How financial brands should use social media
Social media is a powerful communication tool for financial brands. It’s time to get it right!
For growing financial services and fintech brands, impact-driven social media marketing is a vital part of a well balanced digital marketing portfolio. Offering a friendly place for your brand to connect and engage with your audience, while keeping them educated, entertained and excited about what you do.
The sooner you can get active with an approach designed around your specific audience, the sooner you can grow your brand recognition and boost awareness with the people that matter for the growth of your business. In this article, we’ll run through the most effective ways for financial businesses to use social media and stand out among stalling competition.
FCA Rules & regulations
For financial brands, social media comes with a few added words of caution.
FCA regulations hold financial institutions to higher standards on social platforms to limit the influence brands can have on consumers.
“Financial promotions, whether on social media or traditional media, must give customers the right information and meet our requirements to be fair, clear and not misleading.” – Tracey McDermott (FCA director of supervision and authorisations)
To make sure you don’t overstep the mark, you can find the full FCA guidelines here.
But what you need to know:
- Financial promotions must be clearly presented for what they are. That is, it must be obvious they are financial promotions, even to someone they weren’t initially intended to reach (retweets etc.).
- For example, character limitations on twitter present difficulties in allowing for this type of clarity. In cases where obscurity is unavoidable, the FCA suggests that these formats should be avoided for that type of promotional content.
- The key to getting it right is finding honest and concise language that can express the complex products and services for what they are. If you’re able to do this, you’re golden. If it can be deemed unclear, that’s where the issues arise.
How financial brands can get the most out of social media
With slightly stricter regulations in place, financial businesses need to be more savvy and more creative when approaching social media as a marketing and communication tool.
Social media isn’t an easy win. It takes considered strategy and a through understanding of audience to get right.
To be effective, you must understand who you are trying to connect and engage with. Taking the time to understand who they are, what drives them, what challenges they face, and where they exist on social media. Without this understanding underpinning it, a social media plan will be born to fail.
This is especially true for financial brands. Where audiences are more nuanced, bringing very different levels of understanding to the table. If you have several audience types that needs to be considered (from entry level to expert) this needs to be factored into your approach. Possibly requiring different channels to be used for different purposes, demanding unique content types for each.
The most effective ways for financial businesses to use social media
Offering educational content that allows your audience to better understand an area of interest, or some relevant area of finance, can be a great way to build engagement and excitement around your brand and services.
Campaigns that involve some level of interactivity are a great way to build engagement amongst your consumer base and act as a great foundation for further individual communication with your audience across social platforms.
While a competition may be nothing new, with the right kind of competition, something that is relevant to your brand and is of interest to your audience, can be a quick and effective way to boost social activity and garner interest in your social channels.
Inclusive, platform specific promotions
Targeting a specific social media channel with a campaign that is unique and related to that channel will produce great results. Especially if your creative angle can approach that channel in a way that’s never been done before.
Attaching your campaign to a big event, or to another relevant brand, can be a great way to pull in a new audience with mutual benefit for all involved. They key to this approach to social media marketing is finding the right partnership or affiliation. If it makes sense, and if it both brands can be integrated in a way that offers something truly unique, it’s a sure fire way to build maximum engagement around both brands, creating a unique and exciting conversation across social media.
Newsjacking is pretty much what it sounds like. Using a brand-relevant, news worthy event to add huge traction to a campaign. In practise, this requires an agile approach to social media. Looking ahead to future events that can be tied into social campaigns that can add a huge boost to the awareness-potential of that campaign.
Here’s a great example this in practise. Starting in 2011, BNP Paribas took on a bold and highly creative vision for a social campaign called ‘We are Tennis’, building on their already standing sponsorships to create a digital community sharing a passion for tennis, generosity and innovation, all built with their brand at its core.
However, it wasn’t until 2013 when their campaign jumped to new heights. To mark the 40th anniversary between the bank and the French Open, BNP Paribas effectively newsjacked the Roland Garros tournament and the hype surrounding French number 1 Joe Wilfred Tsonga with a ‘Tweet and shoot’ robot that could be controlled by followers on twitter. This campaign ticked every box. It was memorable, engaging and immersive. Effectively bringing the audience closer to the action than ever before.
A quick summary…
To be successful on social media, Financial brands need to build an audience centric approach that is built around a firm understanding of the audience in question. This means a tone of voice that resonates, a strategy that connects and an approach that covers only the channels relevant to the people you want to engage.
Without keeping the consumer at the heart of everything you do on social media, you won’t succeed in this domain. It’s all about partnering with the right influencers and brands, tapping into current trends and events, being clear honest and open about what you’re trying to do – all with a creative approach that makes you stand out among the traditional financial rhetoric.
Social media strategy is a small part of a great digital marketing strategy. If you’re looking to step up your digital game across all areas of your brand, download our strategy guide below, or get in touch to chat with one of our resident experts.