October 1, 2019

Direct Messaging Is a Great Idea for Banks. Here Are 3 Tips to Make It Compliant.

By now, most banks have realized the need for an effective social strategy to engage their customers. But simply being on social isn’t enough. Now, bank employees need to be available for immediate two-way dialogue with customers through direct messaging.

After all, 24% of consumers born between 1981 and 1999 identify social media and messaging over the internet as their favorite channels of communication, with emails and text messages followed closed behind (21%). In 2018, Facebook Messenger (the most popular messaging app) hosted 126.3 million users, and that number is expected to rise to 138 million by 2022. It’s clear that direct messaging is an important form of communication. If your financial institution isn’t using it, it’s missing a big “in” with customers.

But while direct messaging opens a lot of doors, it also increases the possibility of violating important compliance rules. FINRA doles out hefty fines each year for electronic communications violations, and direct messaging on social media falls under these regulations. The good news is that you can enable convenient two-way dialogue between your employees and your customers without compromising compliance.

How to Build a Compliant Direct Messaging Strategy

Despite the spontaneous nature of social media, your bank is still responsible for safeguarding users’ privacy and adhering to regulations. In addition to typical marketing guidelines on social media, you also have to protect all incoming communications. Therefore, your social selling strategy should be guided by a policy that balances privacy and open communication.

If you want to take advantage of direct messaging, fold it into your social media policy by addressing its uniquely fast nature. Start with these few tips:

1. Update your policy and archive everything. A social media policy that takes privacy and regulation into account isn’t just a good idea; it’s mandated by the FFIEC. Direct messaging needs to be covered in this policy. Have guidelines for when and how employees should respond to direct messages, explain possible violations clearly, and detail the consequences of those violations.

Your efforts to remain compliant will mean nothing, however, if you can’t prove compliance. FINRA’s Regulatory Notice 10-06 dictates that financial institutions that communicate with consumers via social media or other online sites must retain records of the correspondence. When regulators request proof that you’ve followed proper protocol, you’ll want to make sure you have what they need.

Keeping a full archive of all digital communication between employees and consumers may seem time-consuming — and without the right tools, it is — but an auto-archiving tool can automatically record every piece of correspondence (including usernames and time stamps) to ensure accountability and prove compliance.

2. Revisit social media training for employees. Armed with a compliance-oriented social media policy, employees will be better able to understand the nuances of compliant direct messaging. As an immediate two-way communication channel, social media messaging is equal parts marketing and customer service. So train employees on what an approved message looks like, new security protocols, and new compliance concerns before you let them loose.

Because it’s just as much about customer service as it is marketing, issues will come up, so institute protocols to address them in real time. Draft a plan to manage common customer concerns and complaints, and provide pre-approved responses for employees to use. For the inevitable unforeseen problems, have a clear internal workflow process so you can address curveballs as quickly as possible.

3. Protect consumers’ information. Aside from meeting regulations with direct messaging, banks should also understand that they have a responsibility to keep consumers’ data and information secure. In a Pew Research survey, 74% of consumers said it was “very important” for them to be in control of the data collected about them, yet only 9% reported feeling confident that they had that control.

Build consumers’ trust by guaranteeing that you’ll protect the information they share. Be sure your social media policy highlights the importance of keeping consumers’ information secure, and have a procedure in place for handling privacy issues. For example, employees should know exactly what to do if a customer shares confidential information such as a Social Security number.

Direct messaging isn’t just hype anymore; it’s quickly growing into consumers’ preferred communication channel. It can offer your customers an easy-to-use tool for interacting with your employees — but only if you take the correct security and compliance measures.

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October 1, 2019

Direct Messaging Is a Great Idea for Banks. Here Are 3 Tips to Make It Compliant.

By now, most banks have realized the need for an effective social strategy to engage their customers. But simply being on social isn’t enough. Now, bank employees need to be available for immediate two-way dialogue with customers through direct messaging.

After all, 24% of consumers born between 1981 and 1999 identify social media and messaging over the internet as their favorite channels of communication, with emails and text messages followed closed behind (21%). In 2018, Facebook Messenger (the most popular messaging app) hosted 126.3 million users, and that number is expected to rise to 138 million by 2022. It’s clear that direct messaging is an important form of communication. If your financial institution isn’t using it, it’s missing a big “in” with customers.

But while direct messaging opens a lot of doors, it also increases the possibility of violating important compliance rules. FINRA doles out hefty fines each year for electronic communications violations, and direct messaging on social media falls under these regulations. The good news is that you can enable convenient two-way dialogue between your employees and your customers without compromising compliance.

How to Build a Compliant Direct Messaging Strategy

Despite the spontaneous nature of social media, your bank is still responsible for safeguarding users’ privacy and adhering to regulations. In addition to typical marketing guidelines on social media, you also have to protect all incoming communications. Therefore, your social selling strategy should be guided by a policy that balances privacy and open communication.

If you want to take advantage of direct messaging, fold it into your social media policy by addressing its uniquely fast nature. Start with these few tips:

1. Update your policy and archive everything. A social media policy that takes privacy and regulation into account isn’t just a good idea; it’s mandated by the FFIEC. Direct messaging needs to be covered in this policy. Have guidelines for when and how employees should respond to direct messages, explain possible violations clearly, and detail the consequences of those violations.

Your efforts to remain compliant will mean nothing, however, if you can’t prove compliance. FINRA’s Regulatory Notice 10-06 dictates that financial institutions that communicate with consumers via social media or other online sites must retain records of the correspondence. When regulators request proof that you’ve followed proper protocol, you’ll want to make sure you have what they need.

Keeping a full archive of all digital communication between employees and consumers may seem time-consuming — and without the right tools, it is — but an auto-archiving tool can automatically record every piece of correspondence (including usernames and time stamps) to ensure accountability and prove compliance.

2. Revisit social media training for employees. Armed with a compliance-oriented social media policy, employees will be better able to understand the nuances of compliant direct messaging. As an immediate two-way communication channel, social media messaging is equal parts marketing and customer service. So train employees on what an approved message looks like, new security protocols, and new compliance concerns before you let them loose.

Because it’s just as much about customer service as it is marketing, issues will come up, so institute protocols to address them in real time. Draft a plan to manage common customer concerns and complaints, and provide pre-approved responses for employees to use. For the inevitable unforeseen problems, have a clear internal workflow process so you can address curveballs as quickly as possible.

3. Protect consumers’ information. Aside from meeting regulations with direct messaging, banks should also understand that they have a responsibility to keep consumers’ data and information secure. In a Pew Research survey, 74% of consumers said it was “very important” for them to be in control of the data collected about them, yet only 9% reported feeling confident that they had that control.

Build consumers’ trust by guaranteeing that you’ll protect the information they share. Be sure your social media policy highlights the importance of keeping consumers’ information secure, and have a procedure in place for handling privacy issues. For example, employees should know exactly what to do if a customer shares confidential information such as a Social Security number.

Direct messaging isn’t just hype anymore; it’s quickly growing into consumers’ preferred communication channel. It can offer your customers an easy-to-use tool for interacting with your employees — but only if you take the correct security and compliance measures.

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The past year highlighted the growing importance of digital customer experiences in the financial services industry as COVID-19 continued to accelerate the pace of digitization. Unable to connect in person, consumers turned to digital tools. One survey conducted between late March and early May 2020 reported that between 46% and 51% of adults1 in the United States increased social media use since the start of the pandemic. Facebook also reported in late March 2020 that total messaging had increased more than 50%2 in just a month.

While many organizations are welcoming clients back into the branch for in-person service and conversations, it will still be wise for financial institutions not to lose focus on the digital initiatives to put in place during the pandemic.

According to a recent McKinsey & Co. study, consumer trends toward more digital experiences aren’t likely to revert — so neither should your marketing and communications strategies. In fact, up to 20% of bank customers3 expect their use of digital channels will actually increase after the crisis. The point is, while the pandemic may subside, the digital transformation in financial services is no temporary adjustment. Quite the opposite: These trends in consumer behavior are defining the future of retail banking.

The future success of financial institutions will rely on reimagining digital strategies to focus on experiences rather than products alone. And remember, not all technology can be easily customized or implemented to meet federal requirements. Compliance is always a concern.4 Accommodating the increased emphasis on digital channels may also require some reorganization within marketing departments, which will take time to achieve.

Personalization and human connection will be key in the post-pandemic digital world

Relationships have always been a core aspect of success for banks. At first, this idea might seem at odds with digitization, as tech can seem largely impersonal. In the shift from product- to experience-based digital communication tactics, focus on personalization to make interactions feel genuinely helpful and relevant to each prospect.

Consumers today demand more personalization — nearly 80% of consumers5 in one survey agreed that they were more loyal to brands that used more personalization tactics. In fact, 81% of consumers even said they would be willing to share their basic personal data for more personalized experiences in return.

Personal digital experiences encompass the customer journey overall and include specific “routes” for specific target audiences. The journey starts when you get a customer’s attention on social media. This can happen via organic social posting, but because platforms have changed their algorithms to reduce brand visibility, paid advertising on social is often the more surefire way to land a post. When you can strategically distribute messages to the right people at the right time, you create a strong jumping-off point for a personalized journey that will lead your target audience to exactly what they need from you. It’s clear why optimizing your strategy with personalization can increase spend efficiency up to 30%6 and revenue up to 15%.

It’s also important to remember that prospects want to hear from and engage with real people, not brand names. Posting on your brand channels is important, but it’s just the baseline social strategy. Stepping it up a notch to expand reach7 and grow engagement requires having your employees share branded content on their own channels. In an age when 69% of consumers8 make efforts to avoid advertisements, you must foster true connections by putting friendly human faces behind your brand. A humanized approach can help build trust in your employees and the brand at large.

Balancing the personal touch with compliant messaging

Of course, encouraging employees to post branded messaging creates more opportunities for compliance missteps. Regulatory bodies monitor social media just as they do other electronic communications, and one rogue employee post could land the brand in hot water. What’s more, a promissory post that doesn’t deliver could do more than get the brand in regulatory trouble — it could erode trust with clients and prospects. Fortunately, the tools exist to help financial institution leaders safeguard branded messaging even when it’s being shared by many different employees. Software can help build an automated approval workflow, so no employee post goes live without the proper review and sign-off from financial institution marketing and compliance teams. Leaders can also create digital libraries of preapproved content, so employees have easy access to compliant posts to share.

Designing digital experiences for conversion

Think of building consumers’ digital experiences as leading them down a funnel. The top of that funnel is all about awareness. This is where you pique their interest with helpful and engaging social posts. Next, lead them to the middle of the funnel, which is all about consideration. This is where you show them more about what makes your brand in particular the best one to solve their problems.

A link to a landing page from an interest-piquing social post is a great way to take prospects from the top of the funnel to the middle (your website, where you can demonstrate your specific value.) Tailored landing pages for specific campaigns — for example, first-time homebuyers — put valuable, relevant information right in the hands of already interested prospects.

For example, a loan officer can bring prospects into the funnel by targeting a paid ad on social media to land with people looking to secure their first mortgages. That ad should include a link to a landing page on your website for more information. The landing page should include gated resources on the subject, and viewers can put their name and email into a form to receive the download.

When they submit their information, prospects move to the bottom of the funnel, where the sales team can continue to nurture them as leads to guide their decision-making. From landing page forms, sales teams get well-primed leads right in their hands for further conversation. They can craft engaging email drip campaigns or conduct sales calls to keep your brand top of mind for leads as they consider their options. Ultimately, the goal of building digital experiences is to lead prospects closer and closer to the bank’s ultimate sales goal: conversion.

Landing page best practices

When designing landing pages, a few best practices can increase the likelihood of visitors exchanging their information for your content. First, you want to make sure the content on the landing page is highly relevant and valuable to the reader. That means a broad, one-size-fits-all page won’t do. Create multiple landing pages to align with specific target audiences and goals.

Then, remember to keep posts as simple and direct as possible to ensure the specific value offering is clear. You want readers to see as soon as possible why they need the content behind your paywall. Filling a page with too many design elements, multiple offers, images, or other clutter can distract landing page visitors from that focus.

In today’s new digital environment, conversion is the No. 1 metric to track. Likes, comments, and retweets might be nice to have, but savvy financial institution leaders must understand precisely how social media and other personalized steps in the customer journey can help them convert prospects into clients. Even when in-person means of making connections are back on the table, customers will still want tailored digital experiences. As long as you continue putting the human element front and center, digital tools will remain valuable ways to build relationships well into the future.

Customers expected seamless digital experience with their financial services providers even before the pandemic, but COVID-19 turned that push into a shove as social distancing guidelines restricted face-to-face interactions and online became the only place to communicate with customers.

Over the past year, financial services marketing has changed drastically, and it’s never going back to the way it was before. Digital transformation in financial services is here to stay and will only continue accelerating. In fact, 20% of bank customers expect to use digital channels even more often after the pandemic.

Social media is an important digital channel for financial services marketers to focus on as they learn to build and maintain customer relationships in today’s increasingly virtual world. Consumers are connecting on social media today more than ever before, and it’s up to your financial institution to meet them there.

Social Media Marketing Strategies That Drive Results

When designing social strategies, financial services marketers must focus on the right goals to ensure their time, effort, and money pays off. Setting these goals will actually require a bit of a shift in the traditional mindset around social media. Bank leaders and even marketers today still think of social media as primarily a brand-building tool — a means to get your name out there, and not much more.

But social media can serve a much greater purpose for your institution than brand building alone. Aim beyond simple vanity metrics such as likes and shares with your social media marketing goals, and focus on driving real, measurable business results. With some next-level social media marketing strategies, it is possible to directly impact the bottom line by driving conversions on social.

To turn viewers into leads and leads into customers, follow these social media strategies that convert:

1. Build trust with valuable content.

Content has always been the top consideration when it comes to social media marketing strategies. Social media is a convenient way for your brand to share valuable, engaging material and resources with customers to show your value as a helpful partner right away. This value sets a foundation of trust from which strong customer relationships can grow in the future.

The people who should lay that foundation are employees themselves. This is because people want to communicate with and connect better to other humans — rather than big brand names alone. It’s no surprise that when employees share branded posts to their own networks — a strategy called social selling — they can garner twice as much engagement as brand posts. Of course, content in itself won’t convert customers — even if your employees are sharing it themselves. But humanizing the brand in this way will help viewers feel more comfortable and excited to engage further with employees to learn what your brand has to offer.

It’s understandable if thinking of letting each of your organization’s employees post brand-related content wherever and whenever they choose on social media makes you a bit apprehensive. Regulatory guidelines around electronic communication are no joke, and every financial services provider must abide by them, lest they end up in serious trouble. The good news, however, is that effective social selling strategies can be compliant, and it doesn’t have to mean loads of additional work for compliance officers or marketers. Social media management tools like Denim Social’s platform allow you to set automated workflows and create libraries of preapproved content that make it easy to ensure every employee post, comment, and engagement on social media stays within the bounds.

2. Bring prospects closer with landing pages.

So if humanizing and engaging social posts alone won’t convert leads, what will? Part of that answer lies in landing pages. When employees can share links to landing pages in their social media posts, they’re essentially providing a bridge for customers to cross from point A, a social post that piques their interest, to point B, your brand’s website, where they can engage further.

Landing pages should include informative titles that show what the reader will get from the content there right away. Then, they should include a form field where visitors can input their names and email addresses in return for the content advertised in the social post and in the introductory copy on the landing page. When a visitor inputs their information, they should receive a download of the content, and your sales team can get their contact information right in their hands.

To imagine this ecosystem in practice, first imagine a loan officer at your institution is interested in working with first-time homebuyers. Your marketing team creates a whitepaper that includes all of the information a first-time homebuyer needs to know about securing their first mortgage. Then, your marketing team builds a landing page that gates that whitepaper behind a contact form field. The loan officer posts one of the best tips from the guide on social media and prompts anyone who wants more information to click the link to learn more. Those who click the link go to the landing page, exchange their information for the resource, and get valuable information in return. Armed with their email addresses, your sales team can then reach out to let them know the loan officer is ready to set up a meeting as soon as they’re ready to talk about getting a mortgage.

Now, any marketers who read that and shuddered at the thought of building a website page all on their own should know that Denim Social’s landing page builder requires zero coding or web design experience. Marketers can simply drag and drop elements to create many different landing pages for multiple campaigns with ease.

3. Allocate some of your marketing budget toward paid ads.

Getting your employees up and running on social media and giving them landing pages to guide prospects along the digital journey with your brand is all necessary for getting started, but the way social platforms have advanced their algorithms to limit the visibility of branded content today means you need to invest in paid social media advertising if you want to see a real impact from that strategy.

Organic posts simply don’t cut through the noise on social media any longer. Sure, they serve a useful purpose of setting a foundation of expertise and value from your bankers, but to get in front of more consumers beyond the followers in their networks, and to deliver the kind of relevant and personalized content that consumers want most today, you need to invest in paid advertising.

Of course, the biggest appeal of organic social media marketing is that it’s totally free, right? Well, paid advertising on social media won’t take up too much room in your budget, either, and the return you’ll see on your investment will be well worth the initial expenses. Paid ads allow you to target specific audiences at exactly the right time with exactly the right content. And Denim Social’s proprietary social media advertising manager makes it easy for financial services marketers to organize and deploy paid campaigns across different platforms and to different audience segments. Essentially, advanced targeting capabilities ensure that no effort you or your employees put into your social media marketing efforts is wasted on the wrong audiences.

Next-Level Social Media Also Means Thinking Beyond Conversion

We’ve put a lot of weight into the conversion argument here to tell you that conversions should actually not be your end goal — but that’s the truth. It’s important to first shift your institution's understanding of what social media can do — to take it beyond a brand-building tool and into a tool that drives direct results — but you can and should also use social media after prospects become customers to maintain and strengthen your relationships over time.

Part of this relationship-building also means opening up more opportunities for cross-selling and upselling, as bankers can constantly be looking for new ways to add value to their customer relationships. When you consider what social media marketing strategies should entail beyond the point of conversion, first remember that employees are still key. Especially after customers have had a chance to engage with one or two of your associates, they’ll appreciate seeing familiar faces in their feeds sharing valuable content that resonates.

Valuable Content Is Important Post-Conversion, Too

Valuable, helpful material is your best tool for capitalizing on cross- or upselling opportunities with current customers. For example, if a customer wants to open a new joint savings account to save for a down payment on a house, you now know they’re interested in becoming homebuyers, perhaps for the first time.

Once they have their new account, a loan officer can reach out with a link to a landing page that houses a first-time mortgage 101 guidebook. The guidebook can include a call-to-action prompting readers to get in touch with a loan officer to get the process started.

Retargeting Can Help You Upsell With Ease

Another valuable social media tactic in this process is called retargeting. This means landing new paid ads in front of people who have already shown interest in your content but who have dropped out of the social media conversion funnel at some point and never reached conversion — whether they were just prospects looking into your brand or current customers looking to engage in further services.

Denim Social’s audiences tool allows you to segment such viewers into categories who have viewed but dropped off of certain pages. For example, you could create an audience segment of people who have viewed your savings account page but never engaged and those who have viewed your mortgage 101 guidebook page but never engaged. Then, you can create social media advertisements and target them to land in front of these users, giving them another opportunity to engage further and learn more.

Being on social media is already table stakes for financial institutions as consumers want to connect predominantly online. That won’t change, and in fact, digital transformation in financial services is likely to accelerate even faster and further into the future. To stay competitive, financial institutions today need to take their social media marketing to the next level. Marketers must shift their focus toward strategies that drive measurable results toward the organization’s bottom line. Then, they must consider how those strategies can extend beyond the point of conversion to continue nurturing relationships and driving more business for the brand. To find out more about how Denim Social can help, sign up for a personalized demo today.

Vanity metrics such as comments, likes and shares on social media are valuable to track. How often followers engage with your bank is a great indicator of how well your brand-building strategy is performing. However, these metrics do not do much to show the concrete return on investment that marketers need to make the case for further investment in social media marketing infrastructure.

What many bank leaders do not yet realize is that social media can be much more than just a brand-building tool. When used strategically, it can also drive direct business results. By tracking and increasing customer conversion metrics, marketers can show bank leaders how social media can work to bring in quantifiable returns.

Measure the impact of your content first

If you are ready to take your social media marketing strategy to the next level and start driving results, consider your content first. Your followers on social media need a reason to click. A post could highlight a few points from a guidebook for first-time homebuyers and then link to the full guidebook on your website or a blog post with more information, for instance. To understand how this content plays into your customer conversion metrics, consider the exit rate.

Resources such as Google Analytics can show you the exit rate, among other important metrics, for each page on your website. The exit rate on a given piece of on-site content will show you whether your content is engaging customers to move deeper into your website to explore other posts, products or services. If you find that people are exiting at a high rate from a blog post without visiting any other pages on your website, that’s a good indication they are not finding the information they need in order to move toward a conversion.

Examine the exit rates for each piece of on-site content you link to from your social media posts. Ask yourself what makes those with the lowest exit rates perform well. Perhaps it’s a strong call to action or well-placed link that keeps them exploring your website, for instance. Replicate these practices across all content you’re sharing on social media to drive down exit rates and keep your traffic pipeline full of customers who are interested and moving toward conversions.

Then guide users further down the conversion funnel

When it comes to tracking metrics for on-site content, take a specific look at landing pages. These are the pages you want to lead social media viewers back to from social media. If a social post aims to get readers interested in a guidebook, for instance, the post can link to a landing page that will prompt the visitor to input a name and email address into a form to receive the content download. This way, users get valuable content, and your sales team gets the contact information for primed leads. To measure how often users are actually downloading the content, track form completion rates.

The form completion rate on landing pages is one of the most telling customer conversion metrics because it shows you how many viewers have deemed your content, products, and services valuable enough to exchange their contact information and opt into additional marketing touchpoints, such as email newsletters, phone calls, or appointments. Tracking form completion metrics provides a high-level signal as to whether your social and on-site pieces of content have moved the needle on a viewer’s intent to buy.

Get in front of the right audiences with a targeting strategy

Beyond landing pages, another way to take your social media marketing strategy to the next level is with paid social media advertisements. Paid ads can help you target your messaging to specific audience segments who will find the most value in your content. For example, you could target social media posts that promote the first-time homebuyers’ guidebook to young adults in neighborhoods made up predominantly of rental properties. Getting such social media posts in front of the people who will find the most value in the content will also lead to more favorable exit rates and form completion metrics on your landing pages.

To determine how well your paid social media advertising strategy is performing, consider the click-through rate, which is the percentage of viewers who click on the ad to get to your target landing page. If you notice click-through rates waning on your ads, you may need to tailor the posts to better suit your intended audiences. A/B testing can help you determine what needs to change by isolating which elements of your ads resonate and which don’t. This way, you’ll be able to determine what exactly to adjust in order to increase your social media conversion rates.

Remember that brand-building social media tactics and related vanity metrics are not all for naught. They still humanize your brand and prompt engagement. But the most powerful social media marketing strategies for financial services also include content that converts, and the best way to strengthen that part of your strategy is to track customer conversion metrics and adjust accordingly.

Designing and implementing social media strategies for financial institutions takes an investment of time, effort, and money. How can marketers tell whether the return is worth the investment?

Many financial institutions look at vanity metrics to define their success on social media. Sure, this can show you how many likes, comments, and shares a post gets, but it doesn’t do much to prove a return on your investment. If you want to see real, measurable business results that go beyond farming and tracking likes and shares, you must focus on measuring and increasing conversion rates.

Social media can be much more than just a brand-building tool for financial institutions. If you’re interested in moving to the next level of social media, take the following steps to convert leads and collect data to measure your success along the way:

1. Woo followers with trust-building social content.

The first step in driving conversions from social media is to get your audience’s attention with valuable content. Not every piece of content will drive conversions directly, but material that provides value to readers and establishes your expertise will build a solid foundation for your social media strategy.

For example, local audience members would appreciate seeing content about how your financial institution is involved in the community. This is important content to share, but it doesn’t necessarily convert. Content that highlights your expertise and gets audiences interested in your services, however, is also an important part of your content foundation — and that material can provide a more direct line to conversion. A guidebook for first-time homebuyers, for instance, could spark a conversation between a follower and a loan officer.

The key is to encourage your employees to share such content on their own social media accounts. Audiences will be twice as likely to click on a post shared by an employee than by the larger brand profile as they’ll relate more to a human face than a big brand. When employees become brand ambassadors on social media, they set a stronger foundation for trust and relationship-building down the line.

2. Lead audiences to the next step in the digital journey with landing pages.

Next, your social media strategy should go beyond catching interest to leading readers back to your website for further engagement.

Build website landing pages to house the valuable content your associates highlight in their posts. For example, an employees’ social post could list one or two first steps in a guidebook for first-time homebuyers, then offer a link to the landing page to learn more. Once readers follow the link and land on your website, they can fill out a form with their name and email and get the guidebook download in return.

Tools exist to help even marketers with no website-building experience craft landing pages with ease. You’ll want to create one for each of your target audiences for a targeted approach. For example, you may want to reach young adults with the homebuying guidebook and older ones with a retirement planning one. The intent is to offer readers valuable, relevant content they want and need — and to gather their information in the process. That way, the sales team can reach out to engage leads who have already demonstrated interest and seen value from your brand.

3. Bring paid advertising into the fold to land in front of the right people.

You can’t have an effective social media strategy without a foundation of organic social media, but you also can’t really grow your brand without investing in paid ads. Social platforms have changed their algorithms over the years to limit the visibility of branded posts. Paid social media advertising, however, allows you to target posts to specific audience segments and cut through the noise to deliver content that feels relevant and personalized. For example, by putting some money behind your associates’ posts about the first-time homebuyer guide, you could ensure that those posts reach young adults in the area.

What’s more, you can retarget leads with paid social media advertising. If someone clicked a link from a social post to navigate to your landing page, downloaded the guidebook, but never responded to a follow-up email from the sales team, you could get ads in front of them on social to offer more valuable material and keep your brand top of mind. It can help you reengage audiences in the digital journey to get them one step closer to conversion.

Social media has changed considerably in the past 10 years. Make no mistake: It’s still an incredibly important tool to have in your marketing stack. You just need to reframe your social media strategy so you can more plainly tell what’s working and why. By balancing your vanity and conversion metrics, as well as the processes used to bump them up, you’ll be well on your way to winning more customers.

Building a social media presence is a powerful effort...when you have the right tools!

All too often, financial institutions jump into social media without adequate planning and are disappointed when customers and members don't engage. Making social media work for your bank or credit union can be extremely powerful when you are properly equipped.

Check out this webinar featuring Douglas Wilber, CEO of Denim Social, and Ted Brown, CEO of Digital Onboarding and learn the social media best practices playbook for regulated financial institutions, as well as best tips to ensure that your social media efforts generate new account openings and profitable, long-term relationships.

Many financial services marketers view social media marketing strategies in two separate buckets: organic versus paid social media. Marketers who adopted social media strategies years ago likely saw great achievement from organic posts. Way back when, brands certainly could create viral posts with just high-quality, valuable content, but the changing algorithms on social media platforms mean that strategy is no longer viable today. As platforms have made branded content less visible, organic social media strategies have become less and less effective on their own.

That’s where paid social media marketing comes in. With paid ads come many options for targeting specific audiences and getting in front of the right people at exactly the right time on social media. Many financial services marketers, however, have not yet realized the loss in organic impact. Others have felt too overwhelmed by all the options of paid advertising. With no idea where to start, many have not yet started paid strategies at all. Or those who've started have simply tacked on some paid ads without fully considering how it can work in tandem with organic to achieve greater visibility, higher conversion rates, and ultimately better customer relationships.

It’s time for financial services marketers to drop the “organic versus paid social media” mindset and instead realize that the social media strategies with the most impact are a strategic combination of the two. Organic and paid are complementary, not competitive. Organic social media builds your brand’s online presence and establishes your reputation, and paid helps your content break through the noise and get in front of the right audiences.

To combine paid and organic for the highest-impact social media strategy, follow these steps:

1. Supercharge your organic strategy with your employees.

Employees are your ticket for creating a strong organic foundation on social media. Not only do branded posts from employees drive higher reach and engagement, but they also help build trust and humanize the brand.

Employees should focus on building relationships without an agenda by sharing valuable content and engaging in helpful ways rather than promoting products and services. Of course, financial service marketers must ensure that every employee post and engagement is compliant and within brand guidelines. Monitoring every employees’ activity on social media can sound like a tall order, but the right social media management tools can make oversight at scale much simpler. Denim Social, for example, offers automated approval workflows so marketers and compliance teams can be sure no post ever goes live without proper sign-off.

2. Create budget space for paid advertising.

For organizations that have long been aboard the organic-only train, focusing more time and resources into paid strategies might take some internal advocacy. To start, marketers need to dispel the idea among leadership teams that organic-only strategies should be successful. The truth is, platforms change regularly and make it increasingly difficult to get in front of the right people. In today’s social media marketing landscape, you simply need paid effort to break through.

Financial services leaders likely already understand the value in social for humanizing the brand and building relationships, especially if organic strategies showed a lot of promise in the early days of social media marketing. Now, it’s up to marketers to do their research and educate their teams on how the landscape has changed. Investing in paid social media is imperative for financial institutions that want to continue seeing returns on their social media efforts.

3. Use software to scale paid efforts.

Running multiple paid social media campaigns from the brand, branch, and associate levels is a valuable strategy, but it can certainly be overwhelming. It’s simply more data than any one person, or any small team, can keep track of.

Fortunately, tools exist to help streamline the process. The Denim Social platform offers a proprietary social media advertising manager tool that can optimize your ads across different platforms. It also compiles campaign information into one centralized location, so it’s easy to see and manage your brand, locations, and advisors all from one place. What’s more, the platform offers advanced targeting capabilities with audience features that enable you to build different segments based on digital and social behaviors for each campaign. For example, you could target a “Mortgage 101” campaign to customers who have frequently viewed content for first-time homebuyers.

4. Think beyond the ad.

So you’ve set a strong organic social media foundation, and you’ve taken paid social media live. What happens now? Focus on driving conversions by using organic posts and ads to lead audiences to specific destinations. Create landing pages on your website and link to them from branded social posts.

Landing pages can hold valuable content for each social media campaign you’re working on. In the mortgage example above, for instance, your landing page could house a step-by-step guide to securing your first mortgage. When visitors come to that landing page, they should be prompted to enter their name and email address into a form field to receive the guide download. That way, visitors get valuable content specific to their needs, and your sales team has all the information they need for further outreach.

When you’re running multiple campaigns, creating a landing page for each one can seem like an overwhelming amount of work, especially considering that most financial services marketers probably don’t have deep experience building and designing web pages. Again, the right tools can make it easy. Denim’s software allows marketers to create customized landing pages at scale with zero web design experience required. The platform allows users to simply drag and drop elements into premade templates for each campaign.

Remember: The question is not, “Should we have an organic social media strategy or a paid one?” It’s time to ask instead, “How can we combine organic social media with paid advertising to increase the impact of our strategy?” Get in touch with Denim Social today to see how our social media management tools can help.

GUIDES

Direct Messaging Is a Great Idea for Banks. Here Are 3 Tips to Make It Compliant.

By now, most banks have realized the need for an effective social strategy to engage their customers. But simply being on social isn’t enough. Now, bank employees need to be available for immediate two-way dialogue with customers through direct messaging.

After all, 24% of consumers born between 1981 and 1999 identify social media and messaging over the internet as their favorite channels of communication, with emails and text messages followed closed behind (21%). In 2018, Facebook Messenger (the most popular messaging app) hosted 126.3 million users, and that number is expected to rise to 138 million by 2022. It’s clear that direct messaging is an important form of communication. If your financial institution isn’t using it, it’s missing a big “in” with customers.

But while direct messaging opens a lot of doors, it also increases the possibility of violating important compliance rules. FINRA doles out hefty fines each year for electronic communications violations, and direct messaging on social media falls under these regulations. The good news is that you can enable convenient two-way dialogue between your employees and your customers without compromising compliance.

How to Build a Compliant Direct Messaging Strategy

Despite the spontaneous nature of social media, your bank is still responsible for safeguarding users’ privacy and adhering to regulations. In addition to typical marketing guidelines on social media, you also have to protect all incoming communications. Therefore, your social selling strategy should be guided by a policy that balances privacy and open communication.

If you want to take advantage of direct messaging, fold it into your social media policy by addressing its uniquely fast nature. Start with these few tips:

1. Update your policy and archive everything. A social media policy that takes privacy and regulation into account isn’t just a good idea; it’s mandated by the FFIEC. Direct messaging needs to be covered in this policy. Have guidelines for when and how employees should respond to direct messages, explain possible violations clearly, and detail the consequences of those violations.

Your efforts to remain compliant will mean nothing, however, if you can’t prove compliance. FINRA’s Regulatory Notice 10-06 dictates that financial institutions that communicate with consumers via social media or other online sites must retain records of the correspondence. When regulators request proof that you’ve followed proper protocol, you’ll want to make sure you have what they need.

Keeping a full archive of all digital communication between employees and consumers may seem time-consuming — and without the right tools, it is — but an auto-archiving tool can automatically record every piece of correspondence (including usernames and time stamps) to ensure accountability and prove compliance.

2. Revisit social media training for employees. Armed with a compliance-oriented social media policy, employees will be better able to understand the nuances of compliant direct messaging. As an immediate two-way communication channel, social media messaging is equal parts marketing and customer service. So train employees on what an approved message looks like, new security protocols, and new compliance concerns before you let them loose.

Because it’s just as much about customer service as it is marketing, issues will come up, so institute protocols to address them in real time. Draft a plan to manage common customer concerns and complaints, and provide pre-approved responses for employees to use. For the inevitable unforeseen problems, have a clear internal workflow process so you can address curveballs as quickly as possible.

3. Protect consumers’ information. Aside from meeting regulations with direct messaging, banks should also understand that they have a responsibility to keep consumers’ data and information secure. In a Pew Research survey, 74% of consumers said it was “very important” for them to be in control of the data collected about them, yet only 9% reported feeling confident that they had that control.

Build consumers’ trust by guaranteeing that you’ll protect the information they share. Be sure your social media policy highlights the importance of keeping consumers’ information secure, and have a procedure in place for handling privacy issues. For example, employees should know exactly what to do if a customer shares confidential information such as a Social Security number.

Direct messaging isn’t just hype anymore; it’s quickly growing into consumers’ preferred communication channel. It can offer your customers an easy-to-use tool for interacting with your employees — but only if you take the correct security and compliance measures.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Download Guide
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ALL GUIDES:

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.

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 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 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!

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.

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

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 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

    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!

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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!

    GUIDES

    Direct Messaging Is a Great Idea for Banks. Here Are 3 Tips to Make It Compliant.

    By now, most banks have realized the need for an effective social strategy to engage their customers. But simply being on social isn’t enough. Now, bank employees need to be available for immediate two-way dialogue with customers through direct messaging.

    After all, 24% of consumers born between 1981 and 1999 identify social media and messaging over the internet as their favorite channels of communication, with emails and text messages followed closed behind (21%). In 2018, Facebook Messenger (the most popular messaging app) hosted 126.3 million users, and that number is expected to rise to 138 million by 2022. It’s clear that direct messaging is an important form of communication. If your financial institution isn’t using it, it’s missing a big “in” with customers.

    But while direct messaging opens a lot of doors, it also increases the possibility of violating important compliance rules. FINRA doles out hefty fines each year for electronic communications violations, and direct messaging on social media falls under these regulations. The good news is that you can enable convenient two-way dialogue between your employees and your customers without compromising compliance.

    How to Build a Compliant Direct Messaging Strategy

    Despite the spontaneous nature of social media, your bank is still responsible for safeguarding users’ privacy and adhering to regulations. In addition to typical marketing guidelines on social media, you also have to protect all incoming communications. Therefore, your social selling strategy should be guided by a policy that balances privacy and open communication.

    If you want to take advantage of direct messaging, fold it into your social media policy by addressing its uniquely fast nature. Start with these few tips:

    1. Update your policy and archive everything. A social media policy that takes privacy and regulation into account isn’t just a good idea; it’s mandated by the FFIEC. Direct messaging needs to be covered in this policy. Have guidelines for when and how employees should respond to direct messages, explain possible violations clearly, and detail the consequences of those violations.

    Your efforts to remain compliant will mean nothing, however, if you can’t prove compliance. FINRA’s Regulatory Notice 10-06 dictates that financial institutions that communicate with consumers via social media or other online sites must retain records of the correspondence. When regulators request proof that you’ve followed proper protocol, you’ll want to make sure you have what they need.

    Keeping a full archive of all digital communication between employees and consumers may seem time-consuming — and without the right tools, it is — but an auto-archiving tool can automatically record every piece of correspondence (including usernames and time stamps) to ensure accountability and prove compliance.

    2. Revisit social media training for employees. Armed with a compliance-oriented social media policy, employees will be better able to understand the nuances of compliant direct messaging. As an immediate two-way communication channel, social media messaging is equal parts marketing and customer service. So train employees on what an approved message looks like, new security protocols, and new compliance concerns before you let them loose.

    Because it’s just as much about customer service as it is marketing, issues will come up, so institute protocols to address them in real time. Draft a plan to manage common customer concerns and complaints, and provide pre-approved responses for employees to use. For the inevitable unforeseen problems, have a clear internal workflow process so you can address curveballs as quickly as possible.

    3. Protect consumers’ information. Aside from meeting regulations with direct messaging, banks should also understand that they have a responsibility to keep consumers’ data and information secure. In a Pew Research survey, 74% of consumers said it was “very important” for them to be in control of the data collected about them, yet only 9% reported feeling confident that they had that control.

    Build consumers’ trust by guaranteeing that you’ll protect the information they share. Be sure your social media policy highlights the importance of keeping consumers’ information secure, and have a procedure in place for handling privacy issues. For example, employees should know exactly what to do if a customer shares confidential information such as a Social Security number.

    Direct messaging isn’t just hype anymore; it’s quickly growing into consumers’ preferred communication channel. It can offer your customers an easy-to-use tool for interacting with your employees — but only if you take the correct security and compliance measures.

    Download the Guide

    Thank you! Your submission has been received!
    Download Guide
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    Download Guide

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    ALL GUIDES:

    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.

    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 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 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!

    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.

    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

    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 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

    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!

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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!

    RESOURCES

    NEWS
    October 1, 2019

    Direct Messaging Is a Great Idea for Banks. Here Are 3 Tips to Make It Compliant.

    By now, most banks have realized the need for an effective social strategy to engage their customers. But simply being on social isn’t enough. Now, bank employees need to be available for immediate two-way dialogue with customers through direct messaging.

    After all, 24% of consumers born between 1981 and 1999 identify social media and messaging over the internet as their favorite channels of communication, with emails and text messages followed closed behind (21%). In 2018, Facebook Messenger (the most popular messaging app) hosted 126.3 million users, and that number is expected to rise to 138 million by 2022. It’s clear that direct messaging is an important form of communication. If your financial institution isn’t using it, it’s missing a big “in” with customers.

    But while direct messaging opens a lot of doors, it also increases the possibility of violating important compliance rules. FINRA doles out hefty fines each year for electronic communications violations, and direct messaging on social media falls under these regulations. The good news is that you can enable convenient two-way dialogue between your employees and your customers without compromising compliance.

    How to Build a Compliant Direct Messaging Strategy

    Despite the spontaneous nature of social media, your bank is still responsible for safeguarding users’ privacy and adhering to regulations. In addition to typical marketing guidelines on social media, you also have to protect all incoming communications. Therefore, your social selling strategy should be guided by a policy that balances privacy and open communication.

    If you want to take advantage of direct messaging, fold it into your social media policy by addressing its uniquely fast nature. Start with these few tips:

    1. Update your policy and archive everything. A social media policy that takes privacy and regulation into account isn’t just a good idea; it’s mandated by the FFIEC. Direct messaging needs to be covered in this policy. Have guidelines for when and how employees should respond to direct messages, explain possible violations clearly, and detail the consequences of those violations.

    Your efforts to remain compliant will mean nothing, however, if you can’t prove compliance. FINRA’s Regulatory Notice 10-06 dictates that financial institutions that communicate with consumers via social media or other online sites must retain records of the correspondence. When regulators request proof that you’ve followed proper protocol, you’ll want to make sure you have what they need.

    Keeping a full archive of all digital communication between employees and consumers may seem time-consuming — and without the right tools, it is — but an auto-archiving tool can automatically record every piece of correspondence (including usernames and time stamps) to ensure accountability and prove compliance.

    2. Revisit social media training for employees. Armed with a compliance-oriented social media policy, employees will be better able to understand the nuances of compliant direct messaging. As an immediate two-way communication channel, social media messaging is equal parts marketing and customer service. So train employees on what an approved message looks like, new security protocols, and new compliance concerns before you let them loose.

    Because it’s just as much about customer service as it is marketing, issues will come up, so institute protocols to address them in real time. Draft a plan to manage common customer concerns and complaints, and provide pre-approved responses for employees to use. For the inevitable unforeseen problems, have a clear internal workflow process so you can address curveballs as quickly as possible.

    3. Protect consumers’ information. Aside from meeting regulations with direct messaging, banks should also understand that they have a responsibility to keep consumers’ data and information secure. In a Pew Research survey, 74% of consumers said it was “very important” for them to be in control of the data collected about them, yet only 9% reported feeling confident that they had that control.

    Build consumers’ trust by guaranteeing that you’ll protect the information they share. Be sure your social media policy highlights the importance of keeping consumers’ information secure, and have a procedure in place for handling privacy issues. For example, employees should know exactly what to do if a customer shares confidential information such as a Social Security number.

    Direct messaging isn’t just hype anymore; it’s quickly growing into consumers’ preferred communication channel. It can offer your customers an easy-to-use tool for interacting with your employees — but only if you take the correct security and compliance measures.

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    OTHER NEWS:

    The past year highlighted the growing importance of digital customer experiences in the financial services industry as COVID-19 continued to accelerate the pace of digitization. Unable to connect in person, consumers turned to digital tools. One survey conducted between late March and early May 2020 reported that between 46% and 51% of adults1 in the United States increased social media use since the start of the pandemic. Facebook also reported in late March 2020 that total messaging had increased more than 50%2 in just a month.

    While many organizations are welcoming clients back into the branch for in-person service and conversations, it will still be wise for financial institutions not to lose focus on the digital initiatives to put in place during the pandemic.

    According to a recent McKinsey & Co. study, consumer trends toward more digital experiences aren’t likely to revert — so neither should your marketing and communications strategies. In fact, up to 20% of bank customers3 expect their use of digital channels will actually increase after the crisis. The point is, while the pandemic may subside, the digital transformation in financial services is no temporary adjustment. Quite the opposite: These trends in consumer behavior are defining the future of retail banking.

    The future success of financial institutions will rely on reimagining digital strategies to focus on experiences rather than products alone. And remember, not all technology can be easily customized or implemented to meet federal requirements. Compliance is always a concern.4 Accommodating the increased emphasis on digital channels may also require some reorganization within marketing departments, which will take time to achieve.

    Personalization and human connection will be key in the post-pandemic digital world

    Relationships have always been a core aspect of success for banks. At first, this idea might seem at odds with digitization, as tech can seem largely impersonal. In the shift from product- to experience-based digital communication tactics, focus on personalization to make interactions feel genuinely helpful and relevant to each prospect.

    Consumers today demand more personalization — nearly 80% of consumers5 in one survey agreed that they were more loyal to brands that used more personalization tactics. In fact, 81% of consumers even said they would be willing to share their basic personal data for more personalized experiences in return.

    Personal digital experiences encompass the customer journey overall and include specific “routes” for specific target audiences. The journey starts when you get a customer’s attention on social media. This can happen via organic social posting, but because platforms have changed their algorithms to reduce brand visibility, paid advertising on social is often the more surefire way to land a post. When you can strategically distribute messages to the right people at the right time, you create a strong jumping-off point for a personalized journey that will lead your target audience to exactly what they need from you. It’s clear why optimizing your strategy with personalization can increase spend efficiency up to 30%6 and revenue up to 15%.

    It’s also important to remember that prospects want to hear from and engage with real people, not brand names. Posting on your brand channels is important, but it’s just the baseline social strategy. Stepping it up a notch to expand reach7 and grow engagement requires having your employees share branded content on their own channels. In an age when 69% of consumers8 make efforts to avoid advertisements, you must foster true connections by putting friendly human faces behind your brand. A humanized approach can help build trust in your employees and the brand at large.

    Balancing the personal touch with compliant messaging

    Of course, encouraging employees to post branded messaging creates more opportunities for compliance missteps. Regulatory bodies monitor social media just as they do other electronic communications, and one rogue employee post could land the brand in hot water. What’s more, a promissory post that doesn’t deliver could do more than get the brand in regulatory trouble — it could erode trust with clients and prospects. Fortunately, the tools exist to help financial institution leaders safeguard branded messaging even when it’s being shared by many different employees. Software can help build an automated approval workflow, so no employee post goes live without the proper review and sign-off from financial institution marketing and compliance teams. Leaders can also create digital libraries of preapproved content, so employees have easy access to compliant posts to share.

    Designing digital experiences for conversion

    Think of building consumers’ digital experiences as leading them down a funnel. The top of that funnel is all about awareness. This is where you pique their interest with helpful and engaging social posts. Next, lead them to the middle of the funnel, which is all about consideration. This is where you show them more about what makes your brand in particular the best one to solve their problems.

    A link to a landing page from an interest-piquing social post is a great way to take prospects from the top of the funnel to the middle (your website, where you can demonstrate your specific value.) Tailored landing pages for specific campaigns — for example, first-time homebuyers — put valuable, relevant information right in the hands of already interested prospects.

    For example, a loan officer can bring prospects into the funnel by targeting a paid ad on social media to land with people looking to secure their first mortgages. That ad should include a link to a landing page on your website for more information. The landing page should include gated resources on the subject, and viewers can put their name and email into a form to receive the download.

    When they submit their information, prospects move to the bottom of the funnel, where the sales team can continue to nurture them as leads to guide their decision-making. From landing page forms, sales teams get well-primed leads right in their hands for further conversation. They can craft engaging email drip campaigns or conduct sales calls to keep your brand top of mind for leads as they consider their options. Ultimately, the goal of building digital experiences is to lead prospects closer and closer to the bank’s ultimate sales goal: conversion.

    Landing page best practices

    When designing landing pages, a few best practices can increase the likelihood of visitors exchanging their information for your content. First, you want to make sure the content on the landing page is highly relevant and valuable to the reader. That means a broad, one-size-fits-all page won’t do. Create multiple landing pages to align with specific target audiences and goals.

    Then, remember to keep posts as simple and direct as possible to ensure the specific value offering is clear. You want readers to see as soon as possible why they need the content behind your paywall. Filling a page with too many design elements, multiple offers, images, or other clutter can distract landing page visitors from that focus.

    In today’s new digital environment, conversion is the No. 1 metric to track. Likes, comments, and retweets might be nice to have, but savvy financial institution leaders must understand precisely how social media and other personalized steps in the customer journey can help them convert prospects into clients. Even when in-person means of making connections are back on the table, customers will still want tailored digital experiences. As long as you continue putting the human element front and center, digital tools will remain valuable ways to build relationships well into the future.

    Customers expected seamless digital experience with their financial services providers even before the pandemic, but COVID-19 turned that push into a shove as social distancing guidelines restricted face-to-face interactions and online became the only place to communicate with customers.

    Over the past year, financial services marketing has changed drastically, and it’s never going back to the way it was before. Digital transformation in financial services is here to stay and will only continue accelerating. In fact, 20% of bank customers expect to use digital channels even more often after the pandemic.

    Social media is an important digital channel for financial services marketers to focus on as they learn to build and maintain customer relationships in today’s increasingly virtual world. Consumers are connecting on social media today more than ever before, and it’s up to your financial institution to meet them there.

    Social Media Marketing Strategies That Drive Results

    When designing social strategies, financial services marketers must focus on the right goals to ensure their time, effort, and money pays off. Setting these goals will actually require a bit of a shift in the traditional mindset around social media. Bank leaders and even marketers today still think of social media as primarily a brand-building tool — a means to get your name out there, and not much more.

    But social media can serve a much greater purpose for your institution than brand building alone. Aim beyond simple vanity metrics such as likes and shares with your social media marketing goals, and focus on driving real, measurable business results. With some next-level social media marketing strategies, it is possible to directly impact the bottom line by driving conversions on social.

    To turn viewers into leads and leads into customers, follow these social media strategies that convert:

    1. Build trust with valuable content.

    Content has always been the top consideration when it comes to social media marketing strategies. Social media is a convenient way for your brand to share valuable, engaging material and resources with customers to show your value as a helpful partner right away. This value sets a foundation of trust from which strong customer relationships can grow in the future.

    The people who should lay that foundation are employees themselves. This is because people want to communicate with and connect better to other humans — rather than big brand names alone. It’s no surprise that when employees share branded posts to their own networks — a strategy called social selling — they can garner twice as much engagement as brand posts. Of course, content in itself won’t convert customers — even if your employees are sharing it themselves. But humanizing the brand in this way will help viewers feel more comfortable and excited to engage further with employees to learn what your brand has to offer.

    It’s understandable if thinking of letting each of your organization’s employees post brand-related content wherever and whenever they choose on social media makes you a bit apprehensive. Regulatory guidelines around electronic communication are no joke, and every financial services provider must abide by them, lest they end up in serious trouble. The good news, however, is that effective social selling strategies can be compliant, and it doesn’t have to mean loads of additional work for compliance officers or marketers. Social media management tools like Denim Social’s platform allow you to set automated workflows and create libraries of preapproved content that make it easy to ensure every employee post, comment, and engagement on social media stays within the bounds.

    2. Bring prospects closer with landing pages.

    So if humanizing and engaging social posts alone won’t convert leads, what will? Part of that answer lies in landing pages. When employees can share links to landing pages in their social media posts, they’re essentially providing a bridge for customers to cross from point A, a social post that piques their interest, to point B, your brand’s website, where they can engage further.

    Landing pages should include informative titles that show what the reader will get from the content there right away. Then, they should include a form field where visitors can input their names and email addresses in return for the content advertised in the social post and in the introductory copy on the landing page. When a visitor inputs their information, they should receive a download of the content, and your sales team can get their contact information right in their hands.

    To imagine this ecosystem in practice, first imagine a loan officer at your institution is interested in working with first-time homebuyers. Your marketing team creates a whitepaper that includes all of the information a first-time homebuyer needs to know about securing their first mortgage. Then, your marketing team builds a landing page that gates that whitepaper behind a contact form field. The loan officer posts one of the best tips from the guide on social media and prompts anyone who wants more information to click the link to learn more. Those who click the link go to the landing page, exchange their information for the resource, and get valuable information in return. Armed with their email addresses, your sales team can then reach out to let them know the loan officer is ready to set up a meeting as soon as they’re ready to talk about getting a mortgage.

    Now, any marketers who read that and shuddered at the thought of building a website page all on their own should know that Denim Social’s landing page builder requires zero coding or web design experience. Marketers can simply drag and drop elements to create many different landing pages for multiple campaigns with ease.

    3. Allocate some of your marketing budget toward paid ads.

    Getting your employees up and running on social media and giving them landing pages to guide prospects along the digital journey with your brand is all necessary for getting started, but the way social platforms have advanced their algorithms to limit the visibility of branded content today means you need to invest in paid social media advertising if you want to see a real impact from that strategy.

    Organic posts simply don’t cut through the noise on social media any longer. Sure, they serve a useful purpose of setting a foundation of expertise and value from your bankers, but to get in front of more consumers beyond the followers in their networks, and to deliver the kind of relevant and personalized content that consumers want most today, you need to invest in paid advertising.

    Of course, the biggest appeal of organic social media marketing is that it’s totally free, right? Well, paid advertising on social media won’t take up too much room in your budget, either, and the return you’ll see on your investment will be well worth the initial expenses. Paid ads allow you to target specific audiences at exactly the right time with exactly the right content. And Denim Social’s proprietary social media advertising manager makes it easy for financial services marketers to organize and deploy paid campaigns across different platforms and to different audience segments. Essentially, advanced targeting capabilities ensure that no effort you or your employees put into your social media marketing efforts is wasted on the wrong audiences.

    Next-Level Social Media Also Means Thinking Beyond Conversion

    We’ve put a lot of weight into the conversion argument here to tell you that conversions should actually not be your end goal — but that’s the truth. It’s important to first shift your institution's understanding of what social media can do — to take it beyond a brand-building tool and into a tool that drives direct results — but you can and should also use social media after prospects become customers to maintain and strengthen your relationships over time.

    Part of this relationship-building also means opening up more opportunities for cross-selling and upselling, as bankers can constantly be looking for new ways to add value to their customer relationships. When you consider what social media marketing strategies should entail beyond the point of conversion, first remember that employees are still key. Especially after customers have had a chance to engage with one or two of your associates, they’ll appreciate seeing familiar faces in their feeds sharing valuable content that resonates.

    Valuable Content Is Important Post-Conversion, Too

    Valuable, helpful material is your best tool for capitalizing on cross- or upselling opportunities with current customers. For example, if a customer wants to open a new joint savings account to save for a down payment on a house, you now know they’re interested in becoming homebuyers, perhaps for the first time.

    Once they have their new account, a loan officer can reach out with a link to a landing page that houses a first-time mortgage 101 guidebook. The guidebook can include a call-to-action prompting readers to get in touch with a loan officer to get the process started.

    Retargeting Can Help You Upsell With Ease

    Another valuable social media tactic in this process is called retargeting. This means landing new paid ads in front of people who have already shown interest in your content but who have dropped out of the social media conversion funnel at some point and never reached conversion — whether they were just prospects looking into your brand or current customers looking to engage in further services.

    Denim Social’s audiences tool allows you to segment such viewers into categories who have viewed but dropped off of certain pages. For example, you could create an audience segment of people who have viewed your savings account page but never engaged and those who have viewed your mortgage 101 guidebook page but never engaged. Then, you can create social media advertisements and target them to land in front of these users, giving them another opportunity to engage further and learn more.

    Being on social media is already table stakes for financial institutions as consumers want to connect predominantly online. That won’t change, and in fact, digital transformation in financial services is likely to accelerate even faster and further into the future. To stay competitive, financial institutions today need to take their social media marketing to the next level. Marketers must shift their focus toward strategies that drive measurable results toward the organization’s bottom line. Then, they must consider how those strategies can extend beyond the point of conversion to continue nurturing relationships and driving more business for the brand. To find out more about how Denim Social can help, sign up for a personalized demo today.

    Vanity metrics such as comments, likes and shares on social media are valuable to track. How often followers engage with your bank is a great indicator of how well your brand-building strategy is performing. However, these metrics do not do much to show the concrete return on investment that marketers need to make the case for further investment in social media marketing infrastructure.

    What many bank leaders do not yet realize is that social media can be much more than just a brand-building tool. When used strategically, it can also drive direct business results. By tracking and increasing customer conversion metrics, marketers can show bank leaders how social media can work to bring in quantifiable returns.

    Measure the impact of your content first

    If you are ready to take your social media marketing strategy to the next level and start driving results, consider your content first. Your followers on social media need a reason to click. A post could highlight a few points from a guidebook for first-time homebuyers and then link to the full guidebook on your website or a blog post with more information, for instance. To understand how this content plays into your customer conversion metrics, consider the exit rate.

    Resources such as Google Analytics can show you the exit rate, among other important metrics, for each page on your website. The exit rate on a given piece of on-site content will show you whether your content is engaging customers to move deeper into your website to explore other posts, products or services. If you find that people are exiting at a high rate from a blog post without visiting any other pages on your website, that’s a good indication they are not finding the information they need in order to move toward a conversion.

    Examine the exit rates for each piece of on-site content you link to from your social media posts. Ask yourself what makes those with the lowest exit rates perform well. Perhaps it’s a strong call to action or well-placed link that keeps them exploring your website, for instance. Replicate these practices across all content you’re sharing on social media to drive down exit rates and keep your traffic pipeline full of customers who are interested and moving toward conversions.

    Then guide users further down the conversion funnel

    When it comes to tracking metrics for on-site content, take a specific look at landing pages. These are the pages you want to lead social media viewers back to from social media. If a social post aims to get readers interested in a guidebook, for instance, the post can link to a landing page that will prompt the visitor to input a name and email address into a form to receive the content download. This way, users get valuable content, and your sales team gets the contact information for primed leads. To measure how often users are actually downloading the content, track form completion rates.

    The form completion rate on landing pages is one of the most telling customer conversion metrics because it shows you how many viewers have deemed your content, products, and services valuable enough to exchange their contact information and opt into additional marketing touchpoints, such as email newsletters, phone calls, or appointments. Tracking form completion metrics provides a high-level signal as to whether your social and on-site pieces of content have moved the needle on a viewer’s intent to buy.

    Get in front of the right audiences with a targeting strategy

    Beyond landing pages, another way to take your social media marketing strategy to the next level is with paid social media advertisements. Paid ads can help you target your messaging to specific audience segments who will find the most value in your content. For example, you could target social media posts that promote the first-time homebuyers’ guidebook to young adults in neighborhoods made up predominantly of rental properties. Getting such social media posts in front of the people who will find the most value in the content will also lead to more favorable exit rates and form completion metrics on your landing pages.

    To determine how well your paid social media advertising strategy is performing, consider the click-through rate, which is the percentage of viewers who click on the ad to get to your target landing page. If you notice click-through rates waning on your ads, you may need to tailor the posts to better suit your intended audiences. A/B testing can help you determine what needs to change by isolating which elements of your ads resonate and which don’t. This way, you’ll be able to determine what exactly to adjust in order to increase your social media conversion rates.

    Remember that brand-building social media tactics and related vanity metrics are not all for naught. They still humanize your brand and prompt engagement. But the most powerful social media marketing strategies for financial services also include content that converts, and the best way to strengthen that part of your strategy is to track customer conversion metrics and adjust accordingly.

    Designing and implementing social media strategies for financial institutions takes an investment of time, effort, and money. How can marketers tell whether the return is worth the investment?

    Many financial institutions look at vanity metrics to define their success on social media. Sure, this can show you how many likes, comments, and shares a post gets, but it doesn’t do much to prove a return on your investment. If you want to see real, measurable business results that go beyond farming and tracking likes and shares, you must focus on measuring and increasing conversion rates.

    Social media can be much more than just a brand-building tool for financial institutions. If you’re interested in moving to the next level of social media, take the following steps to convert leads and collect data to measure your success along the way:

    1. Woo followers with trust-building social content.

    The first step in driving conversions from social media is to get your audience’s attention with valuable content. Not every piece of content will drive conversions directly, but material that provides value to readers and establishes your expertise will build a solid foundation for your social media strategy.

    For example, local audience members would appreciate seeing content about how your financial institution is involved in the community. This is important content to share, but it doesn’t necessarily convert. Content that highlights your expertise and gets audiences interested in your services, however, is also an important part of your content foundation — and that material can provide a more direct line to conversion. A guidebook for first-time homebuyers, for instance, could spark a conversation between a follower and a loan officer.

    The key is to encourage your employees to share such content on their own social media accounts. Audiences will be twice as likely to click on a post shared by an employee than by the larger brand profile as they’ll relate more to a human face than a big brand. When employees become brand ambassadors on social media, they set a stronger foundation for trust and relationship-building down the line.

    2. Lead audiences to the next step in the digital journey with landing pages.

    Next, your social media strategy should go beyond catching interest to leading readers back to your website for further engagement.

    Build website landing pages to house the valuable content your associates highlight in their posts. For example, an employees’ social post could list one or two first steps in a guidebook for first-time homebuyers, then offer a link to the landing page to learn more. Once readers follow the link and land on your website, they can fill out a form with their name and email and get the guidebook download in return.

    Tools exist to help even marketers with no website-building experience craft landing pages with ease. You’ll want to create one for each of your target audiences for a targeted approach. For example, you may want to reach young adults with the homebuying guidebook and older ones with a retirement planning one. The intent is to offer readers valuable, relevant content they want and need — and to gather their information in the process. That way, the sales team can reach out to engage leads who have already demonstrated interest and seen value from your brand.

    3. Bring paid advertising into the fold to land in front of the right people.

    You can’t have an effective social media strategy without a foundation of organic social media, but you also can’t really grow your brand without investing in paid ads. Social platforms have changed their algorithms over the years to limit the visibility of branded posts. Paid social media advertising, however, allows you to target posts to specific audience segments and cut through the noise to deliver content that feels relevant and personalized. For example, by putting some money behind your associates’ posts about the first-time homebuyer guide, you could ensure that those posts reach young adults in the area.

    What’s more, you can retarget leads with paid social media advertising. If someone clicked a link from a social post to navigate to your landing page, downloaded the guidebook, but never responded to a follow-up email from the sales team, you could get ads in front of them on social to offer more valuable material and keep your brand top of mind. It can help you reengage audiences in the digital journey to get them one step closer to conversion.

    Social media has changed considerably in the past 10 years. Make no mistake: It’s still an incredibly important tool to have in your marketing stack. You just need to reframe your social media strategy so you can more plainly tell what’s working and why. By balancing your vanity and conversion metrics, as well as the processes used to bump them up, you’ll be well on your way to winning more customers.

    Building a social media presence is a powerful effort...when you have the right tools!

    All too often, financial institutions jump into social media without adequate planning and are disappointed when customers and members don't engage. Making social media work for your bank or credit union can be extremely powerful when you are properly equipped.

    Check out this webinar featuring Douglas Wilber, CEO of Denim Social, and Ted Brown, CEO of Digital Onboarding and learn the social media best practices playbook for regulated financial institutions, as well as best tips to ensure that your social media efforts generate new account openings and profitable, long-term relationships.

    Many financial services marketers view social media marketing strategies in two separate buckets: organic versus paid social media. Marketers who adopted social media strategies years ago likely saw great achievement from organic posts. Way back when, brands certainly could create viral posts with just high-quality, valuable content, but the changing algorithms on social media platforms mean that strategy is no longer viable today. As platforms have made branded content less visible, organic social media strategies have become less and less effective on their own.

    That’s where paid social media marketing comes in. With paid ads come many options for targeting specific audiences and getting in front of the right people at exactly the right time on social media. Many financial services marketers, however, have not yet realized the loss in organic impact. Others have felt too overwhelmed by all the options of paid advertising. With no idea where to start, many have not yet started paid strategies at all. Or those who've started have simply tacked on some paid ads without fully considering how it can work in tandem with organic to achieve greater visibility, higher conversion rates, and ultimately better customer relationships.

    It’s time for financial services marketers to drop the “organic versus paid social media” mindset and instead realize that the social media strategies with the most impact are a strategic combination of the two. Organic and paid are complementary, not competitive. Organic social media builds your brand’s online presence and establishes your reputation, and paid helps your content break through the noise and get in front of the right audiences.

    To combine paid and organic for the highest-impact social media strategy, follow these steps:

    1. Supercharge your organic strategy with your employees.

    Employees are your ticket for creating a strong organic foundation on social media. Not only do branded posts from employees drive higher reach and engagement, but they also help build trust and humanize the brand.

    Employees should focus on building relationships without an agenda by sharing valuable content and engaging in helpful ways rather than promoting products and services. Of course, financial service marketers must ensure that every employee post and engagement is compliant and within brand guidelines. Monitoring every employees’ activity on social media can sound like a tall order, but the right social media management tools can make oversight at scale much simpler. Denim Social, for example, offers automated approval workflows so marketers and compliance teams can be sure no post ever goes live without proper sign-off.

    2. Create budget space for paid advertising.

    For organizations that have long been aboard the organic-only train, focusing more time and resources into paid strategies might take some internal advocacy. To start, marketers need to dispel the idea among leadership teams that organic-only strategies should be successful. The truth is, platforms change regularly and make it increasingly difficult to get in front of the right people. In today’s social media marketing landscape, you simply need paid effort to break through.

    Financial services leaders likely already understand the value in social for humanizing the brand and building relationships, especially if organic strategies showed a lot of promise in the early days of social media marketing. Now, it’s up to marketers to do their research and educate their teams on how the landscape has changed. Investing in paid social media is imperative for financial institutions that want to continue seeing returns on their social media efforts.

    3. Use software to scale paid efforts.

    Running multiple paid social media campaigns from the brand, branch, and associate levels is a valuable strategy, but it can certainly be overwhelming. It’s simply more data than any one person, or any small team, can keep track of.

    Fortunately, tools exist to help streamline the process. The Denim Social platform offers a proprietary social media advertising manager tool that can optimize your ads across different platforms. It also compiles campaign information into one centralized location, so it’s easy to see and manage your brand, locations, and advisors all from one place. What’s more, the platform offers advanced targeting capabilities with audience features that enable you to build different segments based on digital and social behaviors for each campaign. For example, you could target a “Mortgage 101” campaign to customers who have frequently viewed content for first-time homebuyers.

    4. Think beyond the ad.

    So you’ve set a strong organic social media foundation, and you’ve taken paid social media live. What happens now? Focus on driving conversions by using organic posts and ads to lead audiences to specific destinations. Create landing pages on your website and link to them from branded social posts.

    Landing pages can hold valuable content for each social media campaign you’re working on. In the mortgage example above, for instance, your landing page could house a step-by-step guide to securing your first mortgage. When visitors come to that landing page, they should be prompted to enter their name and email address into a form field to receive the guide download. That way, visitors get valuable content specific to their needs, and your sales team has all the information they need for further outreach.

    When you’re running multiple campaigns, creating a landing page for each one can seem like an overwhelming amount of work, especially considering that most financial services marketers probably don’t have deep experience building and designing web pages. Again, the right tools can make it easy. Denim’s software allows marketers to create customized landing pages at scale with zero web design experience required. The platform allows users to simply drag and drop elements into premade templates for each campaign.

    Remember: The question is not, “Should we have an organic social media strategy or a paid one?” It’s time to ask instead, “How can we combine organic social media with paid advertising to increase the impact of our strategy?” Get in touch with Denim Social today to see how our social media management tools can help.

    RESOURCES

    VISION
    October 1, 2019

    Direct Messaging Is a Great Idea for Banks. Here Are 3 Tips to Make It Compliant.

    By now, most banks have realized the need for an effective social strategy to engage their customers. But simply being on social isn’t enough. Now, bank employees need to be available for immediate two-way dialogue with customers through direct messaging.

    After all, 24% of consumers born between 1981 and 1999 identify social media and messaging over the internet as their favorite channels of communication, with emails and text messages followed closed behind (21%). In 2018, Facebook Messenger (the most popular messaging app) hosted 126.3 million users, and that number is expected to rise to 138 million by 2022. It’s clear that direct messaging is an important form of communication. If your financial institution isn’t using it, it’s missing a big “in” with customers.

    But while direct messaging opens a lot of doors, it also increases the possibility of violating important compliance rules. FINRA doles out hefty fines each year for electronic communications violations, and direct messaging on social media falls under these regulations. The good news is that you can enable convenient two-way dialogue between your employees and your customers without compromising compliance.

    How to Build a Compliant Direct Messaging Strategy

    Despite the spontaneous nature of social media, your bank is still responsible for safeguarding users’ privacy and adhering to regulations. In addition to typical marketing guidelines on social media, you also have to protect all incoming communications. Therefore, your social selling strategy should be guided by a policy that balances privacy and open communication.

    If you want to take advantage of direct messaging, fold it into your social media policy by addressing its uniquely fast nature. Start with these few tips:

    1. Update your policy and archive everything. A social media policy that takes privacy and regulation into account isn’t just a good idea; it’s mandated by the FFIEC. Direct messaging needs to be covered in this policy. Have guidelines for when and how employees should respond to direct messages, explain possible violations clearly, and detail the consequences of those violations.

    Your efforts to remain compliant will mean nothing, however, if you can’t prove compliance. FINRA’s Regulatory Notice 10-06 dictates that financial institutions that communicate with consumers via social media or other online sites must retain records of the correspondence. When regulators request proof that you’ve followed proper protocol, you’ll want to make sure you have what they need.

    Keeping a full archive of all digital communication between employees and consumers may seem time-consuming — and without the right tools, it is — but an auto-archiving tool can automatically record every piece of correspondence (including usernames and time stamps) to ensure accountability and prove compliance.

    2. Revisit social media training for employees. Armed with a compliance-oriented social media policy, employees will be better able to understand the nuances of compliant direct messaging. As an immediate two-way communication channel, social media messaging is equal parts marketing and customer service. So train employees on what an approved message looks like, new security protocols, and new compliance concerns before you let them loose.

    Because it’s just as much about customer service as it is marketing, issues will come up, so institute protocols to address them in real time. Draft a plan to manage common customer concerns and complaints, and provide pre-approved responses for employees to use. For the inevitable unforeseen problems, have a clear internal workflow process so you can address curveballs as quickly as possible.

    3. Protect consumers’ information. Aside from meeting regulations with direct messaging, banks should also understand that they have a responsibility to keep consumers’ data and information secure. In a Pew Research survey, 74% of consumers said it was “very important” for them to be in control of the data collected about them, yet only 9% reported feeling confident that they had that control.

    Build consumers’ trust by guaranteeing that you’ll protect the information they share. Be sure your social media policy highlights the importance of keeping consumers’ information secure, and have a procedure in place for handling privacy issues. For example, employees should know exactly what to do if a customer shares confidential information such as a Social Security number.

    Direct messaging isn’t just hype anymore; it’s quickly growing into consumers’ preferred communication channel. It can offer your customers an easy-to-use tool for interacting with your employees — but only if you take the correct security and compliance measures.

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    The past year highlighted the growing importance of digital customer experiences in the financial services industry as COVID-19 continued to accelerate the pace of digitization. Unable to connect in person, consumers turned to digital tools. One survey conducted between late March and early May 2020 reported that between 46% and 51% of adults1 in the United States increased social media use since the start of the pandemic. Facebook also reported in late March 2020 that total messaging had increased more than 50%2 in just a month.

    While many organizations are welcoming clients back into the branch for in-person service and conversations, it will still be wise for financial institutions not to lose focus on the digital initiatives to put in place during the pandemic.

    According to a recent McKinsey & Co. study, consumer trends toward more digital experiences aren’t likely to revert — so neither should your marketing and communications strategies. In fact, up to 20% of bank customers3 expect their use of digital channels will actually increase after the crisis. The point is, while the pandemic may subside, the digital transformation in financial services is no temporary adjustment. Quite the opposite: These trends in consumer behavior are defining the future of retail banking.

    The future success of financial institutions will rely on reimagining digital strategies to focus on experiences rather than products alone. And remember, not all technology can be easily customized or implemented to meet federal requirements. Compliance is always a concern.4 Accommodating the increased emphasis on digital channels may also require some reorganization within marketing departments, which will take time to achieve.

    Personalization and human connection will be key in the post-pandemic digital world

    Relationships have always been a core aspect of success for banks. At first, this idea might seem at odds with digitization, as tech can seem largely impersonal. In the shift from product- to experience-based digital communication tactics, focus on personalization to make interactions feel genuinely helpful and relevant to each prospect.

    Consumers today demand more personalization — nearly 80% of consumers5 in one survey agreed that they were more loyal to brands that used more personalization tactics. In fact, 81% of consumers even said they would be willing to share their basic personal data for more personalized experiences in return.

    Personal digital experiences encompass the customer journey overall and include specific “routes” for specific target audiences. The journey starts when you get a customer’s attention on social media. This can happen via organic social posting, but because platforms have changed their algorithms to reduce brand visibility, paid advertising on social is often the more surefire way to land a post. When you can strategically distribute messages to the right people at the right time, you create a strong jumping-off point for a personalized journey that will lead your target audience to exactly what they need from you. It’s clear why optimizing your strategy with personalization can increase spend efficiency up to 30%6 and revenue up to 15%.

    It’s also important to remember that prospects want to hear from and engage with real people, not brand names. Posting on your brand channels is important, but it’s just the baseline social strategy. Stepping it up a notch to expand reach7 and grow engagement requires having your employees share branded content on their own channels. In an age when 69% of consumers8 make efforts to avoid advertisements, you must foster true connections by putting friendly human faces behind your brand. A humanized approach can help build trust in your employees and the brand at large.

    Balancing the personal touch with compliant messaging

    Of course, encouraging employees to post branded messaging creates more opportunities for compliance missteps. Regulatory bodies monitor social media just as they do other electronic communications, and one rogue employee post could land the brand in hot water. What’s more, a promissory post that doesn’t deliver could do more than get the brand in regulatory trouble — it could erode trust with clients and prospects. Fortunately, the tools exist to help financial institution leaders safeguard branded messaging even when it’s being shared by many different employees. Software can help build an automated approval workflow, so no employee post goes live without the proper review and sign-off from financial institution marketing and compliance teams. Leaders can also create digital libraries of preapproved content, so employees have easy access to compliant posts to share.

    Designing digital experiences for conversion

    Think of building consumers’ digital experiences as leading them down a funnel. The top of that funnel is all about awareness. This is where you pique their interest with helpful and engaging social posts. Next, lead them to the middle of the funnel, which is all about consideration. This is where you show them more about what makes your brand in particular the best one to solve their problems.

    A link to a landing page from an interest-piquing social post is a great way to take prospects from the top of the funnel to the middle (your website, where you can demonstrate your specific value.) Tailored landing pages for specific campaigns — for example, first-time homebuyers — put valuable, relevant information right in the hands of already interested prospects.

    For example, a loan officer can bring prospects into the funnel by targeting a paid ad on social media to land with people looking to secure their first mortgages. That ad should include a link to a landing page on your website for more information. The landing page should include gated resources on the subject, and viewers can put their name and email into a form to receive the download.

    When they submit their information, prospects move to the bottom of the funnel, where the sales team can continue to nurture them as leads to guide their decision-making. From landing page forms, sales teams get well-primed leads right in their hands for further conversation. They can craft engaging email drip campaigns or conduct sales calls to keep your brand top of mind for leads as they consider their options. Ultimately, the goal of building digital experiences is to lead prospects closer and closer to the bank’s ultimate sales goal: conversion.

    Landing page best practices

    When designing landing pages, a few best practices can increase the likelihood of visitors exchanging their information for your content. First, you want to make sure the content on the landing page is highly relevant and valuable to the reader. That means a broad, one-size-fits-all page won’t do. Create multiple landing pages to align with specific target audiences and goals.

    Then, remember to keep posts as simple and direct as possible to ensure the specific value offering is clear. You want readers to see as soon as possible why they need the content behind your paywall. Filling a page with too many design elements, multiple offers, images, or other clutter can distract landing page visitors from that focus.

    In today’s new digital environment, conversion is the No. 1 metric to track. Likes, comments, and retweets might be nice to have, but savvy financial institution leaders must understand precisely how social media and other personalized steps in the customer journey can help them convert prospects into clients. Even when in-person means of making connections are back on the table, customers will still want tailored digital experiences. As long as you continue putting the human element front and center, digital tools will remain valuable ways to build relationships well into the future.

    Customers expected seamless digital experience with their financial services providers even before the pandemic, but COVID-19 turned that push into a shove as social distancing guidelines restricted face-to-face interactions and online became the only place to communicate with customers.

    Over the past year, financial services marketing has changed drastically, and it’s never going back to the way it was before. Digital transformation in financial services is here to stay and will only continue accelerating. In fact, 20% of bank customers expect to use digital channels even more often after the pandemic.

    Social media is an important digital channel for financial services marketers to focus on as they learn to build and maintain customer relationships in today’s increasingly virtual world. Consumers are connecting on social media today more than ever before, and it’s up to your financial institution to meet them there.

    Social Media Marketing Strategies That Drive Results

    When designing social strategies, financial services marketers must focus on the right goals to ensure their time, effort, and money pays off. Setting these goals will actually require a bit of a shift in the traditional mindset around social media. Bank leaders and even marketers today still think of social media as primarily a brand-building tool — a means to get your name out there, and not much more.

    But social media can serve a much greater purpose for your institution than brand building alone. Aim beyond simple vanity metrics such as likes and shares with your social media marketing goals, and focus on driving real, measurable business results. With some next-level social media marketing strategies, it is possible to directly impact the bottom line by driving conversions on social.

    To turn viewers into leads and leads into customers, follow these social media strategies that convert:

    1. Build trust with valuable content.

    Content has always been the top consideration when it comes to social media marketing strategies. Social media is a convenient way for your brand to share valuable, engaging material and resources with customers to show your value as a helpful partner right away. This value sets a foundation of trust from which strong customer relationships can grow in the future.

    The people who should lay that foundation are employees themselves. This is because people want to communicate with and connect better to other humans — rather than big brand names alone. It’s no surprise that when employees share branded posts to their own networks — a strategy called social selling — they can garner twice as much engagement as brand posts. Of course, content in itself won’t convert customers — even if your employees are sharing it themselves. But humanizing the brand in this way will help viewers feel more comfortable and excited to engage further with employees to learn what your brand has to offer.

    It’s understandable if thinking of letting each of your organization’s employees post brand-related content wherever and whenever they choose on social media makes you a bit apprehensive. Regulatory guidelines around electronic communication are no joke, and every financial services provider must abide by them, lest they end up in serious trouble. The good news, however, is that effective social selling strategies can be compliant, and it doesn’t have to mean loads of additional work for compliance officers or marketers. Social media management tools like Denim Social’s platform allow you to set automated workflows and create libraries of preapproved content that make it easy to ensure every employee post, comment, and engagement on social media stays within the bounds.

    2. Bring prospects closer with landing pages.

    So if humanizing and engaging social posts alone won’t convert leads, what will? Part of that answer lies in landing pages. When employees can share links to landing pages in their social media posts, they’re essentially providing a bridge for customers to cross from point A, a social post that piques their interest, to point B, your brand’s website, where they can engage further.

    Landing pages should include informative titles that show what the reader will get from the content there right away. Then, they should include a form field where visitors can input their names and email addresses in return for the content advertised in the social post and in the introductory copy on the landing page. When a visitor inputs their information, they should receive a download of the content, and your sales team can get their contact information right in their hands.

    To imagine this ecosystem in practice, first imagine a loan officer at your institution is interested in working with first-time homebuyers. Your marketing team creates a whitepaper that includes all of the information a first-time homebuyer needs to know about securing their first mortgage. Then, your marketing team builds a landing page that gates that whitepaper behind a contact form field. The loan officer posts one of the best tips from the guide on social media and prompts anyone who wants more information to click the link to learn more. Those who click the link go to the landing page, exchange their information for the resource, and get valuable information in return. Armed with their email addresses, your sales team can then reach out to let them know the loan officer is ready to set up a meeting as soon as they’re ready to talk about getting a mortgage.

    Now, any marketers who read that and shuddered at the thought of building a website page all on their own should know that Denim Social’s landing page builder requires zero coding or web design experience. Marketers can simply drag and drop elements to create many different landing pages for multiple campaigns with ease.

    3. Allocate some of your marketing budget toward paid ads.

    Getting your employees up and running on social media and giving them landing pages to guide prospects along the digital journey with your brand is all necessary for getting started, but the way social platforms have advanced their algorithms to limit the visibility of branded content today means you need to invest in paid social media advertising if you want to see a real impact from that strategy.

    Organic posts simply don’t cut through the noise on social media any longer. Sure, they serve a useful purpose of setting a foundation of expertise and value from your bankers, but to get in front of more consumers beyond the followers in their networks, and to deliver the kind of relevant and personalized content that consumers want most today, you need to invest in paid advertising.

    Of course, the biggest appeal of organic social media marketing is that it’s totally free, right? Well, paid advertising on social media won’t take up too much room in your budget, either, and the return you’ll see on your investment will be well worth the initial expenses. Paid ads allow you to target specific audiences at exactly the right time with exactly the right content. And Denim Social’s proprietary social media advertising manager makes it easy for financial services marketers to organize and deploy paid campaigns across different platforms and to different audience segments. Essentially, advanced targeting capabilities ensure that no effort you or your employees put into your social media marketing efforts is wasted on the wrong audiences.

    Next-Level Social Media Also Means Thinking Beyond Conversion

    We’ve put a lot of weight into the conversion argument here to tell you that conversions should actually not be your end goal — but that’s the truth. It’s important to first shift your institution's understanding of what social media can do — to take it beyond a brand-building tool and into a tool that drives direct results — but you can and should also use social media after prospects become customers to maintain and strengthen your relationships over time.

    Part of this relationship-building also means opening up more opportunities for cross-selling and upselling, as bankers can constantly be looking for new ways to add value to their customer relationships. When you consider what social media marketing strategies should entail beyond the point of conversion, first remember that employees are still key. Especially after customers have had a chance to engage with one or two of your associates, they’ll appreciate seeing familiar faces in their feeds sharing valuable content that resonates.

    Valuable Content Is Important Post-Conversion, Too

    Valuable, helpful material is your best tool for capitalizing on cross- or upselling opportunities with current customers. For example, if a customer wants to open a new joint savings account to save for a down payment on a house, you now know they’re interested in becoming homebuyers, perhaps for the first time.

    Once they have their new account, a loan officer can reach out with a link to a landing page that houses a first-time mortgage 101 guidebook. The guidebook can include a call-to-action prompting readers to get in touch with a loan officer to get the process started.

    Retargeting Can Help You Upsell With Ease

    Another valuable social media tactic in this process is called retargeting. This means landing new paid ads in front of people who have already shown interest in your content but who have dropped out of the social media conversion funnel at some point and never reached conversion — whether they were just prospects looking into your brand or current customers looking to engage in further services.

    Denim Social’s audiences tool allows you to segment such viewers into categories who have viewed but dropped off of certain pages. For example, you could create an audience segment of people who have viewed your savings account page but never engaged and those who have viewed your mortgage 101 guidebook page but never engaged. Then, you can create social media advertisements and target them to land in front of these users, giving them another opportunity to engage further and learn more.

    Being on social media is already table stakes for financial institutions as consumers want to connect predominantly online. That won’t change, and in fact, digital transformation in financial services is likely to accelerate even faster and further into the future. To stay competitive, financial institutions today need to take their social media marketing to the next level. Marketers must shift their focus toward strategies that drive measurable results toward the organization’s bottom line. Then, they must consider how those strategies can extend beyond the point of conversion to continue nurturing relationships and driving more business for the brand. To find out more about how Denim Social can help, sign up for a personalized demo today.

    Vanity metrics such as comments, likes and shares on social media are valuable to track. How often followers engage with your bank is a great indicator of how well your brand-building strategy is performing. However, these metrics do not do much to show the concrete return on investment that marketers need to make the case for further investment in social media marketing infrastructure.

    What many bank leaders do not yet realize is that social media can be much more than just a brand-building tool. When used strategically, it can also drive direct business results. By tracking and increasing customer conversion metrics, marketers can show bank leaders how social media can work to bring in quantifiable returns.

    Measure the impact of your content first

    If you are ready to take your social media marketing strategy to the next level and start driving results, consider your content first. Your followers on social media need a reason to click. A post could highlight a few points from a guidebook for first-time homebuyers and then link to the full guidebook on your website or a blog post with more information, for instance. To understand how this content plays into your customer conversion metrics, consider the exit rate.

    Resources such as Google Analytics can show you the exit rate, among other important metrics, for each page on your website. The exit rate on a given piece of on-site content will show you whether your content is engaging customers to move deeper into your website to explore other posts, products or services. If you find that people are exiting at a high rate from a blog post without visiting any other pages on your website, that’s a good indication they are not finding the information they need in order to move toward a conversion.

    Examine the exit rates for each piece of on-site content you link to from your social media posts. Ask yourself what makes those with the lowest exit rates perform well. Perhaps it’s a strong call to action or well-placed link that keeps them exploring your website, for instance. Replicate these practices across all content you’re sharing on social media to drive down exit rates and keep your traffic pipeline full of customers who are interested and moving toward conversions.

    Then guide users further down the conversion funnel

    When it comes to tracking metrics for on-site content, take a specific look at landing pages. These are the pages you want to lead social media viewers back to from social media. If a social post aims to get readers interested in a guidebook, for instance, the post can link to a landing page that will prompt the visitor to input a name and email address into a form to receive the content download. This way, users get valuable content, and your sales team gets the contact information for primed leads. To measure how often users are actually downloading the content, track form completion rates.

    The form completion rate on landing pages is one of the most telling customer conversion metrics because it shows you how many viewers have deemed your content, products, and services valuable enough to exchange their contact information and opt into additional marketing touchpoints, such as email newsletters, phone calls, or appointments. Tracking form completion metrics provides a high-level signal as to whether your social and on-site pieces of content have moved the needle on a viewer’s intent to buy.

    Get in front of the right audiences with a targeting strategy

    Beyond landing pages, another way to take your social media marketing strategy to the next level is with paid social media advertisements. Paid ads can help you target your messaging to specific audience segments who will find the most value in your content. For example, you could target social media posts that promote the first-time homebuyers’ guidebook to young adults in neighborhoods made up predominantly of rental properties. Getting such social media posts in front of the people who will find the most value in the content will also lead to more favorable exit rates and form completion metrics on your landing pages.

    To determine how well your paid social media advertising strategy is performing, consider the click-through rate, which is the percentage of viewers who click on the ad to get to your target landing page. If you notice click-through rates waning on your ads, you may need to tailor the posts to better suit your intended audiences. A/B testing can help you determine what needs to change by isolating which elements of your ads resonate and which don’t. This way, you’ll be able to determine what exactly to adjust in order to increase your social media conversion rates.

    Remember that brand-building social media tactics and related vanity metrics are not all for naught. They still humanize your brand and prompt engagement. But the most powerful social media marketing strategies for financial services also include content that converts, and the best way to strengthen that part of your strategy is to track customer conversion metrics and adjust accordingly.

    Designing and implementing social media strategies for financial institutions takes an investment of time, effort, and money. How can marketers tell whether the return is worth the investment?

    Many financial institutions look at vanity metrics to define their success on social media. Sure, this can show you how many likes, comments, and shares a post gets, but it doesn’t do much to prove a return on your investment. If you want to see real, measurable business results that go beyond farming and tracking likes and shares, you must focus on measuring and increasing conversion rates.

    Social media can be much more than just a brand-building tool for financial institutions. If you’re interested in moving to the next level of social media, take the following steps to convert leads and collect data to measure your success along the way:

    1. Woo followers with trust-building social content.

    The first step in driving conversions from social media is to get your audience’s attention with valuable content. Not every piece of content will drive conversions directly, but material that provides value to readers and establishes your expertise will build a solid foundation for your social media strategy.

    For example, local audience members would appreciate seeing content about how your financial institution is involved in the community. This is important content to share, but it doesn’t necessarily convert. Content that highlights your expertise and gets audiences interested in your services, however, is also an important part of your content foundation — and that material can provide a more direct line to conversion. A guidebook for first-time homebuyers, for instance, could spark a conversation between a follower and a loan officer.

    The key is to encourage your employees to share such content on their own social media accounts. Audiences will be twice as likely to click on a post shared by an employee than by the larger brand profile as they’ll relate more to a human face than a big brand. When employees become brand ambassadors on social media, they set a stronger foundation for trust and relationship-building down the line.

    2. Lead audiences to the next step in the digital journey with landing pages.

    Next, your social media strategy should go beyond catching interest to leading readers back to your website for further engagement.

    Build website landing pages to house the valuable content your associates highlight in their posts. For example, an employees’ social post could list one or two first steps in a guidebook for first-time homebuyers, then offer a link to the landing page to learn more. Once readers follow the link and land on your website, they can fill out a form with their name and email and get the guidebook download in return.

    Tools exist to help even marketers with no website-building experience craft landing pages with ease. You’ll want to create one for each of your target audiences for a targeted approach. For example, you may want to reach young adults with the homebuying guidebook and older ones with a retirement planning one. The intent is to offer readers valuable, relevant content they want and need — and to gather their information in the process. That way, the sales team can reach out to engage leads who have already demonstrated interest and seen value from your brand.

    3. Bring paid advertising into the fold to land in front of the right people.

    You can’t have an effective social media strategy without a foundation of organic social media, but you also can’t really grow your brand without investing in paid ads. Social platforms have changed their algorithms over the years to limit the visibility of branded posts. Paid social media advertising, however, allows you to target posts to specific audience segments and cut through the noise to deliver content that feels relevant and personalized. For example, by putting some money behind your associates’ posts about the first-time homebuyer guide, you could ensure that those posts reach young adults in the area.

    What’s more, you can retarget leads with paid social media advertising. If someone clicked a link from a social post to navigate to your landing page, downloaded the guidebook, but never responded to a follow-up email from the sales team, you could get ads in front of them on social to offer more valuable material and keep your brand top of mind. It can help you reengage audiences in the digital journey to get them one step closer to conversion.

    Social media has changed considerably in the past 10 years. Make no mistake: It’s still an incredibly important tool to have in your marketing stack. You just need to reframe your social media strategy so you can more plainly tell what’s working and why. By balancing your vanity and conversion metrics, as well as the processes used to bump them up, you’ll be well on your way to winning more customers.

    Building a social media presence is a powerful effort...when you have the right tools!

    All too often, financial institutions jump into social media without adequate planning and are disappointed when customers and members don't engage. Making social media work for your bank or credit union can be extremely powerful when you are properly equipped.

    Check out this webinar featuring Douglas Wilber, CEO of Denim Social, and Ted Brown, CEO of Digital Onboarding and learn the social media best practices playbook for regulated financial institutions, as well as best tips to ensure that your social media efforts generate new account openings and profitable, long-term relationships.

    Many financial services marketers view social media marketing strategies in two separate buckets: organic versus paid social media. Marketers who adopted social media strategies years ago likely saw great achievement from organic posts. Way back when, brands certainly could create viral posts with just high-quality, valuable content, but the changing algorithms on social media platforms mean that strategy is no longer viable today. As platforms have made branded content less visible, organic social media strategies have become less and less effective on their own.

    That’s where paid social media marketing comes in. With paid ads come many options for targeting specific audiences and getting in front of the right people at exactly the right time on social media. Many financial services marketers, however, have not yet realized the loss in organic impact. Others have felt too overwhelmed by all the options of paid advertising. With no idea where to start, many have not yet started paid strategies at all. Or those who've started have simply tacked on some paid ads without fully considering how it can work in tandem with organic to achieve greater visibility, higher conversion rates, and ultimately better customer relationships.

    It’s time for financial services marketers to drop the “organic versus paid social media” mindset and instead realize that the social media strategies with the most impact are a strategic combination of the two. Organic and paid are complementary, not competitive. Organic social media builds your brand’s online presence and establishes your reputation, and paid helps your content break through the noise and get in front of the right audiences.

    To combine paid and organic for the highest-impact social media strategy, follow these steps:

    1. Supercharge your organic strategy with your employees.

    Employees are your ticket for creating a strong organic foundation on social media. Not only do branded posts from employees drive higher reach and engagement, but they also help build trust and humanize the brand.

    Employees should focus on building relationships without an agenda by sharing valuable content and engaging in helpful ways rather than promoting products and services. Of course, financial service marketers must ensure that every employee post and engagement is compliant and within brand guidelines. Monitoring every employees’ activity on social media can sound like a tall order, but the right social media management tools can make oversight at scale much simpler. Denim Social, for example, offers automated approval workflows so marketers and compliance teams can be sure no post ever goes live without proper sign-off.

    2. Create budget space for paid advertising.

    For organizations that have long been aboard the organic-only train, focusing more time and resources into paid strategies might take some internal advocacy. To start, marketers need to dispel the idea among leadership teams that organic-only strategies should be successful. The truth is, platforms change regularly and make it increasingly difficult to get in front of the right people. In today’s social media marketing landscape, you simply need paid effort to break through.

    Financial services leaders likely already understand the value in social for humanizing the brand and building relationships, especially if organic strategies showed a lot of promise in the early days of social media marketing. Now, it’s up to marketers to do their research and educate their teams on how the landscape has changed. Investing in paid social media is imperative for financial institutions that want to continue seeing returns on their social media efforts.

    3. Use software to scale paid efforts.

    Running multiple paid social media campaigns from the brand, branch, and associate levels is a valuable strategy, but it can certainly be overwhelming. It’s simply more data than any one person, or any small team, can keep track of.

    Fortunately, tools exist to help streamline the process. The Denim Social platform offers a proprietary social media advertising manager tool that can optimize your ads across different platforms. It also compiles campaign information into one centralized location, so it’s easy to see and manage your brand, locations, and advisors all from one place. What’s more, the platform offers advanced targeting capabilities with audience features that enable you to build different segments based on digital and social behaviors for each campaign. For example, you could target a “Mortgage 101” campaign to customers who have frequently viewed content for first-time homebuyers.

    4. Think beyond the ad.

    So you’ve set a strong organic social media foundation, and you’ve taken paid social media live. What happens now? Focus on driving conversions by using organic posts and ads to lead audiences to specific destinations. Create landing pages on your website and link to them from branded social posts.

    Landing pages can hold valuable content for each social media campaign you’re working on. In the mortgage example above, for instance, your landing page could house a step-by-step guide to securing your first mortgage. When visitors come to that landing page, they should be prompted to enter their name and email address into a form field to receive the guide download. That way, visitors get valuable content specific to their needs, and your sales team has all the information they need for further outreach.

    When you’re running multiple campaigns, creating a landing page for each one can seem like an overwhelming amount of work, especially considering that most financial services marketers probably don’t have deep experience building and designing web pages. Again, the right tools can make it easy. Denim’s software allows marketers to create customized landing pages at scale with zero web design experience required. The platform allows users to simply drag and drop elements into premade templates for each campaign.

    Remember: The question is not, “Should we have an organic social media strategy or a paid one?” It’s time to ask instead, “How can we combine organic social media with paid advertising to increase the impact of our strategy?” Get in touch with Denim Social today to see how our social media management tools can help.