How can banks personalize customer communications via social media?

Social channels provide marketers and advertisers in the financial space a compelling opportunity to connect with their target audiences in ways unfathomable a decade ago. Investing in these channels is no longer an option. It’s a necessity.

For banks and financial institutions, a social strategy that utilizes the entire social ecosystem to deliver relevant, personalized information can help brands communicate with a broader range of current and prospective customers. But before anything else, banks must understand that each channel can serve its own purpose.

So how can you use social in the most effective and efficient ways possible? Here’s what the key platforms can offer.

Facebook Grows Share-of-Wallet

With a global user base nearing 2 billion, Facebook’s sophisticated range of advertising capabilities enable financial institutions to achieve their goals. For example, Facebook’s retargeting power can help banks play the long game and deliver personalized ads to users’ News Feeds based on previous interactions they’ve had (or not had).

A bank may start with an in-feed video ad, directing consumers to a webpage where they can fill out a credit card application. But what if some of them watch the video but don’t visit the web page?

Facebook lets businesses re-engage these users in a second campaign, increasing the chances of a completed application. Similarly, banks aiming to deepen customer relationships and grow share of wallet can use Custom Audiences, created from anonymized lists of customer email addresses, to serve ads with special offers for next-level products, knowing that the ads will only reach the right people.

Instagram Tells Stories That Inspire Action

Banks are tapping into the emotional power of Instagram to connect with consumers on a more aspirational level and humanize the banking experience. US Bank’s #ISaveSoICan campaign did this well by sharing content from popular influencers to show what’s possible when one truly achieves financial peace of mind. In a test run by my company, Brand Networks, we proved that one major financial institution could improve the application start rate for payment instruments by focusing on aspirational creative and talking about money in emotive ways.

LinkedIn Offers Professional Advice

Banks can use LinkedIn to approach a different audience – professionals who fit into specific career-oriented categories – with a more informative voice. Sponsored Content from financial advisors can guide readers through financial questions without having to make an in-person visit to the bank. Furthermore, LinkedIn’s robust publishing capabilities can also help institutions offer useful, personalized information on a wide array of topics to attract active users ready to engage.

Twitter Talks Back and Activates Corporate Partnerships

Customers expect real-time responses from their banks all day, every day. Twitter has long been a key place to bring that modern customer service experience to life. Today, investing in Twitter-based customer service can make a real business impact when done well.

That isn’t all Twitter is good for, however. Co-branding through corporate sponsorships with professional sports teams, for example, is a common investment for financial services organizations. One way of activating these corporate sponsorship is by advertising on Twitter around related sporting events using ultra-relevant Twitter pre-roll video ads.

Snapchat Speaks to Tomorrow’s Customers

With over 100 million daily active users, this mobile-only channel has emerged on the scene in what feels like a flash. For advertisers, embracing Snap Ads and Geofilters means speaking a native language to audiences just entering into their first real banking relationships. Snapchat is extremely popular among the highly engaged millennial audience known to have less interest in and trust for financial institutions. They clearly trust Snapchat, though – after all, they watch ten billion videos every day. As financial institutions continue learning about how new audiences with growth opportunity think about money and banking, they can create fun, interactive content that sets new expectations.

Pinterest Helps People Plan Their Futures

Pinterest, the self-proclaimed world’s catalog of ideas, is more of a visual discovery engine than any other channel out there. It allows users a chance to identify and save ideas that interest them. Jon Kaplan, head of global sales at Pinterest, recently shared that users are conducting two billion searches every month to find things to buy or do. These users are planning their futures—moments, lifestyles, and investments—which is a prime mindset for financial institutions to engage them in.

The power of social media is growing, and financial service institutions must understand the key nuances of each channel in order to reach their audiences in a relevant and relatable fashion. Institutions ranging from small credit unions to Wall Street powerhouses are leveraging social to make the lives of their customers easier. How are you taking advantage of the unique qualities of each social channel to maximize your advertising investment?

Written by Jamie Tedford

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