4 tips for financial services firms using LinkedIn

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LinkedIn-Financial-Services-MarketingBy Emilie Totten

LinkedIn is still probably the top social network for financial services firms. In general, social media provides a unique opportunity to educate customers and engage with them. It’s also a good way to learn about investor behavior. While your company probably has a page set up, are you making the most of what the platform has to offer? Here are some tips for connecting with customers on LinkedIn:

Aim for informational and consumable content
LinkedIn is a fantastic platform for thought leadership, so it’s unwise to use it for self-promotion. The idea is to build your brand as a company that’s in the know, not advertise, Corporate Insight suggests. Instead, the materials you post should generate conversation and engagement. Posts in the popular “listicle” format can provide engaging content in a way that’s also easy and quick to consume. Your customers are busy people. Providing information that is easily digestible is valuable to them. Also consider visualizations, such as infographics and graphs.

It’s always important to keep in mind that consumable doesn’t mean dumbed-down. In its coverage of LinkedIn’s FinanceConnect:13 conference, the LinkedIn marketing blog quoted Eileen Loustau, global director of social media at Blackrock and ishares, who said that financial services marketers always need to keep their audiences in mind. Loustau noted that because its audience is made up of sophisticated investors, they aim for high-level content.

Think about frequency
As Corporate Insight notes, there’s no right or wrong answer for how frequently to post, but you should give the question some thought before diving in. Posting just once every couple of months may not be enough to keep up with the conversation. However, posting more than once or twice a day may be too much. Based on your firm’s following, you will have to develop a schedule that makes sense. Keep in mind that posts on LinkedIn won’t disappear immediately from newsfeeds, as they would on Facebook or Twitter, so it’s OK to take some more time to put them together. The website noted that ING and Wells Fargo have struck a good balance with the frequency of their posts, managing to post compelling content on a consistent basis without overwhelming their followers.

Get close with compliance
Compliance will always be a challenge for financial services marketers, especially in the social sphere. To alleviate some of the burden, it would be wise for marketing teams to cozy up with compliance departments to make sure nothing gets overlooked. At the FinanceConnect conference, Linda Descano, managing director, head of digital partnerships, content and social at Citi, talked about her company’s approach to this problem. At Citi, Descano created forums where marketing and compliance teams come together to brainstorm approaches to social media, allowing new campaigns to get off the ground more quickly because both departments are beginning the initiative together.

Sell your culture too
At its core, LinkedIn is still a recruitment site, so don’t neglect this part of its functionality. After all, demonstrating a company culture doesn’t just help attract the best asset managers to your team, it also provides customers with greater insight into what it may be like to work with you. Some organizations profile employees using written interviews or videos.

LinkedIn can be a great asset for financial services companies. As a social business hub, it helps companies connect with customers and recruit awesome new employees that will make their businesses even better. If you’re just getting your feet wet, surf around and see what other companies are doing and learn to develop your own voice.

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Emilie is Chief Marketing Officer at Synthesis. She brings over 15 years of integrated sales and marketing experience working with financial services, SaaS, and health and wellness companies. Her passion is architecting holistic marketing strategies that align with each business function to achieve client experience, employee advocacy, and revenue goals. When she isn't marketing, you can find her rehabbing her home in the Chicago suburbs, practicing yoga, or spending time with her family.

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