Measuring Social Media success in Financial Services poses a challenge to marketers. Those with little social media understanding, but who often hold the purse strings, expect strong ROI metrics. But tying revenue to social activity is no simple feat. Much like any marketing revenue attribution model, no one tactic can take total ownership of revenue activity.
Within the marketing organization many companies still focus on impressions, reach, followers, likes, and retweets. While those are tangible metrics, and they can be baselined for future measurement, they typically don't align with the true objectives of the firm.
Financial organizations have recognized that social media provides a platform for engagement with current clients, and can also be an entry point for future clients. Below are 2 organizations that have honed in on the true value of social media.
T.Rowe Price Succeeds With Quality Content
T.Rowe Price has focused their social media efforts on advisor engagement and enablement, as well as client education. They generate surveys for advisors and then publish the advisor responses. They work to understand the needs and interests of the advisor community. They also provide a plethora of best practice content for investors.
Their content directed to clients is fantastic. The College Savings Chill-out videos are a personal favorite. Client education is a common theme. They offer FAQs, and answers, on rolling over 401Ks. T.Rowe offers advice on navigating the bond market and education on investment savings. Stock market predictions from equity leaders was one of their most engaged with pieces. "Savings vs. spending when ordering online" was hugely popular, and timely, around the holidays.
During the 10-day period I monitored T.Rowe's social activity, they grew following across all channels by 2.5% on average. But, as stated earlier, it was the quality of content and quality of content that was most impressive. Even a more experiential tactic, tweetchats generated engagement. Their tweetchat using #TRPoutlook had 41 engagements.
USAA was an amazing company to follow. They're also unique in that brand awareness and community development are what they target. Becoming a member only comes through military service or being grandfathered in so there's not a lot of demand generation that needs to occur. USAA develops a patriotic pride in all of their social media activity, and their content really speaks to military servicemen and women. Because their targeting members, revenue objective focus more on growing business with existing members ("let us cover your life insurance and home loan along with your car insurance").
I was astounded at the quality and quantity of video posted. "Thank you for your service" videos were published daily. USAA drove member engagement through pride and #s like #ThoseWhoDared and #SalutetoService. They ran contests during the fall using #MilitaryFan. Their content targeted the needs and common questions of the military audience like "8 Money Moves for the Military", advice on military separation planning, tips for driving after returning from deployment, and tips on moving. And while they leverage traditional social channels, their use of Pinterest and Instagram was beautifully executed.
I spoke with a social media expert and the provided the following advice.
"The only questions I ever get asked are "How long is this going to take?," "When should I post?" and "How do you get followers?" It only leads to insanely subjective responses. I've gotten the best response when I boil everything down by platform and focus completely on the audience that is present when telling people to tailor their posts accordingly. It's a lot of parsing data and asking people how they use different platforms for it to dawn on them that one-stop posting on all platforms through a third-party app like hootsuite is probably the absolute worst thing they can do (probably more so than never posting) on social media because there is no focus on the consumer."
What financial services social media examples would you add as "best in class"?