All businesses have a social media presence, and public sector banks are no exception.
Your bank has likely achieved a Facebook presence and connected with your employees on LinkedIn. You may even have a Twitter account that you haven’t paid much attention to in recent years.
But having these accounts is just the beginning of your social media marketing efforts. To take full advantage of these platforms, you will need to develop an effective marketing strategy that enables you to engage with your audience on a regular basis, making the most of your role as a local community resource.
Getting your social strategy off the ground can seem overwhelming. Where do you start and how do you build an effective posting calendar that reaches your audience?
If you need guidance with any aspect of your social media marketing strategy, read on to learn how you can build your fan base, create a content calendar, and how you can take advantage of simple strategies that will increase your social visibility.
Choose the right social platform
Most financial institutions already have a presence on Facebook and LinkedIn, which are powerful platforms that allow you to reach niche audiences. However, you may want to include platforms like Twitter and Instagram to reach additional users. Twitter is relatively easy to set up and maintain, and you will need to create a business account for Instagram to successfully link it to your Facebook business manager.
Don’t forget to optimize each of your social media profiles with images, contact information, links to your website, etc. Bookmark your profiles consistently so that visitors have a consistent experience between your social media accounts and your website. Hootsuite has a handy cheat sheet that contains updated image sizes for the various graphic elements on your social media profile.
Gain followers by connecting with others
One of the surest ways to build an audience on platforms like Instagram and Twitter is to take the lead and follow local businesses and community leaders. Start with businesses near bank branches and be sure to reach out to those who may be clients of commercial deposits, loans, or treasury management. Reach out to local nonprofits, city organizations, local sports teams, and influential individuals. Regularly review the following suggestions to see if there are any that have been missed.
Typically, once you start following these profiles, they will follow you. This builds your follower base until you start posting engaging content on a regular schedule.
Schedule your posts
While it’s often necessary to create social content on the go due to timely news at your bank, it’s always a good idea to look ahead and plan your posts for the next few weeks or months. Creating the majority of your posts at least a month in advance is highly beneficial, but this is even more effective if you have the means to schedule them to post automatically. There are a number of tools specifically designed for this.
How often should you post? In general, you want to keep a steady momentum with your social media posts, but you have to walk a fine line between being attractive and dominant. You should try to produce at least two updates per week on all of your social accounts, but you may want to post up to four or five times for more frequent engagement.
Create a portfolio of social media posts
Creating two to five posts per week can seem a bit overwhelming. How exactly does a banking marketer create enough content to maintain this regular posting schedule? If you need some ideas, here are some tried and true strategies for creating social content that is engaging and requires little effort on your part:
Employee work anniversaries
Branch opening anniversaries
Start celebrating the holidays through social media.
All businesses are likely to post something on social media during major holidays. But have you considered celebrating National Pizza Day? How about National Jokes Day?
There are many free holiday calendars on social media available online, but the HubSpot calendar is comprehensive, clean, and easy to navigate. Don’t feel the need to celebrate each of these holidays. You will not want to stay more than welcome in the news of your followers. Just pick two or three of these holidays each month that you think will be noteworthy or have an obvious link to your community.
Blogging fuels your social media
Blogging is an effective all-purpose strategy because it can be used to fuel every aspect of your digital marketing efforts. Not only is high-quality, unique and relevant blog content invaluable to SEO, but it can be used as lead generation through digital ads and are a great resource of continual content for your bank’s social media.
Create effective visuals for every post
This is one of the more challenging aspects of social media marketing for banks, because many smaller community banks do not have the capacity to produce high-quality imagery for each of their posts. If you do not have the means to build unique designs for every single post, you may want to commission a web design professional to create branded templates that you can re-use for multiple posts, inserting stock photography to customize them to align with your messaging.
Get help from a bank social media management expert
If you just don’t have the time, resources, or knowledge to do it yourself, you may want to partner with a digital marketing agency that has extensive experience with financial institutions. Choose a partner who understands the unique needs of banks and credit unions. Interview potential partners carefully to make sure they are aware of these needs.