Social media is a beast many of us don’t want to tackle. Every time we put out something to be proud of, someone else has come up with something smarter. Bolder. Catchier.
Every time we’re proud of our follower count, we look around and realize someone else has more followers. More comments. More shares.
If this sounds familiar, don’t worry, you’re not alone. A study by the American Bankers Association showed that only 34% of banks are very active on social media. A 2016 study by social media distribution giant Sprout Social showed that only 11% of posts receive a response. That means the job of social media conception, writing and posting is even more important in our quest for engagement numbers.
Before we get into tips, let’s talk about three things you need to remember before you post:
People care what you have to say.
As a financial institution, you can offer advice and expertise; both of which give security to people who either don’t understand finances or just need guidance. Finances are a pretty tricky subject for many and they will look to you for input.
People have short attention spans.
Don’t post tomorrow what you can share today. It may take a little effort, but manufacture content if there is nothing immediately pertinent that must be shared. A silent radio station will eventually lose listeners. Think of your social media channels the same way.
Your voice is almost as important as what you say.
We’ve all heard the age-old saying “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.” And virtually the same is true for social media. A casually worded post one day, and a formal one the next, can really confuse your audience and frankly, look rather unprofessional. Find your voice and keep it consistent.
After all of that, you are probably still saying, “What do I do? How do I do it? HELLLLLLLP!
And here is our answer:
Kearley & Company’s 5 Tips for Winning at Social Media as a Financial Institution
Again, people have short attention spans. Don’t let someone else draw their attention away because you’ve gone silent for a week. This does come with a caution: after reading this article, don’t go and try to schedule content every single day. Set up a schedule that you can maintain. Three months down the line, do you think you can keep up this momentum? How about a year? Start with a regular posting schedule that you can keep up and you may be surprised by your results. You can always increase the frequency of posts if you can handle more.
Yes, you will often need to post something related to your industry (i.e. link to blogs with tips for managing money, updates on investment, etc. etc.) But also, realizing that most of your audience are not experts in your field, make sure you post about current events—things that might excite them. For instance, you could refer to the current price of a Super Bowl commercial and how it shows the price for everything is increasing. You could then tie that into financial planning. Keep it relevant but also keep it current.
Assess the data.
Every social media platform has a method of tracking user data. This matters. For example, knowing that most of your following is made up of women aged 35-40 years old can really reshape the content of your posts. And hey! This will also help you with #2 (Post Relevancy).
Watch Your Back.
There are some more stringent guidelines pertaining to social media for financial institutions than for other businesses. For example, according to the Fair Lending Act, financial institutions must be careful not to look like they are improperly collecting or using demographic data from their social media following.
Also, according to the Fair Housing Act, any mortgage lenders on Facebook must display the “Equal Housing Opportunity” logo somewhere or say so on their disclaimer segment in the about section on their page.
Finally, you know that good old Federal Trade Commission Act that pertains to “unfair, deceptive or abusive acts or practices?” Well, take this as a friendly reminder to make sure that the information shared on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the rest is consistent with everything published on your site, in store and elsewhere.
Have fun with it!
Check out what your fans jive with and what your fans don’t respond to, and you will have a healthy, anecdotal perspective of how your posts are faring. You can gather all the data you want, but if you are ignoring clear signs that certain posts do well, you may be missing solid opportunities. Enjoy posting. Don’t be scared to try new things. And keep your social media channels current.
These are just a few of the ways you can promote your brand in the ever-growing realm of social media marketing. If you need more tips or have some suggestions of your own, get in touch with us at BigIdeas@kearleya21.sg-host.com or reach out to us on Twitter or Facebook @KearleyAndCo