U.S. asset managers in the dark on social media

As you develop a routine for engaging clients on social media, it becomes easier to tune into what resonates most with them.

With the help of social media metrics, you can glean insights into their habits and assess the impact of your efforts to reach more people. These include core metrics that everyone tracks: page views, bounce rate, click-through rate and visitor frequency. Beyond that, there are other ways to learn about and broaden your online community.

Here are five tips for building your online audience:

1. On types of audiences
In addition to those who are already responding to your social media posts, there are also the more passive “listeners” or “lurkers” out there, people who are following your online presence without commenting, says Audra Rusinas, digital marketing manager at Marketing and Communications Central, in Toronto.

“They don’t do anything until they see something that’s valuable to them,” she says. And typically, they will not be sending others to your website.

Instead, focus on your more active followers, those who are engaged and build a relationship with them, Rusinas suggests. Listen to what they’re talking about, pay attention to hashtags used and “how they’re talking to your niche sector,” she adds.

Elizabeth Hoyle, chief marketing officer at Bridgehouse Asset Managers, in Toronto, for one, says her firm is actively engaged in the task of understanding those who follow the firm on social media. “We’re trying to follow a lot of different people … to find out what their concerns are.”

2. On identifying your “thumb stopper”
A “thumb stopper,” as social media experts define it, is a post so compelling it gets readers to stop scrolling through their feed and click on it. Visuals typically cause more engagement compared with text-only content.

To find your “thumb stopper,” survey the work you’ve produced to determine what’s received the most engagement, in terms of views, shares, likes and the duration of the visit. Once you’ve uncovered the “thumb stopper,” place it front and centre on your firm web site or your profile.

Hoyle says that, for her company, it was their interactive “Wheel of Investor Emotion” tool that gained the most traction with their social media followers. “[So we decided] to move it to a more prominent spot,” says Hoyle. “We used it to shape our communication and execution.” Now, it creates an entry point for unique visitors to their site to keep reading, she says.

3. On conversions
Tools such as Google Analytics detect where traffic is coming from. It breaks down the channels that funnel readers to your landing page: organic searches, referrals, social networks, paid search and direct.

“[It allows you to] see how people are getting to the information, where the drop-offs are, to get the lead and convert [readers],” says Rusinas.

One metric to pay attention to is “assisted social conversions,” to help you measure the impact of your efforts. This metric tracks the length of time it takes for a visitor to be acquired as a regular to your site and pinpoints which network provided the opening.

“Your ultimate goal is to convert people into potential clients,” says Hoyle.

4. On tracking trends
To get a meaningful picture of your audience growth, you need to analyze overall trends month to month, says Rusinas.

“You can’t see [trends] day to day. You need to see if there are changes in the behaviour of online users [over time],” she adds.

5. On the value of sponsored posts
If you’ve determined the demographics of your core audience, sponsored posts can sometimes keep you on their radar, and introduce you to like-minded individuals. Such posts on social media sites are paid advertisements, which pop up people’s news feed as they scroll through.

“Sponsored posts can be beneficial for amplifying the reach of your message to a larger custom audience,” says Rusinas. “In some cases, an advisor may want to target people in a specific region or those with specific interests.”

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