As we’ve noted in a previous blog article about the ETF industry and social media, a social media campaign will not, on its own, grow AUM. That doesn’t mean that social media can’t still play an important role within the context of a larger marketing and PR initiative. Along with blogging, social media offers one of the few opportunities for you to completely control the narrative when it comes to your firm and its products and services. Social media provides the added benefit of enabling quick, direct communication with followers, and can also facilitate a more casual, “of-the-moment” approach, which helps keep your brand “top-of-mind” and engage potential clients.
Financial services firms face unique challenges when it comes to social media, thanks to the compliance requirements that they are subject to. One way around this limitation is to have tweets or social media posts that mention your firm or its products/services pre-approved ahead of time. By batching social media posts in this way it’s possible to have “spontaneous” social media posts ready-to-go in advance. These posts can be intermingled with other social media content that does not require compliance approval, including retweets/reposts of relevant content that demonstrates your company’s involvement and leadership in specific business realms.
Social media posts need not deal directly with your brand or its offerings, in fact, it’s often better if such posts are minimized so that followers do not feel like they are being advertised to. In fact, you’ll probably see more success if you curate and repost other people’s high-quality content more often than you do your own. As part of your marketing strategy, you can also use your social media accounts to distribute educational content that has already been compliance approved. You can even make your posts more interactive by soliciting input or interactions with your social media followers.
Social media can also be an effective way to reach out to members of the media, although this should be done with a light touch—you don’t want reporters to get tired of posts or replies from your accounts that are obviously self-serving or irrelevant to their beat. However, when executed correctly, thoughtful, relevant replies to the social media posts of a handful of reporters, (which are not self-serving and do not directly address your own product offerings) can prove useful in establishing a longer-term relationship and making them aware of your company.
You should also think of the social media profiles of your entire team holistically. While your main company’s twitter account may be subject to more stringent compliance requirements, your personal accounts may provide market insights or commentary, tales from the front lines of your particular niche, and even more personal thoughts regarding recent trips or adventures. These social media posts can help personalize your brand, allowing followers to put faces to names and better understand the ethos that powers your company. They also can serve as an additional source of content for your ongoing social media campaign.
By looking beyond self-promotional posts and using social media as the versatile communications tool it is—a unique method of personally connecting to audiences, influencers, and potential customers—you’ll be taking a step towards ensuring the ongoing success of your company’s wider marketing efforts. Though financial services companies, in particular ETF issuers, may face additional hurdles in enacting social media strategies, it can nonetheless play a valuable supporting role in a balanced, comprehensive marketing plan.