May 7, 2021

2020 Social Media Benchmark Report For Financial Services

Find out how more than 400 financial institutions across asset classes, geographies, and more used social media in 2020 to effectively support their business objectives. We’ve also outlined key trends to inform your social media future.

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May 7, 2021

2020 Social Media Benchmark Report For Financial Services

Find out how more than 400 financial institutions across asset classes, geographies, and more used social media in 2020 to effectively support their business objectives. We’ve also outlined key trends to inform your social media future.

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When it comes to connecting with consumers all over the world, where should you turn? Social media. Denim Social CEO, Doug Wilber, joins Sue Woodard on the Fresh Takes by Total Expert podcast to shine a light on the power of social media and utilizing it to nurture customer relationships. Doug answers the million-dollar question, “How does your brand connect with consumers on social media?”

Where Are the Biggest Opportunities to Use Social Media in Financial Services?

Denim Social's 2020 Benchmark Report shows that most financial institutions — 82% of those surveyed — are using Facebook to reach their audiences. It’s a great place to start, but Facebook is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to social media strategy for financial services.

Your customers are active in many other places online, so why not meet them there? Our research shows that a few other valuable social media platforms are going underutilized. Let’s dive into whatInstagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter have to offer and how financial services marketers can best use each platform.

1. Instagram

As far as unsung social media platforms in financial services go, Instagram tops the list. The Benchmark Report reveals that it's the least adopted platform across all asset groups of financial services, and that’s a huge missed opportunity.

Instagram is one of the best ways to get in front of younger audiences, which is a worthwhile goal, considering that many Millennial customers will likely be on the search for new financial services providers as Baby Boomers pass their wealth on to the next generations. What's more, 80% of Instagram users follow at least one business account and 60% use the platform to discover new products.


If you’re already on Facebook, getting started on Instagram is a breeze. You can sync your Instagram account with your Facebook Business page and create content simultaneously for both platforms, saving both time and money. That's an excellent place to start, but from there, you'll want to begin creating Instagram-specific ads with extra visual content such as photos and videos.

Instagram ads also allow hyperlinks, so you can lead readers right from their feeds to your website with specific calls to action to learn more. Lead them to a personalized and well-designed landing page on your site, for instance, and you'll be drawing each follower who clicks through one big step closer to conversion.

What's more, you can create localized ad campaigns on Instagram to connect your individual employees with customers inclose geographical proximity. A local face in someone's feed is much more likely to capture their attention than a brand ad alone. Denim's social media management tools can help you organize and run localized ad campaigns with ease.

2. LinkedIn

Our research revealed that only about 63% of financial services providers in smaller asset groups use LinkedIn, and those that do use it don’t post as frequently as larger institutions. But smaller organizations might have the most to gain from LinkedIn. Employees at smaller companies are likely to know their customers on a closer level and can utilize LinkedIn to build and maintain those relationships.

For financial services marketers, a brand profile is a necessary starting point. Getting the most out of the platform, however, requires activating your employees in a social selling strategy. They can share relevant content, such as videos and published articles from trusted media outlets, as well as engage with customers and prospects one-on-one via direct messaging to establish themselves as experts and build trusting relationships. People want to engage with other people, not with general brand pages. It’s no wonder that employees on social media can garner double the engagement of brand pages alone.

3. Twitter

Like Instagram, Twitter use is also low across all financial services asset groups with an average of 36% adoption. Understandably, financial services marketers might be intimidated by the fast-paced nature of the platform and fear they don’t have enough resources to keep up. However, with the proper social media management tools, maintaining compliant engagement on Twitter is totally possible — and worth it.

One of the greatest benefits of social media marketing for financial services is the ability to provide more value to customers. Twitter makes this incredibly easy to do. Marketers can follow all relevant news media outlets and keep an eye out for any articles that might benefit their clients or prospects.For example, an explainer piece on recent changes in tax legislation may be helpful come tax season. Retweeting such helpful resources educates followers on financial topics and builds trust in the brand and its employees.

There’s no single best social media platform for marketing. Each one has a unique opportunity to reach and engage current and future customers. If you’re already on Facebook, it’s time to level up your social media marketing strategy by diving into Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter as well. No matter the size of your financial institution, extending your social media strategy to encompass these platforms can help grow your audience, build trust, and maintain solid customer relationships.

Gone are the days of sharing helpful, compliant content organically from your bank’s social media profile and seeing significant reach and engagement.

Social media platforms today frequently update their algorithms to make branded content less visible. In January, for example, Facebook announced algorithmic changes to filter every post through integrity filters, a multifaceted scoring system and even a contextual pass.

You might be wondering whether social media is even worth the try anymore in the broader scope of marketing efforts. The answer is a resounding yes. Your prospects and customers are still on social media, perhaps more than ever before. For example, 86 percent of Baby Boomers use social media daily. That’s only 3 percentage points less than Gen Z. With physical banking on a downward trend, banks have to meet people where they are if they want to continue making connections and building relationships.

The following steps can help financial services provider skirt tricky algorithms to get in front of the right audiences:

Don’t avoid organic altogether: Organic social media is still an important jumping-off point, and a key asset to help your brand cut through is your employees. Research from LinkedIn shows that employees have 10 times the following on LinkedIn compared to their employers and that employee posts on LinkedIn create twice the engagement. When employees share with and engage customers and prospects from individual accounts, they humanize the brand beyond brand profiles alone — in the eyes of audiences and algorithms.

Social media algorithms favor people and person-to-person conversation. Because more engagement means greater algorithmic scoring, you can bet that the more people who engage with an employee post, the more social media users will see that post in their feeds.

Pay to play: Of course, one of the biggest advantages of organic social media is that it’s free — but paid advertising doesn’t take a huge investment, either, and the returns can be well worth the initial spend and effort. Consider, for instance, pulling back your marketing budget from traditional out-of-home advertising tactics that have lost their impact as people stay home and reallocating the spend toward paid social efforts.

Paid ads actually help you optimize your advertising budget more than organic alone because you can target them. You can build a targeting strategy based on your ideal persona’s demographics, activities, interests, etc. — which means you can make better-informed decisions about what content to share with whom. Audiences will appreciate the posts’ relevance, and bank associates will appreciate knowing that social media outreach efforts aren’t wasted on the wrong audience.

Provide value with content: While great content isn’t the only thing you need for success today, it is still a crucial factor because it serves as a helpful resource for audiences. Think beyond promotion when creating and distributing ad content. Consider how to create real value.

Content should both highlight your expertise and help educate readers. Guidebooks, blog posts and videos are among many valuable content tools. And you don’t have to limit a post to include only one of them. Instead, link to a landing page on your website from a social media ad. Viewers will go to the page that houses all the relevant, valuable content they want.

What’s more, if you include form fields requesting visitor information in return for downloading some of that content, you’ll get valuable consumer data in your hands that can help you drive more conversions.

Think strategically about retargeting:  To further optimize your approach for even greater ROI, consider retargeted advertising. This means serving social media advertisements to people you know already engage with your website, social media pages or content.

Don’t just retarget campaigns to every person who has ever shown interest in your brand, however. This approach is likely too broad to create much impact, especially when customers today are all about personalization. Instead, divide your audience into segments and create specific campaigns for each.

For example, people who visited your blog might be more receptive to more educational content, while those who visited your contact page might be closer to conversion and ready to hop into a conversation with your sales team. Even in retargeting, precision is the name of the game.

The bottom line is: If your bank’s social media strategy is only organic, you won’t see enough ROI to justify your time and effort. But if you level up with employees, paid advertising and valuable content, you can optimize your efforts beyond what even the best organic strategy would allow to overcome algorithmic roadblocks and get in front of exactly the right people.

This article was originally published on BAI.org.

Instagram stands out as the shining star of social media platforms. While Facebook still reigns supreme, Instagram is quickly catching up fast with more than 1 billion users worldwide today — up by 73.5 million since 2020.

With users under age 34 making up nearly half of this user population, financial services marketers looking to reach younger generations should take note. And with an estimated sum of $68 trillion in wealth expected to transfer from Baby Boomers to Millennials in the next couple of decades, Millennials are a worthwhile target.

Studies predict that, after inheriting wealth, 80% or more young heirs will seek out a new financial advisor. Considering that 9 in 10 accounts follow at least one business on Instagram and 8 in 10 users find new products and services in the app, it’s a safe bet that Instagram will be a place to influence many Millennials. Wise financial services marketers will meet them where they are with strong Instagram marketing strategies, and the following tips can help:

1. Focus on paid ads

Instagram is a visual platform for sharing photos and videos, so it’s important for brand pages to populate their profiles with organic posts. While this presence is important, organic content isn’t what will move the needle on business goals. Financial services aren’t exactly visually interesting, and organic posts tend to have low reach as they only show up in the feeds of a brand’s current followers. Without the ability to include hyperlinks in captions, they also won’t drive any traffic back to your site. If you want to build the type of following needed to generate new business, including paid advertising in your Instagram marketing strategy is your ticket.

With Instagram advertising, institutions and advisors can target ads to land with exactly the right audience — even outside their follower base — and include links in posts to drive more traffic to the brand. With a specific call to action that directs consumers to learn more about a topic, Instagram ads offer a straight-line path to giving customers the valuable information they desire — in their own time and at their own place. What’s more, Instagram advertising is seamlessly integrated directly into Instagram feeds and stories, creating a smoother user experience all around.

2. Connect with consumers on a local level

Instagram marketing on the corporate brand level is a great starting point, but advertising on behalf of your individual advisors can take your strategy to the next level. Think of it this way: If a consumer sees a well-known brand on social media, they might recognize the name, but they won’t feel an intrinsic connection beyond initial familiarity. In contrast, they’ll feel familiarity and an immediate connection when they see a post from an advisor in their own community. Consumers want to build relationships with brands, and a shared community is a great starting point.

Of course, most advisors and other financial services employees are not experts on how to market the business on Instagram. And marketers know they must keep all social media marketing for their financial institutions compliant to avoid heavy regulatory reprimands. To keep posts compliant, save employees time, and help them build relationships with consumers in their physical communities, financial services marketers can set up and run ads on their behalf.

3. Micro-target content to your audience

As big-name brands like Amazon continue to elevate the digital customer experience with seamless customer service, purchasing, and delivery, customer expectations are higher than ever before. When customers evaluate a financial institution, they compare it not only to other organizations in the industry, but also to tech giants in any industry that give them exactly what they need when they need it.

They expect a high level of personalization and convenience, and Instagram marketing with paid advertising can help you give it to them. Match basic behavioral and geographic data to potential customers on Instagram to target ads, and then track clicks, engagements, and post-click actions. These data points don’t indicate much on their own, but together they offer a rich story about what consumers want. Continually refine your strategy with these data points in mind to deliver the kind of highly personalized experiences your audiences want on Instagram.

With a large Millennial user base that engages actively with brands online and the ability to target highly personalized ads to exactly the right audiences, Instagram is a must-have in any financial services marketing strategy. To learn more about how Instagram marketing can work to drive your business forward, download our guide to building stronger customer relationships on Instagram for free today.

From a platform that employers can use to test software development job candidates to software that aims to improve how companies deploy field services workers, software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies have made a splash in transforming workplaces in 2021.

Some of the largest employers had to adopt remote working this past year and have declared a willingness to keep some form of it even after the global pandemic subsides, prompting a renewed interest in software tools that can improve and even change business operations in a variety of industries.

With headquarter locations including San Francisco and St. Louis and Kissimmee, Fla., these startups show that not only does innovation happen anywhere, but that startup funding remains strong and good ideas don’t only happen within the largest tech giants.

#3 Denim Social

Top Executive: Douglas Wilber, CEO

Headquarters: St. Louis

Denim Social offers social media management and marketing automation software for highly-regulated industries such as banking, insurance and wealth management.

For these companies, compliance can get in the way of a consumer-oriented marketing campaign, according to Denim Social’s website. The company allows customers to schedule and plan social media content, curate industry-specific articles for audiences and learn about online audiences with analytic reports.

The company counts AWS, Twitter and Facebook among its partners.

The company was founded in 2020 through the merger of St. Louis-based Gremlin Social and Iowa-based Denim. The company also raised a $4 million Series A round of funding to increase marketing.

This list was originally published by CRN and the full list can be viewed here.

As Denim Social studied more than 400 financial institutions for our 2020 Social Media Benchmark Report, we found that only about 20% were including links in their social media content. That means about 80% of organizations are missing big opportunities to create further engagement and drive ROI from social media.

Social media marketing strategies for financial institutions are important for generating interest and building awareness, but without links, a social post is essentially a digital dead end. A post promoting a new product or service might generate a bit of interest, for example, but if the viewer has nowhere to go from there, they’re likely to drop off after hitting the “like” button. It might generate awareness, but it’s not directly moving the needle on your business goals.

A solid linking strategy, on the other hand, can build digital customer journeys that bring more value to followers and increase social media conversions for organizations. When you’re planning your social media marketing strategy, think about how you can incorporate the following links to guide followers on a journey to becoming customers:

1. External links

Denim recommends that social media marketing strategies for financial institutions follow a “4-1-1” approach. That means six posts per week, four of which should be informational, evergreen content. These posts should include links to trustworthy, verified media sources. Sharing useful information from authoritative outlets is an effective way to educate audiences on financial topics, provide value, encourage further engagement, and build trust.

2. Landing page links

One of six weekly posts should be community-oriented. This post should aim to engage the local community and demonstrate how your organization gives back. A closing photo from a mortgage loan officer is one great example of a community-oriented post. Remember that these posts should aim to catch the followers’ interest and lead them to helpful services to learn more — they should not aim to sell services outright with overly promotional content.

To lead followers to more valuable content from the community-oriented post, include a link to a landing page on your website. The landing page could prompt visitors to input their name and email in exchange for a mortgage 101 guidebook, for example. When visitors submit their details, you have contact information for primed leads in your hands, and your audience has a valuable resource in theirs. Denim Social’s code-free landing page wireframe makes it easy for marketers, even those with no web design experience, to build and scale highly professional landing pages in minutes.

3. Owned content links

The last of your six posts should be promotional about your products or services. These can drive readers to a place on your website where they can learn more or engage with an expert at your organization to ask questions. Link to owned content such as blog posts to accomplish those goals. Well-written and informative blog posts can help you demonstrate expertise and build trust. Plus, linking to these pages will guide users to your digital property, much like landing pages, and you can use that data to retarget posts to people who might have shown interest but dropped off the digital customer journey before engaging further with the brand.

Remember, although this content can promote your products and services, it should still serve a greater purpose than to simply be a digital billboard for your brand. Provide valuable information that readers need, and include a call to action in each post that gives them the opportunity to engage further with ease.

Social media is an excellent brand-building tool, but if you’re not using it to drive ROI and further progress toward business goals, you’re not harnessing its full potential. Including linking tactics in your social media marketing strategy is a simple way to make a big difference.

GUIDES

2020 Social Media Benchmark Report For Financial Services

Find out how more than 400 financial institutions across asset classes, geographies, and more used social media in 2020 to effectively support their business objectives. We’ve also outlined key trends to inform your social media future.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Download Guide
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
ALL GUIDES:

As mortgage demand surges to historic highs, home purchase and refinance markets remain hot. This is excellent news for loan officers, but it also means the environment is more competitive than ever.

So how can marketers ensure that their loan officers stand out? The answer is social media.

Read this guidebook from Denim Social to learn how you can help your loan officers build strong relationships, stand out from the crowd and win more business using social media.

Download this guidebook to learn how 3 mortgage lenders are using social media to:

  • Position themselves in a place the community is already looking ... their social media
  • Empower loan officers to engage in local conversations
  • Turn their institution's loan officers into the voice of their brand
  • Build trust within the community

Every Mortgage Marketer Should Ask Themselves

Compliance is complicated, but don’t let it stop your lending team from making the most of social media. Think you’re ready to start social selling? Ask yourself these five questions!

Download this guidebook to learn how marketers are using social media to:

  • Drive business with the lowest digital spend compared to traditional media
  • Position employees as thought-leaders while leveraging their collective reach of their social media presence
  • Ultimately, build trust with their communities and customers that translates to positive business results

Download this guidebook to learn how marketers are using social media to:

  • Drive business with the lowest digital spend compared to traditional media
  • Position employees as thought-leaders while leveraging their collective reach of their social media presence
  • Ultimately, build trust with their communities and customers that translates to positive business results

Stronger Customer Relationships on Instagram

Financial Services companies should be advertising on Instagram. We break down why, and help you create a strategy to reach new customers- while continuing to build trust in your brand.

Read this guide if you’re asking yourself:

  • Is my social media policy current and comprehensive?
  • How do I ensure social media compliance during M&A?
  • What do I need to consider for direct messaging compliance?

In this guide we will help you think about your all important social media policy and thoughtfully consider how changes in social media tech and even your bank’s structure may impact compliance.

How 6 Financial Marketers Are Creating Value in Social Media

Ever wonder what everyone else is doing in social media? We talked to six leading financial marketers about how they’re succeeding today and planning for the next big thing.

Get their insights on strengthening your social strategies, unlocking the power of employee networks and creating next-level content that drives engagement.

Which roles do you fill when building your bank's marketing dream team? This guide will show you the following:

  • Who does what
  • The right structure to execute strategy
  • How compliance software can help

Enjoy!

ABA Study: The Current State of Social Media

See what nearly 430 bank marketers had to say when asked questions such as:

  • Is it important to equip your sales personnel with social media accounts?
  • Does your bank measure the impact of your social media use?
  • Download this guidebook to learn how marketers are using social media to:

    • Drive business with the lowest digital spend compared to traditional media
    • Position employees as thought-leaders while leveraging their collective reach of their social media presence
    • Ultimately, build trust with their communities and customers that translates to positive business results

    Every Financial Services Marketer Should Ask Themselves

    Compliance is complicated, but don’t let it stop your lending team from making the most of social media. Think you’re ready to start social selling? Ask yourself these five questions!

    COVID-19 & Bank Social Media

    Times are different and how you connect with customers and potential customers has changed drastically. In a socially distant world, learn to still build lasting relationships.

    Download and learn the guiding principles for using social media to serve both your customers and communities in the midst of a pandemic.

    GUIDES

    2020 Social Media Benchmark Report For Financial Services

    Find out how more than 400 financial institutions across asset classes, geographies, and more used social media in 2020 to effectively support their business objectives. We’ve also outlined key trends to inform your social media future.

    Download the Guide

    Thank you! Your submission has been received!
    Download Guide
    Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
    Download Guide

    Apply to be benchmarked against the sample data!

    You’ve probably wondered how your institution stacks up against competitors in social media. Submit the form and our analysts will run the benchmark data against your financial institution's social media profiles. You will receive a full report with recommendations and insights on your companies social media presence!

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    ALL GUIDES:

    As mortgage demand surges to historic highs, home purchase and refinance markets remain hot. This is excellent news for loan officers, but it also means the environment is more competitive than ever.

    So how can marketers ensure that their loan officers stand out? The answer is social media.

    Read this guidebook from Denim Social to learn how you can help your loan officers build strong relationships, stand out from the crowd and win more business using social media.

    Download this guidebook to learn how 3 mortgage lenders are using social media to:

    • Position themselves in a place the community is already looking ... their social media
    • Empower loan officers to engage in local conversations
    • Turn their institution's loan officers into the voice of their brand
    • Build trust within the community

    Every Mortgage Marketer Should Ask Themselves

    Compliance is complicated, but don’t let it stop your lending team from making the most of social media. Think you’re ready to start social selling? Ask yourself these five questions!

    Download this guidebook to learn how marketers are using social media to:

    • Drive business with the lowest digital spend compared to traditional media
    • Position employees as thought-leaders while leveraging their collective reach of their social media presence
    • Ultimately, build trust with their communities and customers that translates to positive business results

    Download this guidebook to learn how marketers are using social media to:

    • Drive business with the lowest digital spend compared to traditional media
    • Position employees as thought-leaders while leveraging their collective reach of their social media presence
    • Ultimately, build trust with their communities and customers that translates to positive business results

    Stronger Customer Relationships on Instagram

    Financial Services companies should be advertising on Instagram. We break down why, and help you create a strategy to reach new customers- while continuing to build trust in your brand.

    Read this guide if you’re asking yourself:

    • Is my social media policy current and comprehensive?
    • How do I ensure social media compliance during M&A?
    • What do I need to consider for direct messaging compliance?

    In this guide we will help you think about your all important social media policy and thoughtfully consider how changes in social media tech and even your bank’s structure may impact compliance.

    How 6 Financial Marketers Are Creating Value in Social Media

    Ever wonder what everyone else is doing in social media? We talked to six leading financial marketers about how they’re succeeding today and planning for the next big thing.

    Get their insights on strengthening your social strategies, unlocking the power of employee networks and creating next-level content that drives engagement.

    Which roles do you fill when building your bank's marketing dream team? This guide will show you the following:

    • Who does what
    • The right structure to execute strategy
    • How compliance software can help

    Enjoy!

    ABA Study: The Current State of Social Media

    See what nearly 430 bank marketers had to say when asked questions such as:

  • Is it important to equip your sales personnel with social media accounts?
  • Does your bank measure the impact of your social media use?
  • Download this guidebook to learn how marketers are using social media to:

    • Drive business with the lowest digital spend compared to traditional media
    • Position employees as thought-leaders while leveraging their collective reach of their social media presence
    • Ultimately, build trust with their communities and customers that translates to positive business results

    Every Financial Services Marketer Should Ask Themselves

    Compliance is complicated, but don’t let it stop your lending team from making the most of social media. Think you’re ready to start social selling? Ask yourself these five questions!

    COVID-19 & Bank Social Media

    Times are different and how you connect with customers and potential customers has changed drastically. In a socially distant world, learn to still build lasting relationships.

    Download and learn the guiding principles for using social media to serve both your customers and communities in the midst of a pandemic.

    RESOURCES

    NEWS
    May 7, 2021

    2020 Social Media Benchmark Report For Financial Services

    Find out how more than 400 financial institutions across asset classes, geographies, and more used social media in 2020 to effectively support their business objectives. We’ve also outlined key trends to inform your social media future.

    Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest sent to your inbox.
    Thank you for subscribing!
    Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
    OTHER NEWS:

    As mortgage demand surges to historic highs, home purchase and refinance markets remain hot. This is excellent news for loan officers, but it also means the environment is more competitive than ever.

    So how can marketers ensure that their loan officers stand out? The answer is social media.

    Read this guidebook from Denim Social to learn how you can help your loan officers build strong relationships, stand out from the crowd and win more business using social media.

    Download this guidebook to learn how 3 mortgage lenders are using social media to:

    • Position themselves in a place the community is already looking ... their social media
    • Empower loan officers to engage in local conversations
    • Turn their institution's loan officers into the voice of their brand
    • Build trust within the community

    Every Mortgage Marketer Should Ask Themselves

    Compliance is complicated, but don’t let it stop your lending team from making the most of social media. Think you’re ready to start social selling? Ask yourself these five questions!

    Download this guidebook to learn how marketers are using social media to:

    • Drive business with the lowest digital spend compared to traditional media
    • Position employees as thought-leaders while leveraging their collective reach of their social media presence
    • Ultimately, build trust with their communities and customers that translates to positive business results

    Download this guidebook to learn how marketers are using social media to:

    • Drive business with the lowest digital spend compared to traditional media
    • Position employees as thought-leaders while leveraging their collective reach of their social media presence
    • Ultimately, build trust with their communities and customers that translates to positive business results

    Stronger Customer Relationships on Instagram

    Financial Services companies should be advertising on Instagram. We break down why, and help you create a strategy to reach new customers- while continuing to build trust in your brand.

    RESOURCES

    VISION
    May 7, 2021

    2020 Social Media Benchmark Report For Financial Services

    Find out how more than 400 financial institutions across asset classes, geographies, and more used social media in 2020 to effectively support their business objectives. We’ve also outlined key trends to inform your social media future.

    Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest sent to your inbox.
    Thank you for subscribing!
    Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
    SIMILAR POSTS:

    How to Increase Engagement With Decreased Self-Promotion on Financial Institution Social Media Pages

    If your financial institution’s social media pages consist primarily of posts that directly promote your business, products, and services, it’s time to rethink your strategy. Social media should not be a one-way channel for self-promotion like a billboard or radio advertisement. Nearly half of social media users will unfollow a brand if they do too much self-promotion on social media, and only 19% trust social media advertisements.

    Still, about 30% of all posts on financial institution social media pages are about the companies themselves. It’s time for banks, insurance companies, and other financial services companies to recognize that social media engagement is built through maintaining two-way communication. Posts that provide real value to prospects and customers will start that dialogue.

    Ask, “What will a follower get out of this post?” If you can’t easily identify the value, it’s likely too promotional.Here’s how you can shift the focus:

    1. Use employees as your delivery channel.

    Followers are more likely to engage with an actual human than a big brand name. Let your employees carry the voice of the brand on social media by sharing brand-related content on their own profiles with their own networks. With larger networks and more engagement opportunities, employees can expand the brand’s reach exponentially. What’s more, putting real human faces behind the brand voice can humanize the brand and help build more trust with followers.

    In the example below, loan officer Andrea Kling posted an informative video about preapproval letters from her personalFacebook profile to share with her networks. The valuable resource opens opportunities for engagement without screaming the company name. Users who want to know more can simply leave a comment or send Andrea a message.

    2. Share educational content.

    Another key aspect of Andrea’s post is that it provides education to the reader. In a survey of more than 1,000 American adults, 25% said they had no one to turn to for financial advice. When a financial services company and its employees share relevant education resources, they establish themselves as go-to sources for guidance —establishing their expertise and building trust through social media at the same time.

    Commerce Bank exemplified this well in their post during graduation season by sharing an article about financial tips for new graduates. The bank saw an educational opportunity for a specific audience and addressed it with a helpful, relevant resource.

    3. Include links in promotional posts.

    Some posts will be inherently promotional, even when you are providing educational content. The key is to ensure there is still value for readers, and an excellent way to do that is with strategic linking. Include links in your social posts that lead readers back to places on your website where they can get more of the information they need.

    Look at how AnnieMac Home Mortgage shared a link to a construction loan guide on its Facebook Page. The post explains a bit of the value of construction loans in one sentence, then includes a call to action for the reader to follow the link to read more. The link goes to a helpful guidebook on construction home loans. 

    When considering your linking strategy, landing pages are also an excellent move. These pages house valuable resources, such as the construction loan guidebook, behind an information request form. Visitors submit their name and email address to receive the download, and you get their contact information right in your hands. Then, you can engage in targeted outreach to prospects you know are already interested in the service.

    A solid social media strategy for financial services balances promotion with value. Put the human element front and center, focus on educating your followers, and develop a strategic linking strategy to limit self-promotion and prioritize the needs of your audience. For more information on how to shift your focus on social media, download the Denim 2020 Benchmark report.

    When it comes to connecting with consumers all over the world, where should you turn? Social media. Denim Social CEO, Doug Wilber, joins Sue Woodard on the Fresh Takes by Total Expert podcast to shine a light on the power of social media and utilizing it to nurture customer relationships. Doug answers the million-dollar question, “How does your brand connect with consumers on social media?”

    Where Are the Biggest Opportunities to Use Social Media in Financial Services?

    Denim Social's 2020 Benchmark Report shows that most financial institutions — 82% of those surveyed — are using Facebook to reach their audiences. It’s a great place to start, but Facebook is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to social media strategy for financial services.

    Your customers are active in many other places online, so why not meet them there? Our research shows that a few other valuable social media platforms are going underutilized. Let’s dive into whatInstagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter have to offer and how financial services marketers can best use each platform.

    1. Instagram

    As far as unsung social media platforms in financial services go, Instagram tops the list. The Benchmark Report reveals that it's the least adopted platform across all asset groups of financial services, and that’s a huge missed opportunity.

    Instagram is one of the best ways to get in front of younger audiences, which is a worthwhile goal, considering that many Millennial customers will likely be on the search for new financial services providers as Baby Boomers pass their wealth on to the next generations. What's more, 80% of Instagram users follow at least one business account and 60% use the platform to discover new products.


    If you’re already on Facebook, getting started on Instagram is a breeze. You can sync your Instagram account with your Facebook Business page and create content simultaneously for both platforms, saving both time and money. That's an excellent place to start, but from there, you'll want to begin creating Instagram-specific ads with extra visual content such as photos and videos.

    Instagram ads also allow hyperlinks, so you can lead readers right from their feeds to your website with specific calls to action to learn more. Lead them to a personalized and well-designed landing page on your site, for instance, and you'll be drawing each follower who clicks through one big step closer to conversion.

    What's more, you can create localized ad campaigns on Instagram to connect your individual employees with customers inclose geographical proximity. A local face in someone's feed is much more likely to capture their attention than a brand ad alone. Denim's social media management tools can help you organize and run localized ad campaigns with ease.

    2. LinkedIn

    Our research revealed that only about 63% of financial services providers in smaller asset groups use LinkedIn, and those that do use it don’t post as frequently as larger institutions. But smaller organizations might have the most to gain from LinkedIn. Employees at smaller companies are likely to know their customers on a closer level and can utilize LinkedIn to build and maintain those relationships.

    For financial services marketers, a brand profile is a necessary starting point. Getting the most out of the platform, however, requires activating your employees in a social selling strategy. They can share relevant content, such as videos and published articles from trusted media outlets, as well as engage with customers and prospects one-on-one via direct messaging to establish themselves as experts and build trusting relationships. People want to engage with other people, not with general brand pages. It’s no wonder that employees on social media can garner double the engagement of brand pages alone.

    3. Twitter

    Like Instagram, Twitter use is also low across all financial services asset groups with an average of 36% adoption. Understandably, financial services marketers might be intimidated by the fast-paced nature of the platform and fear they don’t have enough resources to keep up. However, with the proper social media management tools, maintaining compliant engagement on Twitter is totally possible — and worth it.

    One of the greatest benefits of social media marketing for financial services is the ability to provide more value to customers. Twitter makes this incredibly easy to do. Marketers can follow all relevant news media outlets and keep an eye out for any articles that might benefit their clients or prospects.For example, an explainer piece on recent changes in tax legislation may be helpful come tax season. Retweeting such helpful resources educates followers on financial topics and builds trust in the brand and its employees.

    There’s no single best social media platform for marketing. Each one has a unique opportunity to reach and engage current and future customers. If you’re already on Facebook, it’s time to level up your social media marketing strategy by diving into Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter as well. No matter the size of your financial institution, extending your social media strategy to encompass these platforms can help grow your audience, build trust, and maintain solid customer relationships.

    Gone are the days of sharing helpful, compliant content organically from your bank’s social media profile and seeing significant reach and engagement.

    Social media platforms today frequently update their algorithms to make branded content less visible. In January, for example, Facebook announced algorithmic changes to filter every post through integrity filters, a multifaceted scoring system and even a contextual pass.

    You might be wondering whether social media is even worth the try anymore in the broader scope of marketing efforts. The answer is a resounding yes. Your prospects and customers are still on social media, perhaps more than ever before. For example, 86 percent of Baby Boomers use social media daily. That’s only 3 percentage points less than Gen Z. With physical banking on a downward trend, banks have to meet people where they are if they want to continue making connections and building relationships.

    The following steps can help financial services provider skirt tricky algorithms to get in front of the right audiences:

    Don’t avoid organic altogether: Organic social media is still an important jumping-off point, and a key asset to help your brand cut through is your employees. Research from LinkedIn shows that employees have 10 times the following on LinkedIn compared to their employers and that employee posts on LinkedIn create twice the engagement. When employees share with and engage customers and prospects from individual accounts, they humanize the brand beyond brand profiles alone — in the eyes of audiences and algorithms.

    Social media algorithms favor people and person-to-person conversation. Because more engagement means greater algorithmic scoring, you can bet that the more people who engage with an employee post, the more social media users will see that post in their feeds.

    Pay to play: Of course, one of the biggest advantages of organic social media is that it’s free — but paid advertising doesn’t take a huge investment, either, and the returns can be well worth the initial spend and effort. Consider, for instance, pulling back your marketing budget from traditional out-of-home advertising tactics that have lost their impact as people stay home and reallocating the spend toward paid social efforts.

    Paid ads actually help you optimize your advertising budget more than organic alone because you can target them. You can build a targeting strategy based on your ideal persona’s demographics, activities, interests, etc. — which means you can make better-informed decisions about what content to share with whom. Audiences will appreciate the posts’ relevance, and bank associates will appreciate knowing that social media outreach efforts aren’t wasted on the wrong audience.

    Provide value with content: While great content isn’t the only thing you need for success today, it is still a crucial factor because it serves as a helpful resource for audiences. Think beyond promotion when creating and distributing ad content. Consider how to create real value.

    Content should both highlight your expertise and help educate readers. Guidebooks, blog posts and videos are among many valuable content tools. And you don’t have to limit a post to include only one of them. Instead, link to a landing page on your website from a social media ad. Viewers will go to the page that houses all the relevant, valuable content they want.

    What’s more, if you include form fields requesting visitor information in return for downloading some of that content, you’ll get valuable consumer data in your hands that can help you drive more conversions.

    Think strategically about retargeting:  To further optimize your approach for even greater ROI, consider retargeted advertising. This means serving social media advertisements to people you know already engage with your website, social media pages or content.

    Don’t just retarget campaigns to every person who has ever shown interest in your brand, however. This approach is likely too broad to create much impact, especially when customers today are all about personalization. Instead, divide your audience into segments and create specific campaigns for each.

    For example, people who visited your blog might be more receptive to more educational content, while those who visited your contact page might be closer to conversion and ready to hop into a conversation with your sales team. Even in retargeting, precision is the name of the game.

    The bottom line is: If your bank’s social media strategy is only organic, you won’t see enough ROI to justify your time and effort. But if you level up with employees, paid advertising and valuable content, you can optimize your efforts beyond what even the best organic strategy would allow to overcome algorithmic roadblocks and get in front of exactly the right people.

    This article was originally published on BAI.org.

    Instagram stands out as the shining star of social media platforms. While Facebook still reigns supreme, Instagram is quickly catching up fast with more than 1 billion users worldwide today — up by 73.5 million since 2020.

    With users under age 34 making up nearly half of this user population, financial services marketers looking to reach younger generations should take note. And with an estimated sum of $68 trillion in wealth expected to transfer from Baby Boomers to Millennials in the next couple of decades, Millennials are a worthwhile target.

    Studies predict that, after inheriting wealth, 80% or more young heirs will seek out a new financial advisor. Considering that 9 in 10 accounts follow at least one business on Instagram and 8 in 10 users find new products and services in the app, it’s a safe bet that Instagram will be a place to influence many Millennials. Wise financial services marketers will meet them where they are with strong Instagram marketing strategies, and the following tips can help:

    1. Focus on paid ads

    Instagram is a visual platform for sharing photos and videos, so it’s important for brand pages to populate their profiles with organic posts. While this presence is important, organic content isn’t what will move the needle on business goals. Financial services aren’t exactly visually interesting, and organic posts tend to have low reach as they only show up in the feeds of a brand’s current followers. Without the ability to include hyperlinks in captions, they also won’t drive any traffic back to your site. If you want to build the type of following needed to generate new business, including paid advertising in your Instagram marketing strategy is your ticket.

    With Instagram advertising, institutions and advisors can target ads to land with exactly the right audience — even outside their follower base — and include links in posts to drive more traffic to the brand. With a specific call to action that directs consumers to learn more about a topic, Instagram ads offer a straight-line path to giving customers the valuable information they desire — in their own time and at their own place. What’s more, Instagram advertising is seamlessly integrated directly into Instagram feeds and stories, creating a smoother user experience all around.

    2. Connect with consumers on a local level

    Instagram marketing on the corporate brand level is a great starting point, but advertising on behalf of your individual advisors can take your strategy to the next level. Think of it this way: If a consumer sees a well-known brand on social media, they might recognize the name, but they won’t feel an intrinsic connection beyond initial familiarity. In contrast, they’ll feel familiarity and an immediate connection when they see a post from an advisor in their own community. Consumers want to build relationships with brands, and a shared community is a great starting point.

    Of course, most advisors and other financial services employees are not experts on how to market the business on Instagram. And marketers know they must keep all social media marketing for their financial institutions compliant to avoid heavy regulatory reprimands. To keep posts compliant, save employees time, and help them build relationships with consumers in their physical communities, financial services marketers can set up and run ads on their behalf.

    3. Micro-target content to your audience

    As big-name brands like Amazon continue to elevate the digital customer experience with seamless customer service, purchasing, and delivery, customer expectations are higher than ever before. When customers evaluate a financial institution, they compare it not only to other organizations in the industry, but also to tech giants in any industry that give them exactly what they need when they need it.

    They expect a high level of personalization and convenience, and Instagram marketing with paid advertising can help you give it to them. Match basic behavioral and geographic data to potential customers on Instagram to target ads, and then track clicks, engagements, and post-click actions. These data points don’t indicate much on their own, but together they offer a rich story about what consumers want. Continually refine your strategy with these data points in mind to deliver the kind of highly personalized experiences your audiences want on Instagram.

    With a large Millennial user base that engages actively with brands online and the ability to target highly personalized ads to exactly the right audiences, Instagram is a must-have in any financial services marketing strategy. To learn more about how Instagram marketing can work to drive your business forward, download our guide to building stronger customer relationships on Instagram for free today.

    From a platform that employers can use to test software development job candidates to software that aims to improve how companies deploy field services workers, software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies have made a splash in transforming workplaces in 2021.

    Some of the largest employers had to adopt remote working this past year and have declared a willingness to keep some form of it even after the global pandemic subsides, prompting a renewed interest in software tools that can improve and even change business operations in a variety of industries.

    With headquarter locations including San Francisco and St. Louis and Kissimmee, Fla., these startups show that not only does innovation happen anywhere, but that startup funding remains strong and good ideas don’t only happen within the largest tech giants.

    #3 Denim Social

    Top Executive: Douglas Wilber, CEO

    Headquarters: St. Louis

    Denim Social offers social media management and marketing automation software for highly-regulated industries such as banking, insurance and wealth management.

    For these companies, compliance can get in the way of a consumer-oriented marketing campaign, according to Denim Social’s website. The company allows customers to schedule and plan social media content, curate industry-specific articles for audiences and learn about online audiences with analytic reports.

    The company counts AWS, Twitter and Facebook among its partners.

    The company was founded in 2020 through the merger of St. Louis-based Gremlin Social and Iowa-based Denim. The company also raised a $4 million Series A round of funding to increase marketing.

    This list was originally published by CRN and the full list can be viewed here.