Banks and financial institutions haven’t always been the most social places: vaults, safes, tellers behind bulletproof glass. You get the idea. But the age of social media is changing all that. For banks and lenders, social media offers the opportunity to open up their processes and invite customers in, to show transparency, and to cultivate a brand personality.
Social selling is the next step in this movement. Instead of interacting with an institution, customers engage with the individual human beings that comprise that institution. They speak directly to lending officers, personal bankers, and branch managers, and in turn, those employees are empowered to create deeper, more personal relationships with customers.
The potential of a strategy that lets down the intimidating façade of financial services is huge, but to unlock it, you have to learn how to execute social selling in a consistent way — all while remaining within the boundaries of compliance.
The Key Ingredient in Social Selling
It's easy to assume social media is all about spontaneity — capturing a candid political moment or a dog doing a backflip. But inconsistency can undermine the great benefits of social selling. Consistency is the true social media heavyweight — regularity creates a cadence that customers can rely on. They know when they’ll receive an update from you. Consistency in tone is also important. It creates a voice that's authentic to you. It’s like hearing a voicemail from a friend: familiar and comforting.
Here are three tips you can use to engineer consistent success on social media in a way that slots right into your workflow.
1. Create and schedule posts according to a plan.
Without an overall strategy, great posts will be lost. Having a plan doesn’t mean you have to get rigid and check Facebook at exactly five minutes past the hour. It just means setting up an editorial calendar that helps you stay on track. At Gremlin Social, we recommend using a 4-1-1 model in your posting schedule: Every piece of self-serving content should be balanced out with one helpful retweet and four pieces of relevant content written by others.
Keeping a schedule can also help you share the responsibility for posting. Compose a social media workflow in which each member of your team has a clear social responsibility and can easily stay accountable.
2. Build a content library.
The main work of social media is collecting insights and images. If you have to do that work every time you post, it can get in the way of your commitment and your consistency. Make social selling quick and easy by building a central repository for pre-approved content that you can grab from any time you need to craft a compelling post.
Do yourself a favor by adding in occasions and events that matter to your audience. That way, you can save yourself from the pressures of high-volume periods by scheduling posts in advance. Building a content library can be especially helpful for financial organizations. Compliance is vital, so being able to pull from a treasure trove of compliant material reduces that threat.
3. Buddy up with a trusted third party.
One of the biggest reasons financial services companies fail when it comes to social-selling is low bandwidth. Covering ground on social media takes a dedicated effort, and small teams often don’t have the humans needed to make regular posting happen. By using a social platform like Gremlin Social, institutions can share the load and collaborate on compelling content.
Finance is no longer the lock-and-key affair it used to be. While upholding the highest privacy, security, and compliance standards, it is possible for banks and lenders to open up to customers, show their personalities, and get social.
Learn more about how financial services can activate audiences through social media.