Did you know that there are now 3.2B social media users worldwide? Almost 91% of millennials are social media users along with 78% of Gen X. While Gen Z wasn't mentioned in this study, they are surely up there in percentages as well.
Of course, social media also presents a myriad of challenges for community financial institutions (CFIs). Regulatory concerns and limited staff are only a couple of them. Yet, as your customer demographics shift, it is clearly important to stay involved in social media. Today, we'll explore why you should consider expanding the number of employees who represent your institution online and some simple ways to implement these changes.
One of the best reasons to consider this approach is the fact that people bank with people. As the number of people and small businesses communicating online grows, so do the needs of your customers and the ways they prefer to connect. If your marketing department is solely responsible for handling these digital interactions, you may be limiting the quantity and quality of the relationships you're building online.
CFIs will certainly want to tune into their small and medium-sized business customers (SMBs) to see how active they are on social media. Many SMB owners spend several hours on social media sites to grow and manage their business. Conversing with them and even their customers online can demonstrate your commitment to their success and offer a new level of convenience for customers.
If you're in need of a first step to get the ball rolling, a simple action that can amplify your message is to encourage employees to share bank-approved content from employees' personal pages. This process works even better when employees add an encouraging comment to accompany the post.
It may feel a bit too different at first to do all of this. However, if you aren't allowing employees to use personal pages in some form, you may be at a disadvantage to your competitors. According to a recent ABA survey, employee encouragement to act as "voices of the bank" has jumped 13% in the last 2Ys. Of those surveyed, 25% allow posting by employees, and another 27% allow posting and provide social media training too.
Another way to do this is to have employees post when they are publicly representing your institution, like a sponsored event.
If you'd like to take it a step further, some institutions have formulated new roles for Official Ambassadors and offer quarterly incentives. Opportunities like these can be great for boosting morale and making employees feel more valued at work too. In fact, a recent LinkedIn study of 32mm profiles found new roles are linked to greater retention.
There are many ways to tackle this issue, and figuring out what works best will be different for every institution. If you're looking for more great ideas, checking out what your colleagues are doing on social media is a great way to see what's working.
We hope we have given you some food for thought today, as you continue to travel the social media journey.