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Social Media – The New Idiot Box?


When television started to come to prominence in the 1950s, there were many critics. Some said that TV destroyed the sense of community, discouraged reading, shortened attention spans, and promoted violence. More vocal comments included “ ... If the television craze continues with the present level of programs, we are destined to have a nation of morons.”


I wonder what these critics would say about modern-day social media and its effect on society.


Notwithstanding some programs, (I’m thinking The Gilmour Girls), TV has become an important source of information and awareness across the globe. And social media is no different. Sure, it has its pros and cons, but if used for good and not evil (quoting the 1960s classic TV show, Get Smart), it has a prominent place in the modern world and is an important promotion and marketing tool for finance and mortgage brokers.


Social Media Marketing (SMM)


Social media marketing is a powerful way for finance and mortgage brokers to reach prospects and customers.


With over 80% of consumers reporting that social media—especially influencer content—significantly impacts buying decisions, marketers across industries are driving the evolution of SMM from a stand-alone tool to a multi-faceted source of marketing intelligence on an increasingly growing audience.


With such widespread usage and versatility, social media is one of the most effective free channels for marketing your business today. As the use of social media trends upward, marketers are perfecting strategies to capture the significant competitive advantage that engagement with this key audience can deliver even more rapidly and effectively than traditional marketing.


As platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram took off, social media transformed not only the way we connect but also the way businesses can influence consumer behaviour—from promoting content that drives engagement, to extracting geographic, demographic and personal information that makes messaging resonate with users.


People discover, learn about, follow, and shop from brands on social media, so if you’re not on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, you’re missing out! Great marketing on social media can bring remarkable success to your broking business, creating devoted advocates and driving leads and sales.


SMM Strategy


The more targeted and precise your SMM strategy is, the more effective it will be.


The following action plan is designed to build an SMM campaign that has an execution framework as well as performance metrics:


Step 1 Align SMM goals to clear business objectives. What is the message you want to convey to your audience? How do you want them to feel when viewing your content?


Step 2 Understand your target customer (age, gender, location, education level, income, job title, industry, interests, marital status, and the number of people in the household). Determine who your buyer personas and audience are so you can target their needs and interests appropriately.


Step 3 There's not necessarily a right or wrong answer when it comes to which social channels you should use — it's more about the needs of your target audience and where they tend to spend their time. Try Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.


Step 4 No matter your goals, your social media strategy should be data-driven. That means focusing on the social media metrics that matter. Rather than focus on vanity metrics, dig into data that aligns directly with your goals (e.g., Reach, Clicks, Engagement, Hashtag Performance, Organic and Paid Likes, Sentiment).


Step 5 Conduct a competitor analysis. Find out what your competitors are sharing, and what other people are saying about them. Competitor analysis allows you to understand who your competition is and what they’re doing well (and not so well). You’ll get a good sense of industry expectations, which will help you set social media targets of your own. It will also help you spot opportunities.


Step 6 Audit your current SMM approach. Ask yourself – Am I reaching my target audience – How are they interacting with my current SMM – Is my SMM helping me achieve my goals?

With the number of social media users around the globe, there's no question that at least some of your followers — or the people browsing your profile — have also seen other brokers’ content. That's why you must have engaging social media content that stands out and provides viewers with a reason to click that "I’m Interested" button and interact with your offerings.


Step 7 Create useful, interesting, and quality content. Don’t use social media to pitch your business. Posts should be 70% informational, 20% emotional, 10% promotional. Create content that is topical, answers viewers’ queries, and offers your audience value. Then, take the time for content editing to ensure you’re not overlooking any mistakes or missing any opportunities. That’s how you can create high-quality content that generates quality leads for your business.


Step 8 Create a calendar for SMM content delivery. Sharing great content is essential, of course, but it’s equally important to have a plan in place for when you’ll share content to get the maximum impact. One of the easiest ways to ensure your content is shared as planned is to use a social media management solution. These tools allow you to write captions, prepare pictures and videos, and schedule posts in advance. They also automatically share your content on schedule and monitor all post interactions and engagement for you.


Step 9 Track performance and adjust SMM strategy as needed. Quantifiable insights will inform your strategy, including who you’re reaching, the right content to share, the best times to post, and more.


Tracking


You can’t determine the success of your social media marketing strategies without tracking data. Google Analytics can be used as a great social media marketing tool that will help you measure your most triumphant social media marketing techniques, as well as determine which strategies are better off abandoned.


Attach tracking tags to your social media marketing campaigns so that you can properly monitor them. And be sure to use the analytics within each social platform for even more insight into which of your social content is performing best with your audience.


Opinion suggests the most important social media marketing (SMM) metrics to track are focused on the customer:


· engagement (likes, comments, shares, clicks)

· impressions (how many times a post shows up)

· reach/virality (how many unique views an SMM post has)

· share of voice (how far a brand reaches in the online sphere)

· referrals (how a user lands on a site)

· conversions (when a user makes a purchase on a site)


When a business is trying to determine which metrics to track in the sea of data that social media generates, the rule is always to align each business goal to a relevant metric. If your business goal is to grow conversions from an SMM campaign by 15% within three months, then use a social media analytics tool that measures the effectiveness of your campaign against that specific target.


The Bottom Line


SMM is the use of social media platforms to interact with potential customers to build brands, increase sales, and drive website traffic. As social media usage grows around the world, the ability to drive sales from certain user populations is a growing business, rife with competition for views and clicks.


Although determining your social media course of action may seem daunting, you can avoid feeling overwhelmed by understanding social media marketing trends and using some of the many resources available about the topic. So, start working on your business's social media marketing strategy today to increase your number of followers, improve engagement, and boost conversions.


Social Media Marketing is part of the Marketing module in the Business Finance Certification, a professional development program that helps position you as an SME Finance specialist, so you can help your clients succeed and prosper. For more information go to:


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