Keeping up with the speed and change of how people want to interact with brands online is tough, especially in larger more mature industries. However, one industry taking charge and modernizing their social media marketing to match their customers’ preferences is the Financial Services industry.
PostBeyond recently published a Customer Benchmark Report where we analyzed over 350,000 total shares and 125,000 pieces of content from 120 employee advocacy programs spanning 10 countries. A lot of insights were uncovered and the one industry that stood out was Financial Services and their employee advocacy program performance.
FinServ is going through a massive digital transformation. More and more, we are seeing Financial Services brands take the plunge and create more robust social media marketing strategies. One of these being employee advocacy programs and they are showing amazing results.
Here is what we can all learn from the Financial Services industry:
For most Financial Services brands, the main use case for employee advocacy is to build the thought leadership of their employees. Human Resources worked hard to hire the best and brightest and organizations are leveraging this talent to help showcase the brand as one filled with knowledgable employees. This comes as no surprise, as organizations in this sector need to be viewed as intelligent and trustworthy in order to build confidence from their customers.
According to Edelman’s 2019 B2B Thought Leadership Impact Study, 55% use thought leadership as an important way to vet organizations they’re considering doing business with. They also found that high-value decision-makers are 61% more likely to pay a premium to work with an organization that has articulated a clear vision versus one that does not publish thought leadership.
The FinServ industry stood out as one of the top three industries with the largest brand reach (the other two being consulting and recruitment). While their adoption rates weren’t as high as other industries, their total reach and amount of shares per employee were top-performing.
Brand reach is essential to help these organizations achieve their goal of generating thought leadership and showcasing themselves as a trusted brand within the market. These results also show that the employees who do participate in their company’s employee advocacy programs are bought-in and why securing employee buy-in is so crucial to ensuring long term advocacy success.
Struggling to get employees to participate and share content? Reframe advocacy with the WIIFM (what’s in it for me) Factor.
Earned Media Value
Where Financial Services really shines is their Earned Media Value. EMV is described as the calculation that adds a monetary dollar amount to the buzz brands generate (impressions, click-throughs, likes, comments, shares) based on their non-paid marketing and social media efforts.
As you can see from our chart below (available within our Customer Benchmark Report), FinServ is way ahead of the curve. The amount of EMV generated is massive when compared to other industries.
Why is this so important? As social media marketing cost per customer acquisition continues to climb and organic traffic to branded sites continues to decline, employee advocacy provides a sustainable way to attract and interact with customers on social. It is also important to note when trying to secure or keep executive buy-in for these programs, showcasing EMV as part of the overall program ROI is a very compelling metric – one that FinServ has knocked out of the park.
How to Get FinServ Like Results – Best Practices for Employee Advocacy
Employee Buy-In: FinServ generally has a higher than average rate of shares per employee. In order to have long term results, employees need to be excited and bought into the idea of sharing. While contests are often a great way to help generate more shares, it is a necessity to make sure employees are intrinsically motivated and informed of both the personal and organizational benefits sharing content on social media.
Personalizing Posts: In order to provide real thought leadership and a more “human brand”, organizations should encourage the personalization of posts when sharing. Based on analyzing the content that was shared by customers, we can see the difference personalizing the social caption makes for a piece of content. Posts that are personalized generate 64% more engagement (7.9 vs 4.8 more interactions per post). When employees add their own spin onto a post, they showcase their knowledge and personality in a way that resonates with customers and prospects.
Financial Services is one industry really taking their employee advocacy programs to the next level. Their investment into social media marketing and employee advocacy is having a big impact on their brand image, awareness and lead generation. Isn’t it time your brand explores social media employee advocacy as well?
Looking for more key results about your industry? Download our Employee Advocacy Benchmark Report. To get a customized assessment and benchmarks for you compared to other peers in your industry, click here to contact us.