Social media is a powerful tool for businesses in all industries can benefit from. Financial corporations are now beginning to realize the value and mutual benefit that social media can offer for their businesses and customers.
The use of social for brands is well in the mainstream, but the financial services sector is certainly unique. When used correctly and securely, social media drastically improves the customer experience as well as the company’s marketing process.
But how can financial institutions use social networks successfully?
In this post, we will break down the most important guidance for how financial services companies should use social media.
The Benefits of Social Media for Financial Institutions
Personal connection has many incredible benefits for businesses in the financial services industry. If your organization is not effectively leveraging platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram, then you are losing out on business.
Social media is no longer optional for the financial services industry. The vast majority of Fortune 500 financial services organizations currently have active social platforms. A study by LinkedIn found that 63% of mass affluent customers said they acted on a financial product or service after learning about it online.
The top benefits of using social media in the financial services industry include:
- Valuable industry research. Stay on top of modern trends in your industry and find out what your competitors are doing. You can learn a lot from what other companies share about themselves.
- Increase brand awareness. Outreach is not just about driving traffic, it also helps companies in the financial services industry to build brand awareness. A Hootsuite survey found that brand awareness content was the best performing type of content for 63% of financial services marketers.
- Strengthen relationships. Social media provides an excellent avenue for financial brands to create and strengthen relationships with their customers. You can use social selling to interact with new prospects and learn more about them.
- Bring a human element to your brand. The financial sector can seem quite clinical and cold, but people want to trust their financial experts. Show off your brand’s personality and make yourself more relatable.
- Cost-effective. A well-planned, strategic media strategy helps to reduce costs by improving your data and analytics.
Financial Services and Social Compliance
While social media can be a way for financial institutions to increase their trustworthiness and closeness with customers, it also presents a security risk for the firm. The United States has several regulations for financial services companies using these platforms.
Financial firms must adhere to the notices and rules issued by the “Industry Regulatory Authority” which are approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Some of the very strict regulations include:
- Having a risk management program for social media.
- Required employee training for work-related social media.
- Supervision of associated people who use social media for business purposes.
- Content by the firm must be supervised and reviewed before publication.
- Communication records of all communications made via social media.
Another FINRA issued letter in 2016 warned that FINRA will continue to closely monitory financial services’ social media interactions, especially in regard to advertisements and solicitation materials.
It’s important to note that these regulations are in regard to financial institutions in the U.S. Institutions in other countries may have different regulations to adhere to when it comes to their use.
Best Examples of Financial Services Social Media Marketing
You do not have to look far to see financial service brands that are winning the social game. Several top financial institutions leverage these platforms to grow their business. Some of the best examples of financial services marketing include:
- MasterCard. MasterCard is a real master when it comes to social marketing. They have over 170 short videos on their YouTube channel. The videos are interviews with professional golfers as part of its sponsorship of PGA Tour events, and they are excellent content marketing for their target audience of affluent older males. They also have a strong, consistent message across several social media platforms, and they sponsor several popular events.
- Morgan Stanley. Morgan Stanley is killing the LinkedIn game with several update posts about company news and sponsorships. They’ve built up a following of over 70,000, and they have a large focus on career opportunities. Their LinkedIn strategy helps them recruit strong investment advisors.
- Transamerica. Transamerica has nearly 90,000 Likes on its Facebook page, and it’s clear they are doing Facebook marketing right. They tie in all of their content to their brand image and life insurance product offering. They also engage prospective customers with targeted giveaways, like tickets to your favorite college bowl game. Again, their giveaways are aimed at their target customers.
- American Express. With 386,000 followers on Instagram, American Express is one of the top social media players in the industry. They post aesthetic photos and highlight their cardholder benefits, showcasing how people can use their American Express cards. With their social media, they foster a sense of community among business partners.
Best Practices for Financial Services
To get the most from your social media strategy, you have to develop a cohesive, consistent strategy. You must embrace social media platforms intelligently and follow the best practices for the financial service industry. Some of the key trends and tips for financial services social media marketing include:
- Stay compliant. Financial services are highly regulated, and you’ll need to make sure your social media marketing follows all local and federal compliance requirements.
- Listen to your audience. Social media in the financial sector is not just about what you post, it’s also about listening to your customers. Pay attention to their engagement, read through the comments and messages, and respond respectfully. Social listening will help you choose the right social media platforms and content to post.
- Add some personality. Mix up your content, don’t just keep it serious business. SOCIAL is a big part of social media. Stay within your brand voice, but add a dash of humor, personality, and emotion at times. Humanize your brand with interesting content. Instead of a boring 3D computer model of your card, take an example from American Express and show your card in beautiful scenes or with images of foods and drinks. Don’t be afraid to throw in an occasional meme relevant to the financial industry!
- Curate your content. Posting randomly won’t cut it, you need to curate your content into a cohesive schedule. Break up your social content and share content that’s relevant to your target audience including news and updates.
Top financial brands like American Express are using online platforms to their advantage. With the right strategy, you can execute customer service and manage customer complaints while reaching more customers and boosting brand awareness. But an effective strategy requires a detailed understanding of the industry.
That’s where Layup Content can help. Using proven strategies and a bottom-line approach, we can help your financial services business.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your financial services business.