On 17th June, together with Embrace Digital Director, Paul Wreford Brown and I held a Breakfast Briefing Session on how investors and IFAs are using digital communications – and particularly social media – to make investment decisions.
From initial feedback, one of the more eyebrow-raising results from the research is the discovery that Facebook is proving a viable channel through which fund and wealth managers can market themselves.
As a result and to coincide with the research, we therefore audited how the top twenty fund and top twenty wealth managers are using and promoting themselves on Facebook.
First, there is probably some need to respond to the naysayers among you who may think Facebook is an inappropriate marketing channel. So let’s see…
There is actually a demand in this space: various organisations have yet to set up official pages but instead have a page bringing in content from Wikipedia, which is Facebook’s default set-up (and which Facebook will allow you to reclaim), Investec for example has a page like this with 2,740 likes. These are users who have, of their own accord, searched out the business and connected in this space. And – just a wild guess here – they may just be interested in what you have to say.
Facebook is the mothership of all social media: 1.19 billion users; and offering the ability to directly target them around age, interest, according to audience type etc… there *is* a huge untapped potential here.
And if you’re looking for precedents: the States has junked any insecurities about Facebook as a viable marketing medium and is leading the way: wealth manager TD Ameritrade has 150k likes.
Anyway, more of this on the 17th June, but in the meantime, shall we have a look at how you are manifesting yourselves (and we’re mostly assuming you are fund or wealth managers reading this!).
And first things first, on the whole, you should be ashamed of yourselves, go and stand in that corner and take a good long look at yourselves… because on the whole, it’s not good. We’re not going to name and shame here, but let’s look at a few lessons everyone can learn.
How easy is it to find your Facebook page?
In general, users are impatient – no offence! – so you have to signpost what you want them to look at.
Facebook search doesn’t work like Google’s, so if there are more than one page set up or your business has a name that’s similar to a real-life human’s, it’s likely to make things more complicated/put up a barrier for those time-poor users.
What’s more if your organization has outposts abroad, these will need addressing and geo-targeting.
In our research, often we’ve found someone has set up a ‘careers’ page for an organization, run it for a period of time maybe around an event then just left it. Some have even just set up the page for the business, added a logo and then just left it. How good does this look? Though of course, all is not lost, you are able to amalgamate these.
Furthermore, if you’ve got a Facebook page, wouldn’t it be nice if people knew about it? Link to it from your website and all your comms – it’s how you build an audience.
How is your Facebook page set up?
Is your company page for a human? To visit the page and get a ‘see what s/he shares with friends’ message doesn’t reflect well on the business either.
It may be a Facebook page, but getting across the basics about your organization is all-important, it is branding after all. So is the ‘about’ section filled out properly, are the images appropriate, etc – even if you decide not to communicate through this channel, is it a good enough representation of your brand and does it direct you to the official organization website where you may feel more comfortable having conversations.
Even if it’s a Facebook default Wikipedia page, is that really better than what you could do?
What about the number of likes?
With financial services, we are working in a highly specific area, so to expect Lady Gaga’s number of followers is of course unrealistic – whose UK social media we manage, #namedrop – but at least put some effort in getting your connections and people within the business to connect. Or spend some money in building a userbase.
In our research, we found one wealth management business with zero likes, but it was nevertheless putting effort into to communicating with those zero connections. For real.
What are you saying?
For fund and wealth managers, this is most likely proving the most difficult aspect of engaging in this space – and requires a more personal approach than anything we can explore here.
However, here are a few examples of businesses, creating and disseminating content in this space to help feed your imagination as to what you could do.
BNY Mellon – Content relating to their sponsorship of the Boat Race.
Scottish Widows – Content focusing on ‘livemoretoday’ in association with the Telegraph, together with information about pensions, savings and the brand itself.
Brewin Dolphin – Gardening-focused content campaign to tie in with their association with the Chelsea Flower Show.
Barclays Wealth and Investment Management – Mixed but engaging content covering their interests, be they the Jersey Boat Show or the African economy.
TD Ameritrade – Financial-orientated content from US heavyweight who are walking the walk and talking the talk.
Investec (People & Planet page) – Focusing on their employees and charitable activity including that around the Wilderness Foundation.
The original piece was written for This Is Embrace.