Banks and credit unions have a social media strategy problem. Their customers don’t see value in what they’re saying.
Right now, 77% of people aren’t following their financial institution on social media. Yet internal data from Facebook has shown that smartphone users check their Facebook feed about 10 to 15 times per day–just on their mobile devices!
What incentive do people have to follow their financial institution? Most view their bank or CU as a place to house their money and perform transactions. They have limited expectations of what banks/CUs can offer on social media.
Many brands have pursued a communication strategy that’s entirely focused on being friendly and entertaining. Advertising free, in-branch cookies or promoting a giveaway contest are nice things to do, but they don’t create a unique image. Companies in every industry do this sort of thing and while it’s an important element of a social strategy, it alone can’t work to set a bank or CU apart.
Moreover, offers specific to our industry, like reduced interest rates or bonus cash on account opening, don’t provide the right kind of incentive to followers. These direct marketing messages don’t tend to be a good fit for social media. Think of it like TV. No one watches TV for the commercials, though they tolerate them if the show’s content is good. Even if you have a great offer, that’s not the reason that people are tuning in.
A great social media strategy–not just a “good” one, not just an “OK-I-guess-we’ll-make-a-Twitter-account-because-this-seems-important” one–a great one needs to do more than put forward a friendly face and more than post direct ads.
Your goal on social media should be to get people interested in what you have to say. To do that you need compelling content.
So what’s “compelling”? On the most basic level, people want to be able to make smart decisions that help them save money and avoid mistakes. That’s why people put their money in the bank in the first place; so it’s safe and secure, not buried in the desert.
But the world isn’t that simple. Everyday, people face financial problems. They might be planning for college, or for a house, or for retirement, and there’s a lot of complicated stuff they need to understand.
Here’s where you come in. People need answers to the problems they face every day. If you can provide answers then you’ll become a valuable resource.
A compelling social media strategy should work to put more money in the customer’s pocket (and hopefully lead them towards an early retirement). Teach people how to save a few bucks and they’ll be eager to tune in. This is the key incentive to gaining followers.
Your customers have an appetite for information and are looking for answers. The financial decisions that your customers make every day have a huge impact on their lives. Bring in followers when you define your brand as the place with answers.