Now more than ever, banks and other financial institutions are having to try harder and harder to become and, perhaps more importantly, stay relevant in the minds of their customers. And it’s not just about giving customers a bank they can rely on for the long term. Customer loyalty is, in fact, critical to maintaining a profitable business, with higher revenues, lower service costs, and happier employees all being direct consequences of healthy customer retention numbers.
One way to ensure that your institution stays top of mind with customers is to leverage the power of social media. In this post, we ditch the short-term social media banking trends and instead share seven bank social media ideas that will help your customers feel more connected to your brand and ensure they stick around for the long term.
1. Build Community and Trust
People typically trust banks insofar as they don’t think their money is suddenly going to disappear overnight, but surely there’s more that you can be doing to instill a sense of reliability, trustworthiness, and, indeed, friendship with your customers?
With switching costs lower than ever and many institutions offering attractive incentives to join them, banks now need to stand out amongst the fierce competition. One way of doing that is by making your customers feel like they belong to something bigger than themselves, and even something bigger than the company.
In this respect, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel with your bank social media ideas. Simply posting content that your customers will find helpful is one way to generate interest and buzz about your company’s offerings and — what is really powerful — engage with people on subjects that matter to them.
As mentioned, avoid just jumping on the bandwagon of social media banking trends and instead use your social media accounts as a platform to offer advice, where appropriate, to your customers and let them know you are there to help them, not just to sell them some shiny new banking product.
If you give, give, give and then make a subtle ask, customers are likely to be much more responsive to what you have to offer them.
2. Show the Human Side of Your Brand
The complex work of banks and financial institutions can be a bit far removed from everyday life for many people. But that doesn’t mean you can’t show off the human side of your brand and give your customers another way to think about the role you play in their lives.
A great way to show how much your business cares about its customers is to feature stories about customers themselves. Maybe your bank’s first-time buyer mortgage program has helped a first-generation immigrant to buy a home in the country they’ve always dreamed about living in. Or maybe your student loan refinancing options have given a nurse the ability to pay back her loans in a manageable way while having enough left over to take a break from the stressful work she has faced every day during the pandemic.
Whatever the story may be, sharing inspirational content about your customers is a near-guaranteed way to humanize banking and communicate the real benefits of your products and services to your customers, and this is a very powerful form of marketing.
3. Share Important Branch Information
Closing for the holidays? Changing your hours? Moving the branch to a different location? These are all the types of things that customers need to know months in advance of the change actually happening.
You may think it suffices to send a snail mail letter or an email about this, but the reality is (and we all know it) that most of us rip up generic mail from the bank or simply delete the email when it lands.
To communicate important branch information to your customers, you need to meet them exactly where they are, and this happens to be social media. After all, 72% of the public uses social media in one form or the other, and with it becoming easier than ever to create, manage, and monitor multifaceted social media campaigns, you can ensure your customers notice when you have something important to tell them. As we said, banking social media ideas need not always be deeply creative!
4. Provide Customer Service
In this age of everything-on-demand, people want answers to their questions quicker than ever, and that’s especially the case when it comes to something as important as their money.
Numerous brands are taking advantage of the speed and efficiency of social media to implement their customer service. And customer service, in this respect, doesn’t have to only be about solving people’s problems in an effective way that is visible to other customers online.
It could also be about engaging with the good experiences that people have with your brand and using social media accounts to be present in the lives of your customers with everyday things.
One particularly effective way of using social media is to repost or otherwise quote positive feedback you’ve had from your customers. Sharing this information publicly is powerful social proof that your brand truly does have its customers’ interests at heart.
Sharing this same positive feedback in-branch via dynamic digital displays, for example, is also a great way to reduce the risk of conflict or aggravation. If a customer comes into the branch to complain about something, having positive feedback about the branch on screens in front of them is a good way to instill more positive thinking in the customer, and that, in turn, may translate to better conflict resolution at the desk.
5. Highlight Programs for Social Good
Look around and you will see that today’s consumers make buying decisions based on much more than just a product or service’s price or a company’s reputation. And this is a social media banking trend that you should take notice of, as many of the household name institutions are doing this. It’s become important for consumers to see that the businesses they support with their hard-earned cash are responsible when it comes to things like the environment, treatment of employees, supply chain ethics, and other critical corporate social responsibility markers.
This applies to the banking and finance sector just as it does other areas of consumer spending. In fact, 77% of millennial Americans, for example, would use a credit card that could calculate and offset the environmental footprint of products purchased, and 78% of people across all generations are more likely to purchase a product or service simply because it’s labeled as being environmentally friendly.
If your bank or financial institution supports these kinds of campaigns, whether they be external or internal, it’s worth promoting this fact on your social media accounts.
6. Feature Your Social Media In-Branch
Having all this great information transmitted to your customers via their laptops or cellphones is great, but there’s an argument to be made for having your social media up in your branch as well because your brand is literally right in front of their eyes and at the forefront of their minds at that moment. If you’re trying to communicate important information or brand positioning, this is an excellent time to do so. Digital signage is a useful tool in this arena, allowing your branch to display engaging content from the minute customers enter your location.
And it’s not just the serious information you can share in-branch, either.
If you have a particularly busy branch and customers often have to wait in line for several minutes, you could share something entertaining for your customers — something that will cheer them up while they wait to see a member of staff. Whether it’s bears swimming in backyard pools, cats getting involved with Zoom conversations, or dogs just being a bit dopey, there is plenty of content available online to be shared with your audience in a way that lightens up their day and further cements your bank or financial institution as a company that cares about more than the everyday black and white of traditional finance. Be creative with your content, and engagement will follow.
7. Learn More About Your Customers
Banks and other financial institutions are in a remarkable position in terms of the types and amount of data they can collect — legally — about their customers. Use this data in appropriate ways (for example, by creating personalized loyalty programs, special offers, and financial tools and promoting them to your customers via targeting on social media) and you can not only tap into new sources of revenue, but you can also prove to your customers that your institution is there to serve them holistically, taking every area of their financial lives into consideration.
Social media truly is a remarkable way to power your business growth, and with in-branch digital displays, you can put into effect a compelling continuity of brand that will help you attract and retain customers for the long run.