Two proven social media strategies your bank can use to drive business objectives

What does "success" on social media look like for your bank? Oftentimes, we look at metrics such as followers, likes, comments, and shares, but do those engagement numbers drive business results?

Instead, let's start with a top-down approach in how your bank can use social media to achieve meaningful outcomes. Here are two real-life and proven examples you can use in your bank today. 

First, though, the methodology: I believe tactics should be derived from quality strategies and those strategies result from defined objectives. Each example, then, will state the objective first, and the strategy and tactics will follow.

Objective #1: Core Deposit Growth
Strategy: Stop competing based on account-opening bonuses or higher savings or CD rates, and work on making your customers more "sticky." Customers using your mobile phone app rely on the app for branch locations, hours, and mobile deposit. In our research, those customers who both download and use your app more frequently have higher balances, more products, and longer relationships.
Tactic: Drive more customers to download your app through Facebook. How? Install the Facebook Pixel code on your website to track visitors using your online banking portal. Show a Facebook advertisement to those visitors prompting them to download the app. This ad should be a video showcasing the benefits of the app along with some how-to instructions on common functions. Those shown the ad can simply press the "install app" button, and your marketing team can track the cost per click metric.

Objective #2: Attract More Profitable Business Banking Customers
Strategy:
Build the personal brand of your business bankers through highly targeted advertising on LinkedIn. 
Tactic: Poll your business bankers with this question: "Wave a magic wand. Who would you like to have as a customer?" Make a list of ideal customers (at least 20) for each banker and build a custom audience on LinkedIn Campaign Manager comprised of these prospects. Create a brief piece of content about the banker—videos are ideal—showcasing her interests, what she does for her clients, and her involvement in the community. Show this video to the custom audience on LinkedIn and include a link to that banker's bio page on your website. Install the LinkedIn Insight Tag code (similar to Facebook Pixel technology) on your website and show additional pieces of content about that business banker to those who have visited her bio page.

This tactic has a two-pronged benefit: 

1. Your banker will move from "I have no idea who you are" to "I've heard of you before" in the minds of her prospects. These brand-building efforts have worked for decades in traditional media (e.g. print) and can be further refined and amplified through social media. Instead of a print ad meant to be seen by an entire magazine's readership, you can spend money targeting only her ideal customers.

2. Your banker will have a reduction in "call reluctance." What's call reluctance? Anyone responsible for business development will experience apprehension when it comes to phone calls, emails, or in-person meetings. This stems from an underlying fear of rejection and is the result of myriad factors. When you're not picking up the phone or sending emails, and you're not doing meetings, you can't be told "no." Help instill confidence in your bankers by showing them you're advertising their personal brand to the prospects they're targeting. Social media is the greatest means ever invented to do exactly that.

Effective social media isn't just posting your bank's latest updates to Facebook three times a week. You and your team can achieve your business objectives through devising strategies and tactics using these powerful and personalized tools. Will you start using social media to differentiate yourself and drive results?

Spencer X Smith and his company AmpliPhi (based in Madison, Wis.) work with financial institutions to achieve their business objectives through digital and social media. He's been called a "Social Media Expert" by Forbes, is an instructor at the University of Wisconsin and Rutgers University, and speaks at conferences throughout the country, including the upcoming WBA LEAD360 Conference. He can be reached at spencerXsmith.com. Visit www.wisbank.com/LEAD360 for more information about the conference and to register online.