By Doug Wilber
Vanity metrics such as comments, likes and shares on social media are valuable to track. How often followers engage with your bank is a great indicator of how well your brand-building strategy is performing. However, these metrics do not do much to show the concrete return on investment that marketers need to make the case for further investment in social media marketing infrastructure.
What many bank leaders do not yet realize is that social media can be much more than just a brand-building tool. When used strategically, it can also drive direct business results. By tracking and increasing customer conversion metrics, marketers can show bank leaders how social media can work to bring in quantifiable returns.
Measure the impact of your content first
If you are ready to take your social media marketing strategy to the next level and start driving results, consider your content first. Your followers on social media need a reason to click. A post could highlight a few points from a guidebook for first-time homebuyers and then link to the full guidebook on your website or a blog post with more information, for instance. To understand how this content plays into your customer conversion metrics, consider the exit rate.
Resources such as Google Analytics can show you the exit rate, among other important metrics, for each page on your website. The exit rate on a given piece of on-site content will show you whether your content is engaging customers to move deeper into your website to explore other posts, products or services. If you find that people are exiting at a high rate from a blog post without visiting any other pages on your website, that’s a good indication they are not finding the information they need in order to move toward a conversion.
Examine the exit rates for each piece of on-site content you link to from your social media posts. Ask yourself what makes those with the lowest exit rates perform well. Perhaps it’s a strong call to action or well-placed link that keeps them exploring your website, for instance. Replicate these practices across all content you’re sharing on social media to drive down exit rates and keep your traffic pipeline full of customers who are interested and moving toward conversions.
Then guide users further down the conversion funnel
When it comes to tracking metrics for on-site content, take a specific look at landing pages. These are the pages you want to lead social media viewers back to from social media. If a social post aims to get readers interested in a guidebook, for instance, the post can link to a landing page that will prompt the visitor to input a name and email address into a form to receive the content download. This way, users get valuable content, and your sales team gets the contact information for primed leads. To measure how often users are actually downloading the content, track form completion rates.
The form completion rate on landing pages is one of the most telling customer conversion metrics because it shows you how many viewers have deemed your content, products, and services valuable enough to exchange their contact information and opt into additional marketing touchpoints, such as email newsletters, phone calls, or appointments. Tracking form completion metrics provides a high-level signal as to whether your social and on-site pieces of content have moved the needle on a viewer’s intent to buy.
Get in front of the right audiences with a targeting strategy
Beyond landing pages, another way to take your social media marketing strategy to the next level is with paid social media advertisements. Paid ads can help you target your messaging to specific audience segments who will find the most value in your content. For example, you could target social media posts that promote the first-time homebuyers’ guidebook to young adults in neighborhoods made up predominantly of rental properties. Getting such social media posts in front of the people who will find the most value in the content will also lead to more favorable exit rates and form completion metrics on your landing pages.
To determine how well your paid social media advertising strategy is performing, consider the click-through rate, which is the percentage of viewers who click on the ad to get to your target landing page. If you notice click-through rates waning on your ads, you may need to tailor the posts to better suit your intended audiences. A/B testing can help you determine what needs to change by isolating which elements of your ads resonate and which don’t. This way, you’ll be able to determine what exactly to adjust in order to increase your social media conversion rates.
Remember that brand-building social media tactics and related vanity metrics are not all for naught. They still humanize your brand and prompt engagement. But the most powerful social media marketing strategies for financial services also include content that converts, and the best way to strengthen that part of your strategy is to track customer conversion metrics and adjust accordingly.