How to use Social Media to build confidence in your firm.

In Hootsuite’s annual review of the year’s biggest social media trends, rebuilding trust came in as number one for businesses in 2019. This is across all sectors and reflects a general popular shift away from trust in institutions.

Following the Royal Commission, we in the financial services industry can probably relate. As a communications platform for financial advisers and accountants we’ve had many conversations internally and with our clients about how to tackle this and, while a one size fits all approach probably won’t work, what we can tell you is this. Regular, transparent and authentic communication with your clients across a variety of platforms is key to rebuilding and maintaining trust.

So, with this in mind, we’re going to look at a few of the simplest ways to use your social media presence to build and maintain trust in your brand and services for the year ahead.

Make it personal

As we continue to witness a move towards trust in individuals, especially those in our direct network, companies are starting to think about how they can make their brands more authentic and personal. The lucky thing is all companies are just groups of individual people working together towards a common goal. So, it’s not too hard to create a personal connection with your clients if you’re happy to leverage the personalities of those on your team.

There are many ways to do this. Create profiles of your team members to post to your socials. Set up a forum that a subject-matter expert from your team facilitates. Make use of Facebook’s private groups functionality to encourage your clients to engage with your firm and each other in a private, communal setting.

You might also wish to engage in some informal video content of your team. The proliferation of “stories” (short videos that expire after 24 hours) has meant that corporate video offerings do not have to be as curated as in the past. In fact, news site The Guardian found that their more personal and lower budget video output often outperformed those with higher production value. So, it may be worth considering how you can use short informal videos of the people on your team to build a personal connection with your clients. And, if that doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, why not make use of Advant’s animated economic updates – the perfect adjunct to your regular newsletters and posts.

Keep it regular

Trust is built and maintained through myriad small encounters over a long period of time. This means that if you are going to operate multiple channels of communications with your clients, they need to be tended to regularly. This of course can also pose a problem if you are time poor. But there are many ways to pursue regular communication without spending all your time on it.

A popular method is scheduling. Social media can be a major time suck. But if you schedule a number of posts in one batch to the be released incrementally through the month, you’ll save yourself the time and hassle of having to constantly conceptualise new ideas.

It is for this reason that Advant has developed its own scheduling feature fully integrated with Facebook, which we rolled out late last year. It allows you to schedule a Facebook post for a later date using any of our articles or social media graphics. Simply click the “Facebook” option under the “manage” icon next to your document title in the home-screen then select your preferred release date and time underneath the comment box. If later on you want to review your scheduled posts, you can do this in the “menu” > “scheduled posts” section of the platform.

Freshen it up

The new year is the perfect time to give your social channels a clean up and think about your goals for them going forward. This may mean updating your cover images and profile photos, as well as making sure all copy and contact details on your various pages are up to date. It may also mean deleting any posts that didn’t perform well or any off-brand messaging.

Final words

Building trust typically entails adding a human element to your messaging. Your frontline for this is of course your face-to-face contact and phone calls with your clients. Social media meanwhile is the perfect adjunct to direct contact, as it is inherently set up to be more personal than a website or print media. So, when thinking about your social media plan for the new year, don’t be afraid to balance the professional with the personal, keeping your touchpoints regular and up to date.