Since December, we’ve moved to looking at how fund management companies are tackling social media on a quarterly basis to give you a bigger picture understanding of what’s happening in this space.
As you’d expect fund management companies continue to evolve and for some, like Black Rock, they are making huge leaps in terms of reach and engagement. In general, the areas of interest continue to be around typical financial services fare like market commentary and insight, topical events, some corporate social responsibility and sponsorship, of course, looms large.
However, here’s what’s been of key interest for these companies over the past quarter…
• The Budget
• Women’s Day
• ECB Meeting
• Volatile first quarter
• Online panels
But here’s how the individual businesses have fared and the topics they’ve tackled…
UK | B2C
Despite a very quiet January and February punctuated with some of their ongoing Pensions Basics information, the biggest reach on Facebook for Scottish Widows was around the forthcoming Annual Allowance – note the 216k views, proving the value of video on Facebook.
The company has subsequently been involved in its corporate social responsibility work with a Work Family Balance report which they promoted through social media together with a panel discussion to support it.
However, the Budget naturally gave them their biggest traction this quarter – their biggest reach came on Twitter with their Budget Summary and what it means for their clients. This received 83 retweets and 266 likes, proving the value of timely and valuable thought leadership.
Again, the value of working in advance, meant they were able to get the most out of this key diary date as they were able to offer #BudgetTalk with pension expert Ian Naismith (42 retweets and 65 likes).
And of course a bit of ‘celebrity’ never hurts… this time with Nicola Sturgeon, generating 30 Retweets and 31 likes.
UK | B2C
Standard Life continually pump out content across their two key platforms of Facebook and Twitter, reaching 267k from 6.21k followers with a variety of FS and non-FS types of content.
Surprisingly, their biggest Facebook post of the quarter related to the death of David Bowie.
However, the Budget too naturally gave them good traction in this space with their take on the key takeouts.
Like Scottish Widows, Standard Life offered live panels to support the Budget and similarly made note of the new ISA announced, which provided them with their biggest reach in the cluster of attention their content generated.
Otherwise, the company have consistently covered user-focussed topics like scams, investments, workplace pensions, as well as their sponsorship with Andy Murray and the Young Scot Awards 2016 and Ambition and Growth Conference in Edinburgh.
UK | B2C
Looking at Black Rock’s Twitter footprint across three months is awesome, so much output with good reach, so it’s hard to pinpoint key tweets, but these two are probably their biggest.
Again this proves the value of a good – can we call this?! – an infographic, while this one, though niche, shows the traction you can get with timely content.
Their video output is less prolific but the biggest video for them was an online Meetup event for the NYC Ethereum Enthusiasts group introed by Ethereum cofounder Joseph Lubin.
As a result of these campaigns, their social footprint reached 14 million people over the quarter. Impressive stuff.
NB: A special geeky shout out goes to these clever peeps using big data to help their investment decisions.
UK | B2C
Fidelity have an evolved social media plan, distributing content regularly, seemingly with positive results: this quarter put them in front of 573k eyeballs, up 10.1%. Unlike many other businesses in the sector, they are consistent across Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
There were 9 videos posted to YouTube, the biggest being one that outlined what investors can expect from the markets in 2016 (which has value for the spring at least, but can also be recycled from time to time with additional insight).
The business does relatively well on Facebook – and uses it to support the distribution of their branded content partnership with This Is Money which carries various thought leadership pieces from Maike Currie who’s investment director at Fidelity International. For example:
Naturally, Maike also popped up on Twitter in relation to the Budget: this tweet generated 5 retweets, but most importantly also underlines the value of having an inhouse expert that can generate content and speak to media.
Elsewhere, the Fidelity Twitter account generally focuses on market knowledge and commentary.
Aberdeen Asset Management
Global | B2C
Aberdeen Asset Management consistently tweet, predominantly sector-based thought leadership but they also promote the various endeavours they’re involved with; everything from rugby, cycling and golf sponsorship to Women’s Day and women in business activities.
Naturally, their biggest traction is around their most public-facing sponsorship activities, for example;
Similarly, their biggest post on Facebook outlines one of their corporate social responsibility endeavours, eliciting a good response through likes and comments.
Over on YouTube, the company created a video featuring hundreds of Aberdeen employees from across all regions celebrating difference in support of International Women’s Day. While a nice social corporate responsibility piece, it could certainly have been cut into bitesize pieces and spread further by social media…
As a result, the company has benefited from a 56.5% rise in their reach this quarter.
Legal & General
UK | B2C
The main focus for Legal & General this spring has been around mortgages and homes, promoting their Mortgage Credit Directive hub, new Build to Rent endeavours, modular housing business, but it was their 5th annual BQAs that generated their greatest reach on Twitter.
On YouTube, they shared highlights from their #BecauseYouLoveThem campaign – a really nice use of user-generated content to round off a campaign. But in general, a mix of mainstream and niche content has delivered them a reach of 34.6k from 3.86k followers.
UK | B2C
Old Mutual too use similar tactics combining sponsorship, thought leadership and insight on pensions, ISAs, market commentary though it was their financial results that propelled them furthest through the Twittersphere.
Their video output across YouTube is thought-leadership-driven except for the Old Mutual World of Endurance which is too ‘old-format’ for a user online to engage with prolonged and rambling narrative.
US | B2C
Vanguard’s reach was down this quarter despite constant activity, down to 6.73 million from 214k followers (so still not doing too bad!).
Consistent thought leadership drivers on Twitter are pretty much standard fare, while over on YouTube, they take a Q and A approach to investment questions from users, which are nicely done and easy to understand. It’s this type of user-focussed campaign that really helps them stand out.
UK | B2B
M&G prove the value of throwing their weight behind a clever piece of content, receiving 78 retweets and 51 likes about this clever table about the ECB meeting on 10th March.
This was their biggest tweet of the quarter, closely followed by a follow-up graph as the event unfolded.
Otherwise content was of their high quality thought leadership on markets, interesting share activity, Harvard studies etc. Their focus continues to be Twitter though they did add one video to YouTube about Inflation Expectations Survey Highlights from the last quarter of 2014, which has received 40+ views at the time of writing.
Global | B2B
Schroders’ Twitter game has seemingly developed this year with a consistent approach; their 9.65k followers attracted a reach of 223k this quarter, adding 746 new followers during the period. That’s why some self-promotion is able to find an audience and be approximately their biggest tweet.
Another special shout out goes to their ongoing use of great infographics and visuals, which again gained them good traction in the twittersphere with 7 retweets and 3 likes. Nice.
Over on YouTube, they released a History and Heritage corporate video which has had 500+ views at the time of writing, a very nice piece of evergreen content part-corporate fluff piece, part- Who Do You Think You Are romp through the company’s business history that makes the company interesting for seemingly anyone.
US | B2B
BNY Mellon’s reach for Twitter was actually down this quarter, despite a 4.9% increase in their followers. They did however get a big hit in aligning with the play about Alexander Hamilton – cue a nice corporate video much like Schroders above.
This was closely followed by this tweet, otherwise it was pretty much business as usual featuring company directives, market insight, business commentary and typical market coverage around country activity.
Arguably the company gets better traction on Facebook with key posts about CEO Gerald Hassell discussing the strategy to improve lives through the power of investing and Senior Exec Vice President Monique Herena’s interview on the Huffington Post about Women in Business.
EMEA | B2B
Columbia Threadneedle’s key activity focussed on their Arts Prize – with the announcement of the winner receiving the biggest reach with 10 retweets and 16 likes.
Across the month their 4.22k followers allowed them to reach 23.4k with content and tweets to promote their inhouse experts’ opinion pieces on Brexit, the ECB meeting, US equities together with a few PR-notifications.
Low level but seemingly effective.
Henderson Global Funds
UK | B2B
Henderson Global’s focus on social media is primarily their investment and insider knowledge, with most of their thought leadership pieces distributed via Twitter, covering investing in commodities, the turbulent start to equity markets, China and this their insight into the Korean market, which received the biggest reach; 2 retweets. Nice graphic.
Over the period, they reached 155 users.
Standard Life Invest
UK | B2B
Similarly with Standard Life, their greatest traction from the period spoke of their sponsorship activities, becoming Principal Partner of The British & Irish Lions.
Otherwise the subject matter was around household debt, recession, rate cuts from a thought leadership perspective. However, this approach fared them well, generating them a reach of 534k from 25.5k.
UK | B2B
Invesco Perpetual’s main approach is via Twitter, this quarter reaching 69k from their 2.6k followers for whom they tweet daily.
This appears to be their biggest tweet of the year, the combination of @ing influencers and media together with valuable content for their target audience, it got 6 retweets and 2 likes.
Content covered includes monthly market reports and live online discussions with their inhouse experts (which they’re good at building interest in, pre-, during and post-event in a nicely chaptered way. One key focus of their work included their Open Investement Meeting at Plaisterers Hall.
Also, interestingly, they launched a new @IPinstitutional Twitter account for UK institutional investors, allowing them to segment and target this strand of their audience.
Global | B2B
Artemis’s social output has essentially been non-existent across the period, with only one video posted – which has had 8 views at the time of writing. The video is an introduction to the Artemis High Income Fund with Alex Ralph explaining how she manages the fund – c’mon, let’s have a look for them and give them some love.
Takeaways from Q1
• Do use key events like the Budget to generate interest in your brand and products
• Do use corporate social responsibility endeavours to engage your users, particularly on Facebook
• Do take note that the digital video medium requires a different approach
• Do use interesting and exciting visuals to create impact
• Do make use of online panels and events to build interest