How to win when finance goes social
A playbook for brands looking to win with Affluent Millennials.
August 10, 2015
The Millennial generation will transform financial services in many ways: embracing alternative currencies, alternative financial products from non-financial companies, and alternative ways of managing money day-to-day. However, the most profound transformation that Millennials bring about will be to put social media at the heart of their financial lives, penalising those finance brands that fail to engage with them on social in the way that they expect. This is particularly true of the Affluent Millennials who are taking control of an increasing proportion of investable wealth.
Drawn from LinkedIn and IPSOS’s in-depth study of attitudes to money amongst Affluent Millennials, here are the measures that finance brands should take to survive and prosper as finance goes social:
Build a credible presence on social
Finance brands who hold back from fully embracing social media leave themselves at a huge disadvantage with Affluent Millennials, who are twice as likely as Affluent Gen-Xers to judge finance providers on whether they have a social presence. In fact, 34% of Affluent Millennials describe a presence on social as a ‘must have’ for them to consider working with finance companies. They are also twice as likely to use social networks to inform their financial decisions – and five times as likely to envisage social networks acting as their financial information hub in the future.
Empower decision-making through content
The wealthier Millennials are, the more likely they are to perform their own financial research and make their own decisions – and social media play a dominant role in helping them to source the information they need. Of the Affluent Millennials in our study, 91% had sought out educational content on social, 71% had turned to social networks for thought-leadership on finance, and 70% had paid attention to peer opinion. Use social media as your distribution hub for these forms of content – and target Affluent Millennials based on their stage in the decision journey.
Don’t hide your experts
Affluent Millennials may be determined to make their own financial decisions, but they still value expertise hugely. They are 1.5x more likely than others to seek out expert opinions on social media – and 69% see financial advisors as adding value. Affluent Millennials’ determination to think for themselves means they want access to genuine experts rather than product spokespeople. Don’t be afraid to push these experts to the fore in your content strategy.
Optimise for mobile
Affluent Millennials are twice as likely as wealthy Gen-Xers to consider a mobile app important when choosing a finance provider. Ensure that your social updates, and the content you are linking to, are optimised for mobile.
Take down the walls (or at least most of them)
Affluent Millennials are suspicious of having products pushed at them, if they haven’t had the chance to educate themselves first. Bear this in mind when considering whether to gate your educational content on social media. Demanding that they fill in a contact form could lead to them seeking out content from another provider instead.
Seek out social proof
In addition to educational value and expert credentials, shareability should be a key priority for content targeted at Affluent Millennials. They are twice as likely to judge a finance brand based on the positive online buzz and social proof that it generates.
Despite their determined independence, Affluent Millennials still value the relationships that they form with trusted financial institutions. Social represents a significant opportunity for finance brands to start forming those relationships. Combine shareable content with targeted calls to action such as Follower Ads to help build a following on social – and then reward your followers with an ‘always-on’ strategy that delivers regular, value-adding content.
Openness to real-time engagement is another important factor in Affluent Millennials’ choice of provider, with Live Chat functionality higher up their list of priorities than those of other groups. Social media provide a natural channel by which brands can demonstrate responsiveness. Monitor comments for the opportunities to add value through dialogue – and use real-time feedback to direct and optimise your content strategy.