Does Your Bank's Marketing Mix Include a Social Media Strategy? If Not, Here's Where to Start

Posted by Doug Wilber on March 21, 2018

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For banks and financial institutions, there are a few troubling obstacles to developing and executing a robust social media strategy. That’s why we’re giving you our five tips for cultivating and managing a healthy social media presence for your financial institution.

Because of its reach, impact, and 24/7 accessibility, social media tends to be the keystone of a successful marketing strategy in any industry. As a recent ABA report on social media puts it, “with great content and strategy, banks can win big with social media, reaching customers in an engaging, interactive, and personal way.”

But for banks and financial institutions, there are a few troubling obstacles to developing and executing a robust social media strategy. First and foremost, financial institutions are beholden to strict regulations when it comes to marketing — as a result, it can be tough to keep pace with the always-on world of social media while constantly working to ensure you’re in compliance.

To help you overcome these hurdles, we’ve compiled a few marketing tips for financial institutions that will have you harnessing the power of social media in no time.

1. Have a Tangible Business Goal

One of the key characteristics of a strong social media strategy is to develop and articulate a clear idea of exactly what goals you want to reach through your social presence, yet the ABA found that only 17% of banks had developed such goals. Without a set of easily measurable benchmarks for which your social team can be held accountable, your presence on social channels will likely get relegated to autopilot mode, existing for its own sake and getting lost in the noise of other branded content filling consumers’ feeds.

Establishing goals that are easy to measure, clearly defined, and structured along rigid timelines helps to make it a powerful tool in accomplishing your company’s larger goals. It also allows for you to develop training programs that will empower your employees to use social media strategically. This structure for your social media presence turns it from an afterthought or a bare necessity into a powerful tool that can be calibrated to raise awareness and/or conversions.

2. Enable Your Agents

Every member of your staff, from loan officers to tellers, has a network of friends and contacts on social media made up of potential customers. Five million affluent investors turn to social media when researching financial decisions, so there’s clear value in establishing a presence on social channels that uses real input from their friends and contacts to have an impact on those decisions.

As Facebook changes its algorithm to prioritize user-generated content over promoted posts, you should empower your employees to take the company’s message to the social web. After all, your people are your brand — by training your team in social selling, you can promote your organization’s values and messaging in an organic way, using each employee’s authentic voice to reach the valuable audiences within their networks.

3. Have a Plan

Before your employees can properly represent your brand on their social networks, however, they need a clear set of rules and protocols for doing so. The ABA’s research found that 39% of banks and finance institutions don’t believe they have a plan that outlines how frequently they should post on social media, while 57% don’t have a plan that lets employees know at what time of day they should post to various channels. Create an editorial schedule and make it visible to people within your organization so they know when and how to amplify your message via their own channels.

4. Keep a Record

Because finance institutions are highly regulated, having a method in place for archiving all that’s said is critical to staying in the good graces of the regulators. If regulators need to look into one or more of your posts and you aren’t able to show them records of who posted what and when, you could suffer serious legal consequences. Adopt a platform that automatically logs this information for you. To whatever extent you can, go beyond the legal requirements for record-keeping and have as much data on-hand in case you’re audited by a regulatory body.

5. Generate Real Results

This is all to say that a focused social media game plan can drive entire marketing strategies and incredible, measurable results.

Gremlin Social can help you get there. We offer a full range of industry-leading marketing services and tools to help build your brand — like Social Guardian, the only ABA-endorsed social media management tool on the market created specially for banks and financial institutions.

So before you dive head first into choppy waters of today’s social media platforms, consider investing in the best marketing partner for your organization. With the right strategy, you’ll grow your customer base, build your brand, and see higher conversion rates and real business results.

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