In December’s Mutual Fund Monitor report, LinkedIn or Losing Out? The Highs and Lows of Asset Management Brand Pages on LinkedIn,
we examined the LinkedIn company pages offered by leading asset management firms. The report assessed the efforts firms make to engage and attract followers – from posting content to creating a welcoming experience on the Careers tab that highlights the company’s office culture.
Establishing a set of strict standards is difficult when dealing with social media. However, there are general guidelines of LinkedIn style and etiquette upon which most can agree. The following are five strategy tips that asset management firms can use to strengthen their LinkedIn company pages:
#1 Posting Format Matters, So Pay Attention
For each post on LinkedIn, companies receive roughly 600 characters – or three lines – before the text is broken up by a “jump” – an ellipses, followed by a click-to-expand “More” link separating the rest of the text. As a result, although firms technically can type as long as they wish, concise, eye-catching text becomes important, especially if a hyperlink is included at the end of the post. To maximize space, link-shortening sites like Bit.ly or TinyURL are highly recommended. If firms want their hyperlink to be seen within the text, it is most important to keep the post short and sweet – and if nothing else, make sure the hyperlink appears before the jump. In addition to pithy text, an eye-catching picture (usually pulled directly from the linked HTML content) is also a best practice for firms that want to be seen on LinkedIn.
Example of a Stellar Posting Format from ING
Thought leadership through commentary is one of the foundations of online asset management websites, and this content can be perfect for the LinkedIn arena. Outright advertisements for products are generally frowned upon, and for the most part in this report, firms that posted content generally avoided these. A number of firms in our study, including ING and Putnam, mimic the success of viral content aggregators like BuzzFeed by discussing topics such as retirement and asset allocation through the pithy format of Top 5 or Top 10 lists. These highly digestible posts – where a user can tell in advance that they will be able to absorb its content within minutes – can particularly lend themselves to LinkedIn, helping to drive Likes and Shares.
Putnam Employs Listicles
Each firm has its own set of marketing goals, so while some may devote recruiting efforts to LinkedIn with a devoted Careers tab, others may strictly use it as a means to broadcast thought leadership. However, no matter what a firm’s intentions may be, the one rule all should follow is to make sure all visible tabs are filled with content. In our study of 17 of the top asset management firms, we found that 53% of their LinkedIn pages have at least one empty but visible tab. In fact, many tabs only appear because firms have paid extra for them within a premium subscription, so firms should be extra careful to either fill each tab with content, or turn it off from appearing on the brand page.
An Anonymous, But All-Too-Common Mistake
Among some of the most basic goals of social media is to develop a dialogue with customers, and present a lively, engaging face for the firm to varying untapped demographics. An important aspect of the engagement equation surrounds frequency of posts, and while there is no right or wrong answer, there are some basic precepts that can help in developing a LinkedIn voice. Posts on LinkedIn tend to have a slightly longer shelf life than Facebook or Twitter, and unlike those, occasional posts (as opposed to numerous per day) will not generally drop a page’s visibility in followers’ news feeds. As a result, frequency can be influenced by the perceived value of content, although firms should be careful not to overdo it, as more than 1-2 posts per day can be excessive. If the marketing team is regularly generating witty or eye-catching graphics, or a commentator regularly pens engaging thought leadership pieces, then daily posts are encouraged. However, firms can be confident that weekly posts will still help to drive traffic and new followers. To post less often – monthly or even less frequently – runs the risk of being forgotten in the conversation. ING and Wells Fargo are among a number of firms that post engaging content on a fairly reliable schedule, without overwhelming followers.
#5 LinkedIn is a Jobs Site, So Sell Your Company
Although it has lately branched out into a full-fledged social network complete with Likes and Shares and a newsfeed, LinkedIn remains a jobs site at heart. Accordingly, if firms are using the site to post job openings, they owe it to their audience – and their brand – to promote the company and its employees. Firms like Fidelity and Invesco make full use of the Careers tab, with videos describing workplace culture and volunteerism, testimonial quotes from current employees, as well as links to further resources to help job-seekers in the application process.
Fidelity’s Excellent Careers Tab