perjantai 13. marraskuuta 2020

Social Media Explorer: How Finance Companies Can Make the Most of Social Media

No sector of the economy has more to gain from social media than financial services. Globally, about a third of people are unbanked. Bringing more people into the financial system starts with community outreach.

Though initially shy to adopt social strategies due to regulatory concerns, banks and non-traditional financial institutions are realizing these platforms’ value. Here’s how they’re leveraging social media to build relationships, add value, and bring in new customers:

Giving Expert Advice

Not long ago, getting professional financial advice meant booking an appointment with a financial counselor. These days, it’s as simple as logging onto Facebook or Twitter. 

Financial advice can be shared in many forms. Brokerages like Vanguard regularly post long-form market analyses, while startup financial services often tend toward bite-sized savings tips. Life insurer Penn Mutual often shares interviews with company leaders to make financial experts more accessible.

The good news is, there’s no “wrong” answer when it comes to deciding what advice to share. Start with a few quotes from a leader in your company designed to build trust with customers. From there, develop a content strategy that seeks to add value with market insights. Once that trust is built, expect customers to reach out asking for more personalized advice. 

Hosting Q&A Sessions

If you’re a bank or online lender, how do you decide who gets a loan? If you’re in the investment space, what’s the right investing strategy for a new college grad? And just how much sense does it make to sink your savings into precious metals? 

Finance is one area where many people want to learn more. By opening yourself up to users’ questions, you humanize your brand while helping to educate your customers. And the more customers know about financial services, the more likely they are to use them.  

One example is CoinMetro, a cryptocurrency exchange company. On its LinkedIn account, CoinMetro hosts regular AMAs (Ask Me Anything) in which users ask about everything from how Bitcoins are mined to which cryptocurrency will be the next big winner. 

Once you’ve identified topics to cover, find experts within your company who can speak to each and turn over your account to them. Twitter is often the best place for these chats, as conversations can be grouped under specific hashtags. This allows customers who may not have followed the chat live still read content that may be valuable to them. 

Offering Exclusive Deals

You want to entice your customers to follow you on social media. One way to do that is to offer deals that they won’t be able to find anywhere else. 

The good news is, you don’t have to break the bank to do this. Something as small as a fee waiver can go a long way toward getting people to click. You could also go the route of American Express, which allows customers to securely link their cards to their social media accounts. Then, those customers can receive discounts based on their activity online. 

Another good option is to leverage partnerships. Say your company has invested in a new restaurant chain. Perhaps every user who “likes” the restaurant’s Facebook page is eligible for a free ice cream. 

Making it Fun

Fairly or not, financial services companies aren’t known as the most exciting businesses on the block. Why not show your company’s fun side on social media?

For this approach, turn to your member base and host a contest that encourages interaction. Take, for example, Chime’s #MyChimeCard challenge. Members were encouraged to customize their debit card and share a photo on Instagram. Winners were chosen based on originality, creativity, composition and quality. 

Here, guest-contributed content also plays the biggest role. Give shout outs to members by sharing funny and interesting submissions. Although you should certainly be active on your own social media pages, nobody wants to listen to a brand talk about itself all of the time. 

With this strategy, it’s important to be positive and inclusive. Make sure shared content represents a group of diverse backgrounds, races, and genders. Use lighthearted, G-rated humor that everyone can appreciate. 

Conducting Customer Service

Nearly half of consumers say that social media is one of the first places they look for customer support. Whether you solicit them or not, expect customers to reach out with questions and service requests. 

Ask customers to use direct messages, rather than public posts, when making inquiries to avoid disclosing sensitive financial data. Point them toward your FAQ page for commonly asked questions, such as your business hours or types of available accounts. Promptly post notifications about things like website maintenance to cool customers’ frustrations. 

To ensure speedy service, dedicate a portion of your customer service staff to your social media channels. Pair service personnel up, with one person playing the customer and the other person conducting customer service, to train them on appropriate communication. 
These days, social media isn’t just for cat memes and political rants. Financial services companies are finding new ways to connect with their customers, from sharing heartfelt stories to giving expert advice. What better way to build trust with current and future customers than by getting to know them online?

The post How Finance Companies Can Make the Most of Social Media appeared first on Social Media Explorer.

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Social Media Explorer: Social Media and Cybersecurity: What You Should Know

Social media can be a great tool to make and maintain business and personal connections. However, it can be a major cybersecurity threat for unsuspecting users. It is all too easy for hackers to impersonate someone else and use the site to get information.

For businesses, this can make each and every one of their employees’ social media accounts into a threat. How to make sure that your use isn’t compromising your personal and company security? 

Here is how hackers use social media to manipulate users, the risks it poses to a business, and what you can do to protect yourself and your company:

Social Media: It’s Everywhere

Just about everyone in the modern world has a social media account, and many have multiple. There are 2.7 billion users on Facebook and 330 million on Twitter alone. Some social media sites, such as LinkedIn, are designed specifically for professional use. Many companies have Facebook pages to communicate with customers. Twitter is popular for both business and personal use.

These websites span the globe, and have users from all walks of life. People share and exchange huge amounts of information on social media sites without much thought. This makes these platforms very attractive to cybercriminals. On most sites, there is no way to verify that a user is who they claim to be. Many people have a false sense of security when they connect with others.

How Hackers Target Social Media

There are a number of ways that can hackers can use social media against individuals and businesses. It’s important to consider your policies when talking to employees about social media, while also working hard to maintain the security with your own.

Password Hacking

Social media websites do a lot to make sure that their sites are secure, but they can’t stop users from using the same passwords across platforms. If a user uses a password on Facebook and your internal systems, a data breach on Facebook could lead to a data breach in your office.

Targeted Scams

When people post personal information online, it can be used against them by cybercriminals to design targeted attacks. Cybercriminals can easily see the names of your friends and family, and details that you post about yourself. If an employee checks a personal account on a work device, they are at risk of compromising the company network or computer.

It’s common for hackers to create fake duplicate profiles of real people and add some of their same friends and family contacts. Many will accept them without question, not realizing that the profile doesn’t really belong to the person they know. They can then send dangerous links to click on or messages requesting information from their contacts, who don’t realize it’s a scam.

Email Security

A hacker can find information on a social media account which can help them answer security questions. It is easy to look at someone’s family connections and see what their mother’s maiden name is, for example. If someone responds to a social media challenge in which they tag their childhood best friend, include a picture of their first car, or their high school mascot, they may be providing compromising information. 

With answers to common security questions, a hacker can attempt access into email accounts. When they have entrance into an email, they can see any communications sent over email, use the email credentials to access more work accounts, and send emails from your address to clients or coworkers. 


Some of the issues that come with social media are not directly tied to hackers or criminals. In fact, users can put themselves in jeopardy if they express extreme opinions on platforms like Twitter while publicly associated with a company. 

This can impact an employer’s reputation, too, which is why it’s important for employees to keep separate business and personal accounts. It’s also a good idea on accounts where users have work information to always clarify that opinions are their own and not representing their company.

How to Prevent a Cybersecurity Threat

Protecting yourself and your business from the threats that come with social media can be a challenge. It’s important for everyone to be careful about what information they post publicly. In addition, changing all social media privacy settings to restrict sharing to only contacts can be a helpful step.

Method Technologies, a managed service provider that specializes in cybersecurity, recommends that businesses take essential steps to improve their security. It’s important to implement password protections, educate employees on how to identify fraudulent emails, and have policies about work and personal account access on the same accounts. By taking these steps, you’ll be better able to avoid social media threats to your business cybersecurity.

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Launching With Facebook Ads: How to Sell More With Facebook

Are Facebook ads an important part of your launch strategy? Wondering how you can use Facebook to sell more during your next launch? To explore how to use Facebook ads to generate more sales during a launch, I interview Emily Hirsh on the Social Media Marketing Podcast. Emily is the founder of Hirsh Marketing, an […]

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torstai 12. marraskuuta 2020

Social Media Explorer: How Do Hackers Get Your Password? 5 Types of Password Attacks

It happens to people everyday. Identities are stolen, money is taken out of accounts, and all manner of breaches are attempted against your personal accounts. 

But how does it happen? The truth is, there are multiple tried and tested methods which hackers use to steal your passwords online. 

This page contains the top five most widely used methods of hacking. Utilizing managed IT services can also help to keep your information secure.

Credential Stuffing

Credential stuffing is hard for people to prevent, which makes it frustrating. Credential stuffing occurs when a website is breached and the website contains the vital data of all its users. 

Right away the hacker has access to all of your data, including sensitive data like passwords, address, purchase history, and maybe even bank information. 

The problem here is that around 62% of people reuse passwords. Consequently, if a hacker finds your password to a relatively trivial website, and the password is the same as the one you use for your banking password, they may be able to gain access to that account.


Phishing is a form of hacking which you’ve most likely heard of in some way. Phishing is where the hacker will trick you into giving them your password. 

One of the more popular methods of phishing is sending an email which looks genuine and identical to one that comes from a trusted business, inviting you to log in and immediately change something due to a security breach. 

Some of these fake websites appear exactly like the real one. But, if you know what you’re looking for they’re easy to spot; simply double check the URL whenever you’re suspicious. 

Password Spray

This is a common form of hacking. This occurs when the hacker will obtain your username, and will guess at multiple popular passwords until they gain entry. 

A password spray only really works if you don’t use a strong password. Try and think of something outside the box to ensure it won’t be easily guessed. There are password generators online, but they can be a little hard to remember.

Creating a password that is nonsensical, with capital letters, numbers, and characters is usually your safest bet. (Ex: FeRretPanCAke78$)

Keystroke Logging

Keystroke logging typically occurs as the result of a software installed on your computer via malware. It is able to pick up on every key you enter and sends it over to the hacker. 

The hackers use logger software, so they only have to look through for a common theme password and they’ll have everything. 

You need to be careful what you click online, and don’t give any site or app permissions that they don’t need, especially when asked if they can run something as the administrator. 

Local Discovery

Discovery used to be a more popular form of hacking than it is today. Most people enter their passwords into a note in their phone, which is usually protected by a thumb print, another password, or face ID. 

However, there are still people who write them down physically. These notes can be stolen and the passwords applied. Try not to write them down, and if you do, change them frequently. 

It doesn’t matter how good your password is, if it is left lying around for anyone to find.

The post How Do Hackers Get Your Password? 5 Types of Password Attacks appeared first on Social Media Explorer.

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keskiviikko 11. marraskuuta 2020

Social Media Explorer: How Effective IS Blogger Outreach in SEO?

There are many brands with perfect websites. They have good content, good keywords, and an excellent user interface. But then these two things tank their SEO potential: low credibility and relevance. The benefits of blogger outreach in SEO revolves around strengthening these weaknesses. 

1. Digital popularity and links

Google uses brand authenticity as a ranking factor. If you are a powerful brand, you can expect to easily land a position on the fast page of search engine results. But what does powerful mean here? You must have been in the industry for a while. You must be a thought leader with powerful and useful information that has many people linking to.

The quantity and quality of your inbound links are a prime factor that Google uses when weighing brand authenticity. Blogger outreach earns you these links from influencers, from their social media pages and websites. Links denote power and influence. It eventually leads to improved ranking in search engine results pages (SERPS).

2. Brand endorsement 

The main objective of SEO is to accelerate traffic and conversion with minimal spending. If you engaged in pay per click advertising for these two goals, you would come face to face with the challenges of budgeting, targeting, and continuous campaign oversight.

Blogger outreach makes things easier. Guest bloggers and influencers promote your brand to their audiences. You get to build trust faster than it would take with paid advertising, considering that 96% of people don’t even trust ads

3. Digital PR 

Blogger outreach is digital public relations. It makes a brand come across as personable as opposed to being too salesy. It is a type of marketing that leads to long-lasting and impactful results in brand awareness, brand love, and brand loyalty.

Blogger outreach simplifies messaging. It’s an opportunity to ride on the influencer’s digital communication proficiency to reach their audiences. You can place a link in their existing content or have them review and link to your offerings. It enriches the content strategy. 

Repair or build a positive image

Besides building brand awareness and improving sales, blogger outreach can help develop a positive image for your brand. You will come across as a thought leader and a trustworthy brand that provides useful information to customers and industry stakeholders. 

You can use blogger outreach as a chance to repair your brand reputation. Outreach service by Magfellow is an example of how this works. Content creators help to control the narrative around your brand through links and blogs. Guest blogging shores up your authority and credibility, making your business resilient against digital slander and defamation.

It amplifies reach 

There is no guesswork involved. Blogger outreach helps to position your content in front of the right receptive audiences. It beats the efficiency of Google and Facebook audience insights when it comes to targeting. 

Blogger outreach doesn’t need you to pore over demographic data or A/B test every little thing you do. It cuts through the technical complexities in internet marketing and saves time. By helping you reach the right people, blogger partnerships can improve your traffic volume and quality. That’s good for both ranking and conversion.

It helps in lead nurturing. 

The end goal for any marketing endeavor is conversion and sales. For SEO to be truly beneficial to your business or non-profit, it should lead the target audience to buy or contribute to your cause. Blogger outreach helps with that.

Sustained blogger outreach will get you the leads and help your nurture them hands-free, with the help of trustworthy brand ambassadors that are already loved by their audiences.

It helps with findability.

It is worthwhile to have your brand or offering championed by someone who has a positive reputation online. It works wonders in findability –it increases the number of places where people and search engine bots can connect with you. 

Gentle reader, blogger outreach is highly beneficial and crucial for your SEO. It is hard to attain and sustain top ranking without it.

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Social Media Explorer: The Impact of Artificial Intelligence On Social Media

Artificial intelligence technologies are being used across industries to automate and improve the efficacy of different activities. The advanced machine learning systems are equipped to replicate the discreet thinking and analysis patterns demonstrated by humans. This allows companies to leverage AI in performing some of the complex cognitive tasks with minimal human intervention.

While AI can be applied to varied use-cases, social media is one segment where it has become a major catalyst for companies to grow. For example, AI chatbots for business are helping companies to stay connected with their audience. It has truly transformed how brands communicate and build relationships with audiences on social media. From small to large scale, businesses are adopting AI in their social media marketing practices at a faster pace.

Impact of AI on Social Media

AI is transforming how brands use social media and it is the reason why this segment is expected to reach $2.1 billion by 2023. The use of AI in social media has two major advantages:

  • Cost-reduction

AI functions using a complex network of computers that are capable of functioning independently. Once the algorithms and action points are defined, AI can function with minimum human monitoring. This helps to reduce marketing expenditure as brands can work with a smaller team without compromising their performance.

  • Incremental Revenue

It also assists brands to boost revenue by making processes automatic and efficient. AI provides valuable insights that aids in creating content to improve engagement and make the brand visible to a wide audience.

Benefits of using AI for Social Media

Here’s how using AI in Social Media can benefit your business:

Communicating with the Audience

Many companies use social media to share their products, update about upcoming offers, and other important information. Almost all of the social media platforms have some sort of messaging or commenting feature that allows followers to communicate with the brand. Sometimes customers might have queries that they need answers to and may post the same on the brand’s social media profile. For brands whose followers run into millions, these questions can run into thousands.


It is not possible to ignore these questions as it would impact the brand’s image. At the same time, extensive hiring is not a viable solution as it would be expensive for the brand. AI technologies help brands to automatically reply to these messages by developing user-interactive AI chatbots that integrate with their social media profiles. Brands can also use chatbots for businesses to provide personalized support to shoppers.

Makes Influencer Marketing more effective

Influencer marketing is a branch of social media marketing in which brands collaborate with individuals who are ‘influential’ or specifically have a large following on social media. It translates into an organic way of spreading brand awareness. Brands do collaborations, like ask the influencers to review or showcase the brand’s products or services on their profiles. Since these influencers already have a large following, this approach assists brands to tap into their audiences.

However, a major problem with this approach is for the brands to identify the correct influencers. AI aids in making this process fast by automatically performing quantitative and qualitative research of influencers. AI can evaluate the content, engagement rates, and other parameters of different influencers to handpick those who will be successful in assisting the brand’s campaign reach out to a wider audience.

Create, Schedule, and Analyze Social Media Posts

Regular posting is considered an important way to grow audience and build a strong social media presence. With multiple social media accounts, it can be difficult for a company to create and manage content for each of these platforms. AI can help to create platform-specific content by conducting extensive topic research and providing information on search intent. It identifies patterns and user behavior to help brands understand which type of content is getting more engagement. Brands can then use this information to create engaging content.

AI also allows brands to automatically schedule posts for each platform. There are specific time intervals when posts tend to get more engagements and AI tools can identify the best time for the brand’s content and post them automatically. This improves the organic reach of social media posts. You can also get valuable insights about emerging trends, new audiences, brand visibility, and competitor performance.


There are several other advantages of using AI in social media. Technologies like speech recognition, predictive analysis, and computer vision are making it easier for brands to interact with their audiences. The technology is still evolving and the development of more use-cases of AI will benefit more businesses and help them deliver a better experience to their audiences.

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How to Get More B2B Traffic and Leads With Content

Does your business serve other businesses? Wondering how to reach more people beyond LinkedIn? In this article, you’ll find a four-part plan to drive traffic and generate leads across multiple platforms. #1: Research Customer Needs to Create Relevant B2B Content With digital fatigue on the rise, how people consume content is also shifting and marketers […]

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