FMS Launches Social Media Division for Financial Institutions

Tweets and selfies, Facebook contests and pins. It’s an unlikely approach for your average bank, but that’s what you get with FMS Social at the helm of your social media strategy.

Known for both their unique branding process and their bent toward interactive and digital marketing, it’s no surprise that Financial Marketing Solutions (FMS) has launched FMS Social. This new division brings together the agency’s bank branding and social media expertise to offer bank clients a single solution to the financial services industry’s myriad social media challenges.

FMS builds bank brands from coast to coast, and FMS Social’s Executive Vice President, Amber Farley, is a thought leader in all things digital. So the newly launched FMS Social is a bank’s single-source solution: for advice about entering the social media scene, insights on how to maximize the bank’s presence in this arena and information banks can use to boost the effectiveness and impact of their social media efforts. FMS Social was created to make it easy for banks to be immediately successful in the field of social media.

Farley is a well-known teacher, presenting social media strategies to banks around the country and at national and statewide banking schools like the ABA School of Bank Marketing and Management and other banking associations. She is a regular speaker for several ABA webinars on social media each year. She is also frequently asked to speak on new media opportunities and digital marketing at events around the country and on the financial services industry’s webinar circuit.

As she heads up FMS Social, she’ll be looking for ways to bring the often complicated and intimidating world of social media into the workable realm of bank branding.

“The two aren’t so different,” Farley explains. “A bank’s brand should be consistent both inside the lobby and outside in the community; similarly, that bank brand should be present and consistent on the social media channels on which their customers live. FMS Social is the bank’s brand curator online, grooming everything that comes across all social media platforms. In a way, we’re helping banks practice the fine art of opening up and becoming more transparent, more approachable and even more enjoyable. Soda companies are social. Fashion designers are social. But banks? With FMS Social, now even your local community bank can and does have a powerful social media presence that is engaging, inspiring and accessible.”

Banks choose FMS Social because their social media experts know how to turn objectives into creative conversational opportunities. The new social media company offers a simple, four-step process they use in partnership with banks to establish and maintain a vibrant social media personality for the bank.

In the discovery phase, banks come to discover what their social media personality should be. Through meetings, calls and surveys, FMS Social digs deep into the bank’s brand to clearly understand who the bank is, its social media objectives and goals, the bank’s infrastructure, resources, social media policies and more.

Next, the social media personality and strategy must be defined. FMS Social takes what was learned in the discovery phase of its process and clearly defines what the bank’s social media strategy and social media presence will look like. FMS Social addresses challenges, opportunities and anything else that will help fulfill the bank’s social media objectives.

Third, once an understanding is gained and agreed on concerning the bank’s social media objectives, budget and capacity, FMS Social then delivers a custom-created social strategy and implementation plan for the bank. From fan acquisition and retention strategies to monitoring and archiving conversations about the bank’s brand, FMS Social has a plan to maximize the opportunity.

After the delivery is complete, FMS Social continues to develop and cultivate the bank’s social media initiatives. Through FMS Social’s unique dashboard, the agency monitors, manages, reports and adjusts in real time to make sure that every time someone experiences the bank’s brand on social media, it’s right.

Many banks have feared or dreaded entering the social scene because of unknown risks to the bank’s image and compliance regulations. “Banks aren’t anti-social; they’re just cautious. At FMS Social, we understand the unique challenges of the financial services industry and the issues surrounding compliance,” explained Farley. “That’s why we’re a bank’s best solution: we really get the obstacles and we have workable and believable solutions. Because there is no ‘faking it’ in social media. There must be authenticity. No form letter. No canned responses. No smoke. No mirrors.”

That’s one reason why the FMS Social dashboard has been such a hit with clients. Clients gain great peace of mind having real-time information at their fingertips. Responses can be measured and quick changes can be made if necessary to align social media conversations with the bank’s goals.

With the proprietary, easy-to-use social media dashboard, banks can monitor, manage and archive all of their social media conversations from one place. The FMS Social dashboard enables banks to monitor their brands, manage multiple social networks simultaneously, schedule automatic posts and content uploads, archive social activity, analyze social media data and draw conclusions, and streamline the bank’s social media review
and approval process for compliance.

A great collaborator, FMS Social translates a bank’s objectives and brands into a strong social media strategy. The agency offers a full suite of social media services that can be packaged or customized to suit a client’s unique needs and commitment level in the social media community. These services include strategy; employee policy; setup and implementation; graphic design; application development; fan acquisition and retention strategies; custom contest/sweepstakes; content strategy and creation; video development; social media management; posting; monitoring; ad creation and ad placement; analytics; reporting; archiving; training and consultation. FMS Social is also all about what’s to come, evolving as the social landscape does.

“Some banks don’t think they need anything on those social media channels,” admitted Tim Pannell, President and CEO of FMS and FMS Social, “But we really like to address those spaces. Because we like our clients to be everywhere their clients are—and we certainly want them to be able to handle their customers of the future.”

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