Notably Quotable: Is It a Sin to Sell in Social Channels?

The Financial Brand's contributor-at-large, Mark Arnold, asked financial marketing experts whether banks and credit unions should or should not sell their products and services through social media channels. Here's what they had to say.

natasha_drozdak“Banking — like social media — is all about relationships. It’s important to remember that people want to have relationships with your bank and not be sold to at every opportunity. By listening and providing relevant information to your customers, communities and industry, your followers will learn to trust and rely on your bank as a valuable resource. When this relationship is proven, selling will be less forced and seem more intuitive for your customers.”

— Natasha Drozdak, Online Marketing Manager at South Carolina Bank & Trust

larry_hayes“The use of social media to effectively address membership product and service needs is an absolute must. Social media channels allow financial institutions to reach a growing audience that doesn’t rely on email, paper statements or in-branch services as their main vehicle of communication.”

— Larry Hayes, President/CEO at CU Holding Company

sean_mcdonald“The primary aim for financial marketers that use social media should be to provide relevant, educational and useful content. That being said, there is nothing wrong with credit unions informing their social media audiences about things happening at the credit union; however, active promotion or selling should be limited. An acceptable ratio is 75% content and 25% announcements, promotions, new products, etc.”

— Sean McDonald, President, Your Full Potential

rochelle_drake“Social media is kind of like parallel parking. Everyone has done it at least once but sometimes it takes several attempts to get it just right.”

— Rochelle Drake, VP Marketing, Fort Worth Community Credit Union

thea_albright“Social Media is a catalyst for our brand and culture while providing a unique opportunity to develop more meaningful relationships with our audience. It comes down to using the right tool for the job, at the right moment, knowing the limitations of the tool and how best to optimize the results. The truth is, we are invited into the social media conversation through ‘Likes’ and follows and can easily be uninvited when the content we provide becomes irrelevant, annoying and/or lacks value.”

— Thea Albright, Marketing Manager at SELCO Community Credit Union

anne_legg“If a financial institution broadcasts a blatant sales message, it will likely fall on deaf ears. If they do their research, identify which channels potential consumers commonly use, use courtesy and engage in conversation with the emphasis on building quality relationships, the message is more likely perceived as valuable and authentic.”

— Anne Legg, SVP Business Strategy and Innovation at Third Degree Advertising

“Social media represents a seismic shift in the way people communicate. From the casual to the hardcore user, channels like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and blogs offer ways to relate and connect with consumers never before possible. The trick is learning which channels work best for your financial institution’s unique market niche and hammering home your messages there. Remember the two “S’s” of successful social media for banks and credit unions: staff and strategy. In other words, it takes people and planning.”

Mark Arnold, President, On The Mark Strategies

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