How social media data improves cross-selling for banks

By Doug Wilber

The ability to collect, interpret, and act on current customer data to cross-sell targeted products and services is a critical driver of revenue for banks, especially for mortgage lenders. Borrowers purchase an average of 11 mortgages in their lifetime, yet lenders retain fewer than 20 percent of past customers on average. That’s a lot of missed opportunity.

One survey of nearly 300 financial institutions found that 64 percent of respondents are not using data to cross-sell to existing customers. It makes sense: In today’s fast-paced landscape, many financial services marketers have enough on their hands.

Digital marketing changes at a breakneck pace, and it can be difficult to keep up with constant developments, let alone all the data. Many marketers do not know how to access or analyze customer data to capitalize on cross-selling opportunities. Further complicating the situation, significant structural barriers, such as siloed teams, can limit communication between data analysts and marketers.

Many marketers pour the time and resources they do have into new customer acquisition, but cross-selling within the ranks of existing customers is a much more lucrative strategy. Acquiring new customers is significantly more expensive than retaining existing ones. An increase in customer retention rates by a mere 5 percent can boost profits by 25 to 95 percent.

Social media marketing strategy for cross-selling in banking

Fortunately, collecting the right customer data to fuel cross-selling efforts does not have to be a daunting task. A strong social media marketing strategy is an excellent means of collecting and acting on valuable data, and with the right approach, can be easy to pull off at scale. Consider the following key principles to effectively gather and integrate data from social media and up your cross-selling game:

1. Understand your audience and what’s important to them. Social media is an excellent listening tool. By tracking likes, comments, shares and click-throughs, you can gain valuable insights about what content is resonating with existing customers and where your cross-selling opportunities lie. Remember that tracking existing customer engagement is key; while the probability of selling to a new lead is just 5 to 20 percent, the probability of cross-selling to a customer is 60 to 70 percent.

Consider, for example, you’ve shared a post with tips for first-time homebuyers. the post gets a lot of engagement from your current followers, many of which have accounts with you. This could indicate that those customers are interested in securing their first mortgage.

2. Target your messaging strategically. Social media is also a strong targeting tool. Once you’ve gathered engagement data, create custom lists within your customer roster, and retarget those customers with paid social media ads for relevant cross-selling opportunities. Retargeting is a great way to add power to your existing organic social media strategy. Building onto the example above, this could look like targeting ads for first-time mortgage seekers to the existing customers who engaged with your first-time homebuying post.

When targeting paid ads, remember that timing can go a long way toward effectiveness and efficiency. You want to personalize ads to land the right messages at the right time. For example, a year after someone closes a mortgage with your institution, you know that they already own a home, trust your institution, and may be looking to do some home renovations. You can capitalize on the cross-selling opportunity by serving them an ad about home equity loans for improvements right when they’re likely considering diving into a new project.

3. Use content to keep customers engaged. You can also use engagement data to see which customers have not engaged with your team lately. Use paid social as an opportunity to remind these customers why they chose you in the first place and show them what you still have to offer with valuable digital journeys. Re-engagement initiatives shouldn’t create digital dead ends—they should lead your customers to engage further with your brand.

Link to personalized landing pages from both paid and organic posts to guide customers to valuable content and gate the content behind contact submission forms to collect more valuable data from customers. For example, your homebuying tips post will pique the interest of customers who are looking to secure their first mortgage. Include a link in the post to a landing page on your website that houses a guidebook on first-time mortgage seekers. Customers can put their information into the contact submission form in exchange for the guide, and the form can alert your team to make a follow-up call. The customer gets valuable information, and your team gets a cross-selling opportunity right in their hands.

Combined, these principles aim to boost revenue and build stronger relationships. When you use data to understand your customers, deliver content when it matters most and personalize the digital journey, you can keep customers engaged and offer them more and more value through targeted cross-selling opportunities.

Doug Wilber is the CEO of Denim Social, a social media management software company that provides tools to empower marketers in regulated industries to manage organic social media content and paid social media advertising on one platform.