How Banks Can Master Social Media

With 60% of B2B and B2C marketers planning to increase their social media marketing budgets in 2012, it seems almost everyone has gotten on the social media marketing bandwagon—except for banks.

A recent report* found that only 4% of banking institutions said they controlled most of the social media conversations about their own brands. And only 25% utilized social media to connect with customers. These numbers are surprisingly low, seeing as there are 50 million daily Twitter users and 800 million active Facebook users.

So how can banks join in on this valuable marketing tool? Here are our top tips on how banks can master social media marketing.

Just Have a Presence
As the statistics above illustrate, most banks ignore the value of social media marketing. So simply having a presence on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, or whatever social media site is relevant for your company means you are one step ahead of the game.

With customers increasingly searching for and interacting with their favorite brands on social media, make sure your bank is represented with branded, customized pages.

Get Personal
It is “social” media after all, so utilize this valuable tool as a way to truly connect with your customers. Following advice from Facebook’s own Best Practices Guide, you can do so with your social media strategy by:

  • Developing an authentic personality and voice
  • Engaging your customers and encouraging their participation
  • Reminding your customers that you are there to communicate with them and
  • Rewarding your customers with special promotions or exclusive information

Respond to Customers
Social media is an increasingly popular way for customers to reach out to – and sometimes complain about— businesses. So it’s important to make monitoring your social media accounts a regular part of your customer communications.

Not only will you be providing excellent customer service, but you’ll be able to change a potentially negative situation into a positive one. Statistics show that businesses can lose 30 customers for every one negative post on social media, according to a survey by Convergys Corp. But on the other hand, you should be able to gain 30 customers for every positive one.

Monitor Your Progress
As with any marketing campaign, it’s important to track the impact of your social media strategy to see what’s working. Following the right metrics can help you discover if your social media strategy is promoting your brand growth, increasing traffic to your website, or helping increase your sales.

For example, you can track the traffic impact of your Twitter, Facebook and Google+ accounts using Google Analytics. Or you can track online mentions of your company in blogs and social media sites directly into your CRM system.

Pay Attention
Social media may soon play an important role in marketing strategies and lending decisions for financial institutions, so in order to master social media marketing, pay attention to this trend. Experts suggest that banks could analyze information posted by their customers (or potential customers) on social media sites to determine a customer’s eligibility for, say, a loan – similar to the way employers vet potential employees.  Or, they could keep tabs on certain life events, such as getting married or having a new baby, in order to market relevant products or services to their customers.

If social media still seems like a foreign concept, don’t worry! OSI is here to help. Contact us to see how we can help you launch a successful Social Media Marketing campaign.

*Report: “Social Media: Catching Up with the Banks,” by MHP Communications, a London-based public relations firm. The report was based on an August 2011 survey of chief publicity managers at 35 global retail and investment banks.

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