionals showed 10 times more engagement than content suggested by corporate marketing — showing the true power of the personal connection. If there is breaking industry news or an important post from a third party, your team should have a flexible social media plan, including a quick compliance process for clearing news stories from reputable sources.

Two things you can do today

  1. Research your competitors' branding on social media. Which firms are consistent and engaging? Which are not?
     
  2. Start a guide that documents the key aspects of your firm's social media strategy and talk with your compliance officers about flexible communications and compliance strategies, for social media.

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