Financial Literacy Messaging in the Digital Age

In today’s digital age, banks and credit unions can utilize existing social outlets and new digital channels to connect with customers to share interactive and constructive resources. By leveraging cost-effective digital tools, institutions can not only add value to their customers through education, but also gain increased exposure in their community.

Most bankers are aware of existing social resources such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. When thinking about branding and educating customers, bankers and marketers should ask:

  • Are we effectively leveraging our digital resources and social media networks?
  • Are we adding value through education for our current and prospective customers?

To many customers, banking terms may seem like a different language. Banking initiatives can have a direct effect on peoples’ quality of life, through mortgages, student loans and retirement savings. In order to educate current and potential customers, some financial terms may need to be explained in plain, concrete language with actionable insights.

There are a number of social posts that can educate the public on financial literacy topics. In leveraging social media as an educational tool, it is important to avoid directly promoting products while offering useful information. Build your brand by providing a steady stream of useful information and positioning your institution as a resource, which will build trust between your bank or credit union and your customers or members. For example, instead of tweeting “zero introductory APR for new credit card holders,” you can share the message, “How leveraging credit cards can improve your credit score,” with a link to an educational blog post or article.

There are a number of free social media tools that can help your content stand out from the crowd. Two useful tools include Infogram and Pablo.

  • Infogram is an easy-to-use web application that creates infographics in three easy steps: choose a template; add charts, maps, videos and more; then publish and share. In a tech-savvy world where companies compete for attention, pictures and well-designed graphics can catch the eye of younger and older generations alike and can concisely share complicated ideas in an easily consumable format. A study from Pew Research shows 72 percent of adults in America use Facebook. Of those Americans, 48 percent of Baby Boomers use Facebook.
  • Pablo is an imagining tool that provides a library of photos in which you can insert text with a variety of fonts. It turns a simple picture into a graphic that shares a message. You are also able to upload and use your own image files.

Not only are there free social media tools to enhance your content for customers, there are also free tracking tools that provide data on those interacting with your content. Leverage Google Analytics, Twitter Analytics and Facebook Insights to provide performance metrics on your social media posts. All are time-savings tools that highlight the most important stats and give you an idea about what content and topics are resonating with your audience.

By incorporating financial education topics into your regular social calendar – maybe have aving a theme for each month or week – you can begin providing useful information to your network and expand your social reach through interaction. By providing financial literacy resources to current and prospective customers, your institution can build trust and confidence that will increase banking morale, the financial literacy of your network and ultimately the bottom line.

Elise Hauser is a product manager for Sageworks Bank Information, which provides easy-to-access data on US banks and credit unions. Within Bank Information she manages Content and Education, which allows Bank Information to provide thought leadership in the banking industry.

Written by Elise Hauser