David Takor

Social Media Marketing a solution to financial institutions

The social media has evolved so fast in recent years and has arguably completely integrated itself in the financial world. It is time for the financial institutions to take advantage.

With improved targeting, enhanced advertising, compliance support, developments in ROI tracking and more, social media now has the potential to play a meaningful role in any financial institution’s marketing plan.

Why Social Media

first things first, the definition: Marketing is the activity and process for creating; communicating and delivering offerings that have value to customers.
Now look at social media marketing. Social Media Today argue that the purpose of social media marketing is to build a brand and increase a brand’s visibility, through building relationships and communicating with potential customers. But the question ‘Why’ still pops up.

However with a projected 25.0% annual growth over the next 5 years, it is definitely be time to start investing in social media if you haven’t already I personally think that should be a valid reason.

Benefits of Social Media Marketing

For some, investing in a social media marketing service may have been identified as the missing link connecting you with your consumers. However for the others, who are still contemplating diving into the social marketing end, look no further than the following facts.
Social media marketing increases your brand’s awareness. About 76 % of small businesses use social media to attract new customers. Furthermore about 31% of customers have identified social media as how they identify new brands products and services.
Social media marketing helps to validate your brand. A company’s social media presence, when done correctly, tells consumers that their brand is active and focused on thriving communication with consumers. 63% of consumers who search for businesses online are more likely to use ones with an informative social media presence.
Social media marketing has the power to increase customer loyalty. 71% of consumers who received a quick response on social media would recommend the brand to others.

Strategy is Key

Having a social media presence without an appropriate strategy and plan can be just as damaging for your business as no plan at all. Here is a social media marketing strategy checklist that should aid your online marketing operations.

“An approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience.”

Set Goals – Start big and work down. Do you need to increase customer loyalty?

Know your target audience – Don’t just use demographics but expand with psychographics.

Social Media – Decide on which digital media will help you connect with your audience. Will this take the form of a blog, video, podcast etc?

Social Network Strategy – Focus on a social network that adds value. Just because a network has over a hundred million active users doesn’t mean it will directly contribute to your brand’s objectives.

Measurment and Testing – What does success mean to you? You need to constantly analyse your social media strategy to understand how effective it is. Engage with your audience, find out what works and what doesn’t.

5 Social Media Marketing Solutions for financial institutions

  1. Creating Relationships

Social media facilitates two-way communication and enables financial institutions to talk with — not simply to — customers and members.  Interacting with customers and members on social media cultivates mutually beneficial, stronger relationships, which can contribute to brand loyalty and customer satisfaction.

Being personal in nature, social media can help financial marketers not only make connections through likes, shares and comments, but understand their audience in terms of perceptions and preferences. This provides access to valuable market research at a decreased cost to the institution.

This insight should be used to develop content that resonates with a particular audience. Based on confirmed effectiveness, financial marketers should continuously refine their strategies to better connect with their community. By tailoring their messaging, they increase their chances of generating social responses and acquiring new customers and members in the process.

2. Resolving Customer Issues
In many ways, the social web can be viewed as essentially as one giant virtual comment card. If you find people complaining about your financial institution on the web, consider yourself lucky. Set up Google Alerts and Twitter searches, and look specifically for things like “[your bank] sucks” and “hate [your bank].” Reach out to those with whom you feel you can reason with. Always apologize, and offer options that help reach a resolution. There is real, measurable impact on your organization’s bottom line whenever you successfully defeat attrition, so this is not wasted energy. Every time you rescue a relationship, you are not only retaining business, you are creating a potential brand evangelist. People who have been flipped from “completely pissed” to “completely satisfied” are the most likely to become avid brand fans.

3.  Promotion Benefits

Possessing fun and friendly qualities, social media affords a distinct opportunity to sensationalize banking solutions with creative campaigns and positioning. A study performed by LinkedIn found that 63% of mass affluent consumers were motivated to take action after learning about financial products and services on social media – so there is legitimate value in talking banking on social media.
Whether the institution is presenting a limited-time offer, special rate or simply trying to promote a solution, financial marketers should use applicable social media platforms to increase awareness, generate interest and drive results. In the absence of a defined offer, social media can help create a sense of exclusivity and timeliness to increase consumer appeal and motivate action.

4.   Identifying your Target

Enabling financial marketers to define their audience based on meaningful criteria, targeting can help institutions connect with the right consumers. According to buffersocial, social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter feature options that allow users to reach 89% of their intended audience, compared to only 38% via other digital targeting tactics.
Social targeting permits users to distribute messages to individuals based on highly specific criteria, including geographic location, age, gender, career, education and interests — among other significant user information. Such specificity increases the relevance of a given communication, improving the effectiveness of your financial institution’s efforts.

5.   Advertising

Extending the reach of organic posts, advertising lets financial marketers disseminate their message to a substantially larger audience. Since social media platforms have altered their algorithms impacting the reach of organic posts, advertising has become a necessity — but not an evil. Neustar reported that social media drove the most impressions, clicks and conversions at a low cost compared to other online paid channels.

Social media affords the control, flexibility and precision required to obtain quality results within any budget, proving to be a compelling supplement or alternative to various forms of traditional advertising. Users can define their ad spend and adjust or reallocate any amount at any point during a campaign to maximize results. This approach to advertising better enables financial institutions of any size to compete in the same space, offering value to local financial institutions that may not have the same resources as some of their national competitors.

 

Conclusion

Social media is ubiquitous, so to stay relevant, financial marketers will need to understand the capabilities and opportunities of various social media platforms. With a unique ability to establish and maintain relationships, financial institutions will need to embrace, resource and advocate for social media as an integral ingredient in their overall marketing mix.

 

So now you know why not share the knowledge.

 

 

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