Which Social Media Platform Is Right for My Brand?
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As an individual financial advisor, you may have wondered if you really need a presence on social media platforms. The short answer is “yes.”
There are countless reasons why having a social media presence is a good idea for your business, from being more accessible to your clients to establishing credibility. However, the problem that many advisors run into is that they’re trying to do it all.
The key to effective social media management is understanding you don’t have to be on every platform. You just need to be where your clients and prospects are. By focusing on just doing one thing well and then building from there, you can get the most out of your social media.
How do you choose which platform to focus your time and energy on?
Let’s look at the four most popular social media platforms for business, who’s using them, and what type of content is the best fit for each one.
Signing up and posting on Facebook is free. If you’re looking to do specific marketing activities like run ads, your costs will start at roughly $0.97 per click and increase from there.
Who’s on the platform
With approximately 2.79 billion users worldwide, Facebook has consistently ranked as the number one social media platform year after year. The biggest demographic is users aged 25-34. Seniors currently represent the smallest group of users, but they are also the fastest-growing group on this social media platform.
How Facebook is used
Facebook’s primary purpose is to allow users to share content, stories, and news. Consumers use Facebook for everything from connecting with friends and family, to joining communities for interests and hobbies, to researching businesses through reviews and recommendations.
Businesses can promote their content using various formats, share information about products and services, post company news, make marketing offers, and communicate with potential and existing customers. Also, paid advertising is available with Facebook ads, premium ads, and sponsored stories.
Primarily used for business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing, Facebook is appealing because of its reach. There are 60 million active business pages, and it’s estimated that two-thirds of Facebook users will visit the page of a local business at least once a week.
Using Facebook for your business allows you to reach a wider audience while targeting your audience by location, demographics, and interest. You can gain insight into customer behavior using Facebook tools and increase website traffic and email marketing sign-ups using a compelling call to action. Facebook also gives you an opportunity to interact with customers (potential and existing) in real time and offers a high-touch customer experience.
To make your Facebook marketing strategy effective, create and use a variety of content, including:
- Current events: industry news, business news
- Free resources posts: checklists, guides, live video webinars, and how-tos
- Visual posts: Memes, comics, quotes, fun facts
- Interactive posts: contests, quizzes, trivia
- Q&A posts: open the floor to audience questions, or share frequently asked questions
Signing up and tweeting is free. Twitter ads start around $0.50 per action for promoted tweets and $2.00 per follow for promoted accounts.
Who’s on the platform
As of the end of 2020, Twitter had 192 million daily active users. 88% of Twitter users fall into the under-50 category, with the 35-49 demographic making up the largest group.
How Twitter is used
Similar to Facebook, Twitter is most used for sharing news, content, and stories. The primary difference is that Twitter limits how much you can say in one post – 280 characters. Twitter keeps your business connected to what’s going on in the world and provides an opportunity to promote your business. You may also use Twitter to learn about industry trends, see what people are saying about your products and services (as well as your competitors), and get a general sense of issues and concerns affecting your target audience.
Businesses on Twitter can build a company profile page and leverage their tweets to push traffic back to their website using direct links. Paid advertising is available through promoted tweets, promoted trends, promoted accounts, and enhanced profiles.
Twitter is used for both B2C and business-to-business (B2B) marketing and selling. Building brand awareness is one of the main focuses for businesses on social media, along with building an audience organically. It’s also a great place to start a conversation and get feedback from the masses while experimenting with your tone and approach. While your initial instinct may lean towards more formal communication, Twitter is an ideal spot to see how conversational you can be with an audience.
Short, quick hits of information are the name of the game on Twitter, so when building your marketing strategy, keep these best practices in mind:
- Keep it short: Twitter has a 280-character limit in a post, so be sure to keep your tweets short and to the point.
- Make it visual: Use plenty of images and videos, but don’t forget to include your company name and logo.
- Always have a call to action: You want people to take another step after reading the tweet, whether it’s visiting your website, reading a blog post, or filling out a survey.
- Ask for opinions: Polls and surveys are both engaging and provide valuable feedback.
- Don’t forget the hashtags: Twitter users often search by hashtag, so include ones relevant to the content you’re posting.
A basic LinkedIn account is free; however, what can be done with the account does have limits. Many users choose LinkedIn Premium, which is the paid version and is available at multiple levels of service depending on your primary purpose. A user who plans to be on the platform for job searching will pay about $29.99 a month, whereas a sales professional who wants to use the platform for lead generation will pay $79.99. As with other social media platforms, LinkedIn offers paid advertising.
Who’s on the platform
With roughly 740 million professionals on this social media platform along with 55 million companies listed, it’s easy to see why LinkedIn is so appealing. In fact, the 2020 US Digital Trust Survey found that LinkedIn is the most trusted social media platform.
How LinkedIn is used
Unlike the other social media platforms I’ve discussed so far, LinkedIn is different because it’s solely focused on business professionals. It’s used for networking, recruiting, job searching, business marketing, and more. Industry news and trends are always a hot topic, and it’s a great place to connect with people in your field while also seeing what everyone is up to.
Users on LinkedIn can post and share content like articles from their profile, make recommendations for products and services, join networking groups for their industry, and so much more.
If you’re wondering whether sharing content on LinkedIn should be part of your marketing strategy, consider the fact that 94% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn to distribute content. LinkedIn offers a great deal of information about businesses, so this is an excellent opportunity to grow your brand awareness.
Like on the other social media platforms, creating brand visibility and awareness is usually a top priority. LinkedIn offers an opportunity to establish your authority and credibility within your industry through content. Share your website and blogs, ebooks and whitepapers, and any other content you can make accessible online. It’s also a great place for networking, which can help you connect with potential clients.
LinkedIn content offers a mix of industry content, opinion pieces, and more. When considering what kind of content is best suited for your LinkedIn profile, you may want to include:
- Long-form content: Establish your voice with original articles that tackle key pain points in the industry or put a new spin on an old topic.
- Talk about trends: Everyone wants to know what the next big thing will be, so get ahead of the curve and share your thoughts with readers.
- Share videos and webinars: People love content that provides value.
- How-tos, tricks, and tips: Be a teacher and establish your authority.
- Spark a discussion: Get people talking about the hottest topics in your field, niche, or industry by sharing thoughts on news articles, whitepapers, and more.
Participate in forums and group discussions. This is an opportunity to amplify your brand voice while connecting with your audience and industry peers.
Instagram is yet another free social media platform that also offers paid options. Instagram ads range anywhere from $0.40 to $0.95 for cost per click, which can include not just clicking links, but also liking or reacting to comments. Cost per impression starts at $2.50 and goes up from there.
Who’s on the platform
As of early 2021, Instagram has over one billion users.
How Instagram is used
Instagram is one social media platform that people don’t always associate with businesses, but when you think about how massive the influencer industry has become, it’s Instagram that leads the pack.
Consider this: 90% of people on Instagram follow a business, and 84% of Instagram users want to discover new products while on the platform. Additionally, two-thirds of the profile visits that businesses get come from people who don’t currently follow yet. All of these statistics paint a compelling picture of why focusing on Instagram as your social media platform of choice may be the right strategy.
Instagram is very visually focused, so it offers an opportunity for users, both individuals and businesses, to explore a more creative approach to sharing content.
Instagram is mainly used for B2C marketing. It’s an ideal place to share existing content with your audience, saving you both time and money. Instagram is known for having a high level of engagement from users, so, with a solid strategy in place, you can increase your audience and drive traffic towards your website.
Since Instagram is a visual social media platform, your post will garner the most attention by using high visual content, including:
- Infographics: Compile compelling data into images that tell a story.
- Instastories: Create short videos to share tips and tricks or information about your business.
- Images: Pictures, memes, and more can be used to share content.
- User-generated content: Engage your audience to share stories and experiences with your business and then promote it.
Create a strategy for your social media platform
By understanding how each social media platform operates and how it can help with your overall marketing, you can create a strategy that makes sense for your business. With social media users expected to surpass 4.4 billion by 2025, you don’t want to miss out on all of that untapped potential for marketing your financial services business. If you need help determining the best strategy for you, that is where Crystal Marketing Solutions comes in!
Get in touch with us to see how we can help.
Crystal Lee Butler, MBA is a creative marketer and results-oriented business consultant with over a decade of experience collaborating with independent advisers. At Crystal Marketing Solutions, she delivers exceptional insights for financial professionals enabling them to create a consistent marketing presence so they can focus on the things that matter most to them. Get in touch with us to see how we can help.