How can entrepreneurs in the financial services industry leverage social media effectively to contribute to their business? According to Scott Plaskett, CEO of Ironshield Financial, the attitude towards social media decides the altitude that can be achieved. At Ironshield Financial, the attitude towards social media is to create connections and build relationships by sharing relevant content with the right audience.
This goal is simple, but not easy.
Yes, social media has created a variety of platforms to deliver content, which is simple to see. However, it is not easy to do. Lots of people struggle with social media. From Scott Plaskett’s perspective, the reason is that they do not know exactly why they are on a social media platform – whether LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook – nor what social media can mean for their business.
In the process of implementing Ironshield Financial’s social media strategy, Scott chose almost all the top social media platforms – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ – as vehicles to promote their content. Depending on the platform, the strategy varies.
Twitter, is a platform where media is top of line. To garner an audience, it is important to Tweet often and regularly. It can be any type of content relevant to you or your audiences, even quotes can be great if you believe they will resonate with your target market.
Scott Plaskett sees LinkedIn as a platform where he can build strong relationship. It is more serious for him to use the right material to reach the right audience. Scott sees financial services professional as lucky given that the financial planning industry is extremely rich in information and provides a wealth of continuous content and commentary to reflect upon.
On Google+, he works to promote Ironshield’s content and engagement with it. Scott understands the search engine optimization (SEO) value of creating a presence for himself and Ironshield Financial on Google’s dedicated social platform.
In order to leverage each platform, content is key. Ironshield Financial values variety and incorporates articles, videos, and audio in the content they share. While videos are more engaging, in Scott’s experience, audio content is easier and more convenient for people to digest at any given time.
Ironshield’s social media efforts also demonstrate the value of leveraging technology. They use social media to build a database of prospects, collecting basic information from people before allowing them access to their audio content. They are also measuring the performance – reach and engagement – of the content they share to better understand the type of content that appeals most to their target audience.
Scott’s understanding of the importance of creativity, experimentation and measurement has helped him to be successful in implementing a social media strategy. Ironshield plans to continue moving forward and evolving its strategy to adapt to the changing social media landscape. The goals for them are to narrow the audience to achieve higher response rates and to use the content to more engagement with their audience.