IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants), a worldwide association of accountants and financial professionals, is a longtime partner of Stern Strategy Group. Together, we work to strengthen IMA’s reputation as a strategic finance leader in the age of automation. Recently, Stern identified an opportunity to grow IMA’s social media platforms into a community of members supporting one another in their journey toward certification. Following an in-depth social media audit, we set out to execute a comprehensive strategy to optimize IMA’s social media content production and build a pipeline to action from the organization’s organic social media efforts.

Industry: Financial Services
Service: Social Media

The Challenge

Social media had long served as an amplification platform for IMA’s campaign content, but organic social efforts were disconnected from its primary business goal: increasing enrollments in the CMA certification program. Without clear user goals, IMA’s social program lacked a framework to prioritize content and measure return on investment.

Without clear user goals, IMA's social program lacked a framework to prioritize content and measure return on investment.

Objectives:

  • Optimize content production across IMA’s social media platforms
  • Use social media content to drive consideration of the CMA certification
  • Deliver high-quality leads to IMA’s marketing efforts
Our Approach

Stern conducted a social media audit to assess content performance, review IMA’s competitors and identify opportunities for growth across social platforms. Leveraging insights from the audit, we delivered a comprehensive social strategy to increase efficiencies in content production and establish clear measures of return on investment. This strategy included blueprints to guide content production and a channel ecosystem to clarify the tone and purpose of each social media platform. In addition, the social strategy recommended a 20% decrease in post frequency across platforms to align time spent with anticipated return on investment. Clear user journeys drive social followers on a path from awareness and consideration to lead captures on IMA’s website. At the consideration phase, new content types engage members in social conversations about the CMA certification program.

Results

IMA’s revamped social strategy transforms the CMA certification process into a social experience. Social followers navigate the purchasing decision and certification process in a community of peers, and a focus on engagement increases brand loyalty and produces peer endorsements in the form of user-generated content. The strategy optimizes content production, with fewer posts delivering more measurable impact across platforms. On Facebook, for example, total organic impressions rose 34% as post frequency dropped 8% in the first year of the new social program.