Which Social Media Platforms Drive Leads
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There is a significant difference among the audience members of social media platforms. If you’ve seen little ROI from social media, you are spending too much time or money on the wrong platform.
You need to prioritize to get the most out of social media! Discovering where your audience spends their time is the first step. Creating content that appeals to your audience and fits the tone of their chosen platform is the second.
Using data from the Pew Research Center’s 2021 study of social media, we’ll look at the average user of each social media platform to get a sense of the platform’s audience. Then we’ll cover some proven strategies and examples advisors can use to inspire their posts across five different platforms; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.
Facebook’s usage is relatively even across every demographic. But when compared to other social media platforms, Facebook’s difference is clear.
Facebook is one of the most popular platforms for individuals aged 50-64. It attracts more high-income ($75k+) users than other social media channels. Facebook also sees a relatively higher use from women than men.
How advisors can best leverage Facebook
The demographics of Facebook make it an excellent location for advisors targeting retirees and pre-retirees.
Facebook’s robust advertising tools make it easy to create precisely targeted ad campaigns, allowing advisors to easily drill down into the specific demographics of their ideal audience and serve up the appropriate content.
Lastly, Facebook focuses heavily on community. Advisors can leverage this by highlighting their local area in social posts. Posts could be local news, events involving your firm, events nearby, anything that connects your firm to your community.
I love this example from Financial Strategies Group and how it used Facebook as a platform share its victory in a local charity competition:
The average Twitter user is younger and higher earning, between 18-29 years old.
If this is your ideal audience, then Twitter is certainly worth your time. But don’t be fooled, Twitter is still beneficial to every advisor, even if the that demographic is not your target audience.
How advisors can best leverage Twitter
Twitter is an excellent location for connecting with peers and journalists. Its advantage is generating attention for your content by contacting and connecting with people related to your industry.
Doing so generates more traffic to your content, as well as potential backlinks. Audience members of another user will also have a higher chance of discovering your content.
For example, here’s a successful Twitter post from Chad Chubb intended for other advisors:
Most Instagram users have more formal education and more are female. But the greatest difference is age, with most users falling into younger categories, 18-29, and 30-49, respectively.
Age, along with a relatively even distribution of income levels, shows us how advisors can use Instagram to appeal to their audience.
How advisors can best leverage Instagram
Given age and income ranges, the type of content that will be successful on Instagram will be different from other platforms.
Advisors should focus on educational, wealth-building knowledge. Quick facts and actionable tips will garner the best results.
As a good example, Brittney Castro’s Instagram deploys useful definitions, intelligent humor and inspirational imagery to drive engagement.
Since the pandemic, YouTube has become the most popular platform by far, attracting audience members in every demographic.
Like other social media platforms, YouTube trends towards a younger, formally educated audience, though the difference in users is not significant enough to garner any change in strategy.
Like Facebook, YouTube is great for discovering or expanding your target audience, while also adding personality to your firm.
How advisors can best leverage YouTube
The advantages of YouTube go beyond social media. For this reason, every advisor should create video content.
Video establishes a personality or “face” for your firm. This helps differentiate your services from competitors and builds rapport with your ideal audience by providing a sense of face-to-face interaction.
Unlike other social media platforms, video lends itself to longer-form content allowing you to dive deeper into more complex topics, offering information that may not be widely covered on other platforms.
Lastly, YouTube comes with significant SEO advantages, increasing the likelihood that searchers discover your content in search results.
The biggest difference among LinkedIn users, when compared to other social media platforms, is income and education. The average user sits in the higher range of both categories.
This factor, alongside the professional atmosphere of LinkedIn, makes it easier to imagine where the ideal audience member is drawn.
How advisors can best leverage LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the place to connect with professionals in every capacity. Your audience could be recent college grads, business owners, c-suite executives, etc. If your ideal audience is a business owner or specific niche, then LinkedIn is a great place to focus your efforts.
It’s also a fantastic platform to discover new talent for your firm and to highlight employee contributions and company culture. Sharing content like this fortifies your firm’s social image and adds personality to your business.
Anna Kareis is an excellent example of an effective LinkedIn post. Her posts do a great job of intertwining personality and brand to attract new leads and encourage engagement.
Each social media channel attracts a different audience. Understanding this first and foremost is essential to generate a positive ROI from social media.
As a final tip, don’t be afraid to test different social media platforms. Each platform has an average user, but many people use more than one social media platform. Keep this in mind and test different ones before removing them from your list. Once you locate your audience, you’ll be set for social media success.
Samantha Russell is the chief evangelist at FMG Suite. She helps financial advisors create digital marketing strategies that produce explosive growth through website development, content marketing, SEO, social media and video. A prolific speaker and content contributor, she often appears on stage at financial conferences in the pages of well-known industry publications. She is an Investment News 40 Under 40 award winner and was recently named to the "10 to Watch" list by WealthManagement.com in 2020.
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