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.

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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 pandemic fundamentally changed how banks interact with clients. In this recorded session from the American Bankers Association Bank Marketing Conference, learn how to use digital channels, including social media, to build meaningful customer relationships. Discover how to position your bank to customers who no longer prefer the branch experience.

This session features Denim Social CEO, Doug Wilber, and the following experts: 

  • Liz Broekman, VP, Director of P.O.W.E.R., Fidelity Bank
  • Dr. Anissa Evans, DBA, Marketing Manager, Evolve Bank & Trust
  • Shelly Loftin, CFMP, SVP, Retail, Payments & Lending, American Bankers Association

Curious about the impact of a Social Selling strategy for your bank? Read our guidebook: The Social Selling Playbook for Banks.

Denim Social is an American Bankers Association endorsed solution.

Nonbank mortgage lenders are carving out an increasingly large portion of the mortgage space, originating 58.9 percent of all U.S. mortgages in 2019 and 68.1 percent in 2020. As customers have increased their adoption of other digital solutions, it’s no surprise that they seek the ease and speed of online mortgage services as well. Digital lenders prioritize creating seamless customer experiences, and customers appreciate the fast and efficient process.

Speed and convenience are nonbank lenders’ biggest competitive advantages, but banks do still have something digital lenders don’t: human relationships. Banks must focus on maintaining existing customer relationships to increase mortgage sales. Lenders today retain fewer than 20 percent of past customers, which represents a lot of missed opportunities as past customers approach other lenders.

Banks that maintain relationships will have a better chance of being the first place that customers go for new lending needs. Considering that 77 percent of borrowers move forward with the first lender they speak to when they’re looking for a loan, it’s an excellent way to boost your mortgage business. So how can you do it?

Increasing mortgage sales with social media marketing

A strong social media marketing strategy is a great way for lenders to maintain solid customer relationships over time. Consider these steps to build an effective strategy:

Establish stronger connections through social selling. Social selling is essentially social media marketing for your mortgage loan officers. Loan officers share branded material and engage actively with current and potential customers through their own social media channels. Bank employees’ individual accounts have 10 times the reach of brand pages alone, and they can create more meaningful conversations. It’s about marketing your people, not just your products, as a way to build human connection. Customers can communicate directly with real people to find mortgage-related guidance, which establishes loyalty and trust in your brand from the start.

Stay top of mind with targeted paid social media advertising. Social selling can help loan officers start and maintain customer relationships, but existing customers do deserve an extra level of attention—and it will pay off. It’s five to 25 times more expensive to acquire than retain customers, and an increase in customer retention rates by a mere 5 percent can boost profits by 25 to 95 percent.

Build paid social media advertising into your social media marketing strategy to focus on customer retention. Paid ads offer the precision necessary to target existing customers with messages that speak directly to their specific needs—refinancing their current mortgage or seeking loan options for a second home, for instance. Paid social can get your loan officers in front of customers when they need lending options the most. It’s also one of the more affordable ways to create targeted ads, so you can make the most of a limited budget while keeping your brand top of mind.

Enhance customer engagement with retention tools. Your loan officers can stay in touch with current customers on social media, but they can’t see into the future. Enable more predictive social media marketing for mortgage loan officers by investing in data analytics solutions. The technology can compile customer intelligence from sources like credit history, accumulated home equity, consumer debt load and major life events to show you when customers might be ready for new lending arrangements—perhaps before customers even know themselves. Loan officers can then perform proactive social media outreach to be the first option in front of a customer before they begin shopping around.

Social selling and paid social media advertising, when strategically executed in tandem with retention tools, can bring your bank measurable results. As you channel your focus into social media marketing for your mortgage loan officers, track conversion metrics to see how your efforts contribute to the bank’s bottom line.

This article was originally published in ABA Bank Marketing.

For financial services marketers and salespeople, posting around the holidays is a no-brainer, but deciding what to share can be tricky. Whether you’re a loan officer, advisor, agent, or marketing pro, finding the right post or campaign that fits your brand, resonates with your audience, and isn’t boring is easier said than done.

We’re here to help. Check out our list of social media ideas to elevate your holiday posting strategy this year.

User Generated Content - Get People Talking

  • Vote for your favorite - This idea works great for holiday movies and side dishes. Throw out a poll on your business page and share your thoughts in the comments as the results come in.
  • Holiday Playlist - Create a post asking for holiday playlist ideas. Then create a public playlist on Spotify out of the suggestions and share it back with your audience. Share video of your team playing the playlist in branch or office location and tag the people who made the suggestion for the song that’s playing.
  • Holiday recipes - Share your favorite recipe or ask for recipe recommendations for a holiday dish.
  • Traditions - As a little twist on the holiday tradition question, try asking what unusual holiday traditions folks have in their families.
  • NYE - What’s your New Year’s Resolution? As a financial institution or professional, consider asking what folks’ financial New Year’s Resolutions are for the upcoming year.
  • Holiday Decorating - Share photos of holiday decor in the branch or office (or your own neighborhood) and ask the audience to pick a favorite.


Highlight Your Organization and Community

  • #ThankfulThursday - As a twist on this common hashtag, every Thursday in November (and December if you like!) highlight an employee who makes a difference for your organization.  
  • #FestiveFridays - Use this hashtag to share images of holiday cheer happening around your organization. Pics of someone in a tacky sweater, holiday Zoom backgrounds, someone’s over the top desk decor and anything else you share are great human connection opportunities and a way to show your institution's culture in action.
  • #SmallBusinessSaturday - Ask your audience what local businesses they’re going to support this very-special Saturday and encourage folks to give those businesses a shoutout by tagging them in their responses.

Focus On Giving Back

  • Team up - If you don’t already have a local charity partner, team up with a local organization and promote ways to volunteer or contribute to the cause.
  • #GivingTuesday - Promote how you or your organization are participating in Giving Tuesday and ask your audience how they’re participating in the day.
  • Get competitive - Create two teams among your audience. Ideas include geography, sports team fans, or any other not-too-personal attribute. Create two separate fundraiser links for your charity and let the competition begin!
  • Give your audience a say - Let your audience vote for which causes you support this year. (Tip: make it a 1st, 2nd, 3rd place so you can make a contribution to all of the orgs you promote.)

Holiday Hashtags Calendar

  • Every Thursday in November: #ThankfulThursdays
  • November 25th: #Thanksgiving, #Thanksgiving2021, #Thanksgivingdinner, #Thanksgivingtable
  • November 26th: #BlackFriday, BlackFriday2021
  • November 27th: #SmallBusinessSaturday, #SmallBusinessSaturday2021
  • November 29th: #CyberMonday, #CyberMondayDeals, #CyberMonday2021
  • November 30th: #GivingTuesday, #GivingTuesday2021
  • Every Friday in December: #FestiveFridays
  • December 31st: #NYE2021

And remember, the holidays are a time to include and welcome. Celebrate the holidays that are important to a wide variety of your community members. Gestures like a social post can go a long way to make people feel included. When choosing mages and post copy, consider whether messaging around a specific holiday or a more inclusive message makes sense for your brand.

Still looking for more great holiday ideas to build out your content calendar? Check out Denim Social's latest webinar: 

Retail banks in the U.S. are facing a major customer attrition challenges. According to a recent Bain report, customers make as many as 55 percent of financial-related purchases from their primary bank’s competitors. While primary banks may be able to retain customers’ savings and checking accounts, the report suggests that they’re likely losing out on lucrative sales when it comes to loans, credit cards and investments.

Considering that almost one-third of those who defected from their primary bank did so in response to a direct offer from a competitor, wise marketers will up their customer engagement and outreach efforts to retain more customers. Affordability of products is the top reason for customer defection, which marketers may not have much say in, but it isn’t the only contributing factor. Digitization has also been a major catalyst. Namely, the strong digital products and experiences that some banks offer—and others do not.

Bank marketers who can jump onboard the digitization train to meet customers where they are with engaging, valuable messaging will be much more likely to keep customers coming back again and again for each of their financial needs. The following strategies can help:

1. Put the human element front and center

Traditional banks have an innate advantage over digital direct banks: The human touch. Leveraging this benefit, especially when it comes to increasingly digital customer interactions, can lead to measurable improvements in customer retention.

One way to ensure the human touch remains part of every customer touchpoint is to focus on personalization. A February Insurance Thought Leadership piece revealed that 72 percent of people ignore marketing that’s not highly personalized. So targeting relevant content to the right recipients is essential, especially when digitization can easily strip the human element out of an interaction. Personalizing messaging and services to be relevant and valuable to the specific needs of each customer can bring the human element into focus even in a digital world.

One way to create more relevant, personalized outreach is to practice social selling, or leveraging a bank’s employees on social media. People can relate more to other people than they can to big brand names. When your employees are the ones getting in front of customers virtually, it humanizes the digital customer experience and sets the stage for trusting and loyal relationships to come. What’s more, employees also tend to have further reach and engagement on brand-related social posts than brand pages alone, so they can expand the impact of your messaging exponentially.

2. Create digital pathways to human interactions

When considering how to anchor all digital marketing for financial services around the human element, keep in mind that every pathway should connect prospects and customers directly to a human.

For example, a social media post from an employee could include a link to a landing page on your website where visitors can learn more valuable information on the topic of the post. On that landing page, you can include valuable content, such as a guidebook, behind an information request form. When users submit their names and email addresses, they will receive the content and your sales team members can reach out to them directly with a human-centric, personalized outreach approach.

When prospects and customers know they’re just an email or phone call away from a real person at your organization, they’re likely to turn to you instead of an impersonal digital direct bank for their next financial need.

3. Focus on customer retention just as much as acquisition

Bringing in new prospects gets a lot of attention from financial services marketers, sometimes at the expense of retaining current ones. But focusing on customer retention and continuously improving the digital customer experience will help secure more revenue when it comes to additional services such as loans and credit cards.

Listen to the needs of customers and keep refining your personalization tactics to meet their needs. Every time you get in front of a current customer with relevant, valuable messaging or content, you help build trust in that relationship and increase the chances of that customer coming to you for whatever service they need next.

It’s true that people will always be drawn to brands that offer more affordable products and services. But money isn’t the only reason people look outside of their primary bank to fulfill their financial needs. Banks that differentiate by focusing on digitization alongside the human element will find that it’s easier to keep current customers from looking for greener pastures.

This was originally published on ABA Bank Marketing.

As the fintech industry has grown in recent years, more and more banks have partnered with these companies to enhance the digital customer experience. Fintech firms have the digital expertise banks need, but these nascent partnerships will require more thoughtful strategizing to deliver effective solutions.

So far, only 6 percent of banks reported seeing more than 5 percent improvement in reducing customer churn with their fintech partnerships, according to a 2021 Cornerstone Advisors report. And nearly 40 percent said they’ve seen no changes at all. This is likely not for lack of trying or skill from either side. Fintech companies can still bring great value to the table, so the answer isn’t for banks to eschew formal partnerships for good. Instead, banks just need to align with fintech partners on driving specific value.

Banks eager to improve their relationships with fintech partners and realize the full potential of bank and fintech collaboration can start by taking a few structured measures.

1. Be transparent about your problems.

First and foremost, banks must seek out fintech partnerships to solve specific problems. Without the core alignment around what a bank needs from a fintech partner, goals can be vague and impossible to reach. The more open banks are about the challenges they’re looking to solve, the more their fintech partners can understand how to deliver a solution. Perform an assessment of your current state of operations to identify specific challenges and the gaps in the way of overcoming them. Then, find a fintech company ready to fill that gap.

One example of excellent alignment in a bank and fintech collaboration is Bank of America and Zelle. Bank of America realized that it needed to focus on its digital payment capabilities as customers were using less cash. With that goal out in the open, it was able to partner with a fintech company that could offer a specific solution to make peer-to-peer transactions easy for customers to do in a mobile app. In the first quarter of 2020, Zelle powered more than 102 million transactions totaling $27 billion for Bank of America customers.

2. Get an internal fintech advocate on board.

Having the right person in the C-suite leading the way in a fintech partnership can make a big difference for a bank. Assign a fintech advocate to devote the attention and resources necessary to help the partnership deliver on expectations. Ideally, a dedicated fintech representative in the bank can serve to educate the fintech provider about the needs of the bank and learn the ins and outs of the fintech solution to relay to the rest of the internal team. Each give-and-take discussion will foster greater alignment and keep the relationship on track. The ultimate objective is to merge the bank and the fintech partner’s goals so that everyone is working toward the same end.

3. Put a premium on the customer experience.

Creating a strong digital customer experience isn’t a one-and-done investment. It involves continuously listening in to how customers behave online over time and adapting your digital strategies on an ongoing basis in response. It’s a long-game investment of time and resources, but it’s worth the effort: Accenture research suggests that nearly half of the banking public would stay loyal to a bank that offered a stellar customer experience. And considering that the 2019 FIS Performance Against Customer Expectations report noted 35 percent of people want to replace their plastic banking cards with digital apps, that experience will be largely digital now and into the future. Leverage fintech partners to improve the digital environment by personalizing experiences based on customer needs as they change over time.

4. Keep tabs on the employee experience, too.

Getting employees on board with your fintech partnership from the beginning will be essential in helping the solution reach its fullest potential. Digitization can be a scary word for traditional bankers who fear job loss to automation and other emerging technologies. This is where a fintech partner can step in to design robust workshops and other educational sessions to show employees how fintech can help them do their jobs more efficiently and provide greater value to customers. The more your employees get onboard for digital transformation, the more innovative thinking and growth you’ll see into the future.

The rise of fintech isn’t slowing down. But banks can leverage the digital expertise of this sector to provide more value to customers. Align objectives, get the buy-in of internal stakeholders and keep a sharp focus on bettering the digital customer experience. And you’ll see your bank and fintech partnership fuel exceptional, tangible results.

This article was originally published in ABA Bank Marketing.

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

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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.

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ALL GUIDES:

AnnieMac is one of the fastest-growing mortgage loan providers in the U.S., serving clients in 42 states. Learn how Denim Social helped their team to streamline its brand’s social media strategy and activate social selling for hundreds of loan officers in just four months.

Instant Download

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.

Every Mortgage Marketer Should Ask Themselves

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

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

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

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!

Stronger Customer Relationships on Instagram

Financial Services companies should be marketing and 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.

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.

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!

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?
  • COVID-19 & Bank Social Media

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

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

    GUIDES

    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
    Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
    Download Guide

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    ALL GUIDES:

    AnnieMac is one of the fastest-growing mortgage loan providers in the U.S., serving clients in 42 states. Learn how Denim Social helped their team to streamline its brand’s social media strategy and activate social selling for hundreds of loan officers in just four months.

    Instant Download

    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.

    Every Mortgage Marketer Should Ask Themselves

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

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

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

    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!

    Stronger Customer Relationships on Instagram

    Financial Services companies should be marketing and 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.

    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.

    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!

    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?
  • COVID-19 & Bank Social Media

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

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

    GUIDES

    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
    Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
    Download Guide
    ALL GUIDES:

    AnnieMac is one of the fastest-growing mortgage loan providers in the U.S., serving clients in 42 states. Learn how Denim Social helped their team to streamline its brand’s social media strategy and activate social selling for hundreds of loan officers in just four months.

    Instant Download

    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.

    Every Mortgage Marketer Should Ask Themselves

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

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

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

    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!

    Stronger Customer Relationships on Instagram

    Financial Services companies should be marketing and 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.

    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.

    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!

    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?
  • COVID-19 & Bank Social Media

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

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

    GUIDES

    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
    Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
    ALL GUIDES:

    AnnieMac is one of the fastest-growing mortgage loan providers in the U.S., serving clients in 42 states. Learn how Denim Social helped their team to streamline its brand’s social media strategy and activate social selling for hundreds of loan officers in just four months.

    Instant Download

    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.

    Every Mortgage Marketer Should Ask Themselves

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

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

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

    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!

    Stronger Customer Relationships on Instagram

    Financial Services companies should be marketing and 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.

    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.

    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!

    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?
  • COVID-19 & Bank Social Media

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

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

    RESOURCES

    NEWS
    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.

    Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest sent to your inbox.
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    OTHER NEWS:

    Denim Social's CEO, Doug Wilber, is a regular contributor to Entrepreneur, providing insights on startup growth and fintech. For more startup insights, follow Wilber on LinkedIn.

    It’s no secret that venture capital deals are headed for record-breaking numbers. If funding continues to trend as it did in the first quarter of 2021, experts predict the number of total VC funding rounds could hit 16,000 by year’s end. Together, those rounds would end up flooding about $280 billion into the global marketplace. And almost a half-million startups hit the ground in January alone, per the Financial Times, creating a running start to what looks like a runaway VC year.

    But with competition comes increased scrutiny from VCs. They’re still risk-averse and looking for partners who can deliver. If you’re seeking investment and partnership, you have to be ready to impress -- or risk losing out on the potential to dip into a phenomenal outpouring of cash.

    If you want to be a good partner for a future investor, you must earn their trust and confidence before you earn their capital and support. The way to do that is through a strong business model and thorough preparedness at each step as you build your relationship. That means you need to self-reflect and do your research. And remember: If you can’t articulate your success to date as well as how you’ll parlay their contribution into returns, you won’t get far.

    Below are four questions to ask yourself before you talk to any investor. As someone who’s been on both sides of the VC table, these are the topics I’ve seen come up the most:

    1. Do I know who my customer is?

    VCs want to hear that you have a keen understanding of who your customers are and that you’re not attempting to boil the ocean. Especially in the early stages of growth, it’s better to focus on a specific vertical rather than trying to be everything to everyone. Being focused will help you build a solid foundation on which you can validate your business case. VCs understand this and will appreciate focused ideas.

    Take the first iteration of my company, for example. It began as a focused, narrow solution for community banks. However, as our capabilities grew over time, our team was able to expand to adjacent verticals across the financial services spectrum with larger, and more complex, use cases. Starting with a concentration allowed us to saturate a single vertical and fine-tune our processes and services. From there, we were able to expand with confidence.

    2. Is my total addressable market big enough?

    Your focus should be laser-tight, but your total addressable market shouldn’t. An overly narrow total addressable market makes it hard for you or your VCs to get any ROI.

    You need to confidently understand the scope of your total addressable market to build a successful business strategy and to be appealing to a VC. Get a fuller picture of your potential total target market by doing deep and ongoing research on your industry, competitor sales information, demographic data and even market conditions to determine what share of the market you could realistically own. Consider WeLab’s recent $75 million fundraise; the fintech has not only a clearly defined geographic advantage, but also a total addressable market of millions of savvy customers looking to fully embrace digital banking after the pandemic.

    You need to be the expert on the size and opportunity in your total addressable market. Remember the most basic terms: Without enough customers, you can’t turn a profit. VCs will want to see that you have an informed and well-defined total addressable market big enough to bring in returns.

    3. Am I building products with a defensible moat?

    Castles have moats to protect them. Your startup should have a moat, too. VCs want to know you can protect yourself against the competition. All medieval analogies aside, you can think of your moat as your competitive edge, such as proprietary technology or an exclusive industry partner -- something that makes your company distinct.

    As you might guess, coming up with a strong moat can be tough. But VCs are wise and looking for partners who have something unique to offer. If your tech is replicable, differentiate with endorsement from or partnership with trusted voices at trade organizations or leading influencers. To put it in pop culture terms, you need to find the Joe Rogan to your Spotify -- something or someone uniquely yours.

    4. Am I giving customers a reason to stay within my company’s ecosystem?

    VCs like stickiness. They want to see that you will both make sales and keep your customers engaged for the long haul. That means you need to demonstrate your retention plan to indicate that you’ve connected all parts of the customer journey from intake to support.

    It might seem too soon to map out customer lifetime journeys, but it’s not. The more interconnected you can make your solution, the better. A great example is Shopify’s recent partnership with TikTok, which pilots in-app shopping for small businesses. As the social network explodes, Shopify is making it easy for its merchants to activate on a new platform and successfully sell on social media. Once a merchant executes a successful Shopify program on TikTok, it will be difficult to change e-commerce providers. That’s stickiness an investor can get behind. Your job is to show a similar path to keeping your fans in the fold.

    VCs might be especially eager to invest right now, but your competition is up, too. You need to show investors that you’re a prepared and self-effacing partner -- someone who’s worth taking a chance on. Being able to answer the questions above thoroughly will up your chances of sealing the deal.

    This article was originally published on Entrepreneur.

    The pandemic fundamentally changed how banks interact with clients. In this recorded session from the American Bankers Association Bank Marketing Conference, learn how to use digital channels, including social media, to build meaningful customer relationships. Discover how to position your bank to customers who no longer prefer the branch experience.

    This session features Denim Social CEO, Doug Wilber, and the following experts: 

    • Liz Broekman, VP, Director of P.O.W.E.R., Fidelity Bank
    • Dr. Anissa Evans, DBA, Marketing Manager, Evolve Bank & Trust
    • Shelly Loftin, CFMP, SVP, Retail, Payments & Lending, American Bankers Association

    Curious about the impact of a Social Selling strategy for your bank? Read our guidebook: The Social Selling Playbook for Banks.

    Denim Social is an American Bankers Association endorsed solution.

    Podcast: Pivotal Moments
    November 18, 2021

    In an interview with Experience.com's Kristin Messerli, Doug Wilber, explains the importance of humanizing the way companies connect with consumers, creating a measurable social media impact, and the pivotal moments that led to the creation of the rising social media management software company. As a pioneer in the advertising world, Doug shares insight on how his platform and future innovations can impact the digital world.

    Want to learn more about how to humanize your brand in social media? Check out our Social Selling Playbook for Financial Marketers.

    Nonbank mortgage lenders are carving out an increasingly large portion of the mortgage space, originating 58.9 percent of all U.S. mortgages in 2019 and 68.1 percent in 2020. As customers have increased their adoption of other digital solutions, it’s no surprise that they seek the ease and speed of online mortgage services as well. Digital lenders prioritize creating seamless customer experiences, and customers appreciate the fast and efficient process.

    Speed and convenience are nonbank lenders’ biggest competitive advantages, but banks do still have something digital lenders don’t: human relationships. Banks must focus on maintaining existing customer relationships to increase mortgage sales. Lenders today retain fewer than 20 percent of past customers, which represents a lot of missed opportunities as past customers approach other lenders.

    Banks that maintain relationships will have a better chance of being the first place that customers go for new lending needs. Considering that 77 percent of borrowers move forward with the first lender they speak to when they’re looking for a loan, it’s an excellent way to boost your mortgage business. So how can you do it?

    Increasing mortgage sales with social media marketing

    A strong social media marketing strategy is a great way for lenders to maintain solid customer relationships over time. Consider these steps to build an effective strategy:

    Establish stronger connections through social selling. Social selling is essentially social media marketing for your mortgage loan officers. Loan officers share branded material and engage actively with current and potential customers through their own social media channels. Bank employees’ individual accounts have 10 times the reach of brand pages alone, and they can create more meaningful conversations. It’s about marketing your people, not just your products, as a way to build human connection. Customers can communicate directly with real people to find mortgage-related guidance, which establishes loyalty and trust in your brand from the start.

    Stay top of mind with targeted paid social media advertising. Social selling can help loan officers start and maintain customer relationships, but existing customers do deserve an extra level of attention—and it will pay off. It’s five to 25 times more expensive to acquire than retain customers, and an increase in customer retention rates by a mere 5 percent can boost profits by 25 to 95 percent.

    Build paid social media advertising into your social media marketing strategy to focus on customer retention. Paid ads offer the precision necessary to target existing customers with messages that speak directly to their specific needs—refinancing their current mortgage or seeking loan options for a second home, for instance. Paid social can get your loan officers in front of customers when they need lending options the most. It’s also one of the more affordable ways to create targeted ads, so you can make the most of a limited budget while keeping your brand top of mind.

    Enhance customer engagement with retention tools. Your loan officers can stay in touch with current customers on social media, but they can’t see into the future. Enable more predictive social media marketing for mortgage loan officers by investing in data analytics solutions. The technology can compile customer intelligence from sources like credit history, accumulated home equity, consumer debt load and major life events to show you when customers might be ready for new lending arrangements—perhaps before customers even know themselves. Loan officers can then perform proactive social media outreach to be the first option in front of a customer before they begin shopping around.

    Social selling and paid social media advertising, when strategically executed in tandem with retention tools, can bring your bank measurable results. As you channel your focus into social media marketing for your mortgage loan officers, track conversion metrics to see how your efforts contribute to the bank’s bottom line.

    This article was originally published in ABA Bank Marketing.

    Most insurance companies were setting out on a digital transformation journey with an expected time frame of about three to five years before COVID-19. Then the pandemic accelerated the need for digitization and shortened that time frame drastically—to about six months, in most cases.

    Insurance marketing teams were already using digital marketing prior to the pandemic. But as the pandemic created a world mostly void of face-to-face customer interactions, they had to ramp up digital campaigns and touchpoints significantly—and quickly. Marketers had no choice but to mold ad-hoc digital marketing strategies onto existing department structures.

    One problem with charging existing teams with new strategies is that they won’t always have the expertise necessary to pull them off. In-house teams might be used to handling copy and visual, as these have been and will continue to be staples of marketing for a long time. As a result of accelerated digitization across the industry, however, managing CRMs, digital marketing platforms and data are now also critical elements of insurance marketing responsibilities.

    Can your team support that, or do you need to expand and restructure?

    After more than a year of working this way, it’s time for insurance company leaders to take a deep breath and a step back. They need to critically evaluate the function and structure of their marketing departments to determine if they’re well-positioned to fully embrace modern approaches now and into the future. The tips listed below can help insurance company leaders create marketing departments best suited for pulling off excellent digital marketing strategies.

    1. Combine your brand and business unit marketing teams.

    The traditional marketing department structure at insurance companies separates brand marketers and business unit marketers into two or more teams. The brand team is responsible for building and strengthening brand identity and recognition and typically measures its marketing success in recall and impression metrics.

    The business unit teams, on the other hand, are responsible for supporting each line of business in the company, like property/casualty, life insurance, etc. These teams produce insurance marketing materials that generally aim to drive direct sales of a given product or service. A large part of measuring success for these teams comes down to conversion metrics.
    When these teams operate separately, they can too easily become misaligned around goals. Building the brand, especially on digital channels like social media, can also have a direct impact on conversions. Brand marketers need to think with a conversion mindset, and business unit marketers need to consider how traditionally brand-centric tools, like social media, actually can help grow the business. Essentially, you want to centralize your marketing team so every marketer can collaborate and communicate across the business and unify around shared goals.

    1. Democratize digital marketing.

    Marketers shouldn’t be the only team members able to drive your digital insurance marketing efforts. Agents, in particular, can have a huge impact on the business when they do marketing from their own social media business accounts. This approach, known as social selling, humanizes the brand and creates stronger connections between prospects and agents. It can help move prospects closer to conversion and continue nurturing customer relationships once they do convert.
    If employees are posting brand-related content on social media, however, marketers will need a way to oversee their activity to ensure all electronic communication stays compliant and consistent with brand messaging standards. A content management platform can help. Look for a platform outfitted with permission settings, user roles and governance features to help you democratize content and eliminate any bottlenecks that could stall your social media marketing efforts.

    1. Keep growing your team.

    If you’re looking to expand the expertise of your team and bring on more marketers, a natural assumption might be to hire professionals with direct insurance marketing experience. But remember that growth is the imperative behind your digital transformation in the first place, and if you really want to expand, that means expanding the perspectives on your teams as well. Hiring only marketers with industry experience can make your company seem indistinguishable from the rest as content will often look and feel the same.

    Instead, consider hiring people with different backgrounds and experiences, even from outside the industry, to shake things up with new perspectives. People from retail or consumer-brand backgrounds, for example, can invigorate your digital marketing strategy with fresh, new ideas and expose your team to different best practices that can help you stand out from the competition. Look into other industries that really seem to understand consumers and consumer behaviors.

    1. Embrace agility.

    Traditional marketing department structures at insurance companies can seem rigid and unable to change easily. But if the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that agility in the face of the unexpected is one key to a strong business.
    Structure your team in a way that enables you to pivot quickly when necessary—not just in the face of a global pandemic but also with constantly changing consumer preferences. Build a team that can constantly react to the ever-changing market with new digital tactics. And make sure your marketing team is supported by the right tools and marketing technology infrastructure to support such efforts.
    Invest in digital platforms that can automate campaign, content and message delivery across channels to keep your reaction nimble and responsive. The last thing you want is to spend weeks trying to get your marketing materials out, only to find they’re now irrelevant due to some market trend.

    1. Make data-informed decisions.

    When it comes to essential infrastructure for insurance companies today, remember the importance of data. Data and analytics are critical, and you need the right technology to capture, compile and disseminate data from disparate systems. The insights you can glean from well-organized data analysis can help your insurance marketing team make the best-informed decisions and provide the room to experiment and test messaging based on the most current information.

    The pandemic has forced the hand of many insurance marketing executives. Prioritizing digital marketing efforts is imperative today, but if companies want to see the most return from these investments, they need the right marketing structures to support them. Then, properly designed teams with the right tools and technologies in their arsenals can continue responding to changes as they come, constantly evolving digital marketing strategies and driving success.

    This article was originally published in Carrier Management.

    Retail banks in the U.S. are facing a major customer attrition challenges. According to a recent Bain report, customers make as many as 55 percent of financial-related purchases from their primary bank’s competitors. While primary banks may be able to retain customers’ savings and checking accounts, the report suggests that they’re likely losing out on lucrative sales when it comes to loans, credit cards and investments.

    Considering that almost one-third of those who defected from their primary bank did so in response to a direct offer from a competitor, wise marketers will up their customer engagement and outreach efforts to retain more customers. Affordability of products is the top reason for customer defection, which marketers may not have much say in, but it isn’t the only contributing factor. Digitization has also been a major catalyst. Namely, the strong digital products and experiences that some banks offer—and others do not.

    Bank marketers who can jump onboard the digitization train to meet customers where they are with engaging, valuable messaging will be much more likely to keep customers coming back again and again for each of their financial needs. The following strategies can help:

    1. Put the human element front and center

    Traditional banks have an innate advantage over digital direct banks: The human touch. Leveraging this benefit, especially when it comes to increasingly digital customer interactions, can lead to measurable improvements in customer retention.

    One way to ensure the human touch remains part of every customer touchpoint is to focus on personalization. A February Insurance Thought Leadership piece revealed that 72 percent of people ignore marketing that’s not highly personalized. So targeting relevant content to the right recipients is essential, especially when digitization can easily strip the human element out of an interaction. Personalizing messaging and services to be relevant and valuable to the specific needs of each customer can bring the human element into focus even in a digital world.

    One way to create more relevant, personalized outreach is to practice social selling, or leveraging a bank’s employees on social media. People can relate more to other people than they can to big brand names. When your employees are the ones getting in front of customers virtually, it humanizes the digital customer experience and sets the stage for trusting and loyal relationships to come. What’s more, employees also tend to have further reach and engagement on brand-related social posts than brand pages alone, so they can expand the impact of your messaging exponentially.

    2. Create digital pathways to human interactions

    When considering how to anchor all digital marketing for financial services around the human element, keep in mind that every pathway should connect prospects and customers directly to a human.

    For example, a social media post from an employee could include a link to a landing page on your website where visitors can learn more valuable information on the topic of the post. On that landing page, you can include valuable content, such as a guidebook, behind an information request form. When users submit their names and email addresses, they will receive the content and your sales team members can reach out to them directly with a human-centric, personalized outreach approach.

    When prospects and customers know they’re just an email or phone call away from a real person at your organization, they’re likely to turn to you instead of an impersonal digital direct bank for their next financial need.

    3. Focus on customer retention just as much as acquisition

    Bringing in new prospects gets a lot of attention from financial services marketers, sometimes at the expense of retaining current ones. But focusing on customer retention and continuously improving the digital customer experience will help secure more revenue when it comes to additional services such as loans and credit cards.

    Listen to the needs of customers and keep refining your personalization tactics to meet their needs. Every time you get in front of a current customer with relevant, valuable messaging or content, you help build trust in that relationship and increase the chances of that customer coming to you for whatever service they need next.

    It’s true that people will always be drawn to brands that offer more affordable products and services. But money isn’t the only reason people look outside of their primary bank to fulfill their financial needs. Banks that differentiate by focusing on digitization alongside the human element will find that it’s easier to keep current customers from looking for greener pastures.

    This was originally published on ABA Bank Marketing.

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    October 1, 2019

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

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    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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    Digital-direct lenders have been staking out a larger and larger claim to the mortgage space. In 2019 alone, 58.9% of all U.S. mortgages originated from nonbank mortgage lenders. In 2020, that number jumped to 68.1%. People are increasingly adopting digital solutions, which is precisely what these lenders offer. They provide a fast and efficient means of securing a mortgage.

    But speed and convenience aren’t everything, and traditional lenders still have at least one ace in their back pockets. Digital-direct lenders can’t establish human relationships like traditional mortgage loan officers can. Lenders will find their competitive advantage by building genuine connections and nurturing relationships over time.

    With more than three-fourths of borrowers moving forward with the first lender they speak to, being the first in front of them to make an initial connection is the key to securing more mortgage business over time. In today’s increasingly digital world, social media is where loan officers can meet customers where they are and continue maintaining those relationships.

    Mortgage marketers looking to make the most of their human resources and move the needle on deals closed will need a solid social media mortgage marketing strategy — one built on a path to scalability. The first step is creating a social media content plan.

    Developing a Social Media Content Plan

    Mortgage marketers need to activate loan officers on social media. Employee personal accounts have greater reach than brand pages alone, and consumers see posts from individuals as more authentic and trustworthy than those from companies.

    Loan officers, however, aren’t marketers, and they’re busier than ever, as interest rates have been at historic lows. In other words, loan officers need support with their mortgage marketing efforts to execute social selling programs strategically.

    Enter the social media content plan to detail when and what mortgage loan officers will post.

    Consistency is critical with social media for mortgage loan officers. The post frequency you outline in your social media content plan will vary based on your resources and team, but Denim Social’s recent benchmark report can give you a good idea of how often your competitors are posting to get you started.

    When it comes to the right content to include in your plan, social media marketing for mortgage loan officers should include the right mix of educational information, personalized posts, and promotional content. Denim Social’s platform can create curated content libraries from trusted third-party news sources, taking the time and effort of sourcing educational material out of loan officers’ and marketers’ hands.

    Keep promotional content to a minimum, and when loan officers do share these types of posts, make them helpful and meaningful. Linking to personalized landing pages from promotional posts to guide prospects to the information they want and need is a great way to drive more value from social media.

    Of course, educational and promotional content developed and scheduled by marketers and posted by loan officers only has so much power. Remember, the point of social media marketing for loan officers is to get the human element front and center. People prefer doing business with people, so loan officers should also be developing their own posts to showcase their distinct personalities, make connections, and build and strengthen customer relationships. For example, loan officers could share photos of closings or videos from community events.

    While the right social media content plan and management tools will make social selling quick and easy for loan officers and marketers alike, marketers will still need to provide loan officers with some guidance. Social media training for loan officers will ensure every post is effective and compliant.

    Social Media Training Tips

    The average age of mortgage loan officers is 47, so chances are most members of your team aren’t digital natives. This doesn’t mean they’ll be opposed to learning or using social media, but social media training can help them get comfortable with platforms and use social strategies to their fullest potential.

    While social media training programs won’t look the same for every organization, they should all explain the opportunity behind social selling and highlight the importance of consistent posting to build genuine connections. Share information about what social media marketing for mortgage loan officers can do to build brand awareness and generate leads. According to LinkedIn data, salespeople who maintain an active social media presence are 57% more like to generate leads and 45% more likely to reach quota than those who post less frequently. Considering that the average borrower purchases 11 mortgages in their lifetime, a strong social media presence can do wonders for securing business.

    From there, explain why it’s essential to keep a consistent social media presence — but be sure to highlight how doing so won’t be a burden for loan officers. If loan officers don’t post regularly, social media platform algorithms may bury posts in users’ feeds and cause loan officers to drop off borrowers’ radars. But marketers can develop thoughtful social media content plans and schedule posts in advance to alleviate the pressure on loan officers to post frequently.

    Marketers can handle educational and promotional posts, but loan officers do still need to add their own touch with personal content. Of course, electronic communication, including social media, is heavily regulated in financial services. Loan officers might be hesitant to create posts on their own due to social media compliance concerns. Marketers can ease their worries by assuring them that no post will go live without proper approval. Denim Social’s automatic approval workflow will get every post in front of the right people for appropriate review and sign-off.

    Scaling Your Social Selling Tactics

    For marketers overseeing hundreds or thousands of loan officers on social media, the idea of scaling effective and compliant social selling strategies can seem daunting or even impossible, especially if you’re still juggling different spreadsheets for login and posting information. If that sounds like you, you’re in luck: Denim Social enables you to post on various platforms from hundreds of loan officers’ profiles in just a few clicks — all from one easily-accessible dashboard.

    Denim Social can also help marketers scale compliance oversight. Whereas many social media management tools are aimed at consumer brands and small businesses that don’t have to worry about regulatory concerns, Denim Social’s platform has been designed specifically with financial institutions’ needs in mind — including compliance. Along with preapproved content libraries and automated approval workflows, the platform also enables marketers to filter for keywords that could raise compliance concerns to flag potentially problematic content before it makes it to the approval step, eliminating approval process bottlenecks. These elements allow mortgage marketers to scale compliance across every loan officers’ social media strategy with ease.

    Scaling compliant educational, personal, and limited promotional posts for loan officers is crucial for social media mortgage marketing, but it’s not the only important component to consider. Changing social media algorithms have made organic posts less visible over time. While these posts can still gain some traction, strategies that include paid social media advertising will deliver the most impact.

    Paid Social Media Advertising

    While organic content might be less impactful on its own than it once was, pairing it with paid social media advertising can bring in significant returns. Marketers can target paid posts to show up in front of the right people at the right times. For example, a loan officer looking to secure more first-time mortgage business could target recent college graduates in the local community with educational, informative posts about buying their first home.

    And just like with organic posts, marketers can pull off compliant and effective paid social media advertising at scale with Denim Social. Our social media management tool combines both organic and paid into one platform to streamline your planning and oversight efforts.

    Today, an effective mortgage marketing strategy for traditional lenders looks like using social media to create and maintain relationships between loan officers and customers. Thoughtful social media content plans, social media training for loan officers, and the tools to scale efforts across as many loan officers as possible will bring impressive returns. It might seem like a massive effort at first, but the right technology partners can get your social media mortgage marketing strategy up and running quickly to drive results in no time. Schedule a demo with Denim Social to see how we can work for you.


    Being responsible for your team’s social selling strategy can be daunting, especially if you don’t have a plan or support. We see it firsthand at Denim Social – without a meaningful strategy, users may not be eager (or downright resistant) to jump on a new platform. So, how are others getting their teams onboard? We talked to a few Denim Social customers to learn how they’re making it happen and we saw four keys to adoption success.

    Activate a hybrid distribution approach.

    We find that teams that utilize a hybrid approach to posting have the most empowered associates. What does it look like in practice? This usually includes the marketing team posting brand content on behalf of associates, and associates scheduling out pre-approved industry content from a content library, plus sprinkling in their own personal content. And rest assured, that personal content still goes through approval workflows.  

    Build a robust content library.

    If you’re going to ask associates to post content, you’ve got to make it easy and compliant. Our platform offers content libraries filled with pre-approved posts. We see that when associates have lots of content to choose from, they post more frequently.

    “We have implemented several resources and training opportunities to encourage users to stay engaged. We update libraries on a weekly basis and send a weekly content digest via email to remind our users to get into the system and schedule their posts, said Amy Leonard, officer digital marketing specialist at Johnson Financial Group.

    Communicate the value of social media consistently.

    Your teams need to be able to answer the age old question, “what’s in it for me?” Your teams are busy and that means you need to help them see why spending their valuable time on social media is worth it.

    “Whenever you bring on a new platform, user adoption can be a challenge. Once users embrace Denim Social, they see that it actually saves them time,” said Leonard.

    Seth Reeks from Evolve Bank and Trust finds that communicating the benefits of social media AND Denim Social combined are the most impactful. He uses real information from top performers to show their peers why social media can help drive relationships and business.  He provides them with brand and industry focused content on an ongoing basis. Then he shows them how they can schedule out their content efficiently using Denim Social.

    “I tell them if they put in just a little work at the beginning of the month, they’ll see big results,” said Reeks.  

    Train and Train Again

    Baking social media and Denim Social training into the onboarding process is a great way to introduce new and motivated associates to a fresh way to drive their business.  It is also important to keep social media top of mind for ALL associates. An ongoing training program outlining compliance/social policy, the value of social media and Denim Social is a must, whether it be monthly or quarterly. Marketing is not often top of mind for salespeople, so it is important to continuously educate them on how to get involved and optimize their strategies.  

    Allison Dickinson, social media specialist at AnnieMac Home Mortgage oversees the creation of their hugely successful mortgage loan officer training program, which includes a monthly new hire social media and compliance training course and Denim Social overview, a monthly Denim Social refresher training, a Quarterly Strategy Training, and ongoing 1:1 assistance for users.

    “We have monthly Denim Refresh trainings to keep our users updated and knowledgeable about the platform. One thing we like to do is host one-on-one trainings to make sure they understand the workflow and that Denim is easy for them to use,” said Dickinson.

    This training program is a well oiled machine, and keeps their social program growing by educating and informing users consistently.

    If you’re struggling with adoption, these strategies can help. And of course, persistence pays off.

    “Don’t give up! In the beginning, we had no users, no one managing their social media. Now we have over 100 users handling their own social media accounts,” said Reeks. “If we had quit back in the beginning when it was tough to get buy-in, we wouldn’t have the program that we have now.”

    Social media is only as valuable as its users and that makes adoption key. If you’re struggling to motivate your team to hop on the social media bandwagon the right tools and support can make all the difference. Check out our webinar, Driving User Engagement in Denim Social, to learn more about how Denim Social can support your social media success.



    Denim Social's CEO, Doug Wilber, is a regular contributor to Entrepreneur, providing insights on startup growth and fintech. For more startup insights, follow Wilber on LinkedIn.

    It’s no secret that venture capital deals are headed for record-breaking numbers. If funding continues to trend as it did in the first quarter of 2021, experts predict the number of total VC funding rounds could hit 16,000 by year’s end. Together, those rounds would end up flooding about $280 billion into the global marketplace. And almost a half-million startups hit the ground in January alone, per the Financial Times, creating a running start to what looks like a runaway VC year.

    But with competition comes increased scrutiny from VCs. They’re still risk-averse and looking for partners who can deliver. If you’re seeking investment and partnership, you have to be ready to impress -- or risk losing out on the potential to dip into a phenomenal outpouring of cash.

    If you want to be a good partner for a future investor, you must earn their trust and confidence before you earn their capital and support. The way to do that is through a strong business model and thorough preparedness at each step as you build your relationship. That means you need to self-reflect and do your research. And remember: If you can’t articulate your success to date as well as how you’ll parlay their contribution into returns, you won’t get far.

    Below are four questions to ask yourself before you talk to any investor. As someone who’s been on both sides of the VC table, these are the topics I’ve seen come up the most:

    1. Do I know who my customer is?

    VCs want to hear that you have a keen understanding of who your customers are and that you’re not attempting to boil the ocean. Especially in the early stages of growth, it’s better to focus on a specific vertical rather than trying to be everything to everyone. Being focused will help you build a solid foundation on which you can validate your business case. VCs understand this and will appreciate focused ideas.

    Take the first iteration of my company, for example. It began as a focused, narrow solution for community banks. However, as our capabilities grew over time, our team was able to expand to adjacent verticals across the financial services spectrum with larger, and more complex, use cases. Starting with a concentration allowed us to saturate a single vertical and fine-tune our processes and services. From there, we were able to expand with confidence.

    2. Is my total addressable market big enough?

    Your focus should be laser-tight, but your total addressable market shouldn’t. An overly narrow total addressable market makes it hard for you or your VCs to get any ROI.

    You need to confidently understand the scope of your total addressable market to build a successful business strategy and to be appealing to a VC. Get a fuller picture of your potential total target market by doing deep and ongoing research on your industry, competitor sales information, demographic data and even market conditions to determine what share of the market you could realistically own. Consider WeLab’s recent $75 million fundraise; the fintech has not only a clearly defined geographic advantage, but also a total addressable market of millions of savvy customers looking to fully embrace digital banking after the pandemic.

    You need to be the expert on the size and opportunity in your total addressable market. Remember the most basic terms: Without enough customers, you can’t turn a profit. VCs will want to see that you have an informed and well-defined total addressable market big enough to bring in returns.

    3. Am I building products with a defensible moat?

    Castles have moats to protect them. Your startup should have a moat, too. VCs want to know you can protect yourself against the competition. All medieval analogies aside, you can think of your moat as your competitive edge, such as proprietary technology or an exclusive industry partner -- something that makes your company distinct.

    As you might guess, coming up with a strong moat can be tough. But VCs are wise and looking for partners who have something unique to offer. If your tech is replicable, differentiate with endorsement from or partnership with trusted voices at trade organizations or leading influencers. To put it in pop culture terms, you need to find the Joe Rogan to your Spotify -- something or someone uniquely yours.

    4. Am I giving customers a reason to stay within my company’s ecosystem?

    VCs like stickiness. They want to see that you will both make sales and keep your customers engaged for the long haul. That means you need to demonstrate your retention plan to indicate that you’ve connected all parts of the customer journey from intake to support.

    It might seem too soon to map out customer lifetime journeys, but it’s not. The more interconnected you can make your solution, the better. A great example is Shopify’s recent partnership with TikTok, which pilots in-app shopping for small businesses. As the social network explodes, Shopify is making it easy for its merchants to activate on a new platform and successfully sell on social media. Once a merchant executes a successful Shopify program on TikTok, it will be difficult to change e-commerce providers. That’s stickiness an investor can get behind. Your job is to show a similar path to keeping your fans in the fold.

    VCs might be especially eager to invest right now, but your competition is up, too. You need to show investors that you’re a prepared and self-effacing partner -- someone who’s worth taking a chance on. Being able to answer the questions above thoroughly will up your chances of sealing the deal.

    This article was originally published on Entrepreneur.

    Many traditional banks struggle to attract younger customers today. Generation Z and millennials are digital natives, and their preferences for virtual convenience do not wane when it comes to banking.

    In one 2021 survey from EY, nearly half of millennials and Generation Z surveyed named a fintech firm as their most trusted financial institution. In another recent report from Chase, nearly all members of these generations surveyed said they used mobile banking apps to do everything from making deposits to checking credit scores. Younger audiences are online, and they want their banks to be, too.

    As millennials are currently the largest group of homebuyers and Generation Z is becoming more active in the market, banks that cannot appeal to them will risk losing significant business opportunities as more flock to fintech options and digital direct alternatives. Already, 70 percent of millennials said having a digital mortgage process would impact their lender decision.

    So how can traditional banks appeal to younger customers and stop losing out on major opportunities? The following steps can help:

    1. Humanize your brand

    As many as 88 percent of consumers rank trust as a significant component when deciding which products and brands to buy. Trust plays an even bigger role in banking given the sensitive nature of finances. For millennials and Generation Z, banking isn’t only about technology; it’s also about forming trusting relationships. And your bank’s employees are your best assets when it comes to trust-building.

    Put a human face behind your brand by enabling your employees to connect with younger audiences where they are—on social media—with a social selling strategy. This method involves giving your employees the guidance and resources they need to get in front of millennials and Generation Z with relevant, branded messaging from their own social media accounts.

    2. Focus on financial education

    Young people are constantly inundated with misguided or uninformed financial advice from TikTok and other sources. Even their well-meaning family members and other older mentors might inadvertently give irrelevant or outdated information as the options for savings, retirement, loans and other financial needs have grown more sophisticated.

    Your bank can help fill the education gap by sharing financial information that is helpful, compelling and non-promotional. For example, younger audiences might appreciate a guidebook for first-time investors, a step-by-step student loan repayment plan for recent grads, or information on buying a first home for newlyweds. Online banks might be able to offer speed and convenience, but they are not the guiding hand young people need to make smarter decisions about savings, borrowing, financial planning and more. That’s where traditional banks can build trust and find their greatest competitive advantage.

    3. Personalize your digital marketing

    Younger customers expect and reward brands that provide a more personalized experience. In fact, 41 percent of Generation Z surveyed by WP Engine said they would share their data in exchange for more personalization. In banking, digital customer experiences should be tailored to an individual level to attract younger customers.

    Paid social media advertising is an excellent way to land your loan officer’s messaging right in front of those who will find it most valuable. Consider the educational content discussed above, for example. You can personalize paid social media advertisements based on interests, geography and age, so you could target a student loan repayment plan guidebook to people in a college neighborhood who have recently graduated. This form of targeted outreach is much more effective than broad tactics like TV or out-of-home advertising.

    Landing pages are another great option for personalizing the digital customer experience. Create a landing page on your website for each guidebook and gate the content behind an information request form. Visitors can input their contact details in exchange for the content. Loan officers can link to relevant landing pages from their social media posts, then collect visitors’ information for a personalized follow-up approach.

    With the right technology, banks can match the speed and convenience of fintech services. But the true competitive advantage is in building relationships and fostering trust. Meet millennials and Generation Z where they are online with a personalized approach and specific value, and your bank be at the top of their list for their next financial need.

    This article was originally published in ABA Bank Marketing.

    Want to keep mortgage business flowing for your organization? Social media marketing for mortgage loan officers is key. Their social presence has greater reach and drives more engagement than brand pages alone. But to realize the full benefits of a social media marketing strategy, loan officers must post the right content frequently and consistently.

    Of course, loan officers are busier than ever as they navigate a record-setting mortgage environment. They’re also loan officers — not marketers. Marketing teams must support their social media mortgage marketing efforts to create effective social selling programs that drive results. Monthly social media content plans that outline who will post what and when can help. Consider these tips when creating plans for your loan officers:

    1. Schedule educational and promotional content on their behalf.

    To determine how many posts to work into your loan officers’ monthly social media content plans, start with Denim Social’s recent benchmark report to see how often your competitors are posting. The frequency will depend greatly on your team and available resources, but remember that consistency is critical.

    From there, consider the types of content to create and schedule. Loan officer content should be a mix of financial education, personalized posts, and limited promotion. Marketers can easily create and schedule education and promotional posts with a platform like Denim Social, which offers curated content libraries filled with posts from trusted third-party news sources. Linking to these in social media posts is a quick and easy way to share valuable educational content, and Denim Social saves marketers from spending hours digging for the right information.

    Promotional content should be limited and meaningful. Branded posts should still be valuable to audiences. Include additional education or information with each post, and consider developing personalized landing pages on your website to link prospects to a tailored and personalized experience from every social post.

    2. Guide them in developing their own personal posts.

    Along with educational and limited promotional content, mortgage loan officers should also share personal content. This is their greatest opportunity to drive engagement, especially within local communities. Content like photos from community events, videos discussing local market conditions, and closing photos add a human level to the business that helps show audiences authenticity and creates connection points.

    Authenticity is key here, though, which means loan officers should create and post this type of content themselves. Luckily, it’s the easiest and most fun to develop, so they’re likely to be more receptive to the idea, especially if you’re handing educational and promotional posts for them.

    3. Make compliance easy.

    Of course, all electronic communication — even posts and engagements from individual mortgage loan officers on social media — must remain compliant with financial regulatory bodies. Your loan officers might be nervous about posting on social media for fear of overstepping important compliance boundaries, but the right social media marketing tools can help ease their minds and make ensuring compliance simple and fast.

    Denim Social offers automated approval workflows to ensure that every post gets in front of the right people before going live. In this way, mortgage loan officers can become more comfortable and confident posting compliantly with ease. In fact, we’ve heard some loan officers say they’ve learned “compliance by osmosis” — in other words, they learn what is and isn’t approved each time they submit a post for approval with our platform.

    Social media marketing for mortgage loan officers is the best way to reach and engage audiences while setting the stage for trusting, long-lasting relationships. But marketers can’t pull it off without their loan officers’ participation. Along with creating a thoughtful monthly content plan, marketers can help encourage loan officers by clearly showing them the value in social media mortgage marketing and how easy it can be with the right tools. Schedule a demo today to learn more about how our dedicated Customer Success Team can get your loan officers on board and excited about using social media to drive their business.

    Mortgage marketers today know the value of social media. Most probably also recognize that activating mortgage loan officers in a social selling strategy is a key way to expand reach, drive engagement, and humanize the brand. But what many still haven’t mastered is how to scale that approach.

    Mortgage loan officers aren’t marketers, and they need support to be successful on social media. At many larger financial institutions, that puts marketers in charge of managing hundreds of social media profiles — a daunting task for anyone.

    For the many marketers still directly managing social media marketing for mortgage loan officers themselves, it can seem nearly impossible to scale the social selling approach. If you still frequently reference a spreadsheet of loan officers’ social media passwords, for example, it’s time to evolve your strategy and make your life easier.

    Social media management tools designed specifically for regulated industries can help in a few key ways:

    1. Posting on your loan officers’ behalf

    Competition has been fierce in the mortgage industry, and loan officers are busier than ever. They must post frequently on social media to stand out from the competition and stay top of mind, but they won’t always have the time or inspiration to do so. That’s where marketers can step in to create and publish posts for them.

    How often to post on your loan officers’ behalf will depend on their interest and capacity for posting on their own, but it’s good to ensure they’re posting six times a week on average. If that sounds like too much to handle, you’re in luck: A platform like Denim Social can help you post across hundreds of profiles in just a few clicks.

    2. Incorporating compliance in every step

    Most social media management tools have been designed for consumer brands or small businesses, but financial services require tools with social media compliance capabilities. Denim Social was designed to help marketers in regulated industries ensure every post from every employee stays within regulatory bounds.

    For one, the software includes content libraries where you can store preapproved content for loan officers to access at any time. You can also set up filters to flag problematic keywords before they ever make it to the approval step, limiting approval requests and preventing bottlenecks. Custom-structured approval workflows automatically route posts to the right people so every post receives proper sign-off before going live. Together, these functions work together to ensure smooth compliance processes, no matter how many mortgage loan officer profiles you’re overseeing.

    3. Combining paid and organic management

    Organic posting on loan officers’ profiles is a necessary first step to an effective social media mortgage marketing strategy, but it’s not the only component. Organic posts might’ve received a lot of follower attention years ago, but social media platforms change their algorithms frequently, and those updates tend to make branded content less and less visible. That means organic content is less impactful on its own.

    Organic paired with paid social media advertising, however, can show huge returns. Paid advertising allows marketers to land loan officers’ posts in front of exactly the right audiences at the right times. Of course, if managing all of your loan officers’ organic posts already sounded like a challenge, managing paid on top of it all likely seems impossible. But, again, the right tools can make it much easier. Find a social media management tool that combines organic and paid into one platform. That way, you can streamline your efforts for easy management and oversight across both.

    For mortgage marketers, the most important thing to remember when it comes to managing social media marketing for mortgage loan officers is that not being able to do it all on your own isn’t a sign of weakness. Having proper oversight and maintaining social media compliance for hundreds of loan officers is simply too much to ask for any team on their own. The strongest teams will accept that the right social media management tools and technology can drive their brands and loan officers to new levels of success.

    Want to learn more about social media marketing for mortgage? Check out our guidebook: Driving Your Mortgage Business with Social Media.

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