Financial advisor marketing work is never done. And for advisors who want to grow their social media presence, it goes beyond their primary digital marketing efforts.
One of the most overlooked aspects of a comprehensive social media marketing campaign is branding. But, how do you become more visible and convey your expertise and trust using social media strategies?
The key to success is an effective branding strategy. Some financial advisors believe branding is reserved for firms with the biggest marketing budgets. Plus, creating a brand can be daunting due to the amount of competition on the Internet. It may take a little longer, but even advisors with smaller marketing budgets can be successful on the Internet.
Lack of visibility can be a major mistake when firms do not invest some of their marketing budget into building a brand that investors can trust. This is because, unlike other industries, assets move on trust. That is, there has to be a level of trust before investors give up their anonymity and contact financial advisors. They become leads when they contact financial advisors.
Whereas someone may see an ad for a retail product and decide to purchase it on the spot, that is rarely the case for the financial service industry. Investors are naturally cautious because they are afraid they will make a mistake and select the wrong financial advisors.
Bottom line? Financial advisors have to work smarter and harder when they use the Internet to produce a steady flow of new leads, prospects, and clients. In particular when they use social media for the production of online visibility, traffic for their websites, and lead flow.
How does branding work for financial advisors?
As might be expected, digital marketing and the Internet have made branding strategies more feasible. 10 years ago, branding was limited to a name, logo, color palette, and perhaps a tagline or a memorable jingle. This branding was more effective for traditional forms of creating brand awareness: Direct mail, TV, billboards, and radio advertising. But, with the explosive impact of the Internet, there are new, less expensive ways to build awareness for a brand.
Online visibility is the key followed by the delivery of free information that addresses one of the frequent pain points of your ideal type of client. This strategy establishes you as an expert in your field which creates a competitive advantage when investors are ready to interview financial advisors.
Why is online visibility so important? Investors have to be able to find you before they visit your website to obtain information or schedule an introductory meeting. And, the more visible you are, the easier you are to find. Ultimately, the visibility of your brand is what produces traffic for your website.
This modern-day branding on the Internet is available to anyone who has a reasonably sized digital marketing budget.
How do financial advisors select the right handle for social media?
The voice and tone of social media for financial advisors is also an important part of branding. For example, when you select your handle for social media channels, you should use the same handle as often as possible.
If your financial advisor Facebook page is www.facebook.com/mybusiness, then ideally your Twitter, TikTok, and other platform handles would also be @mybusiness. While this isn’t always possible, it does create consistent branding wherever it appears.
When you are ready to market your services on social media, you can secure the handle at any time and either hide the blank page from public view or set it to private so that it’s dormant, but ready when you are. Also, this makes sure no one else can acquire the handle. You may be surprised how many financial advisors with similar names want the same handle.
Is branding a copy-and-paste process?
Keep in mind that messaging should be created with your ideal types of clients in mind. Plus, branding is more than just sharing the same content over and over across all of the social media channels.
While there are ways to connect these channels through content, imagery, and hashtags, there should be a well-conceived plan for a consistent flow of new content that financial advisors share on the various platforms. While technically hashtags are unique to each channel, the same hashtags will often appear on multiple platforms with the same or similar topics or content.
Keep in mind, however, that in some cases a hashtag may be unique to a specific platform, and/or that hashtag could mean different things on different platforms.
How do you get started with social media branding for financial advisors?
Step one is to review your current financial advisor branding that is being used across all channels. How many different fonts, colors, and versions of your logo and name are already out there?
You want a consistent image on the Internet that resonates with investors.
A good way to create a unified branding strategy is to create a style guide. This guide should define all of your financial advisor branding elements, as well as when and where it’s appropriate to use them.
For example, if your logo is primarily dark colors, there should be a version with lighter colors that you can use when a background is darker. Having different variations of branding elements defined and available for your use can save time and help ensure the correct image is being projected in the right places.
First impressions count for a lot in the financial service industry.
Once you have completed an internal branding audit, the next step is to perform the same branding audit across all of your social media channels. Again, this means looking at all of the branding elements that are unique to social media marketing such as photo filters, profiles, and cover photos.
Are they consistent? Are they current? Are they competitive? Are they compelling?
Another avenue to explore, is that if someone saw your social media page, would they recognize your brand as it relates to your pages/feeds on the other social media platforms? Your goal is to make your pages look similar, but not identical.
How do financial advisors measure their social media branding results?
Branding metrics are more than clicks and website conversion rates. But there are some KPIs that can measure your financial advisor brand’s social media results:
This measurement is critical in terms of branding because it measures how much your audience is interacting with your financial advisor social media content. This typically means likes, shares, and comments.
It’s always good to have people talking about your brand. In social media terms, a mention is when someone references your financial advisor handle on a social media platform. By doing so, they’re putting your brand in front of their audience, which exposes your financial advisor's social media content to an even larger audience.
Share of Voice
This metric measures how much visibility your financial advisor brand has compared to your competitors. This is usually measured over a limited time period and takes the overall performance of a topic or industry and your financial advisor firm’s performance into consideration to determine how much of that market visibility is attributed to your brand.