Top 10 Reasons Banks Use Social Media

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OK, you’re ready to start using social media, so now what? First, you need to decide what you’re trying to accomplish. What do you want people to know? Are you hosting an event within the community? Do you have a new product? You can use social media platforms for these reasons and more.

The American Bankers Association 2017 Social Media Report ranks the top 10 reasons banks use social media.

1. Community engagement
2. Deepen existing customer relationships
3. Thought leadership/brand awareness
4. Send general alerts to customers
5. Attract new customers
6. Respond to customer service needs
7. Employee or potential employee engagement
8. Advertising depository products and services
9. Advertising investment services
10. Advertising trust and wealth management services

All of these reasons share an underlying theme – building and maintaining relationships. Your customers will be much more likely to advocate for you if they know and trust you.

Engaging with Your Community

The top reason banks use social media is community engagement. What exactly does this mean and why is it important? Community engagement can include anything from hosting a barbecue to volunteering at a fundraising event. By getting involved in community events and showing that you care about the same things your neighbors care about, you’ll project a positive image of your brand.

Enhancing Relationships with Customers

You’ve got customers, so you need to make sure you’re providing information they want. Make sure the content you post will be helpful to your customers – does it help them make investment decisions, learn about savings programs or lending options? Be mindful of that famous movie quote, though: “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Don’t forget to mix a little fun into your posts on occasion. Just be sure your content educates and engages your customers – posts that come off as shameless self-promotion won’t help build lasting relationships.

Recruiting Qualified Employees

Social media can be a great tool to help recruit talent. For a minimal investment, a job posting has the potential to reach a wide audience and attract qualified candidates. If your social media posts project a positive image, highlight the company culture and show dedication to your community, they can be an asset when looking to hire top talent. CarrieAnne Cormier, vice president for retail operations and strategy at Avidia Bank in Hudson, Mass., explained a benefit to having a cohesive social media strategy and recruiting on social media. “We have actually had people who have reached out to us that want to work here because of what they have seen online,” said Cormier. That kind of passion in a potential employee can be priceless.

Attracting New Customers

You’re obviously in business to do business. Social media can be a great avenue for showcasing your products and services. Create events and social activities that can raise awareness about your brand. If possible, tie a promotion or contest to current events (think mannequin challenge, holidays, etc.). Look for opportunities to cross-promote your business with other local businesses through social media. This will provide yet another way to build relationships within your community and potentially reach an even greater audience.

Responding to Customer Service Needs

Some companies prefer not to engage on social media because they don’t want criticism or conflict. If they aren’t on social media, then no one can talk about them, right? Wrong. Whether you choose to engage on social media platforms has no bearing on what others may say about you, where they say it or to whom. Social media can be a great way to interact with your customers. The key is to be present and transparent. By addressing any concerns in a timely manner, you’re showing your customers that you’re listening and that you care about what they have to say. Jeff McCarthy, vice president of marketing at First Bank Financial Centre in Wisconsin, says to view negative online comments as opportunities. “Those negative posts can almost be more helpful than the positive ones, if you handle them correctly,” he said.

Incorporating Social Media into Your Marketing Mix

So how is your bank doing with its social media strategy? If you’re like the majority of banks surveyed by the ABA, you have some more work to do to implement a cohesive social media plan. The survey found that only 17 percent of respondents had a clear statement of goals they wanted to accomplish through social media and only 23 percent indicated the social media channels they used aligned with the target audience they’re trying to reach. And while 33 percent said they had a plan in place for how frequently they posted content, only 18 percent had a plan for what time of day they posted content.

Gremlin Social has compiled a handy guide to help get you started. Use the guide to generate some ideas for engaging with your community, building customer relationships, recruiting new talent, and addressing customer concerns. Download the Social Media Guide.

Social Media Monitoring for Banks: Tools and Tips to Protect Your Online Rep

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By now, you’ve probably heard a lot of people (including Gremlin Social), talk about monitoring your brand across the web and on social media. What does it mean, and how the heck do you do it? Is it even necessary? Who invented liquid soap, and why?

According to Elizabeth Kahlil, a senior policy analyst within the FDIC’s Supervisory Policy Branch of Depositor and Consumer Protection, the FFIEC guidance on social media is just that – guidance. There are no new regulations banks need to consider. So, while monitoring isn’t mandatory, banks should still consider the brand risk involved in a social media presence – or lack of presence.

“We wanted to call financial institutions’ attention to that, to say that even if the financial institution thinks it’s not involved in social media, in the sense that it doesn’t have a Facebook page or a Twitter account or so forth, people may still be using social media to talk about the financial institution,” said Kahlil.

For example, Bank of America was “brand-jacked” on Google Plus in 2011. Angry customers created a Google Plus page that looked like Bank of America, but used it to post negative comments about the CEO and the bank itself. The page was up for at least a week before BofA noticed and responded, causing a public relations nightmare. BofA not only had to address the negative feedback, but also criticism for an apparent lack of oversight on their part.

Feedback isn’t limited to social media. The Internet of Things is a deep ocean of review sites, forums (Reddit is one of the big ones), blogs, online newspapers and magazines, news feeds, articles, and Wiki’s. Taking the temperature of customers across multiple platforms, and getting out in front a problem before it escalates, creates a great user experience for customers – and positive PR for your brand.

Don’t be intimidated by the idea of adding monitoring to your growing list of social media tasks. If you have the right tool, the information can be served up to you at your convenience. Enter Brand Guardian — Gremlin Social’s newest feature! 

Gremlin Social is excited to announce Brand Guardian — a web and social media monitoring tool for banks. Brand Guardian helps banks stay aware of their brand mentions happening online (including social networks!). 


Protect your reputation

Gremlin Brand Guardian monitors your brand mentions by searching the web and social media, helping you keep track of what’s being said about your bank, your products, and your community. Brand Guardian does this through searching brand mentions, and documenting results. 

With Gremlin Brand Guardian, you’ll be able to sit back and relax while our software gets to work searching news sites, blogs, and social media for any mention of your brand. You can determine the keywords and phrases used to search, and we will keep you up to date! Gremlin’s Brand Guardian will send alerts through daily, weekly, or monthly email notifications. Don’t worry — the results are filtered, so you’ll only see what’s relevant to your bank. 


Keep your edge

Gremlin Brand Guardian is also helpful for keeping on top of the competition — you can use keywords to learn what your audience is saying about other banks, or what new services other financial institutions in your region are offering. 


Stay Compliant

It’s critical to stay compliant with the FFIEC — Brand Guardian will archive and capture mentions and consumer comments on third-party websites. You can then export reports to be able to regularly access them as needed, and store them for the appropriate amount of time as required by the various regulatory bodies. 

Gremlin Social’s Brand Guardian is a new way to stay safe and informed while incorporating social media into your bank’s marketing mix. As part of the suite of tools Gremlin Social offers to keep you safe, Brand Guardian is always working for you — so you can focus on improving your marketing, promoting your bank, and engaging with your customers. For more information on Gremlin Brand Guardian, visit info.gremlinsocial.com/brandguardian.

National Consumer Protection Week: Tips for Avoiding Identity Theft

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Do you know your credit score? Why does it even matter? Is your personal information safe? What should you look for when making big purchases like a car or a house? How can you identify online frauds and scams? There’s no better time than during National Consumer Protection Week, March 5-11, to educate yourself about these topics and more.

Recent findings from Javelin Strategy & Research show 15.4 million people fell victim to identity fraud in 2016, up 16 percent from the previous year. Their research also found that incidences of card-not-present fraud rose by 40 percent. These numbers are somewhat alarming, but there are ways we can protect ourselves and minimize potential identity fraud.

Shred Documents

To minimize your risk for identity theft, make sure you properly discard of any documents that contain sensitive information. Everything from financial statements to prescription labels contain potentially damaging information in the wrong hands. Shred any documents you no longer need and use a permanent marker to scratch out information on prescription bottle labels. If you don’t have access to a shredder, many local colleges or financial institutions have community shredding days – contact your bank or financial institution for a local shred day event. If you think someone has used your personal information – to file false tax returns, open accounts or make purchases – visit IdentityTheft.gov to report it immediately and learn ways to recover from the theft and restore your credit.

Check Your Credit Report

Another way to keep your personal information safe is by checking your credit report – it’s free once per year! By checking your credit report each year, you’ll be aware of any fraudulent activity, know how many accounts you have open, your credit balances on each, and your overall credit score.

Beware of Online Scams and Phishing

Remember that the internet can be a great source for information but can also be a great way for your personal information to be compromised. When banking or shopping online, use only secure websites and use two-factor authentication when available. Create strong passwords that include a combination of letters, numbers and symbols, and use different passwords for separate accounts. If you receive an email or message asking for personal information, do not respond. Also, avoid opening emails or clicking on links from unknown or questionable sources. You can also sign up to receive account alerts on everything from your mortgage account to your phone bill. Exercising this option will alert you to any suspect activity. Check your individual accounts to see if this option is available.

Protect Digital Devices

With an ever-increasing number of people using the internet to shop, bank, sign up for newsletters or other services, apply for jobs and more, it’s important to remember the devices from which we access this information. Make sure your computers and mobile devices are protected from hackers, scammers and identity thieves by ensuring your anti-virus software is up to date. Using a laptop? Here are some ways to keep it secure. Do you have old devices no longer in use? Learn how to properly dispose of old computers and mobile devices including cell phones and tablets.

Protecting your credit and identity extends beyond the internet. Opening a bank account, applying for a loan, getting a line of credit at a department store or purchasing a vehicle increase the potential for fraud. Know your rights as a consumer before you buy. Celebrate National Consumer Protection Week by arming yourself with knowledge!

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