The banking industry traditionally struggled when it came to social media.
Banks typically find connecting on a human level and building trust with potential and current customers difficult.
But now, new online banks are shaking up the social media scene by offering unique approaches that focus on building trust and engaging with customers.
Local banks need to understand how to social to their advantage.
Banks need to have a content strategy that differentiates them from the rest.
Why is a social media strategy important for banks?
Banks and Credit Unions social media marketing efforts can improve their brand, build customer loyalty, and increase customer acquisition and retention.
Your target audience is hanging out on these platforms, and increasing your social media engagement will enable you to reach out to them where they are spending most of their time.
How financial institutions can effectively use social media marketing
Choose the right social media accounts
Each social media platform has its own unique user demographics.
It’s important to understand where your target audience is spending their time online and then focus your efforts on those platforms.
Don’t try to be everywhere, but be present where it matters most.
Develop a social media content strategy
Your social media content should focus on providing valuable, informative, and entertaining content that your target audience will appreciate.
Your content should be designed to start a conversation and build relationships.
Some ideas for content topics include:
- How-to guides
- Expert tips
- Industry news
- Customer stories
You also want to convert as many people as possible to your email lists.
Now you can control how often they see content from you instead of depending on their AI and algorithms.
This can be done by giving away resources your target audience will value.
So examples could be Financial Solutions for Local Businesses, The Benefits of a High Yield Savings Account, or How to Invest for Beginners.
Showcase your brand’s personality
Your social media accounts are an excellent opportunity to show your brand’s personality.
Be sure that your posts’ voice and tone reflect your brand’s values.
If your bank or financial institution values faith and family, share stories and content that appeals to those values.
Your brand’s personality should be consistent across all of your social media platforms.
Encourage employee advocacy
One of the best ways to build trust with your target audience is to have your employees share your content.
Even better if they share their own personalized content about your bank or credit union.
This works well because now of days, people connect more with personal brands than corporate brands.
When your employees share your content, it helps to build trust and credibility with potential and current customers.
You can also use employee-generated content in other social media marketing campaigns if you see it doing well.
Make sure you are responsive
It’s essential to respond in a timely manner to comments, questions, and customer complaints on your social media accounts.
Your customers will appreciate feeling like they are being heard and valued.
You will not likely get hundreds of comments or questions in a day.
So make an effort to stay on top of them and answer as quickly as you can.
This is the simplest form of reputation management.
Treat your social media account like the extension of your brand that it is.
Use images, videos, and infographics
People are more likely to engage with and share Visual content.
This hack is called using a “Scroll Stopper.”
Movement and colors are more likely to catch someone’s attention than plain text.
So be sure to use images, videos, and infographics in your social media posts.
Utilize social media advertising
Social media advertising is great for reaching a larger audience with your content.
You can use ads to target potential customers who might not be following you yet.
You can also use social media advertising to boost the reach of your most popular content and get more people to engage with it.
Another recommended way to use social ads in your marketing strategy is to target people that have already engaged with your brand.
These could be people that have visited your website, subscribed to your email list, or even interacted with one of your posts.
Social media advertising is a great way to increase brand awareness and drive traffic to your website.
The financial services industry is built on trust.
Customers need to trust that their bank or credit union will keep their money safe and that they will be able to get it when they need it.
Social media can be a great way to build trust with your target audience.
When done correctly, social media can help you build strong customer relationships.
Focus on relationships, not transactions
A bank’s social media presence should not be all about selling products and services.
While promoting your offerings is essential, social media should be used to build relationships with potential and current customers.
Think about the type of content that would be most useful or interesting to your target audience.
This could be anything from helpful tips to expert interviews.
Driving customer loyalty begins before they become customers.
You can build trust and credibility with potential customers by providing helpful and valuable content.
This will make them more likely to do business with you when they’re ready to make a financial decision.
Use personal branding to humanize your brand
We mentioned previously how consumers connect with people over brands nowadays.
Getting someone in upper management to be the face of your bank’s social media can help to humanize your brand.
People want to do business with people they know, like, and trust.
A person discussing financial education or industry news can help build consumer connections.
It’s more likely that customers interact with this type of social media content when it’s coming from a person rather than a faceless brand.
Start with a solid personal brand statement and build your content calendar around that.
This is an effective way to increase engagement around the bank’s brand.
Highlight social proof
Sharing a customer experience is a great way to build trust with your audience.
Sharing a review or testimonial helps show potential customers that other people have had positive experiences with your brand.
Putting your social proof into action can effectively convince someone to do business with you.
Making consumer connections is essential to social media success in the banking industry.
Leveraging your current customers is a great way to get this done.
Repurpose as often as possible
Banks commonly complain about not knowing what kind of posts would be valuable to customers needing banking solutions.
If you stay aware, you’ll realize that you can pull great content from many regular activities.
Are you filming your customer appreciation days?
Is your company hosting a financial seminar?
Is your bank sponsoring something in the community?
All of these activities can be used to create social media content that will help you connect with your audience.
The key is to be creative and think outside the box.
Utilize user-generated content (UGC)
UGC is any content that’s created by your customers or fans.
Encouraging UGC is a great way to get more content for your social media channels while building customer relationships.
Make it easy for customers to submit their content by creating specific hashtags or using social media contest software.
You can then repurpose this content across your social media channels.
This can be a win-win for you and your customers.
They get entered into a contest or sweepstakes, and you get free content to help fill your social media calendar.
There is a lot that goes into this by making sure you stay compliant with banking regulations.
This is actually a positive for banks that go this route because many others are not utilizing social media to its full potential due to these restrictions.
By being creative, you can still use social media to its fullest and connect with your target audience.
Treat your profiles like a landing page
It seems counterintuitive to some but your want your social media profiles to be geared toward conversion.
This means utilizing your profile to funnel social media users to your website or blog.
Your social media profile should contain links to your website and calls-to-action (CTAs) telling people what you want them to do next.
The omnichannel approach
Earlier I mentioned being strategic about the social platforms you choose.
After getting things dialed in on one platform, you should expand your social strategy to include more platforms.
An omnichannel social media approach is key to long-term success since there is so much noise online.
Omnichannel social media means having a social media presence on many channels and building consumer trust on all of them.