May 12 2023
Creating social media content that resonates with your target audience
By Audrey Heng
Social media has become an increasingly important tool for financial advisors in reaching out to their clients and building stronger relationships with them. Candice Ong, a five-year MDRT member with one Court of the Table qualification, shares how social media has helped her connect with existing and new clients, grow her business and create a unique brand voice.
According to Ong, approximately 50% of her clients come from Instagram, and the platform has been highly useful in helping her keep clients engaged and updated with her work. Social media has also been valuable in helping Ong expand her network by connecting her with clients' acquaintances and referrals.
However, she acknowledges that creating social media posts can be challenging, especially when it comes to fear of judgment. "When you put yourself out there, you instantly open yourself up to comments in contexts you have no control over. I was very fearful of what others might think of me," Ong admits. Despite these fears, Ong believes that the benefits of social media far outweigh the risks. "It has connected me with the most beautiful clients who valued and cherished my work, from long lost friends who reached out to me almost a decade later since graduation to strangers from various occupations whom I otherwise would have unlikely crossed paths within my natural markets," she says.
Crafting a successful social media strategy
To create social media posts that resonates with your target audience, Ong advises, "Relevance is key when it comes to social media. First, decide what your target audience looks like, then dive deeper to think of what they would want to see or read; think about your own stories and how you can make these experiences relevant for them. I find social media something you have to experiment and find your voice over time, rather than a magical formula from someone else. This is because it is your unique and authentic voice that they want — you cannot engineer that.” As a start, Ong recommends posting at least three Instagram Stories a day if you are using the platform; this helps exercise your muscles for consistently posting on social media such that it becomes more natural over time.
Creating content that resonates
Ong's main target audience consists of individuals aged between 21-35; these individuals actively consume social media content and value engagement through these platforms. She shares examples of content that typically resonate better with her clients:
As an avid dancer, she regularly connects with fellow dancers on shared experiences. Many resonate with her feelings especially those who have retired from competitive dancing as they progressed in their careers, thus finding comfort in her words. This resonance expands out to even people who engage in other types of hobbies, such as sports.
In terms of career, Gen Zs and millennials are navigating through more complex career choices than ever. They seek practical guidance on how to find their unique strengths to leverage on, how to negotiate with their stakeholders and how to lead a balanced life of work and personal.
Finally, family is an important aspect of life for many individuals in this demographic. Content that provides helpful advice on planning for the future as they progress onto having spouses and children or how to handle being in a sandwiched generation are especially valuable. They want to know that you are experienced and can understand them.
Finally, Ong stresses the importance of focusing on message and intent rather than vanity metrics. "It is more valuable to have a small but engaged audience than a huge following with little depth," she advises. "Focus on what you most want to say and execute that tactfully."
Ong's real-life experience illustrates the power of social media in expanding one's network and reaching new clients. "I once met an ex-schoolmate who reached out to me via Instagram. She referred her sibling, who was a lawyer, and this subsequently led to a chain of referrals in the lawyer space. I got to expand my network into this group of highly untapped busy professionals in their 30s whom would benefit tremendously from our services. Previously, I did not know a single lawyer in my natural market, but social media helped to open my network to higher net worth individuals. When I asked my friend why she would approach me, she said that she had been seeing my work consistently on social media and this helped to form a strong, positive impression of me in her mind,” she shares.
Crafting social media posts that resonate with your target audience takes time, experimentation and authenticity. But Ong believes that by finding your own unique voice, focusing on message and intent, you can use social media to build your practice and connect with clients in new and meaningful ways.