We have reached a time in which everyone needs the internet to improve their life and their services – community banks included. Aside from physical updates like a bank lobby, the community has not taken to social media to gather and share everything from new recipes that they have tried to mortgage rates.
According to Dorothea Henry, the social media experience manager of Virginia’s Union First Market Bank, they consider that the community is the best part about community banking. Participating in social media allows them to create better and stronger partnerships within and outside their branches. Union First Market has about 99 branches all over the state, but also makes use of social media like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn to reach out to their clients and even to recruit.
Social media provides banks with the perfect opportunity to do product research through crowdsourcing. They gather information on their current clientele’s needs and preferences.
With all those benefits, how can community banks makes use of these sites to maximize their reach? We’ve provided 5 tips on social media for community banks to better reach their community.
Tip # 1: Creating a social media community takes time
Just like our own communities, social media communities are not built in a day. It takes time and effort to gather your people to service and manage your social media for them. The key element here is time management. Create a strategy on what kind of things you will post on your page. Take note on who will post, for whom and how often you will post. Make use of the queue function in social media pages if you want to be consistent with posting content at given times. If you decide to do that, you will have to prepare your content ahead of time so that you won’t chase your schedule. Also keep in mind to present broad topics. Don’t limit yourself with banking topics.
Tip # 2: Make sure everyone in the bank separates work from personal
Businesses don’t work out at times because its employees don’t seem to place a fine line between professional and personal social media. A community will be driven away if there is no line that distinguishes the two from each other. That's why it is important to have your staff know their limits when it comes to using the bank’s social media websites.
Tip # 3: Stay updated
Social media is a dynamic platform. One day this is the latest thing, the next day it will be a different thing and it is dangerous to even assume that you’ve mastered everything there is to know on that channel. Always keep in mind and read up on the changes related to social media, whether it is a change in algorithm or in jargon.
Tip # 4: Use pictures, but with help
Although pictures speak a thousand words, bank policies tend to limit what can be posted online, especially when it comes to photos. The best way to do this is to work hand in hand with your legal department to find out what photos are alright to post. Make sure that the photos in question manage to reflect the bank’s commitment to the community to add a personal touch.
Tip # 5: Make sure everyone's involved
A community bank is a team effort and so is its social media. That’s why it is important that everyone, including the executive management, IT and marketing have a say or have a voice in your social media efforts.
These are just several ways community banks can adopt social media, but most importantly it is essential for community banks to implement social media into their everyday, afterall how else can you reach your community effectively. Don't know where to start? We put together a great list of the best free social media marketing tools that you can start using today to manage your social media posting.