Your Social Media Strategy: Begin with the End in Mind

By Sheri Fitts • 11/18/2013 • 0 Comments

How does your GPS work? Before offering any direction, it requires you do one simple thing: indicate your desired location. Effective social media participation and outreach, much like any sales or marketing effort, requires a similar approach: You must take time to create a clearly defined end point prior to hitting the road.

In the financial services industry, regulatory requirements certainly create obstacles that can thwart our social media outreach efforts, but — trust me — those can be navigated. By anticipating the desired outcome of your social media strategy and working backward, you can construct a compliant plan that communicates your brand and commitment to your clients and the marketplace. 

Start at the Finish Line: A 6-Step Social Media Strategy 

What is your social media goal? State the purpose of your social media activity. The digital space is vast, so keep it simple. Start with one or two achievable goals and build from there. 

Who is your audience? Identify to whom you are speaking, and be specific. This process will direct your content and outreach, and increase followers and legitimate connections. 

Tune in to the right channels. With so many social networks, make sure you are in the right space. Your audience, as well as compliance restrictions, will provide helpful clues as to which platforms are appropriate for your business needs. 

Who will create and curate content? Here’s some good news: Regarding social media activity, experts suggest a split of 30-40% original content to 60-70% curated content. This approach goes hand-in-hand with the intention of giving before getting.

You’ll want to be conscientious regarding who manages your social media efforts. Select people who have the ability to express your firm’s voice and expertise and to create and curate content that positively reflects the brand and vision of your firm. Using a quarterly or annual editorial calendar can also provide context for content development. Also, anyone involved in social media activity on behalf of your company must be fully aware of all regulatory guidelines and policies of your firm as well as the policies of any associated broker dealers.

It may seem counterintuitive, but use that finish line — the place you want to be when a social media plan is fully established and functioning as intended — as a starting point. Developing a custom social media strategy that is specific to your goals (and is in lieu of some boilerplate plan) offers the greatest opportunities to fully understand and abide regulatory requirements, gain valuable insight through meaningful engagement, and continue to craft your mindful social media and branding strategy.

You probably noticed that I skipped a couple of the six steps. To see which ones, read more here at AdvisorTweets. 

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