While newer social media platforms have become popular, Facebook continues to be the most effective channel for social media marketing. Your institution probably has a Facebook page, but too often there isn’t really a deliberate commitment and organized strategy to tap its full marketing potential.
With Facebook, it’s not enough to just maintain a page. You must continually promote your presence to achieve meaningful results. Granted, coming up with new content isn’t always easy, but chances are your bank or credit union already has much of the material it needs. You just need to better position and promote it. These eight suggestions will help.
1. Highlight Community Involvement
Community-related content makes for some of the most popular posts on Facebook. Whether it’s about a sponsorship, donation, volunteering, local or in-branch events, this type of content tends to generate positive engagement — likes, comments and shares.
Publishing information about your community involvement generates goodwill, creates positive brand impressions, and makes meaningful connections with individuals — people who may become your next customer (or member). You want to bolster your institution’s reputation so that if/when something goes sideways, you have your good deeds to point to in your defense.
You can also leverage Facebook boost attendance to your upcoming local events. Facebook offers a feature that allows users to create events that others can share and RSVP to right on the platform.
2. Target-Market Your Products and Services
While it is important to establish a balance of content — skewing more educational, informative and entertaining than commercial — banks and credit unions can and should strategically talk about their products and services online. Consumers understand when they’re on a business page. Doing this properly creates awareness and interest, highlights features and benefits, and drives traffic to your website or campaign landing page.
It also provides an opportunity to position your products to different audiences in a more targeted way than you can on your website. For example, a bank or credit union might have a page on its website about a person-to-person payment solution that describes its features and benefits. But Facebook allows you to position and promote P2P to a specific group for a realistic reason, like local college students using it as a way to pay friends for pizza. This makes your solutions more appealing and increases the chances for conversion.
3. Build Relationships With Educational Content
Many financial institutions support financial education. Guidance on financial issues is particularly important to Gen Z and Millennials. So sharing helpful financial information on Facebook in the form of articles, tips, tools, videos, and infographics is a great way to demonstrate expertise and generate trust among consumers. It is also a form of content marketing, which has proven to be a very effective strategy. Data from Curata indicates that 74% of companies say content marketing has increased the quality and quantity of leads for their marketing teams.
Financial education material helps your Facebook community make smart money-management decisions and reach their goals, while doing so in a way that subtly promotes your products and services. In a post promoting tips to save more money, for example, you could suggest a person on a tight budget make their own coffee rather than forking out money every day for a pricey brew. The resulting savings could be placed in a savings account and eventually moved into a CD for long-term results. (An app to facilitate this would make the message even more compelling.)
An article about the ten steps for buying a home is great context for mentioning your mortgage options. This strategy helps form meaningful relationships early in the consumer journey.
4. Transparency: Insight Into Your Corporate Culture
As a bank or credit union, your people and philosophies are central figures in the service you provide — an important factor influencing why people might bank with you (or not).
Facebook is a great channel for financial institutions to pull back the curtain. Feature employees, illustrate your brand personality and highlight your mission and values. This humanizes your brand while engaging your community. It also helps differentiate your financial institution and gives consumers a reason to choose yours over other banking providers.
5. Celebrate Positive Reviews and Comments
Having user-generated content on your Facebook page is essential. It’s what the platform is all about, and reveals how consumers feel about you and their experiences with your institution — from standard transactional support to the loan process.
Facebook has features that allow financial institutions to collect and share reviews and comments. If there is a negative comment, Facebook gives financial marketers a chance to mend the damaged relationship, while also demonstrating their commitment to customer service. These insights and interactions can have a significant impact on people’s decision-making — whether current customers should stay or switch, and which new institution others may choose when they are looking for a new banking provider.
6. Be Sure to Track All Mentions
Without a doubt, when people are talking about your bank or credit union online, they are most likely posting a positive or negative comment about their experience — e.g., the loan application process, interacting with your contact center, or a feature in your mobile app.
As mentioned in the previous point, if someone has tagged you in a public post, commented on your page or sent you a direct message, this gives your bank or credit union the ability to respond and either resolve an issue or capitalize on positive feedback. But, if someone has not actively engaged your page, you may never know about someone’s exasperation or endorsement. For this reason, it is a good idea to use a third-party monitoring tool to capture all mentions of your brand online. This can help ensure compliance with regulatory requirements, as well as help your financial institution maintain its brand reputation in the digital space.
7. Engage Consumers With Contests
With the exception of comments and reviews, most posting on social media is usually a one-way street. There isn’t often a lot of interaction. Facebook contests can be an effective way to stimulate excitement, earn new followers and engage existing your audience.
Financial institutions can leverage budget-friendly third-party platforms, such as Woobox, to initiate a variety of contest types — from sweepstakes and giveaways to polls and quizzes. With the proper disclosures, participant information can be used for future correspondence to grow initial contacts into relationships.
8. Tap the Benefits of Paid Advertising
Organically posting the kind of content described earlier is an effective way to keep your feed fresh, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that anyone will see it. That’s why it’s important to consider using Facebook’s advertising solutions to ensure your posts are seen by your desired audiences.
Advertisers can choose to boost their posts directly on the timeline, or select specifically designed ads to create awareness, drive traffic, generate leads, and more. Facebook offers banks and credit unions the opportunity to advertise to individuals based on geographic location, interests, and other meaningful criteria. This helps increase your overall reach and target your ads to the right people, increasing ad relevance and overall effectiveness.