Struggling to successfully market your financial institution? Having a large, active social media following is a great way to start. Find out why your bank needs to be active on social media.
When your bank has a strong social media presence, it can:
- Make connections by getting personal and appealing to emotion
- Provide value by educating your audience and improving customer service
- Improve sales by explaining the benefits of products/services and targeting specific audiences
- Promote engagement by featuring employees and community events
Benefit #1: Making Connections
Let’s face it: banking isn’t the most exciting topic around—at least, not to the average consumer. As a result, banks have difficulty truly connecting with their customers. Financial institutions don’t exactly feel personable and trustworthy, so they’re rarely first on the list of brands that people want to connect with.
However, social media allows you to make connections with current customers and potential prospects alike. One way to form these connections is to appeal to emotion through storytelling. Share the successful loans, college funds, and retirements that your institution has been involved in. By showing that your bank cares about the lives and stories of the people who use it, you demonstrate that you’re more than just a faceless institution.
“Connecting with customers’ emotions can be a powerful strategy to retain over the long term,” says Hilary Schmidt of International Banker. “By emphasizing that the bank will be there for their customers through good and bad times and by connecting products such as loans and mortgages to positive customer events in their lives such as buying a home, family expenditures and retirement, the emotional bond that is created between customers and banks will be more difficult to break.”
Benefit #2: Providing Value
Providing value to your social media followers means giving them a reason to follow you—and in return, your bank gets to promote itself at little to no cost. By offering bite-sized tips on a platform that consumers already check daily, you can reinforce your bank as an authority figure in the financial field while positioning yourself as a helpful resource.
“Offer industry insights and valuable information in a way that helps you to build trust,” suggests David Goodman of Everfi. “Integrate social media into your bank’s marketing strategy by breaking up basic finance tips into palatable and shareable Facebook videos or Instagram photos, creating overviews of market shifts, creating helpful content delineating loan options, or otherwise adding value to the customer’s experience to help you grow while building trust.”
In addition, social media can improve your bank’s customer service efforts. Social platforms provide a channel where people can get in touch with a representative quickly and easily. While you obviously shouldn’t use social media to discuss personal banking information, responding to questions about your services in a timely manner is always appreciated by customers.
Benefit #3: Improving Sales
Social media is beneficial for selling your bank’s products and services. It achieves this goal by allowing you to advertise to your followers—who are already interested in what you have to offer—in a way that doesn’t overwhelm or annoy them.
For example, videos and infographics that detail the benefits of opening a savings account with your bank, the ins and outs of requesting a loan, or how to refinance your mortgage can make these topics less intimidating and easier to understand. Promoting your range of services to both your current customers and to prospects on social media is a great way to reach them without being intrusive.
Social media advertising also lets you target your posts to your ideal audience, so you can decide who you want to see which campaigns. For example, if you want to be sure that families with graduating teens in your area know about your tuition loan programs, you can preserve your advertising budget by showing that specific promotion only to those who would be interested in it—that is, those most likely to give you a call.
Benefit #4: Promoting Engagement
Engagement is a measure of how much interaction your social media posts get. The theory of social media engagement is that the more you have, the more likely you are to see conversions. For banks, that means customers gained, accounts opened, etc.
One of the best ways to boost engagement on social media is simply to share pictures and stories of your employees. (It works for nearly every client we have!) Celebrate their anniversaries, promotions, transfers, and more—as well as just day-to-day work with them. People love seeing people they know on social media. Plus, seeing a bank’s employees as regular people eases the intimidation some may feel about taking the first steps toward their new financial endeavor.
Another way to drum up engagement is to follow and interact with the social media accounts of businesses in your area. For example, if you deal in small business loans, be sure to keep up with the brands you’ve helped on social media. Liking, commenting on, and sharing their posts shows your support—and it informs your followers (and theirs!) that your bank provides this service.
“Use holidays to connect with local businesses, particularly those that you may already have a relationship with,” suggests Scott Stellwagon of the ABA Bank Marketing Journal. “For example, you might mention some local chocolatiers on National Chocolate Day or ask your followers about their favorite places to get a sundae on National Ice Cream Day.”
Another way to boost engagement is to feature events going on in your community. Be sure to tag locations in your posts if you decide to share company outings on your bank’s social media pages, too. The more your audience (and potential customers) see that you’re a part of the community, the more confident they’ll feel about trusting you with their financial needs.
Improve Your Bank’s Social Media Presence
Having an active presence on social media can assist your financial institution in making connections, providing value to your customers, promoting sales, and increasing engagement. Contact Kirkpatrick Creative today if you’re ready to make your bank’s social media presence a powerhouse of marketing. For over 40 years, our philosophy of creating advertising that’s engineered to work has helped hundreds of clients improve sales and grow their businesses.