Is Your Bank on Facebook? The Case for Banking and Social Media

Recently, Claiborne Yarbrough, Paveya’s Business Development Manager was interviewed by Secured Lender Magazine about the trend of Banking and Social Media. We thought you might find it interesting to see the potential pitfalls and synergies between financial institutions and social media.

social-media-banking

1.  How critical is social media to a bank’s marketing mix?  Why?

Leveraging internet marketing tools like social media is critical to a bank’s marketing mix. Top down communication from institution to consumer, with a bank controlling the message on its own terms is no longer possible. With social media there is more of a buzz and peer to peer communication that can make an institution vulnerable. Something that in the past could have been easy to address or contain can turn into public relations nightmare even before the institution itself realizes what is happening.

While this can seem intimidating from a traditional marketing perspective, the new paradigm for marketing, when harnessed correctly can provide the amazing benefit of knowing what is happening in your customer’s mind in real time so that your marketing strategies can be adjusted to help you communicate your competitive advantage to those who are looking to for you or to create loyalty with customers you have already have. One of the best parts of using social media in banking is that customers tend to provide advice and recommendations to other individuals about the benefits of banking with a smaller, local bank.

Community banks should especially look to harness social media to continually participate in real time in the community. Community Banks are favorably viewed because they are more likely to be involved in local grass roots efforts like charities, partnering with local businesses and providing sponsorships for community events. Social media is the perfect channel for this this type

2.  Will social media marketing be more, or less, important for banks 12 months from now?  Why?

Social media will become even more important over the next 12 months as social platforms continue to evolve and as even more of us continue to rely on social media for our consumer decisions. Consider the fact that smart phone purchases outnumbered the purchase of PCs last year. Consumers expect immediacy in their communication and their customer service. Banks need to take this very seriously and put policies and strategies into place to prevent public relations issues blossoming out of control.

On the flip side, there is a positive benefit for racing to meet this new level of marketing effort. Marketing departments will understand their customer personas more than ever before. Social media platforms are an undeniably powerful research and development resource for new products or services. Even just asking questions like “What can we do better? “can help marketing departments identify a potential product.

3.  How important is a formalized ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ social media policy for banking employees?  Why?

A formal social media policy is a mandate for banking employees. Social media is generally about open, non-regulated information. While some of this is good for business, banks have various fiduciary compliance mandates that must be strictly monitored, especially as it relates to the privacy of its customers.  Having a strong set of guidelines for employees, especially customer service employees, will give everyone the parameters that they need to use social media effectively.

4.  Are there any other insights you’d like to add regarding the use of social media in bank marketing?

In an interesting way, banks and social media are uniquely suited to each other. Banks, especially community banks, have long been one of the institutions that are an integral part of our most important touch points in our lives from attending college, to buying our first cars and building a home, to starting a business and saving for retirement.  Similarly, many of us turned to social media platform s to recreate a sense of community that was arguably lacking in our lives. If banks can leverage social media by becoming a continuous valued member of our online community, it should be a win-win.

Paveya is a full service inbound marketing agency that helps their customers create leads, connect with customers and grow their business using cutting edge internet marketing. Let’s grow! Email grow@paveya.com or call 855.372.8392 to discuss more about banking and social media.

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