Rachel is Marketing Manager at Cal Partners and a member of the Chartered Insitute of Marketing (MCIM). She has 10 years of marketing experience with a particular specialism in the professional services sector.
A Strategic Approach to Social Media
The professional services sector has seen a huge shift in the way it markets itself with social media starting to play a key role. As with any marketing activity, strategy is essential - setting and identifying objectives and metrics. We have all seen examples of the wrong use of content, inappropriate tone and inconsistency on a firm’s social media platforms.
Also, many firms have constrained themselves by traditionally sticking with the more business-related platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter. Professional services firms should not overlook the opportunities the likes of Facebook and Instagram offer if well managed.
10 Tips to build a social media strategy
1. Tone of Voice
Getting your brand and professional image across accurately by using the right tone of voice for your firm is vitally important. You need to make sure you voice your posts in the same way as your clients speak, understand and by avoiding jargon. Just like any form of marketing or selling, social media requires clear communication with personality.
When starting out it can be or feel like a hard slog to build your following. Remember your target audience and don’t just follow anyone. Ensure you follow the right audience, who are engaged and in turn follow you back. Looking at competitors’ followers and companies that sell different services to the same target market is a great way to identify and follow the right audience.
3. Relevant Content
It’s not all about the firm! It is easy to make the mistake of generating sales focused content and talking about the individual company or its people. Instead, identify how your service benefits your clients and relay content in a way that is educational and beneficial to the target audience, for example with ‘Top Tips’, ‘How to’, ‘Industry Research’. Stand out from the crowd by becoming a thought leader through educational and sector specific content.
Engaging with your audience and interacting via comments, sharing, liking other posts and starting real conversations demonstrates that there is a real person behind your social media, in turn generating authenticity and value.
Using relevant and specific hashtags can help drive people to your content and social media streams. You can do a Twitter or Google search on relevant hashtags in your area and relevant business hashtag networks as well as using tools such as Hashtagify to help you find and analyse top hashtags for Twitter and Instagram.
Using your website analytics will help to gauge how successful your social media content is and if it is driving more traffic to your website. More advanced analytics can show the most recent URLs people have shared, how and where they share.
7. Generate stand out content
Imagery, video and infographics are all proven ways to trigger engagement with content and in turn click throughs. Get creative and make your posts look good and stand out. Video clips as a form of blogging or producing nice images and infographics through platforms such as Canva can make a real difference.
8. Consistency across platforms
You need to ensure your brand and messaging is consistent across all social platforms, for example, using consistent colours, fonts, icon styles and logos. However, it is critical to cater the right message on each stream rather than simply duplicating content and hashtags across all platforms.
9. Timing is key
When you first start out, post content at various times of the day and analyse when you get the most engagement. You can soon identify the most effective times of the day to post.
Once you’ve got people reading your content and clicking through to your website, now is the perfect time to increase engagement further through lead magnets and pop ups such as access to an industry white paper, newsletter, price guides or a free consultation. And with GDPR coming into force make sure you get double opt ins!