Which Social Media Platforms Should I Be On?
Financial Services Edition
As a B2B financial services company, you may be questioning whether having a social media presence matters for your marketing strategy. We’ll keep it pretty simple for you: It does.
Social media has become a critical part of any marketing strategy. Whether it be organic or paid, B2B or B2C, and so on, social media marketing plays an important role in strategizing for any business.
That being said, social media is constantly evolving and changing. While platforms are updated to best serve their users, it can make it complicated and challenging for marketers to keep up with. Luckily, we’re here to help.
One of the questions we get asked most commonly by new clients is, “Which social platforms should we be on?” Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, TikTok, the list goes on!
Deciding which platforms work best for your business is important to ensure that you delegate your time and resources towards a strategy that’s going to move the needle for your brand.
Here are the top four social media platforms that we believe all financial service companies should be on.
Often known as the “original” social media platform, Facebook has begun to drop slightly in usage and engagement. While this is the case overall, it still plays an important role and holds unique value in the world of social and business.
Facebook is approaching its 20th anniversary following its creation in February 2004.
In recent years, however, Facebook has become largely a pay-to-play platform. While paid ads aren’t necessarily mandatory for success on the platform, statistics show that putting a little money behind your Facebook strategy has the power to make a significant difference.
Facebook takes its in-house marketing one step further by providing real-world case studies of companies that have found marketing success on their platform. These various stories provide quotes, statistics, and examples from clients on how they successfully implemented strategies on the platform.
At Digital Storyteller, we have adopted similar strategies when working with Facebook. Each of our clients has a Facebook page to which we share organic content. We produce custom content weekly and share blog posts, visuals, infographics, videos, and more.
We pinpoint each client’s strongest posts and work with them one-on-one to set a realistic budget to boost posts. Following post boosts, we delve into reporting to assess the success of each given boost.
Facebook provides statistics on reach, clicks, cost per click, and engagement in a simplified easy to navigate manner that makes sharing reporting with our clients a breeze.
Bottom line: Make sure your business is on Facebook.
We’re going to give Instagram a nickname: “The social beast.” Since its launch in 2010, it’s amassed over 500 million users. Over 60% of users log in daily, averaging a total of 3.5 billion likes.
Instagram is a critical platform for businesses in addition to individuals. Nearly 49% of businesses have accounts on the platform.
Compared to its competitors, engagement with brands on Instagram is 10 times higher than on Facebook, 54 times higher than on Pinterest, and 84 times higher than on Twitter. Safe to say they’re doing pretty well!
But how can you tailor your Instagram account to your audience? Like Facebook, Instagram offers a pay-to-play option by boosting your posts to a relevant audience. That being said, this doesn’t hold quite as much power with Instagram as it does with Facebook.
The Instagram Algorithm
But why? Instagram’s goal is to create organic experiences for its users. Its algorithm pays attention to what videos users watch, what they like, which hashtags and account types they follow, and what engagement types they utilize.
Based on these factors, Instagram creates an organic experience by boosting and promoting what they think a user is most likely to want to see.
Based on these features, it’s important that when using Instagram as a social media platform, you tailor it to your audience. One of the best ways that we’ve found to do this is by getting down to the nitty-gritty and creating buyer personas.
Imagine you’re selling cookbooks… Your target audience might be Jennifer. Jennifer is a married stay-at-home mother of three that loves following influencers that share new recipes and provide inspiration for her girl’s night dinner party. Jennifer is a perfect audience for this product.
Things might be different if Jennifer were a 12-year-old girl that uses Instagram to follow her favorite celebrities and learn the latest TikTok dances. Making sure that you identify and tailor to your ideal audience is critical to the success of your Instagram usage.
Read on to learn more about the ever-changing Instagram algorithm.
Curating Your Business’s Profile
Another important aspect of Instagram usage for businesses is curating your bio and your feed in a way that represents your brand voice. Consistency is key when it comes to creating content that your audience genuinely wants to see. This starts with your bio.
Your bio is the first thing people see when they visit your account, essentially representing your virtual storefront. You have a short blurb—150 characters to be exact—to communicate who you are, and what you do, and ideally convince people to follow you and engage with your content.
While Instagram does not allow for direct linking in their captions or individual posts, they offer the opportunity to share one single link in your bio. Better use it wisely to make sure you’re directing traffic where you want it!
One helpful resource that we can’t commend enough is utilizing a link-building site such as those offered by Metricool or LinkTree. Both of these sites create the ability to provide users with multiple site links within one URL.
Having a well-curated Instagram “feed” or “grid” is also a huge advantage to developing a professional business Instagram account. As previously mentioned, consistency is key.
Whether it be utilizing personalized photos, brand colors, a common filter, or even a precise layout template, there is a multitude of options when it comes to how to set up your post grid.
Here’s an example of one of our client’s Instagram grids, Voit Real Estate Services.
Cool, right? Nice, clean, and cohesive.
Moreover, it’s a notable fact that about 40% of customers respond better to visual content than they do to written content. With this in mind, it’s no surprise why Instagram is a massive hub for marketing opportunities.
LinkedIn is a marketing MUST in the financial services industry.
LinkedIn differs from other social media platforms because it is more strongly based on personal and genuine connections. The “friend of a friend,” “we met at a conference,” or “Oh, I recognize that brand name” attitudes go a long way in today’s day and age.
The unique circumstances that we’ve experienced over the past two years as a result of the ongoing pandemic have further changed the name of the game when it comes to professional networking.
A survey conducted by LinkedIn themselves revealed that “B2B buyers are 5X more likely to engage with a professional via a warm introduction than via cold outreach.”
While cold outreach is a reality for many B2B businesses, LinkedIn offers these businesses the capabilities to connect with their audiences on a more personable level. Additionally, it allows for more accurate persona targeting.
In addition to serving as a virtual professional networking platform, LinkedIn has positioned itself as a leader in news delivery. The same survey previously mentioned also shares that 79% of small and medium businesses consider industry-specific news/articles to be the most valuable content shared on social media.
Social media platforms, LinkedIn in particular, have enabled users to identify the news sources and industries that they want to hear from specifically. Rather than opening up the morning paper and spending time sifting through the garbage that you’re not interested in, hop on your LinkedIn account in the morning to see what your followers have posted lately.
The people that users follow and engage with are often the sources that they want to hear from. Enabling users to deliberately identify the sources they want to see and eliminate (or simply just not follow) the ones that they don’t wish to see content from has turned LinkedIn into somewhat of a personalized news outlet.
Twitter is a great platform to keep your business’s personality alive.
While financial services companies more commonly target more professional and refined messaging, Twitter offers the opportunity to incorporate your brand’s voice more casually.
Just Say It!
Being that Twitter only allows posts that contain up to 280 characters, you’ve got to figure out what you want to say and just SAY IT. Removing the fluff and the details is sometimes the best way to get across and be remembered for what’s important.
While starting your morning by reading the latest news articles or blog posts might be your favorite part of the day, sometimes all your consumers want is quick, simple facts. You’ve been there, right?
Adding a human element to your brand is made easy by the relaxed, casual voice most often shared on Twitter. Whether it be celebrating a holiday with a hashtag (#HappyWomensDay or #HappyEarthDay), often your company’s tweets don’t need to be as much of an event as full-blown in-depth content.
While writing a blog post or filming a video might take hours of prep, edits, and reviews, posting a one-line tweet may be an opportunity to simplify.
That being said, a successful Twitter strategy usually involves tweeting from five to 15 times daily. While each tweet in and of itself may be a simplified way to reach out to your audience, doing it more often is what’s going to help move the needle.
It’s often noted that it takes people an average of 11-13 touch points before a message truly breaks through. With that in mind, tweeting five to 15 times a day provides an opportunity to interact with your audience on various occasions.
Compliance and The Financial Services Industry
Another important fact about Twitter for financial services companies, in particular, is the growing challenge of compliance with specific Twitter terms and conditions. The financial industry is highly regulated on social media.
Companies need to state clearly who they are, and what they do, clarify any risks or benefits, and provide full transparency about all of their services. GDPR is therefore not the only regulation that financial businesses need to obey.
Many other directives were implemented in banking industries in the last few years. Whilst not all of them have a direct impact on social media communication, some of the legal initiatives do.
Take a look at MiFID II, which is focused on refining consumer information and making it easier to understand.
You might be surprised to see this one on the list, but we couldn’t help but mention it: Pinterest!
Pinterest is an image sharing and social media platform with over 400 million monthly active users. These ‘pinners’ (so they’re called!) use the platform to find inspiration and ideas for their interests and hobbies.
At Digital Storyteller, we’ve recently started to grow our Pinterest account by sharing information on user-generated content, site audits, client management, organic marketing, and more!
Pinterest is awesome because you can link to specific URLs on your “pin,” which grabs a user’s attention through use of a photo.
For example, below is a ‘pin’ we posted when the news hit that Elon Musk decided to purchase twitter. This pin linked to our article titled, “What’s Going to Happen to Twitter?” Here, we provide more information on the subject.
Using Pinterest in this way builds your business’s credibility, and encourages users to come back to your page for inspiration or information.
So, give it a shot! Get your business Pinning.
A Final Word
When it comes to implementing an effective social media strategy for your business, there is much to be considered. Various platforms perform better or worse based on your business type, target audience, and intended involvement level.
If you’re looking for support in developing a social media strategy and don’t know where to start, reach out to our team of experts at Digital Storyteller.
With our specialization in the financial services industry, our experience and expertise is growing stronger every day. Call or contact us today for more information or to schedule your FREE brand storytelling session.