What Can Your Financial Institution Gain From Social Media?

For financial institutions preoccupied with day-to-day operations, social media can feel burdensome. Many directors and executives see an online social media presence as a necessary evil — something that they won’t particularly benefit from, but are constantly told they need to do to keep up with other brands. However, social media offers a multitude of opportunities for brads to drive sales through immediate transactions, create a long-term personality for their institution, and identify opportunities for improvement within their organization. Consider the following approaches to social media when thinking about your financial institution and what your organization can gain from a calculated social media strategy.

Short Term

A particular value of your financial institution’s social media platform is that it serves as a forum for sales and transactions. Your organization can create content linking to landing pages for opening a checking account, getting pre-approved for a loan, or even downloading your app on a mobile device. In this manner, your social media presence can serve as a short-term sales tool, with a calculable number of clicks, conversions and a dollar value associated with each conversion.

In particular, for this conversion-driven approach, your organization should focus on extremely specific moments in a customer journey. Think about short descriptions for these moments from the perspective of a customer, such as, “I’m thinking about buying a home, and want to be pre-approved for a mortgage,” or, “I already have a savings account with this institution, but want to open multiple accounts to better organize my finances.”

These moments, while exclusionary to many, will deeply resonate with those customers at that specific point in a persuasive way that causes them to act. This “all-in” approach on specific moments is valuable: To drive a person to action, persuasive content must ring true with them in a very timely and authentic manner.

Long Term

Rather than focusing on transactions and day-to-day interactions, your brand’s social media presence also offers the opportunity to frame and create a story around your financial institution. There may be certain intangible things about your brand that are incredibly valuable: The relationship you have with your community, the stories of the individuals you serve daily, or the way your services and unique value-adds better your customers’ financial wellbeing and personal lives.

Building a constant story around your brand gives your services and products a greater sense of purpose and meaning, tying into the emotional considerations of your customer base and breaking the exclusively logical barrier of deciding to interact with a brand — instead offering a more sentimental approach. Authenticity is key when creating the story of your brand — stay true, look to your staff and customers and think about the way your financial services impact the stability and security of your customer base.

Opportunities and Learning

Social media is a two-way street. Your financial institution can put out loads of content, and your customers can provide feedback to your brand, sometimes through solicited feedback in posts, and sometimes through organic comments and interactions. Some brands dread this open forum for customers to voice their opinions out of fear of looking bad in a public social space. What they fail to realize is that if customers are vocalizing disapproval on social media, that means the brand is already falling short in the products and services themselves.

Instead, brands should listen to their customers on social media and understand where their biggest opportunities for improvement lie. What trends arise from customer feedback. What opportunities for investigation arise as a result of customer complaints? As much as it hurts to hear out these unhappy voices, the reality is that they can serve as a roadmap for your company’s improvement plan. As much as one voice seems like something that can be written off, the truth is that even a single individual in a social media forum can represent the views of hundreds or thousands of other silent customers. Hear these individuals out, learn how you can improve, and create a system for your organization to turn social listening into tangible product/service improvements.

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