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Striking the balance between consistent, creative, and compliant content for financial services on social 

OPEC+ meeting to take into account market conditions – Iraqi official

Striking the balance between consistent, creative, and compliant content for financial services on social 

By Billy Jones, Senior Director of Brand Marketing, Hootsuite

Social media has been part of our lives for twenty years now — and in that time, has become a critical driver of success for organisations of all sizes and industries. In the financial services industry 81% of financial advisors who use social media say they’ve gained new business leads through their social efforts, per Putnam. 

Organisations within this highly regulated space are increasingly adopting social media technologies to scale growth, key to which is leveraging compliance-safe tools and resources to target new and existing audiences— contrary to a narrative that, as an industry, they’ve been slower to adapt to this.

But with the immense potential for financial advisors to find leads, build relationships, and exceed their targets through social, there comes a common pain point faced by marketers all around — balancing the consistency required for success and the demanding nature of content creation to maintain an engaged audience. As AI embeds itself into the social space, financial marketers who look to automation not as a solution, but as a tool for jumpstarting creative work will be primed to drive successful social-first brands and experts. 

Leveraging social to scale connection with clients and prospects

An attractive benefit of social media for financial services firms is the ease of relationship-building— known as social selling. Tapping into the power of social can help financial advisors better know who their clients are and design a more personalised approach. For example, LinkedIn is a great place to learn about career changes or retirements and congratulate clients or offer guidance during transitional periods. Following clients’ business pages can also provide insight into their challenges.

Nearly a quarter of Internet users follow companies they are considering purchasing from on social media, according to Datareportal’s Digital 2022 October report. But they need to know a brand is trustworthy before making a purchase. Providing useful, factual information and resources to build up customer trust is vital to turning social engagement into sales.

Social media is also where Gen Z goes in search of financial information. On TikTok specifically, the FinTok category has had a great impact on financial literacy among this generation as they start to hit major milestones that deserve financial advice, with 70% already saving for retirement, per Putnam. However, social media is equally an important channel for connecting with clients who fall outside the Gen Z category. In fact, more than three-quarters (75.1%) of internet users use social media for brand research, per Datareportal.

While social selling is an incredibly powerful tool for lead generation and fostering client relationships, it also requires consistency on social — and engaging content to go along with it. For that reason, financial organisations are increasingly investing in supporting and empowering their advisors with approved content specific to social. For example, Julius Baer, a Swiss banking group, implemented an employee advocacy program that has equipped its advisors with social-ready and compliance-safe content that positions them as experts, while also taking the guesswork out of publishing social content. At the same time, the company has effectively boosted its brand awareness, with more than 4,600 posts shared on employees’ social channels since the program launch (2022), driving 12.5k clicks to its website and more than 5.3 million impressions on LinkedIn. 

Increasing content creation efficiency through automation  

The pain points that social marketers are faced with have only become more prominent despite the evidence of social’s efficacy in scaling growth. Across industries, but especially within regulated industries that are beholden to strict compliance regulations, generating timely and engaging content continues to be a challenge. 

With 61% of financial service marketers reporting that content strategies help generate traffic and build relationships with clients, per Marketing Revolution, the need for simpler content creation to maintain high levels of engagement is overwhelming. 

For financial services firms — big and small — cozying up to compliance-safe AI tools for social along their digital acceleration journeys can be a powerful next step for supporting content creation (and scaling growth) on social. The use of AI in the financial services industry stretches far and wide — from right-channelling clients to the most optimal medium for engagement, to personalisation across all customer touch-points — and generative AI for simplifying social marketing can be a complementary tool to continue driving that momentum forward.

This is where the power of social-first AI tools comes in — like Hootsuite’s newly-launched OwlyWriter AI – as tapping into automation on social allows financial marketers to skip the dreaded ‘blank canvas’ stage with automated social content prompts, ideas, and even entire posts. By supporting financial marketers in offloading repetitive content creation, AI tools can enable a focus on more creative activities that support the overall social strategy — and result in more seamless support for social sellers across the organisation.

But with every conversation around automation comes the compliance concern. Financial institutions face extensive compliance requirements when posting on social media – from data privacy, to content moderation, intellectual property rights, and disclosure requirements. Recognising this challenge, Hootsuite embedded social media compliance into the core design of OwlyWriter AI. The tool further streamlines the content creation process by generating content ideas and initial copy, optimising posts, checking for compliance and integration into existing approval workflows. More importantly, this is all achieved without storing any user data and never publishing content automatically. 

With tools like this, financial marketers can get creative and save precious time – all whilst staying compliant.

Building smarter social strategies with powerful insights 

While AI enables content creation speed and inspiration, financial marketers must continue to ensure they are creating content their audience is looking for. The most effective way to achieve this is by adopting a data-driven social strategy to hone in on exactly which types of content work best for their audience on each social channel.

In such a highly regulated space, defining a social strategy and vision can be challenging. Where one bank may focus on improving customer experience by providing financial advice forums, another may prefer to enhance product innovation by introducing customer reviews. Financial marketers should begin by asking one key question: what are our primary goals? And how can social media help us achieve them? 

With a solid social strategy in place, marketers can identify key markers of success and look to the data to tell them what is working and where they can pivot for better results. There are numerous metrics financial services firms can track to determine the ROI of their social strategy, but some of the most common include: audience growth rate<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>, engagement, and customer service metrics.

  •  Audience growth rate measures how many new followers a brand gets on social media within a certain amount of time. Rather than a simple count of new followers, it measures new followers as a percentage of the organisation’s total audience. For a new social media account, growing by as little as 10-100 new followers in a month would result in a high growth rate. As time goes on, and the organisation’s existing audience grows, more new followers are needed to ensure a consistent growth rate. This proportional approach is a great way to accurately track audience growth over time, and demonstrate true social media ROI.

To calculate audience growth rate, marketers can track net new followers (on each platform) over a reporting period, then divide that number by the total audience (on each platform) and multiply by 100 to get the audience growth rate percentage.

  •  Social media engagement metrics show how much people interact with a company’s content, as opposed to just seeing it. For example, Engagement Rate measures the number of engagements (reactions, comments, and shares) social content gets as a percentage of the “audience” – which could include interactions from followers, non-followers, or both. In fact, there are multiple ways to calculate engagement.

Financial marketers can calculate their company’s Average Engagement Rate Percentage by dividing total number of likes, comments, and shares by total number of followers, and multiplying that figure by 100

There’s also the net promoter score (NPS), which measures customer loyalty. Unlike CSAT, NPS is useful for predicting future customer relationships, as it is based on one specific question: ‘How likely is it that you would recommend our [company/product/service] to a friend?’

Finally, chatbots are a great way to offer basic social customer service 24/7. The always-on capability was the top benefit of AI-powered chatbots in a survey of global banking and insurance clients.

In this digital-first era, the most innovative marketers and advisors in financial services will stay focused on their long-term strategies while building new social pilots and expanding their scope of practice. Innovations in technology, like generative AI, provide invaluable tools to professionals in the financial services industry — in fact, Accenture projected that by 2035, artificial intelligence capabilities will lead to a 38% boost in productivity over the baseline in developed countries.

But creativity cannot be replaced by automation. As financial marketers navigate striking the tricky balance between content creation that is compliant, consistent, and creative, they will need to continue to play a central role in driving innovation on social media. 

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