Focus On Social Media Engagement

By Amber Farley

Bank marketers are always looking for the best ways to use social media to enhance marketing and business objectives. Social media can be an extremely powerful tool for acquiring new customers, building loyalty and retaining existing customers, as well as providing customer support. So what’s the right strategy? Your goal should be quality over quantity.

Getting likes and followers is relatively easy. Attracting the right people is instrumental to your social media success. Don’t focus so much on the number of likes/followers you get, but instead on the engagement level of your fans. Here are six tips on building a quality social media audience:

  1. Pick the right networks. Not every bank needs a presence on every social platform. Identify your target audience and become active in all the places your audience already hangs out. Then determine the type of content you plan to share—text content (like posts, articles, etc.) vs. visual content (like photos, videos, etc.) and decide which platforms deliver that content best.
  1. Engage your employees. Proper internal cultivation is needed in order to be successful in social media. When you create or expand your presence in social media, make sure your employees get excited about it through regular communication via your intranet or other internal communication channels. While you don’t want every employee posting on behalf of the bank, great ideas can often come from those closest to the brand. Plus, the average employee can likely reach 10 times the amount of people that the bank can by sharing information within their own networks.
  1. Encourage your customers/community members. Your current customers will likely become your most loyal fans. Let them know you’re on social and invite them to join the conversation. Send them an email, add links on your website, utilize signage in your branches, include links in employee email signatures, etc.
  1. Run social campaigns. One of the easiest ways to attract a social following is to offer incentives to connect with your bank on social media. You can do this in the form of contest, giveaways, sweepstakes and/or cause-marketing campaigns. Just make sure you run an incentive that is aligned with your corporate brand standards. Additionally, if your campaign impacts the community in a positive way, you’ll be on your way to building a loyal following.
  1. Be relevant and helpful. You want your audience to be engaged, so create content that matters to them. For every like, comment and share you receive on your content, an opportunity is created to increase your social visibility with others who might not already be connected with you.
  1. Paid media. If growing your audience organically isn’t getting you the results you’re hoping for, you can always invest in paid media to help. Most social networks offer the ability to run ads to a defined target audience. Couple that with your traditional marketing efforts for a lift in your social followers.

While, growing a quality following isn’t the sole answer to your bank’s social media success, it is a great place to start. As with any marketing initiative, social media must have a defined strategy before it can work.

Amber Farley is executive vice president of FMS Social, a division of Financial Marketing Solutions, a branding and advertising agency for banks. Email: [email protected].


Online training in digital, mobile and social media from ABA.