Social media for banks is not just about company pages. Once the bank has built up corporate profiles, it’s time to get employees and loan officers engaged. And let’s face it – people are busy. And if some of your staff are less familiar with social media than others, trying to get them engaged can be frustrating.
The biggest challenge is what to post. We’ve all seen the stories about bank employees gone rogue on their personal social media profiles, and it’s enough to make a bank compliance officer want to run for the hills. The key is not to mix business and personal. Allow employees and loan officers to use business profiles to post bank approved material. Let’s look at each network, how it’s used, what content works best.
Logging in at 227 million monthly active users, LinkedIn is the second most used social network among banks. As the professional network, LinkedIn is not as informal as Facebook – you want to put your best, professional foot forward here. LinkedIn has a similar algorithm to Facebook, so the more engagement your posts receive, the more likely it will turn up in newsfeeds. LinkedIn also has targeted advertising options, including sponsored posts. This option tends to be pricier than Facebook advertising, so be mindful of budget when planning LinkedIn campaigns.
Your best bet with LinkedIn company pages is to keep it professional, and focus on topics like:
- Job openings
- Bank news/press releases or other media
- Industry related blogs or third party articles
Features to Use
- LinkedIn Sponsored Content
- LinkedIn Career Pages
- LinkedIn Showcase Pages
- Keep your profile and background pictures professional in nature, as well as all your updates and comments.
- Remain active on the platform by posting at least three times per week during business hours.
- Write a personal message to others with whom you wish to connect, instead of using the default LinkedIn message, “I’d like to add you to my LinkedIn network.”
- Tag colleagues, influencers and companies you follow in relevant posts to stay top-of-mind with people or brands you’re targeting.
- Remember the 80/20 rule when posting – make sure 80 percent of your content is informative and the remaining 20 percent promotional. Share content, add to conversations, comment and start discussions in groups to mix things up.
With 2 billion active monthly users, Facebook is a social media behemoth. It is also the favorite among 90% of banks, according to the American Bankers Association State of Social Media in Banking Survey. Unfortunately, they have made life tough on brands in the last few years, to stay true to the “social” part of social networking. Showing up organically in newsfeeds is next to impossible, and if you do, there are plenty of options for users to remove you. Facebook advertising is a good option, but they are now removing some pretty critical targeting options that could affect the relevancy of your ads.
Your best bet with Facebook is to keep it fresh, fun, and informative with as much original content as possible. This network is informal, and a good place to show off the banks personality with topics like:
- Featured employees
- Featured customers
- Special events at the bank
- Social responsibility (Race for the Cure, College Scholarship, etc.)
- Blog posts (yours, or relevant third party material)
- Tips (saving for college, retirement, etc.)
Features to Use
- Facebook Groups
- Facebook Business Pages
- Facebook Advertising/Boosted Posts
- Facebook Instant Messenger (Customer Service)
- Use video for cover image
- Call to Action button
- Respond to feedback from your audience in a timely fashion – especially the negative comments! A best practice is to reply within an hour if possible, but no later than 24 hours. And those negative comments? Respond publicly so your audience knows you’re listening, but take the conversation offline as soon as possible.
- Post several times per day during business hours, preferably between 1 and 4 p.m.
- Remember the 80/20 rule from LinkedIn? The same applies on Facebook.
- Use a content management system to schedule your posts ahead of time, and comment from the platform as well so that all your content is archived.
- Keep it professional – it’s fine to post content that shows your bank’s personality (maybe it’s a company outing or charity event), but remember that this is still a business page.
Boasting 328 million monthly active users, Twitter is the third most used social network amongst banks. There are several benefits to Twitter, including ease of distribution, and audience reach. Twitter also offers paid advertising options. Twitter can be somewhat riskier, because of its real-time nature – once a post is out there, it is difficult, if not impossible to remove before someone has seen it. Cutting through the “noise” on Twitter can also be challenging, so learning to use advanced features such as search and hashtags is necessary.
With only 140 characters (increases are currently being rolled out), keep it concise. Use any of the topics from Facebook and LinkedIn, or get creative with gifs or videos.
Features to Use
- Twitter Search
- Twitter Lists
- Post content on a regular basis, ideally several times per day, and even on weekends! A study by Dan Zarella found that while weekdays were peak times to post on Twitter, weekends saw higher click-through rates.
- Remember to tag influencers in retweets of their content.
- Mind your manners! Thank people for their retweets, comments, favorites and follows.
- Include images and videos – tweets with images get twice the engagement as those without.
- Post appropriate third-party content, and make sure it’s approved and adheres to your bank’s social media policy.
Business social media profiles are just as important as company pages. Bank employees and loan officers can use them to share company posts, plus build networks of clients and prospects. Social media is the new way for customers to reach out, and provides a more personal connection than email.
For more tips on how to get engaged on social media, watch a short video!
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