Of course you see the value in social media for your bank: Consumers spend about 41 percent of their online time on these sites, and 90 percent say they’d recommend a business after a positive online interaction. So why, then, is it so hard to make a successful pitch for more social media resources to your higher-ups?
For one thing, there’s the valid fear around compliance. The industry itself is accustomed to traditional forms of advertising, and many executives are unfamiliar with the ins and outs of Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Organizational structure can also get in the way. After all, many marketing departments are budget constrained, so at times it can be difficult to convince senior leadership to make the necessary investments to get return on investment from social media.
This doesn’t mean you should stop advocating for a greater social presence. Quite the opposite — it means you need to appoint a social media evangelist to get executives on board.
Making a Case for Social
The best way for a regional or community financial institution to grow is to better connect with its local community — plain and simple. And social media is the primary conduit for achieving that goal. By posting relatable, relevant content on social media, you can grease the skids of your sales pipeline, driving people through the doors, either physically or virtually.
Consider commission-free trading app Robinhood for a second. It has used sites like Twitter to grow a community of young consumers and armed its website with features like an activity feed that make the experience feel like a social platform. Establishing itself among Millennials, the app’s main users, has allowed Robinhood to expand its offerings. In fact, it just announced it would be building its own clearing system instead of continuing to rely on a third party.
Of course, fintech startups and established financial institutions are two separate animals, but the same principle applies: Social media helps you forge deeper connections with your customers and ultimately grow your business. The following talking points are a good place to start when you’re trying to convince your boss:
1. Social media is cost-effective.
That’s quite a difference when compared to TV, which will run you an average of $28 per 1,000 people. Mail is even more expensive, coming in at $57 per 1,000 people. On top of that, neither of these channels provide the targeting and retargeting capabilities of social.
Instead of blasting your message to the masses, social media allows you to target — and hypertarget — specific consumers. You can quite literally reach people who fall within given demographics and tailor your messaging to resonate with them on a personal level. You also have the opportunity to engage with consumers and provide on-the-spot support. What other channel offers that?
2. Social media provides measurable ROI.
It’s surprising how many businesses believe social media isn’t measurable beyond likes, shares, or impressions — and at a time when it’s now seen as a valuable marketing channel. But social media can provide a measurable impact on business.
The key is to define your objective first. What are you hoping to achieve with a social media campaign? It could be something as basic as increasing followers or as bold as lowering operational costs. As long as you tie a campaign to a business objective, you can then monitor the key performance indicators associated with it to see how they change over time.
3. Social media enables social selling.
Social selling is much more than it sounds. You’re not just pushing your products or services to consumers via social media. What you’re actually doing is connecting with prospects: establishing relationships, fielding questions, and posting valuable content consumers can use to educate themselves. More to the point, you’re providing additional value, which then makes your bank the obvious choice when it comes time to commit.
Social media is no longer just “nice to have” — especially when you consider where consumers spend their time. You already know this, but the real question is: Does your boss? By making a strong business case for social media, you can convert the C-suite into believers.