May 20, 2021

How to Align With Your Compliance Team on Social Media Strategy

In order for bank social media marketing strategies to thrive, marketers and compliance teams must collaborate to create and distribute compliant and engaging content. But compliance and marketing teams are often working toward different goals: Marketers aim to promote, and compliance officers aim to protect.

Social distancing and widespread remote work have made this challenge even more pressing as collaboration is decentralized. Building consensus can be difficult in a virtual environment. What’s more, banks have had to update their strategies for reaching and engaging prospects and customers throughout the pandemic. Without face-to-face interaction, social media marketing has become a key method for banks to reach their audiences.

Having to contend with social media regulations, compliance teams are faced with an increased volume of work and unfamiliar tactics and strategies. Banks that just began social media marketing in the past year, for example, have had to establish new review and approval processes that look much different from traditional media approvals of the past.

Though they have different goals, marketers and compliance teams need each other. Marketers need to avoid regulatory hot water in their social media and other electronic messaging. Compliance teams, along with the rest of the institution, need engaging and effective marketing strategies to remain competitive and continue securing revenue.

It’s up to bank leaders to facilitate greater collaboration between compliance and marketing teams to ensure this success, but it doesn’t have to be an arduous process—even in a virtual environment. With the right tools and approach, any bank can create a compliant and effective social media marketing strategy. Start with the following steps:

Establish automated approval workflows

In the age of remote work, everyone is fielding more internal electronic communications. One study shows that employees sent more than 5 percent more emails in a day just eight weeks into the pandemic..

Attachments and never-ending email chains are recipes for missed information, confusion and error. Fortunately, software exists to automate approval workflows and ensure that the right people—from marketing supervisors to compliance leaders and more—receive every bank social media post and engagement for review, comment and approval. No piece of content goes live without the proper sign-off.

Build compliant content libraries

Social selling, in which employees post branded content to their own profiles, is a popular and lucrative social media strategy. However, it does present more room for social media regulation and compliance missteps as one unapproved employee post or comment could land the institution in regulatory trouble. To avoid such a mistake, marketers can keep employee content compliant and on-brand by building libraries of content that has already been approved by the compliance team.

This way, employees can simply go into the library and choose a pre-approved post to share. What’s more, marketing teams can save compliance officers’ time and energy in reviewing these posts by setting up software with filters to automatically tag potentially problematic keywords. For example, they could add the word “guarantee” as a filter to notify compliance any time this keyword shows up in a post to help catch any promissory language.

Automatically archive all content and engagement

In the digital age of today, most banks should have already moved on from using physical paperwork to record social media posts and engagement in case of an audit. Even still, manually entering all of your bank’s social media posts and correspondence into spreadsheets can be a cumbersome task.

The right software can automate that process and compile every single piece of social media engagement into an easily accessible and searchable archive. Be prepared if FINRA ever comes knocking at your door for a compliance audit, and save your teams time and potential cross-department hurdles in the process with technology that can do it for them.

It’s imperative that your marketing and compliance teams stay connected. The specific roles and responsibilities of these two departments are different, but ultimately they should be working together toward a goal of reaching prospects and customers with helpful, engaging and compliant content. Neither department can realize that goal without help from the other.

This article was originally published on ABA Bank Marketing.

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May 20, 2021

How to Align With Your Compliance Team on Social Media Strategy

In order for bank social media marketing strategies to thrive, marketers and compliance teams must collaborate to create and distribute compliant and engaging content. But compliance and marketing teams are often working toward different goals: Marketers aim to promote, and compliance officers aim to protect.

Social distancing and widespread remote work have made this challenge even more pressing as collaboration is decentralized. Building consensus can be difficult in a virtual environment. What’s more, banks have had to update their strategies for reaching and engaging prospects and customers throughout the pandemic. Without face-to-face interaction, social media marketing has become a key method for banks to reach their audiences.

Having to contend with social media regulations, compliance teams are faced with an increased volume of work and unfamiliar tactics and strategies. Banks that just began social media marketing in the past year, for example, have had to establish new review and approval processes that look much different from traditional media approvals of the past.

Though they have different goals, marketers and compliance teams need each other. Marketers need to avoid regulatory hot water in their social media and other electronic messaging. Compliance teams, along with the rest of the institution, need engaging and effective marketing strategies to remain competitive and continue securing revenue.

It’s up to bank leaders to facilitate greater collaboration between compliance and marketing teams to ensure this success, but it doesn’t have to be an arduous process—even in a virtual environment. With the right tools and approach, any bank can create a compliant and effective social media marketing strategy. Start with the following steps:

Establish automated approval workflows

In the age of remote work, everyone is fielding more internal electronic communications. One study shows that employees sent more than 5 percent more emails in a day just eight weeks into the pandemic..

Attachments and never-ending email chains are recipes for missed information, confusion and error. Fortunately, software exists to automate approval workflows and ensure that the right people—from marketing supervisors to compliance leaders and more—receive every bank social media post and engagement for review, comment and approval. No piece of content goes live without the proper sign-off.

Build compliant content libraries

Social selling, in which employees post branded content to their own profiles, is a popular and lucrative social media strategy. However, it does present more room for social media regulation and compliance missteps as one unapproved employee post or comment could land the institution in regulatory trouble. To avoid such a mistake, marketers can keep employee content compliant and on-brand by building libraries of content that has already been approved by the compliance team.

This way, employees can simply go into the library and choose a pre-approved post to share. What’s more, marketing teams can save compliance officers’ time and energy in reviewing these posts by setting up software with filters to automatically tag potentially problematic keywords. For example, they could add the word “guarantee” as a filter to notify compliance any time this keyword shows up in a post to help catch any promissory language.

Automatically archive all content and engagement

In the digital age of today, most banks should have already moved on from using physical paperwork to record social media posts and engagement in case of an audit. Even still, manually entering all of your bank’s social media posts and correspondence into spreadsheets can be a cumbersome task.

The right software can automate that process and compile every single piece of social media engagement into an easily accessible and searchable archive. Be prepared if FINRA ever comes knocking at your door for a compliance audit, and save your teams time and potential cross-department hurdles in the process with technology that can do it for them.

It’s imperative that your marketing and compliance teams stay connected. The specific roles and responsibilities of these two departments are different, but ultimately they should be working together toward a goal of reaching prospects and customers with helpful, engaging and compliant content. Neither department can realize that goal without help from the other.

This article was originally published on ABA Bank Marketing.

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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.

Marketers in Regulated Industries Can Now Execute Multi-Network Social Media Publishing and Advertising Campaigns While Staying in Compliance

Denim Social is proud to announce that its platform now offers Instagram publishing, monitoring and analytics. When combined with Denim Social’s existing support for paid Instagram advertising, marketers in regulated industries – like banking, mortgage, insurance and wealth management – can now manage fully integrated and compliant paid and organic campaigns.

The platform enhancement offers marketers one easy-to-use, intuitive platform to:

  • Manage publishing and advertising for multiple Instagram Business accounts
  • Publish and schedule organic content
  • Maximize reach and generate leads with paid advertising targeted to unique demographics
  • Strengthen strategies with organic and paid advertising performance analytics
  • Stay compliant and engaged with monitoring in one streamlined feed

With the integration of organic publishing and paid social media advertising in one platform, marketers can take advantage of Instagram’s unique content display and create opportunities for stronger engagement.

“A robust social media monitoring platform is a must in the mortgage and banking industry. Denim Social has not only allowed us to remain compliant, their platform allows our sales team to successfully post, utilize a library of approved content and monitor their engagement,” said Christine Madrid Overbeck, senior vice president, mortgage division, Goldwater Bank. “The recent expansion to include Instagram is a game changer. The sales team is extremely excited to engage with their clients using one more additional social media channel.”

Research shows that Instagram outperforms other social networks on engagement and the network boasts more influence on purchase decisions than any other platform. But for many financial institutions the compliance risks have outweighed the marketing rewards of the network. Denim Social is built for compliance and we’re proud to offer the only fully-compliant Instagram publishing and advertising solution in the industry.


Curious what Instagram can do for your brand? Check out our latest guide or schedule a demo to see the Denim Social platform in action.

As mortgage demand soars to historic heights, it's good news for loan officers, but it also means the environment is more competitive than ever. Denim Social's CEO, Doug Wilber, joins the American Bankers Association to talk about how banks can use social media support loan officer success and close more deals.

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

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

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

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

1. Instagram

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

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


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

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

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

2. LinkedIn

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

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

3. Twitter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This article was originally published on BAI.org.

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GUIDES

How to Align With Your Compliance Team on Social Media Strategy

In order for bank social media marketing strategies to thrive, marketers and compliance teams must collaborate to create and distribute compliant and engaging content. But compliance and marketing teams are often working toward different goals: Marketers aim to promote, and compliance officers aim to protect.

Social distancing and widespread remote work have made this challenge even more pressing as collaboration is decentralized. Building consensus can be difficult in a virtual environment. What’s more, banks have had to update their strategies for reaching and engaging prospects and customers throughout the pandemic. Without face-to-face interaction, social media marketing has become a key method for banks to reach their audiences.

Having to contend with social media regulations, compliance teams are faced with an increased volume of work and unfamiliar tactics and strategies. Banks that just began social media marketing in the past year, for example, have had to establish new review and approval processes that look much different from traditional media approvals of the past.

Though they have different goals, marketers and compliance teams need each other. Marketers need to avoid regulatory hot water in their social media and other electronic messaging. Compliance teams, along with the rest of the institution, need engaging and effective marketing strategies to remain competitive and continue securing revenue.

It’s up to bank leaders to facilitate greater collaboration between compliance and marketing teams to ensure this success, but it doesn’t have to be an arduous process—even in a virtual environment. With the right tools and approach, any bank can create a compliant and effective social media marketing strategy. Start with the following steps:

Establish automated approval workflows

In the age of remote work, everyone is fielding more internal electronic communications. One study shows that employees sent more than 5 percent more emails in a day just eight weeks into the pandemic..

Attachments and never-ending email chains are recipes for missed information, confusion and error. Fortunately, software exists to automate approval workflows and ensure that the right people—from marketing supervisors to compliance leaders and more—receive every bank social media post and engagement for review, comment and approval. No piece of content goes live without the proper sign-off.

Build compliant content libraries

Social selling, in which employees post branded content to their own profiles, is a popular and lucrative social media strategy. However, it does present more room for social media regulation and compliance missteps as one unapproved employee post or comment could land the institution in regulatory trouble. To avoid such a mistake, marketers can keep employee content compliant and on-brand by building libraries of content that has already been approved by the compliance team.

This way, employees can simply go into the library and choose a pre-approved post to share. What’s more, marketing teams can save compliance officers’ time and energy in reviewing these posts by setting up software with filters to automatically tag potentially problematic keywords. For example, they could add the word “guarantee” as a filter to notify compliance any time this keyword shows up in a post to help catch any promissory language.

Automatically archive all content and engagement

In the digital age of today, most banks should have already moved on from using physical paperwork to record social media posts and engagement in case of an audit. Even still, manually entering all of your bank’s social media posts and correspondence into spreadsheets can be a cumbersome task.

The right software can automate that process and compile every single piece of social media engagement into an easily accessible and searchable archive. Be prepared if FINRA ever comes knocking at your door for a compliance audit, and save your teams time and potential cross-department hurdles in the process with technology that can do it for them.

It’s imperative that your marketing and compliance teams stay connected. The specific roles and responsibilities of these two departments are different, but ultimately they should be working together toward a goal of reaching prospects and customers with helpful, engaging and compliant content. Neither department can realize that goal without help from the other.

This article was originally published on ABA Bank Marketing.

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ALL GUIDES:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Every Mortgage Marketer Should Ask Themselves

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

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

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

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

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

Read this guide if you’re asking yourself:

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

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

How 6 Financial Marketers Are Creating Value in Social Media

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

ABA Study: The Current State of Social Media

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

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

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

    Every Financial Services Marketer Should Ask Themselves

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

    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.

    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

    How to Align With Your Compliance Team on Social Media Strategy

    In order for bank social media marketing strategies to thrive, marketers and compliance teams must collaborate to create and distribute compliant and engaging content. But compliance and marketing teams are often working toward different goals: Marketers aim to promote, and compliance officers aim to protect.

    Social distancing and widespread remote work have made this challenge even more pressing as collaboration is decentralized. Building consensus can be difficult in a virtual environment. What’s more, banks have had to update their strategies for reaching and engaging prospects and customers throughout the pandemic. Without face-to-face interaction, social media marketing has become a key method for banks to reach their audiences.

    Having to contend with social media regulations, compliance teams are faced with an increased volume of work and unfamiliar tactics and strategies. Banks that just began social media marketing in the past year, for example, have had to establish new review and approval processes that look much different from traditional media approvals of the past.

    Though they have different goals, marketers and compliance teams need each other. Marketers need to avoid regulatory hot water in their social media and other electronic messaging. Compliance teams, along with the rest of the institution, need engaging and effective marketing strategies to remain competitive and continue securing revenue.

    It’s up to bank leaders to facilitate greater collaboration between compliance and marketing teams to ensure this success, but it doesn’t have to be an arduous process—even in a virtual environment. With the right tools and approach, any bank can create a compliant and effective social media marketing strategy. Start with the following steps:

    Establish automated approval workflows

    In the age of remote work, everyone is fielding more internal electronic communications. One study shows that employees sent more than 5 percent more emails in a day just eight weeks into the pandemic..

    Attachments and never-ending email chains are recipes for missed information, confusion and error. Fortunately, software exists to automate approval workflows and ensure that the right people—from marketing supervisors to compliance leaders and more—receive every bank social media post and engagement for review, comment and approval. No piece of content goes live without the proper sign-off.

    Build compliant content libraries

    Social selling, in which employees post branded content to their own profiles, is a popular and lucrative social media strategy. However, it does present more room for social media regulation and compliance missteps as one unapproved employee post or comment could land the institution in regulatory trouble. To avoid such a mistake, marketers can keep employee content compliant and on-brand by building libraries of content that has already been approved by the compliance team.

    This way, employees can simply go into the library and choose a pre-approved post to share. What’s more, marketing teams can save compliance officers’ time and energy in reviewing these posts by setting up software with filters to automatically tag potentially problematic keywords. For example, they could add the word “guarantee” as a filter to notify compliance any time this keyword shows up in a post to help catch any promissory language.

    Automatically archive all content and engagement

    In the digital age of today, most banks should have already moved on from using physical paperwork to record social media posts and engagement in case of an audit. Even still, manually entering all of your bank’s social media posts and correspondence into spreadsheets can be a cumbersome task.

    The right software can automate that process and compile every single piece of social media engagement into an easily accessible and searchable archive. Be prepared if FINRA ever comes knocking at your door for a compliance audit, and save your teams time and potential cross-department hurdles in the process with technology that can do it for them.

    It’s imperative that your marketing and compliance teams stay connected. The specific roles and responsibilities of these two departments are different, but ultimately they should be working together toward a goal of reaching prospects and customers with helpful, engaging and compliant content. Neither department can realize that goal without help from the other.

    This article was originally published on ABA Bank Marketing.

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    ALL GUIDES:

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Every Mortgage Marketer Should Ask Themselves

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

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

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

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

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

    Read this guide if you’re asking yourself:

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

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

    How 6 Financial Marketers Are Creating Value in Social Media

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

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

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

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

    Enjoy!

    ABA Study: The Current State of Social Media

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

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

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

    Every Financial Services Marketer Should Ask Themselves

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

    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.

    COVID-19 & Bank Social Media

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

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

    RESOURCES

    NEWS
    May 20, 2021

    How to Align With Your Compliance Team on Social Media Strategy

    In order for bank social media marketing strategies to thrive, marketers and compliance teams must collaborate to create and distribute compliant and engaging content. But compliance and marketing teams are often working toward different goals: Marketers aim to promote, and compliance officers aim to protect.

    Social distancing and widespread remote work have made this challenge even more pressing as collaboration is decentralized. Building consensus can be difficult in a virtual environment. What’s more, banks have had to update their strategies for reaching and engaging prospects and customers throughout the pandemic. Without face-to-face interaction, social media marketing has become a key method for banks to reach their audiences.

    Having to contend with social media regulations, compliance teams are faced with an increased volume of work and unfamiliar tactics and strategies. Banks that just began social media marketing in the past year, for example, have had to establish new review and approval processes that look much different from traditional media approvals of the past.

    Though they have different goals, marketers and compliance teams need each other. Marketers need to avoid regulatory hot water in their social media and other electronic messaging. Compliance teams, along with the rest of the institution, need engaging and effective marketing strategies to remain competitive and continue securing revenue.

    It’s up to bank leaders to facilitate greater collaboration between compliance and marketing teams to ensure this success, but it doesn’t have to be an arduous process—even in a virtual environment. With the right tools and approach, any bank can create a compliant and effective social media marketing strategy. Start with the following steps:

    Establish automated approval workflows

    In the age of remote work, everyone is fielding more internal electronic communications. One study shows that employees sent more than 5 percent more emails in a day just eight weeks into the pandemic..

    Attachments and never-ending email chains are recipes for missed information, confusion and error. Fortunately, software exists to automate approval workflows and ensure that the right people—from marketing supervisors to compliance leaders and more—receive every bank social media post and engagement for review, comment and approval. No piece of content goes live without the proper sign-off.

    Build compliant content libraries

    Social selling, in which employees post branded content to their own profiles, is a popular and lucrative social media strategy. However, it does present more room for social media regulation and compliance missteps as one unapproved employee post or comment could land the institution in regulatory trouble. To avoid such a mistake, marketers can keep employee content compliant and on-brand by building libraries of content that has already been approved by the compliance team.

    This way, employees can simply go into the library and choose a pre-approved post to share. What’s more, marketing teams can save compliance officers’ time and energy in reviewing these posts by setting up software with filters to automatically tag potentially problematic keywords. For example, they could add the word “guarantee” as a filter to notify compliance any time this keyword shows up in a post to help catch any promissory language.

    Automatically archive all content and engagement

    In the digital age of today, most banks should have already moved on from using physical paperwork to record social media posts and engagement in case of an audit. Even still, manually entering all of your bank’s social media posts and correspondence into spreadsheets can be a cumbersome task.

    The right software can automate that process and compile every single piece of social media engagement into an easily accessible and searchable archive. Be prepared if FINRA ever comes knocking at your door for a compliance audit, and save your teams time and potential cross-department hurdles in the process with technology that can do it for them.

    It’s imperative that your marketing and compliance teams stay connected. The specific roles and responsibilities of these two departments are different, but ultimately they should be working together toward a goal of reaching prospects and customers with helpful, engaging and compliant content. Neither department can realize that goal without help from the other.

    This article was originally published on ABA Bank Marketing.

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    OTHER NEWS:

    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.

    The concept of “infrastructure” goes beyond its hotly debated political meanings. It applies to organizations as much as municipal structures and facilities. In fact, it’s a quite relevant subject for financial marketers to consider.

    That’s because the basic organizational structures needed to keep a financial institution competitive are rapidly transitioning from physical to digital. It’s a change accelerated by the pandemic, as has been well documented.

    What this means for financial marketers is that digital infrastructure demands more attention — and investment, and Marketing plays an essential role in this. If your customers are in the virtual world, you need the right tools and strategies to reach them there.

    Building Digital Marketing Infrastructure

    If your institution’s marketing efforts are pieced together with standalone technologies, you’re likely to need an upgrade. Marketers need to build strategies and digital business infrastructures that can speak to one another. Otherwise, digital marketing for financial institutions can become overly cumbersome and negatively impact both brand reach and interactions with the target audience.

    Look for technology solutions that integrate across social media management software, marketing automation tools, CRM, and even reviews and reputation management platforms. This will lead to systems that can help map and meet the needs of prospects across all stages of the customer acquisition journey — rather than simply buying tools for various purposes or touchpoints.

    Different World:
    Digital technology has made it much simpler to switch financial institutions than in the past. The barriers are almost nonexistent.

    Digital marketing in financial services is an essential element of digital business infrastructure. If your organization doesn’t reach consumers virtually and provide a strong digital customer experience, consumers are likely to turn to a provider that will. To ensure your organization has the digital infrastructure capable of building customer relationships and growing revenue, focus on the three investments in particular.

    Social Selling Strategy

    Most bank marketers recognize that an active social media presence is no longer optional, but posting from brand pages alone won’t entice many consumers to engage. With 69% of consumers today actively avoiding advertisements, according to Edelman, brands must rethink social media messaging with the human element in mind.

    A social selling strategy, when branded messaging comes from an organization’s individual employees, is the most effective form of social media marketing because people relate to other people more than to big brand names.

    Individual employees posting brand-related content on their own pages, however, can increase the risk of compliance missteps without the proper tools. Social media management software that allows marketers to have a holistic view of employee activity on social media can safeguard your brand reputation.

    Such tools can house digital libraries of preapproved content so employees can share ready-to-go posts with ease. Software can also automate the approvals process on new employee posts to ensure that no content ever goes live without proper review.

    Landing Page Builder

    Think of landing pages as your website’s personalized welcome mats. Rather than landing on the homepage and having to stumble around looking for the information they need (and people have little patience for this), prospects and customers can land right where the information is. For example, if a social media post or digital ad offers tips for first-time mortgage seekers, the message can include a link to a landing page on your website that houses more information about mortgages.

    You can gate guidebooks and other downloadable resources behind an information capture form on the landing page, prompting consumers to insert their name and email to receive the download. Considering that more than three-quarters of consumers are willing to provide their personal information in return for more personalized services, according to Accenture, landing pages are an excellent tool to provide relevant, valuable content to consumers while capturing data that can help you target outreach efforts to those who are most likely to convert.

    Few institutions have the resources available to create landing pages for each promotion, however. And most financial services marketers don’t have the coding or website design expertise to build whole web pages from scratch. That’s where “landing page builders” come in. Such platforms provide prebuilt, customizable templates that allow marketers to quickly and easily build landing pages at scale to capture valuable data while providing customers with more value.

    Onboarding Engagement Platform

    So you’ve created a suite of digital customer experiences and infrastructures to serve customers and capture prospects in a virtual world. Your tools offer remote deposit capture, peer-to-peer payments, rewards programs, financial education, and more. But what if people don’t use them?

    Sometimes, simply putting the options in front of them isn’t enough. Digital banking, though on the rise for some time, can still be a new concept for many. Even if someone is a regular user of mobile check capture, they may not grasp the concept of a digital wallet.

    You need to engage customers in an educational way to help them see the value in these tools and understand how to make the most of digital experiences. Onboarding engagement platforms can help your customers adapt to new products and allow you to get more from your digital investments.

    When someone opens a new account at your institution, for example, an onboarding engagement platform can walk them through the mobile app the first time they sign on, showing them where and how to deposit checks, transfer funds, redeem rewards, contact customer service, and more. Doing this strengthens the digital customer experience and builds trust along the way.

    This article was originally posted on The Financial Brand.

    Insurance companies have long viewed social media efforts in a brand marketing light, leveraging social media for creative messaging and building corporate recognition. This is still a worthwhile endeavor, but it’s time for insurance marketers to add another level to their social media strategies: performance marketing.

    Performance marketing focuses on social media as a conversion tool, driving lead generation and sales rather than vanity metrics alone. Instead of tracking a post’s comments or reach, marketers can track how many readers click through to customized landing pages, for instance.

    This switch can be challenging for stakeholders to understand and accept at first. Larger organizations may have separate marketing teams for different product lines supporting the overall brand.Within those teams, employees may have separate roles for organic and paid social media. For a successful performance marketing strategy, all teams need to share a vision and commitment to driving conversions through social media.Not every post has to convert readers into leads, but it should be part of the journey to getting them there.

    If you’re at the beginning of this cultural shift toward thinking about social media from a more performance-driven angle that puts conversion metrics front and center, try these techniques to move the conversation in the right direction:

    1. Prioritize internal team education.
    Digital marketing is constantly changing — and changing fast. Marketing leaders must give teams the opportunity, time, and space to learn about the latest trends, tools, and social media marketing strategies. The more extensive their knowledge, the more comfortable they’ll be applying out-of-the-box thinking to social media in general.

    One excellent resource is Facebook Blueprint, which offers free classes and certifications around marketing on Facebook. Be sure to complement dedicated social media training with analytics training to ensure that everyone knows how to measure the success of social media efforts. Google Analytics Academy is an excellent resource for getting a grip on basic analytics and then diving into more advanced learnings from there. These courses help everyone get on the same page and more fully understand the breadth of possibilities available onFacebook and other social media platforms. 

    2. Emphasize that everyone has a role to play.

    Regardless of title or job description, everyone in your organization should work toward the same sales goals and understand that both brand marketing and performance marketing are needed to achieve those objectives.

    Marketers should coordinate with all departments to ensure that everyone understands their roles and responsibilities when it comes to both building the brand and converting sales. When creating social media marketing campaigns, marketers should also seek out insights from the specific departments to which campaigns will be driving traffic in order to determine the right content, messaging, and metrics for each campaign.

    What’s more, agents who are also sharing branded content on social media should understand how their efforts intertwine with other content to lead users down the sales funnel and closer to conversions. By including all stakeholders in the performance marketing strategy, marketers can help everyone view themselves as extensions of the sales team and increase the focus on driving conversions.

    3. Combine social branding with tactical messaging.

    Every social media marketing campaign should be cohesive, featuring consistent themes, verbiage, and images. Plus, all the promises made in branding copy should be highlighted in more tactical performance marketing content. In essence, the brand messaging sets the tone, and the performance messaging closes the deal by delivering on the promises.

    How does this work? Let’s say your insurance company has launched a social media branding campaign highlighting how easy it is to work with your business instead of with your competitors. The performance marketing aspect of the campaign includes a white paper that outlines your specific value propositions and client testimonials to back them up. You link to the whitepaper landing page from the social media branding campaign posts, viewers input their contact information into a form on the landing page to download the whitepaper, and your sales team gets direct access to primed leads. Brand and performance marketing work together to drive sales.

    Social media is harder than it was only a decade ago. Platforms have changed their algorithms to make organic content less visible, and social media marketing strategies that rely only on brand messaging and vanity metrics alone won’t cut through the noise. Instead, financial marketers need to use performance marketing efforts that offer real, tangible value to drive sales.

    This was originally published in PropertyCasualty 360.

    As mortgage demand soars to historic heights, it's good news for loan officers, but it also means the environment is more competitive than ever. Denim Social's CEO, Doug Wilber, joins the American Bankers Association to talk about how banks can use social media support loan officer success and close more deals.

    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?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    This article was originally published on BAI.org.

    Connect & Convert on Social

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    May 20, 2021

    How to Align With Your Compliance Team on Social Media Strategy

    In order for bank social media marketing strategies to thrive, marketers and compliance teams must collaborate to create and distribute compliant and engaging content. But compliance and marketing teams are often working toward different goals: Marketers aim to promote, and compliance officers aim to protect.

    Social distancing and widespread remote work have made this challenge even more pressing as collaboration is decentralized. Building consensus can be difficult in a virtual environment. What’s more, banks have had to update their strategies for reaching and engaging prospects and customers throughout the pandemic. Without face-to-face interaction, social media marketing has become a key method for banks to reach their audiences.

    Having to contend with social media regulations, compliance teams are faced with an increased volume of work and unfamiliar tactics and strategies. Banks that just began social media marketing in the past year, for example, have had to establish new review and approval processes that look much different from traditional media approvals of the past.

    Though they have different goals, marketers and compliance teams need each other. Marketers need to avoid regulatory hot water in their social media and other electronic messaging. Compliance teams, along with the rest of the institution, need engaging and effective marketing strategies to remain competitive and continue securing revenue.

    It’s up to bank leaders to facilitate greater collaboration between compliance and marketing teams to ensure this success, but it doesn’t have to be an arduous process—even in a virtual environment. With the right tools and approach, any bank can create a compliant and effective social media marketing strategy. Start with the following steps:

    Establish automated approval workflows

    In the age of remote work, everyone is fielding more internal electronic communications. One study shows that employees sent more than 5 percent more emails in a day just eight weeks into the pandemic..

    Attachments and never-ending email chains are recipes for missed information, confusion and error. Fortunately, software exists to automate approval workflows and ensure that the right people—from marketing supervisors to compliance leaders and more—receive every bank social media post and engagement for review, comment and approval. No piece of content goes live without the proper sign-off.

    Build compliant content libraries

    Social selling, in which employees post branded content to their own profiles, is a popular and lucrative social media strategy. However, it does present more room for social media regulation and compliance missteps as one unapproved employee post or comment could land the institution in regulatory trouble. To avoid such a mistake, marketers can keep employee content compliant and on-brand by building libraries of content that has already been approved by the compliance team.

    This way, employees can simply go into the library and choose a pre-approved post to share. What’s more, marketing teams can save compliance officers’ time and energy in reviewing these posts by setting up software with filters to automatically tag potentially problematic keywords. For example, they could add the word “guarantee” as a filter to notify compliance any time this keyword shows up in a post to help catch any promissory language.

    Automatically archive all content and engagement

    In the digital age of today, most banks should have already moved on from using physical paperwork to record social media posts and engagement in case of an audit. Even still, manually entering all of your bank’s social media posts and correspondence into spreadsheets can be a cumbersome task.

    The right software can automate that process and compile every single piece of social media engagement into an easily accessible and searchable archive. Be prepared if FINRA ever comes knocking at your door for a compliance audit, and save your teams time and potential cross-department hurdles in the process with technology that can do it for them.

    It’s imperative that your marketing and compliance teams stay connected. The specific roles and responsibilities of these two departments are different, but ultimately they should be working together toward a goal of reaching prospects and customers with helpful, engaging and compliant content. Neither department can realize that goal without help from the other.

    This article was originally published on ABA Bank Marketing.

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    SIMILAR POSTS:

    Financial Services companies should be marketing and advertising on Instagram, but the Denim Social 2020 Social Media Benchmark Report for Financial Services shows less than 40% of institutions have adopted the platform. If you're considering starting an Instagram page, consider these basics for setting up your business profile.

    Download the infographic

    Looking for more guidance on Instagram? Check out our guide, Stronger Customer Relationships on Instagram.


    Financial institutions of all sizes have realized the value of social media and digital marketing to reach prospects and customers today. Modern data and analytics make it possible to track the impact of your efforts, but it can be difficult to see how your institution compares to others when it comes to digital strategy.

    That’s why Denim Social teamed up with researchers from Washington University in St. Louis to analyze more than 150,000 social media posts from financial institutions. We used the findings in our 2020 Social Media Benchmark Report for Financial Services to answer the question: How are we doing on social media?

    Keep reading for a rundown of our most telling findings and insights from 2020 that can help you optimize your social media marketing strategies in 2021 and beyond.

    The Best Social Media Platforms for Marketing Financial Services

    First, let’s dive into where financial services marketers are putting their attention online. Then, we’ll look at how marketers can strengthen strategies across these platforms to make more connections and drive business goals.

    Facebook: The first social stop for financial services providers

    Facebook is the most popular social platform for financial services institutions with 82% of those surveyed active on the platform. Yet most institutions still have room to further optimize their Facebook social media strategies. More on that later.

    Other platforms that go underutilized but deserve more attention are LinkedIn,Twitter, and Instagram. You don’t have to be on all of these platforms to have a strong and holistic approach, but you should have a working knowledge of each one to make the best-informed decisions about where and how to reach prospects and customers online.

    LinkedIn: A winning social avenue for smaller financial services organizations

    According to our research, fewer than two-thirds of banks, insurance companies, credit unions, and similar entities consider LinkedIn as a marketing vehicle.But LinkedIn can help brands, especially smaller ones, boost their visibility and foster more connections. Personnel at smaller financial services organizations tend to form closer relationships with clients, and LinkedIn is an excellent avenue for sourcing customers, making inroads with them, and maintaining strong connections throughout the relationship.

    The first step to setting up a LinkedIn account is to create a brand profile.Then, encourage employees to share brand-related content on their own channels with a strategy known as social selling. Putting human faces behind your content can help you built trust and connections. Consider working with your executive team to develop a social media engagement calendar to guide brand and employee posts.

    Twitter: Ideal for financial institutions ready for a fast-paced, hashtag-heavy forum

    Only about 36% of financial institution marketers are using Twitter on a regular basis. Many worry about staying in line with important compliance regulations on such a fast-paced platform. With the right tools and approach, however, financial institutions can see great benefit from focusing more on Twitter, especially when it comes to sharing more newsworthy items. Twitter is where many people go to learn about what’s happening in the world in real time.

    Banks and other financial brands can use automated software to conduct social listening for specific hashtags. This can show you what trends and discussions are hot in the industry and among customers so you can weigh in. Social media management software can also help streamline review and approvals processes for brand-related tweets, so marketers can rest easy knowing every post that goes live will be compliant.

    Instagram: The unsung social media platform for financial brands

    Many financial institutions lack any kind of Instagram marketing strategy because they aren’t sure Instagram holds relevance. It does, especially for brands looking to reach younger customers. The platform is popular amongGeneration Z and Millennial users, and about four-fifths of Instagrammers follow a favorite brand. This means it’s an ideal place to get in front of younger audiences looking to learn how to attain and grow wealth.

    Remember the importance of paid advertising as you plan your Instagram marketing strategy. Posting organically to your brand's Instagram feed is still important — and DenimSocial can help you do it compliantly with our new Instagram publishing, monitoring, and analytics features. But organic posts tend to have low reach because they only show up in the feeds of those who follow the brand.

    With paid advertising, however, you can target ads to land in front of exactly the right people — even if they're not following you. Instagram ads also allow you to include a direct call to action in the post, giving viewers a clear path to learning more about your brand. Denim Social's platform helps marketers create ads at scale, both for the brand and individual advisors. Targeting ads to Instagram users in advisor's geographical areas can help build local connections.

    Best Practices Across All Platforms

    As we analyzed thousands of social media posts from financial institutions, we pinpointed a few growth opportunities across posts on all platforms. Whether you’re looking to revamp your current strategy or get started on one of the platforms above altogether, keep these two major tips in mind:

    1. Audit your posts for self-promotion.

    One of the biggest areas for improvement involves the content institutions share and post on social media. Our research shows that one-third of financial institution social media posts are about companies' offerings, but users don't appreciate being bombarded with promotional posts; about half will unfollow a brand on social media if they do too much self-promotion.

    If you’re feeling that your credit union, insurance company, or bank social media posts have fallen into self-absorption, don’t despair. Instead, create more opportunities to provide value to and foster connection with your audience with a couple of modern financial services marketing strategies:

    Let employees be the voice behind the brand. Consumers want to hear from real people — not big brand names — on social media. Enable and encourage employees to share brand-related content with their own networks. This is social selling, and it aims to set the foundation for greater trust and stronger connections by putting real human faces behind branded posts. You’ll expand your reach while humanizing your brand. Of course, having many employees posting about the brand raises some compliance concerns, but a comprehensive social media management software like Denim Social’s can help you keep everything within bounds by automating approval workflows, housing pre-approved content, and more.

    Provide value with educational content. A recent report from the National Financial Educators Council found that a quarter of American adults surveyed said they had no source for financial advice. That's a huge opportunity for your team to step in and be the resources your audience needs. Create and share valuable resources like how-to videos, online pamphlets, easy-to-use calculators, and step-by-step guides. This approach puts the focus on prospects and customers rather than the brand, but it also showcases the brand’s financial expertise and eagerness to help. You’ll become a trusted source for audience members looking to become smarter money managers.

    2. Practice strategic linking.

    Another major stumbling block we uncovered in our analysis has to do with linking in social media posts. Approximately 80% of financial organizations don't include any links in their posts, which means most are missing huge opportunities to drive more conversions.

    Think about it: Someone visits your social media page. Your latest content is about the future of mortgage rates. But you don’t add a link to your own institution’s mortgage rates or other information. So what’s your curious reader going to do? They might Google the topic and end upon a competitor’s website.

    Don’t let this happen. Instead, include the following three types of links:

    External links: For every six posts you schedule, try to make four informational and evergreen. These posts should include links to trustworthy, non-competing sites with informative and educational resources.

    Landing page links: Landing pages can be a valuable part of your internal website real estate. They allow you to gather personal information from visitors in exchange for something like an exclusive whitepaper download. Make sure 1 in every 6 social media posts contains a landing page link. If you don’t have landing pages on your website and aren’t sure how to start making them, check out our easy landing-page builder — no coding or website design experience required.

    Owned content links: This is where tactful and strategic promotion can come into play. On social posts that don’t include external or landing-page links, include links to relevant on-site content. These could be blog posts, videos, or service offering pages. Just make sure the content on the link matches up with the tone and focus of the post. For instance, you wouldn’t want to post about home improvement loans and include a link to an article about 401(k)plans.

    Social media is the name of the game in marketing for financial services — and most organizations already know that.But how do your strategies measure up to the competition? Are you on the right platforms and sharing the right types of posts to reach your target audience, provide value, and ultimately drive more conversions? Dive further into our 2020 Social Media Benchmark Report for Financial Services and request a custom report today to answer those questions and optimize your social media strategy for the future.

    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.

    The concept of “infrastructure” goes beyond its hotly debated political meanings. It applies to organizations as much as municipal structures and facilities. In fact, it’s a quite relevant subject for financial marketers to consider.

    That’s because the basic organizational structures needed to keep a financial institution competitive are rapidly transitioning from physical to digital. It’s a change accelerated by the pandemic, as has been well documented.

    What this means for financial marketers is that digital infrastructure demands more attention — and investment, and Marketing plays an essential role in this. If your customers are in the virtual world, you need the right tools and strategies to reach them there.

    Building Digital Marketing Infrastructure

    If your institution’s marketing efforts are pieced together with standalone technologies, you’re likely to need an upgrade. Marketers need to build strategies and digital business infrastructures that can speak to one another. Otherwise, digital marketing for financial institutions can become overly cumbersome and negatively impact both brand reach and interactions with the target audience.

    Look for technology solutions that integrate across social media management software, marketing automation tools, CRM, and even reviews and reputation management platforms. This will lead to systems that can help map and meet the needs of prospects across all stages of the customer acquisition journey — rather than simply buying tools for various purposes or touchpoints.

    Different World:
    Digital technology has made it much simpler to switch financial institutions than in the past. The barriers are almost nonexistent.

    Digital marketing in financial services is an essential element of digital business infrastructure. If your organization doesn’t reach consumers virtually and provide a strong digital customer experience, consumers are likely to turn to a provider that will. To ensure your organization has the digital infrastructure capable of building customer relationships and growing revenue, focus on the three investments in particular.

    Social Selling Strategy

    Most bank marketers recognize that an active social media presence is no longer optional, but posting from brand pages alone won’t entice many consumers to engage. With 69% of consumers today actively avoiding advertisements, according to Edelman, brands must rethink social media messaging with the human element in mind.

    A social selling strategy, when branded messaging comes from an organization’s individual employees, is the most effective form of social media marketing because people relate to other people more than to big brand names.

    Individual employees posting brand-related content on their own pages, however, can increase the risk of compliance missteps without the proper tools. Social media management software that allows marketers to have a holistic view of employee activity on social media can safeguard your brand reputation.

    Such tools can house digital libraries of preapproved content so employees can share ready-to-go posts with ease. Software can also automate the approvals process on new employee posts to ensure that no content ever goes live without proper review.

    Landing Page Builder

    Think of landing pages as your website’s personalized welcome mats. Rather than landing on the homepage and having to stumble around looking for the information they need (and people have little patience for this), prospects and customers can land right where the information is. For example, if a social media post or digital ad offers tips for first-time mortgage seekers, the message can include a link to a landing page on your website that houses more information about mortgages.

    You can gate guidebooks and other downloadable resources behind an information capture form on the landing page, prompting consumers to insert their name and email to receive the download. Considering that more than three-quarters of consumers are willing to provide their personal information in return for more personalized services, according to Accenture, landing pages are an excellent tool to provide relevant, valuable content to consumers while capturing data that can help you target outreach efforts to those who are most likely to convert.

    Few institutions have the resources available to create landing pages for each promotion, however. And most financial services marketers don’t have the coding or website design expertise to build whole web pages from scratch. That’s where “landing page builders” come in. Such platforms provide prebuilt, customizable templates that allow marketers to quickly and easily build landing pages at scale to capture valuable data while providing customers with more value.

    Onboarding Engagement Platform

    So you’ve created a suite of digital customer experiences and infrastructures to serve customers and capture prospects in a virtual world. Your tools offer remote deposit capture, peer-to-peer payments, rewards programs, financial education, and more. But what if people don’t use them?

    Sometimes, simply putting the options in front of them isn’t enough. Digital banking, though on the rise for some time, can still be a new concept for many. Even if someone is a regular user of mobile check capture, they may not grasp the concept of a digital wallet.

    You need to engage customers in an educational way to help them see the value in these tools and understand how to make the most of digital experiences. Onboarding engagement platforms can help your customers adapt to new products and allow you to get more from your digital investments.

    When someone opens a new account at your institution, for example, an onboarding engagement platform can walk them through the mobile app the first time they sign on, showing them where and how to deposit checks, transfer funds, redeem rewards, contact customer service, and more. Doing this strengthens the digital customer experience and builds trust along the way.

    This article was originally posted on The Financial Brand.

    Insurance companies have long viewed social media efforts in a brand marketing light, leveraging social media for creative messaging and building corporate recognition. This is still a worthwhile endeavor, but it’s time for insurance marketers to add another level to their social media strategies: performance marketing.

    Performance marketing focuses on social media as a conversion tool, driving lead generation and sales rather than vanity metrics alone. Instead of tracking a post’s comments or reach, marketers can track how many readers click through to customized landing pages, for instance.

    This switch can be challenging for stakeholders to understand and accept at first. Larger organizations may have separate marketing teams for different product lines supporting the overall brand.Within those teams, employees may have separate roles for organic and paid social media. For a successful performance marketing strategy, all teams need to share a vision and commitment to driving conversions through social media.Not every post has to convert readers into leads, but it should be part of the journey to getting them there.

    If you’re at the beginning of this cultural shift toward thinking about social media from a more performance-driven angle that puts conversion metrics front and center, try these techniques to move the conversation in the right direction:

    1. Prioritize internal team education.
    Digital marketing is constantly changing — and changing fast. Marketing leaders must give teams the opportunity, time, and space to learn about the latest trends, tools, and social media marketing strategies. The more extensive their knowledge, the more comfortable they’ll be applying out-of-the-box thinking to social media in general.

    One excellent resource is Facebook Blueprint, which offers free classes and certifications around marketing on Facebook. Be sure to complement dedicated social media training with analytics training to ensure that everyone knows how to measure the success of social media efforts. Google Analytics Academy is an excellent resource for getting a grip on basic analytics and then diving into more advanced learnings from there. These courses help everyone get on the same page and more fully understand the breadth of possibilities available onFacebook and other social media platforms. 

    2. Emphasize that everyone has a role to play.

    Regardless of title or job description, everyone in your organization should work toward the same sales goals and understand that both brand marketing and performance marketing are needed to achieve those objectives.

    Marketers should coordinate with all departments to ensure that everyone understands their roles and responsibilities when it comes to both building the brand and converting sales. When creating social media marketing campaigns, marketers should also seek out insights from the specific departments to which campaigns will be driving traffic in order to determine the right content, messaging, and metrics for each campaign.

    What’s more, agents who are also sharing branded content on social media should understand how their efforts intertwine with other content to lead users down the sales funnel and closer to conversions. By including all stakeholders in the performance marketing strategy, marketers can help everyone view themselves as extensions of the sales team and increase the focus on driving conversions.

    3. Combine social branding with tactical messaging.

    Every social media marketing campaign should be cohesive, featuring consistent themes, verbiage, and images. Plus, all the promises made in branding copy should be highlighted in more tactical performance marketing content. In essence, the brand messaging sets the tone, and the performance messaging closes the deal by delivering on the promises.

    How does this work? Let’s say your insurance company has launched a social media branding campaign highlighting how easy it is to work with your business instead of with your competitors. The performance marketing aspect of the campaign includes a white paper that outlines your specific value propositions and client testimonials to back them up. You link to the whitepaper landing page from the social media branding campaign posts, viewers input their contact information into a form on the landing page to download the whitepaper, and your sales team gets direct access to primed leads. Brand and performance marketing work together to drive sales.

    Social media is harder than it was only a decade ago. Platforms have changed their algorithms to make organic content less visible, and social media marketing strategies that rely only on brand messaging and vanity metrics alone won’t cut through the noise. Instead, financial marketers need to use performance marketing efforts that offer real, tangible value to drive sales.

    This was originally published in PropertyCasualty 360.

    Marketers in Regulated Industries Can Now Execute Multi-Network Social Media Publishing and Advertising Campaigns While Staying in Compliance

    Denim Social is proud to announce that its platform now offers Instagram publishing, monitoring and analytics. When combined with Denim Social’s existing support for paid Instagram advertising, marketers in regulated industries – like banking, mortgage, insurance and wealth management – can now manage fully integrated and compliant paid and organic campaigns.

    The platform enhancement offers marketers one easy-to-use, intuitive platform to:

    • Manage publishing and advertising for multiple Instagram Business accounts
    • Publish and schedule organic content
    • Maximize reach and generate leads with paid advertising targeted to unique demographics
    • Strengthen strategies with organic and paid advertising performance analytics
    • Stay compliant and engaged with monitoring in one streamlined feed

    With the integration of organic publishing and paid social media advertising in one platform, marketers can take advantage of Instagram’s unique content display and create opportunities for stronger engagement.

    “A robust social media monitoring platform is a must in the mortgage and banking industry. Denim Social has not only allowed us to remain compliant, their platform allows our sales team to successfully post, utilize a library of approved content and monitor their engagement,” said Christine Madrid Overbeck, senior vice president, mortgage division, Goldwater Bank. “The recent expansion to include Instagram is a game changer. The sales team is extremely excited to engage with their clients using one more additional social media channel.”

    Research shows that Instagram outperforms other social networks on engagement and the network boasts more influence on purchase decisions than any other platform. But for many financial institutions the compliance risks have outweighed the marketing rewards of the network. Denim Social is built for compliance and we’re proud to offer the only fully-compliant Instagram publishing and advertising solution in the industry.


    Curious what Instagram can do for your brand? Check out our latest guide or schedule a demo to see the Denim Social platform in action.

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