If ever there was a time to reach more people on social media, particularly women, about the importance of finance, it’s now.
The latest HILDA survey released on Tuesday reinforced what many financial experts probably already know; Australians have a financial literacy problem, and women know less than men.
The Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey, which asks vital economic questions of 17,000 people, found that financial literacy is lowest among individuals who earn less, are single parent women, and among individuals aged 15 to 24. It then improves on average with age up to the 45 to 54 age group.
Social media is one tool that advisers are increasingly using to help reach and better educate individuals on financial literacy. Not surprisingly a lot of engagement is already coming from women.
According to Christie McDougall, social media strategist from the Online Co, women are predominately the first to react and engage with social media topics on Facebook across a range of industries - particularly finance.
But with so much pressure already on time-poor businesses, how can you use social media to your advantage and what platform is right for you?
It goes without saying that you can hire a social media company to do this for you, and the costs can vary from a few hundred dollars a month to well over $1000 a month, including paying for post advertisements and placements.
Deborah Shaw, head of digital at Chris Hocking Strategies, provides her top ten tips to help advisers expand their reach by taking a do-it-yourself approach to social media.
From my own personal experience in business and as a journalist, social media is a constantly evolving and self-educating beast.
Once you’ve done the legwork and your social media presence is established, it’s important to be posting regularly to ensure you’re seen, and to be making the most of social tags or hashtags that can expand your reach.
For instance, when the latest HILDA survey was released, you may have created a post, or had a comment that related to that, so you might have included #HILDA on Twitter which would have increased your chances of being seen.
I’ve also found that starting a group can help your following, as can posting on a topical issue.
It’s also important to understand that as social media grows, the platforms such as Facebook are constantly changing their algorithms to ensure they remain commercially strong.
This means that you are more likely to have to pay for posts if you want to ensure that they are seen.
Ms McDougall says if you’re using Facebook and cash flow is an issue for paid posts, it’s better to tailor your audience criteria to ensure you maximize your spend.
She says it’s no use identifying your target audience as the whole of Australia if you are a local based business that needs to just focus on the Sydney metro area.
This means you need to spend time getting your audience profile correct before putting any money behind paid posts.
Like a lot of technology social media can also be addictive, and there really is a lot of work involved in setting yourself up and getting your voice heard or brand seen.
Social media managers such as Hootsuite and Buffer are platforms that provide free options, which allow you to schedule your posts from a computer or on the go your smart phone or tablet.
This means you can write posts and have them set to go live weeks in advance.
It’s a real time saver, and in this day, we all need more of that especially with social media.
Bianca Hartge-Hazelman writes on women’s money matters and is the publisher of Financy.com.au and The Women’s Index.
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