Are you using social media to connect with your customers and your community? How important is social media to your bank? It’s safe to say that social media usage among banks is still in its formative stages, even though 76 percent of banks polled in a recent survey either agree or strongly agree that social media is important to their bank. In that same study from the American Bankers Association (ABA), roughly one-fourth of respondents said their banks had been using social media for five or more years, while just 12 percent had been using social media for less than a year. Nine percent of banks surveyed indicated they didn’t use social media at all to reach their customers. If social media is recognized as such an important marketing tool, why are banks slow to embrace it?
What Today’s Social Media Usage Looks Like
Consider this – there are more than two billion active social media users today, and that number is expected to reach 2.44 billion by the year 2018, according to the Digital in 2016 report from We Are Social. Is your institution missing out on a golden opportunity to inform, educate and engage with these consumers?
Before you dismiss social media as no more than a young person’s primary method of communication, you should know that social media users extend well beyond millennials. People between the ages of 25 and 44 make up the lion’s share of social media users, but a study from the Pew Research Center shows that 62 percent of online adults who actively use Facebook and 20 percent of those who actively use LinkedIn are 65 or older.
More and more consumers are using online sources to help with buying and investment decisions, based on a 2016 report from Google. Some of their findings include:
- 66 percent of smartphone users access their phones to look up information they saw in a television commercial
- 82 percent of smartphone users use a search engine when looking for a local business
- 82 percent of smartphone users consult their phones while in a business deciding what to buy
- One in three millennials say they’ve purchased a product as a result of watching a how-to video
- 65 percent of online consumers look up more information online now than they did just a few years ago
- Searches for businesses “near me” doubled in the past year alone
- Mobile conversion rates have increased 29 percent in a single year
Meet Your Customers Where They Are
Understanding how social media usage is increasing, who is using social media, and how people are accessing information is critical to determining how your bank should use social media to reach your customers and potential customers. There are numerous social media platforms from which to choose, so how do you decide which platform is best? Should you use more than one social media platform or focus all your efforts on a single platform? With a cohesive strategy in place, you can maximize your efforts and ensure a return on your investment.
Of the banks surveyed in the American Bankers Association research study, Facebook was by far the most popular social media platform, while Snapchat and Pinterest were among the least popular.
Knowing which social media platforms can best reach your audiences is great, but how you use those social channels to communicate with your audiences is critical to your overall strategy. Banks surveyed by the ABA indicated they used social media for a multitude of reasons. Download our Banks and Social Media infographic to learn more about how banks are leveraging social media marketing.
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