The term algorithm is thrown around a lot. It’s an ever-changing formula for social platforms to gauge your posts, but it’s just that – ever-changing. Keeping up with these changes is exhausting, especially with different algorithms between leading platforms.
Our social media strategies are proven to work alongside social algorithms, accelerating the momentum of your post to snowball its success. Think of your social media as an investment, the more time you put into tailoring your social strategy, the greater return you’ll receive down the road. Facebook and Linkedin are the most common platforms for financial advisors to run their social media marketing, but many of these strategies are excellent for Twitter and Instagram as well.
What the Algorithm Targets
There are several ways social platforms measure a successful post. And as you can see from Hootsuites’s history of the Facebook algorithm, these factors change quite a bit.
There are many other ways that social algorithms measure the success of a post. But the key takeaway here is social platforms want to provide appropriate content to their users – which is determined by engagement.
What is Engagement in Marketing?
This is how much your audience interacts with your post. It’s “likes,” shares and clicks. You may have also heard the term Impressions, but these two are different, so let’s put it into context. Imagine you’re on Facebook. You’re scrolling through your feed until you come across a post that catches your attention. You click the post, watch the video, read the text and click “like” before continuing. All of the posts before the one you watched and liked are Impressions – they’re views. Your interaction with the liked post is engagement. Engagement is measured in several ways, here are a few:
- Likes (and Reactions for Facebook)
- Views (after a duration and dependant on the platform)
There are other effective ways to improve your social presence. But generating comments is the best way to improve engagement because it creates a snowball effect. It creates conversation which creates more comments, which creates even more comments, etc. So how do you generate more comments, and in turn boost engagement? First, you need to make sure the composition of your post is ready.
Preparing Your Posts for Engagement:
Before you can begin boosting engagement, you need to make sure your post is optimized for interaction. Most social media users will be scrolling through their feed looking for something relevant. This is why the number one rule for your post is to stop scrollers in their tracks. Your post needs to be relevant and interesting enough to entice interaction from your viewers. Here are some things to include in your next post to initiate user engagement:
Start Using Video
Video is the go-to source for creating interesting and original content. According to Hubspot’s marketing report, it has surpassed both infographics and blogs. Video has quickly become the best way to reach your audience, so don’t be afraid to start recording:
Always Use Images
There are a variety of royalty-free sites that offer high-quality images for social posts. Make sure your images are related to your post and not too busy. Keep in mind that you want your images to catch your viewer’s eye for that stop-scrolling factor. And don’t be afraid to personalize.
Write Great Copy
Short, descriptive and dispersed copy is best, and make sure to include a call-to-action. According to data from Sprout Social, Linkedin and Facebook have optimal character lengths for social posts. But post length will also depend on the context of the post. Remember not to sacrifice the quality of your content to match a data-point.
Be Mindful of Timing
Post at an appropriate time for your audience. Of course, this will depend on the nature of your advisory firm, and how they prefer to engage. Checking your analytics can provide detailed insight.
Demonstrate Value in Your Post
Your social posts should draw attention, but should also contain value in itself. In this comparison, Thomas Kopelman links to a blog post. In one panel we see a summary of what the post discusses. In the other panel, we see the actual list in the post. By seeing the list, readers are shown value rather than told about it. In this way, they are incentivized to continue reading.
Include Some Personality
Showing your personal side can help your post stand out, whether it’s a hobby or humor, the idea is to show your audience that you’re a person too. Don’t be afraid to get vulnerable – it’s one of the best ways to become relatable.
Target Niche Markets
Many advisors want to aim for a broad audience. It makes sense, you want to catch as many leads as possible. But the problem with a broad approach is it doesn’t resonate with specific needs. Social media is already competitive enough. You need to stand out, and the best way is to answer a specific problem of a specific audience. Targetting a niche market might get you in front of fewer people (impressions), but will have a greater impact on your overall engagement. This also improves the likelihood that someone may return to your future content and become a follower or connection.
5 Post Strategies to Increase Engagement (And Initiate Comments):
1. Ask Questions:
This is your bread and butter. A great conversation isn’t one-sided, and a great social post shouldn’t be either. Asking questions to your viewers increases the likelihood of engagement because it entices them to interact. There are two big intents behind questions, so mixing things up can bring variety.
Informative Questions – These are the questions that spark curiosity. They open up viewers to information, data or a new perspective and set your post up to provide a solution.
Discussion Questions – These are included at the end of a post to initiate a conversation. It could spark a discussion around a problem, or ask viewers for their opinion.
Thomas Kopelman poses a question in the post below to stage the information for this LinkedIn post. And a request for comments is included to close it off, acting as a call-to-action.
2. Tie Your Post to Something Timely:
Relating your post to something recent is a great way to show awareness and relate to others. The key for financial advisors is to make your topic timely and interesting. You need to know your audience and what appeals to them. Tools like Facebook Analytics and Linkedin Analytics provide data, while your personality helps posts stand out. A good starting point is to ask yourself how this topic relates to the broader picture of life.
As an example, Dave Zoller, CFP®, focuses his post on tax law filtered through current events. But, he asks this question in a humorous way. It’s a question many have wondered, but none want to ask. Notice the format of the post. The copy is separated, skimmable and contains a call-to-action. He uses appropriate emojis and includes three relevant hashtags (with all three following a previous tip). Lastly, a personalized video finishes off the post.
3. Use the “Comment Below” Strategy:
The idea behind the “comment below” strategy is to create a post that draws your audience in with free extra content. This could be a checklist, a video or an ebook. Any freemium content works. But, instead of inserting a link in your post that leads to the freemium, you ask leads to comment on the post so you can send it to them. We love this strategy because it comes with a variety of benefits, including:
- Lead Interaction: Unlike other methods, you’ll speak to your audience
- Comment Generation: Algorithms reward comments, boosting your post and snowballing
- Benefit the Platform: Just like your website, social media platforms want visitors to stay. Keeping visitors on the page, instead of linking them away, makes the platform happy and increases the likelihood of a successful post
Caution – Make sure to always be aware of social media compliance and to check with your compliance officer before direct messaging a client.
Our social media team at Twenty Over Ten used the “comment below” strategy to great effect. The text links to notable figures and includes hashtags to ad the post to a greater conversation and provide context. It shows that the info shared is valuable, enticing viewers to comment and receive the related slide deck.
4. Build Momentum and Snowball Awareness:
How often a post is shared is one way to measure success and boost awareness. The strategy behind this post is to ask a relevant question that causes your viewers to mention another person. For example, let’s imagine a company that specializes in office organization. Their social post might read, “Who is the most organized person you know?” Followers of this imaginary brand would begin commenting with their friend’s tags, alerting them to the social post. Those new viewers, might then tag someone, and so on. The snowball effect of this post creates more brand awareness and comments. Just make sure your question puts anyone tagged in a positive light.
Matthew Kobach, Content Director of Fast uses this strategy in the following Tweet. The nature of the question makes this post extra effective because the question creates a positive response. Anyone tagged is complemented by the tweet.
5. Use Hashtags:
Hashtags are an excellent way to mark your post as part of a broader topic. But there are a few rules you want to follow before including hashtags into your posts:
- Make sure the hashtag is relevant to your topic
- Title case each word
- Check the context of the hashtag by searching it on your chosen platform
- Limit the number of hashtags you use, depending on the context of your post (no more than 3, unless using Instagram)
Secret Hashtag Tips:
Use hashtags to target your audience, not your industry: For example, we wouldn’t put #DigitalMarketing on our post. Instead, we would use #WealthManagement. When deciding on the hashtags you want, think of the topics that might interest your audience.
Use hashtags as a branding opportunity: Hashtags can include you in a conversation, but they can also be used to start one. Using your firm’s name or a specific phrase can be a great way to make your content searchable, just make sure the hashtag is simple and relevant.
Jeanne Fisher, CFP®, CPFA, uses both of these secret strategies. The hashtags in the post target the interests of the audience. The only hashtag that doesn’t is #401klady as this is the branding hashtag and included in every post.
If you’re looking for more information on hashtags and best-practices, then check out our post on hashtag use for financial advisors.
Expanding Your Reach on Social Media:
You have some strategies to increase engagement, and know what makes a post great. But how do you actually get it in front of people? Each social platform has some specifics to skyrocket your reach and get more views when you click “post”.
There are two great strategies for LinkedIn. If you have LinkedIn Premium then both of these will work for you, but the best if available to everyone.
Connect with visitors
You’ve probably seen this button on your Dashboard:
Visitors to your profile are already interested in your content. By simply following any recent visitors, you can begin snowballing your connections. LinkedIn’s algorithm prioritizes content from your connections, making this option particularly useful. If LinkedIn is your chosen platform, then explore our post on LinkedIn lead generation to find more strategies like this.
Tap into your contacts
You can upload your email list into your LinkedIn contacts, allowing you to skyrocket the reach of your LinkedIn posts. LinkedIn provides a guide to uploading your email contacts, and it’s available to an array of email types.
Facebooks algorithm has become more transparent over time. And in an effort to increase this transparency, Facebook introduced a new tool.
The “Why am I seeing this post?” Tool
This feature provides a window into Facebook’s algorithm, giving the user a snapshot of the data used to determine why a post appeared in their feed. It can be found by clicking the drop-down menu on the upper right of a post, and looks like this:
But, if you use Facebook for ads, the “Why am I seeing this post” tool comes with an added benefit. Similar to LinkedIn, you have the option to upload a contact list to Facebook. This will match any shared information over the platform to make sure your ads are reaching the right people.
Of all the social platforms, Twitter is the fastest moving. According to Moz, most tweets receive half of their retweets at or before the 18-minute mark. With a steady decline afterward.
This means that timing is key to creating an effective Twitter strategy, especially with such a small window. Posting when your audience is active is critical, but activity will be different with each audience. Begin by posting during different times and days of the week and analyzing which posts receive the most engagement. Use this information to adjust until you find an optimal window for your audience.
Exporting Contacts In Lead Pilot
Lead Pilot users can easily take advantage of these tips using their account. Here’s a quick support article with directions on exporting your contact list to show you how.
Social media algorithms can be tricky especially as they constantly change. But one trend is clear and bound to only increase with time. Social Platforms want users to receive the content they want to see. By using the strategies above, you can work with social algorithms, improve your engagement and begin seeing a greater return on your social media investments.
Want to Post More Engaging Content, But Don’t Have Lead Pilot Yet?
We’re offering access to all this content and so much more for advisors to use via Lead Pilot for 7-days completely free (even on our month to month plans).
Get All The Details Here
About The Author
Stuart is a Content Marketing Specialist at Twenty Over Ten and enjoys creating content that both entertains and educates. A Game Designer at heart, he can be found pursuing one of his many hobbies during his free time.