How To Get Better Social Media Engagement
It’s great to see Financial Planners using social media.
After all, social media is where affluent clients hang out. It’s where we all go these days to get recommendations, share tips, and generally keep up with what’s going on.
But I keep seeing Financial Planners, and other professional advisers, making the same mistake when they share their content on different social media platforms. That mistake, and how to fix it, coming up in this video.
I’m Martin Bamford and my creative agency, Bamford Media, works with professional advisers to drive engagement and retain ideal clients. Part of that work includes social media management.
Social media is a powerful tool for connecting with your ideal clients. Despite some firmly held misconceptions about how your clients might use social media (trust me, older people do use Facebook as much as ‘millennials’, they just tend to lurk a little more and post a little less), there’s a clear link between activity on a handful of platforms and marketing results.
But when we see advisers using social media platforms, they tend to make a big mistake. Fortunately, that mistake is simple to fix – so in this video, I’m talking about the error you’re making on social media and how to turn it around, so you get better results.
The mistake then? If each time you share something on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram, you try to drag clients off those platforms and onto your website by sharing a link, you’re missing out. Here’s why.
Firstly, social media platforms don’t like it. Their sole purpose in life is to keep users on their platforms for as long as possible. The longer you browse cat videos on Facebook, the more advertising they can show you, the better their stats look to investors.
When you link from platform to your website and try to encourage prospective clients to leave Facebook to come over to your world, Facebook and others don’t like it, and therefore they penalise your content. The algorithms on the various social media platforms are getting very good at working out what content to display and what content to lose down the back of the sofa.
When we experiment with posts containing links and posts without links, it’s consistently the posts without links that perform better in terms of views and user engagement.
The second reason why it’s a bad idea to attempt to drag your prospective clients away from their social media platform to your website? It shows a lack of respect for their browsing habits.
They’ve chosen to visit LinkedIn and look through the articles and other content there. All of a sudden, this virtual stranger pops up and asks them to leave there and visit another place on the Internet instead. It’s the virtual equivalent of trying to drag someone out of their living room, who is happily reading the Sunday newspapers to visit your office instead to read a magazine article there.
So, in a nutshell, if all of your social media posts include a link back to your website, the social media platform is less likely to show it to your followers and, if they do, your followers are unlikely to take the desired action anyway. So why keep doing it?
I think this is about our strategy when it comes to social media marketing. And it’s wrong to have a plan based solely around driving traffic to your website from your posts on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Instead, think of your social media profiles as a place to raise brand awareness, generate interest in what you do, drive a desire to engage with your services, and finally (and finally) take action.
There are a time and a place for links to your website. I’m not suggesting you leave out the links entirely. Including a link in one in five or one in ten posts is absolutely fine. Including a link in paid advertising posts is fine too, especially when that link takes prospective clients to a specific landing page related to that topic.
An appropriate place to include a relevant link is in the bio of your social media profiles. This places the decision to visit your website in the control of your followers; they will search out and follow the link in your bio, once you have given them sufficient value in your social media posts.
What this advice should prompt is a shift in how you approach sharing content on social media. Instead of sharing a teaser, a headline, for example, and then a link, think about how you can share the entire content on the social media platform.
We’re often constrained by character or word limits when posting on social. You can only post 280-character tweets, your Facebook post can be up to 63,206 characters long, and Instagram posts can be up to 2,200 characters long and can contain up to 30 hashtags in the caption.
In all cases, you can add photos and videos in addition to these character limits. Using videos or pictures can be an effective way to summarise the key points of your message, presenting it in a more visually appealing manner than using words alone.
Something we like to produce are 60-second animated explainer videos, which put across 10-12 bullet points, accompanied by relevant images and on-brand background music. Team up these short videos with an appropriate number of words in the body of the social media post, and it’s possible to get your message across without attempting to drag your followers back to your website.
I hope this video will get you thinking about the links you include in your social media posts. Add value with your content instead, and watch your results from social media marketing dramatically improve.
If you found this video useful, please leave it a like. Make sure you subscribe to our channel for more videos like this and leave me a comment below – what’s your social media marketing strategy for the rest of 2019?
Until next time, I’m Martin Bamford from Bamford Media, helping you drive engagement and retain your ideal clients.