Financial Services can create viral content too

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financial-services-can-create-shareable-contentBy Emilie Totten

Just a few years ago it was rare to find financial services firms in the social sphere at all; now some companies are even creating content that goes viral. To make compulsively shareable content in the financial services realm takes a lot of creativity, but some companies are starting to figure out how to make it work. In late June, following one of the worst Q1 GDP reports in the last 50 years, J. Lyons Fund Management released a tweet with a table of GDP data it had collected, and it quickly went viral, The Reformed Broker noted.

The table outlined how weak GDP reports in the past were nearly always followed by a recession. The data was compelling, as was the accompanying tweet that asked readers to “spot the outlier” in the data. The tweet provoked an insightful conversation across the Twittersphere, and likely provided some valuable information for investors following along. In the end, the data set may not be as dire as it first appeared to be. However, the important takeaway from this case, is that when fund managers frame their content in the right way, it can really take off online.

What kind of content goes viral on social media?

Also responding to this case, Rock the Boat Marketing took a look at how this particular piece of content was easy to remix – a hallmark of viral media. The website also noted how atypical it is for financial services marketers to create content that demonstrates this feature. This ability to easily change and adapt content is what makes memes take off so quickly and spread like wildfire throughout social spheres. While no one is suggesting that financial services data should get the meme treatment, there is something to be learned from memes, for which Internet-users take a single idea and add their own iterations. In the case of this viral data-set, the provocative information invited other investment firms to add their own data and insights to inform the conversation.

The same advice holds true for all marketers: The best way to achieve success on social media is to create content that is engaging and shareable. How you go about this is going to be different depending on your industry. As J. Lyons Fund Management has proven, it’s possible to use relatively sophisticated insights to go viral. Maybe the secret for the financial services industry is presenting compelling, new data and phrasing it in such a way that peers can contribute.

Creativity and quick thinking are other important elements of this. Firms that were able to analyze the data fast and add their own thoughts utilized the initial post to get their names out. Constant Contact noted the importance of reacting quickly to new developments, citing the example of Oreo during the 2013 Super Bowl blackout. When the lights went out, Oreo posted to its Facebook, and said, “You can still dunk the dark.” The post was wildly successful, not to mention witty.

Financial services may be new to social media, but there’s no reason marketers in this industry can’t create compelling, viral content.

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Emilie Totten is Head of Marketing at Synthesis. She has 20 years of integrated sales and marketing experience across industries including financial services, e-learning, and health and wellness. Her entire career has been focused on helping start-ups and SMB's grow. Her passion is helping companies think holistically across sales, marketing, product, and client success teams to align strategies and achieve revenue goals. When she isn't marketing, you can find Emilie rehabbing her home in the Chicago suburbs, practicing yoga, or spending time with her family.

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