Social media is growing, and it’s here to stay (in some form or other). In Jan 2017 there were an estimated 39 million users in the UK on at least one social media channel, and this is forecasted to increase to 42 million.
Whether you like social media or not, it can help add value to your business if utilised in the right way. As there was an expectation a few years ago for your business to have a website, this expectation is now the same for your social media presence. The ability for social media to influence customers and gain brand loyalty is increasing and its reach versus cost is far wider than many other marketing channels.
To not feature on social media as a business should be a conscious decision (not just because there is not the time) as the possible long-term loss to business should be evaluated.
It is true that to market financial services products via Facebook may be a bit more challenging than selling jewellery for example, but your target market is still on social media and so the opportunity is there, it may just require a bit of creativity in your content. 39% of consumers state social media as the place they use to find products and services.
In 2017 UK users (registered accounts) by channel were:
- Facebook – 32m
- Twitter – 12.6m
- Instagram – 16.7m
- LinkedIn – 21m
Obviously you don’t need to target all these millions in your chosen channels, this is where knowing your target market is paramount. You can hone in on your audience with demographic profiling and your messaging and content.
Approximately 60% of SME’s in the UK do not use social media, and two key reasons are resource and fear of getting it right.
Financial services can often be a daunting topic for some people, some think it’s too complicated for them, not relevant or possibly a bit boring. But if approached in the right way and with consistency then social media can help alleviate these thoughts and open up the need for a product.
Social media can also even the playing field slightly between small to mid-size businesses. Whilst there is the option for paid activity and sponsored activity, the true value to a consumer lies in the content you generate, your messaging and how you respond (your customer service). With time and focus then any business can deliver good content to their audience and create a relationship.
The awkward compliance bit
Compliance and financial services promotions do need to be considered within your social media activity. You maybe part of a network that provides this regulatory support and approval for you. Or you may be self-employed with the responsibility fully falling to you. This shouldn’t put you off but just don’t rush into posting or sharing something, check your message and where it links to first.
Reasons to use social media include:
- It doesn’t cost anything to setup your social profiles
- You can set your budget and turn off at a click of a button
- You can target specific geographical areas
- You can drive people to your website to see more about your business
- You can generate enquiries direct from social media
- You can show your industry knowledge and expertise
- Promote special events, competitions, or new product launches.
- Use social media as an extra customer service option for your customers
- Use networks such as LinkedIn to forge professional relationships
Touch-of-a-button information is expected nowadays, and if customers cannot find you, they will be able to find your competitors, in your area, providing the service they need.
Hello Marketing have worked within Financial Services for nearly 15 years marketing all types of financial products and services. The next blog in our Social Media series will focus on ‘How to use social media effectively in financial services’.
For any queries about your social media just email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07867794141. www.hellomarketingconsultancy.co.uk
(Stats from: Statista 2018, eMarketer, LinkedIn)