By Douglas Wilber
To effectively optimize your bank’s marketing budget, you want as many eyes on your content as possible, right? First, you must understand what’s driving your engagement and unlock the power of social selling with your employees.
Today’s social media platforms generally focus on person-to-person interaction, and their algorithms favor engaging content. That means a brand-only focus won’t get you far. Sharing overly promotional content will only turn your prospects away.
When you give your employees engaging content to share, however, you’re benefiting from the person-to-person communication that algorithms favor, and you’re giving your content the best chance to reach as many people as possible.
Use your employees to increase your reach
When it comes to increasing your social engagement, simple and authentic communication that comes from real people is key. Your employees will be your strongest asset here. If your goal is to expand your reach, your first step needs to be igniting social selling with your employees.
According to one 2017 study, brand messages actually reach 561 percent further when they’re shared by employees rather than the brand itself. It makes sense: If your bank shares something on its Facebook page, it will only get in front of the people who follow that page. If a couple of your employees share that same post, however, people in both of their networks will see it.
Beyond getting in front of more eyes, the post will also be seen as more valuable because it comes from an actual human rather than a faceless company. That’s why, according to the same study, brand messages are reshared 24 times more frequently when they come from employees.
But you can’t just expect every bank employee to create and share content about the brand on his or her own. In fact, you don’t want employees to do that because it could raise compliance concerns. Instead, your marketing team needs to create a library of compliant and engaging posts that employees can share with ease.
That’s how to build a trusted online presence for your brand that reaches further than your company page ever could.
Sharing the right content on social
So you know who should be posting, but what you post matters, too. If your employees are just sharing information about your company’s products and services, that’s not going to catch anyone’s attention on social.
Social media is about creating community. Your bank can join that. Greater engagement on social posts will lead to further reach, so you want to get people involved. People love to engage with posts they can relate to, so bank employees should be sharing photos that show their community involvement. If your bank participates in a parade, sets up a booth at a fair or donates to a school, your employees should be invited to share those photos with their networks.
Tagging and hashtags are other simple ways to boost engagement on each post. For example, if an employee shares a post about bank employees pitching in at a local fundraising event, she should tag the organization for which the bank is fundraising. Then, the organization can share that post on its page to expand the reach further.
And remember that tagging goes both ways. If someone tags your bank in a social post, engage with that content by commenting on or sharing the post. Staying involved in the conversations happening around your brand can keep you top of mind with customers.
Simple hashtags can also help you get your content in front of new prospects who are searching around a specific topic. For example, let’s say a thought leader at your institution writes a blog about tax strategies. She should tag #tax and #TaxStrategy in the social post. When consumers go online to find out more about tax strategies, they’ll search those hashtags. The thought leader has just inserted herself into the dialogue around that topic. The same goes for #RetirementPlanning, #EstatePlanning, #investments, etc.
If your bank is struggling to see returns on your social media marketing strategy, you’re likely not posting engaging enough content. Expand your reach to see more ROI by empowering employees to spark and engage in dialogue around your brand. You’ll unlock new marketing potential and build your bank’s online community.
Doug Wilber is the CEO of Gremlin Social, an integrated solution that combines social media marketing with ABA-endorsed compliance tools to make it easy for financial services companies to master the social media landscape and engage customers using social networks.