Rubbing Shoulders with John Humphrys – ABFA Conference Dublin
Social Media and Asset-Based Lending
Last week between normal work and two very good friends tying the knot, I flew to Dublin for a quick 12 hour stop off at the ABFA (Asset-Based Finance Association) Conference. Myself and two other panelists held the last segment of the day dedicated to Digital Marketing covering Big Data, Social and the legal aspect too, which led to a brilliant panel section to close off, hosted by the illustrious John Humphrys. Speaking on the ‘Humanity behind Social Media’ my topic was all about showing off your people and being as human and as accessible as possible.
Asset-Based Lending and the financial services industry in general usually have a really difficult job with Social Media. Giving ‘advice’ online or over the phone is a huge no-no for so many of these types of companies. Even when you ring up the bank now they are required to tell you who they are regulated by and that they aren’t there to dispense ‘advice’, rather they tell you the options, and you have then make up your own mind. This means that most of these companies really struggle to come up with good solid content ideas for social that can help, educate or engage with their audience.
So what’s the answer?
Should financial services avoid social altogether? Certainly not if they want to future proof themselves! It’s important to be visible, and social is one of the cheapest and most targeted ways to do so, it just takes a good solid process before you embark on a social media campaign.
1. Do Your Research
Connect with your audience by listening and doing some market research around how your buyers will act online. My fellow panellist Tom Gatten of Growth Intel is a great example to show here. His system traces your customer’s digital footprint, allowing you to choose your prospects more wisely and cut your cost per lead.
2. Get a solid policy and risk assessment in place
In Financial Services more than most other businesses you MUST be sure that what you’re saying is on the money (see what I did there?) or rather, you’re adhering to the regulations as set by the Financial Conduct Authority and whomever else regulates you. If you have a team potentially working on your digital marketing, they must also have a solid social media policy in place. This also goes for any business who’s staff use social in their personal capacities too – i.e. pretty much every business now. Check out my fellow panellist Steve Kuncewicz of Bermans from for more info and advice.
3. If you struggle to educate or give advice, focus on being accessible and real
Being accessible and human on Social Media means your sales process in person is supported and carried through online. As long as you have a solid policy in place, focus on your team, talk about their skills, what they are up to and turn them into your advocates. Show your audience how much you value the people behind your brand, how long they’ve worked for you and why. It’s much better to show that you have real human beings working for your organisation rather than ruthless call robots or just strings and strings of automated posts from the financial times.
Take a look at some of the pictures below or see more about the event here:
Just ignore my aeroplane hair…