July 27, 2021

How to Keep Financial Institution Social Media Non-Salesy

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

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

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

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

1. Use employees as your delivery channel.

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

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

2. Share educational content.

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

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

3. Include links in promotional posts.

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

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

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

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

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July 27, 2021

How to Keep Financial Institution Social Media Non-Salesy

By
Doug Wilber
CEO, Denim Social

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

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

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

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

1. Use employees as your delivery channel.

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

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

2. Share educational content.

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

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

3. Include links in promotional posts.

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

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

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

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

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Forward-thinking marketers understand the power of social media at all stages of their marketing funnel. From awareness and consideration to loyalty and even advocacy, social and digital channels can and do inform purchase decisions. Financial institutions are catching on — more than 90% of the 50 largest banks are currently on Facebook, and 88% have active Twitter accounts — but being on social media doesn’t equate to a strong social media strategy. Today’s digital market requires an integrated strategy that meets target audiences throughout the buyer’s journey. This means investing in paid social campaigns alongside organic and driving deeper relationships with customers through social selling.

Sounds easy, right? While marketers may understand the strategies and costs associated with modern social success, senior decision makers may still need educating and persuading. That’s why it’s essential to be able to effectively communicate the benefits of integrated social media strategies. In addition to intangible benefits like building trust and humanizing your brand, both organic and paid social selling strategies offer metrics that enable marketers to prove value.

After all, people buy from people. So if you’re ready to advocate for an expanded social media strategy, start by asking yourself these questions. Not only will they help you decide on your strategic priorities, but they will also show you how to articulate the value of social media strategies to the people holding the budget strings. To prove the value of social media in financial services and get buy-in from senior leaders, marketers must ask themselves these questions:

Does Our Social Media Marketing Drive ROI?

Expanding a social media strategy often means increased spending — so you must be able to show decision makers the value of social. While financial marketers are already advocates — they know the power of paid social media efforts and have seen it in action — other leadership may not have that knowledge. It’s up to marketing teams to connect the dots on how their efforts are driving business results, and that means providing a strong argument based on metrics and concrete benefits.

Data tells a powerful story, so let it guide the conversation. And to further strengthen your case for expanded social media strategies, make sure to highlight these benefits:

• Targeting

While organic content is important, leaders must understand that it’s not enough to impact the bottom line without paid support. Paid social media gives more flexibility than organic content — you can target specific customer subsets, or even new audience bases, allowing for greater personalization and a higher ROI. It’s all about delivering relevant content to the right consumers at the right time.

• Feedback

Feedback may not always impact the bottom line, but social media itself does offer a direct line to consumers. With the lines of communication open, it becomes easier to listen and learn about their wants, needs, and interests. An open-ended post, for instance, can encourage comments, which provide qualitative feedback on any given topic. This will improve the trust in your institution; customers (and their followers!) will see the commitment to providing an ever-improving experience.

• Conversion

Social media is about more than likes: If you’re providing links on social media (and you should), you’re creating conversion opportunities. Direct consumers to a landing page — from there, you can collect lead information. All that’s left is a follow-up. If that landing page has a form, track completion rates. The icing on top? These interactions are all measurable. Prove value by comparing these metrics with traditional tactics. When did a leader ever see a recorded, data-backed conversion metric from a billboard?

• Efficiency

Measuring social media marketing ROI, like most analytics, requires technology — and the right technology, at that. Spreadsheets simply won’t cut it, and they’re not as accurate or efficient as the tools that fintech partners offer. That’s why the Denim Social platform was built with financial institutions in mind. Its analytics capabilities allow for a more efficient means of capturing results while also centralizing information. Data is readily available, which can simplify and improve the approval workflow. Improvements to the workflow process have been shown to free up 20% to 30% of employees’ time — so bring that statistic to decision makers to prove its necessity.

How Do You Use Social Media Analytics to Make Your Case?

Expanding marketing strategies means collecting more data, and that necessitates a robust social media management tool. Gathering data on any social media marketing campaign affords you the opportunity to measure its overall performance and gives you clear-cut evidence to support business measures related to those efforts.

Of course, data should be gathered based on specific criteria. Meaningful insights come from specific measurable goals related to your campaign and the goals of company decision makers. While the objectives of any social media strategy for financial services will vary from one institution to the next, any marketing effort can benefit from optimizing strategy through social media ROI metrics.

Use metrics to hone your messaging and audience. Every social media marketing post is a learning opportunity about what resonates with your audience. Analytics show what topics drive engagement, what calls to action inspire clicks, and so on. Then, fine-tune subsequent posts based on your findings. Mastering social is an iterative process. When speaking with upper management, highlight how this process delivers greater value over time by continuously evolving.

As you optimize your messaging, look to target audiences. Social media, and paid social in particular, allows you to target subsets of consumers. Vary your messaging and content, and you begin to understand what connects with whom. This allows you to maximize social media spend going forward — you’re not wasting time and effort putting messaging in front of an uninterested audience. When decision makers want to reach specific audiences, outline how putting money toward paid ad campaigns makes that happen.

Audience engagement with your posts isn’t the only important metric; they’re likely interacting with your competition, too. Denim Social’s social listening tools provide a simple — but comprehensive — snapshot of competitors. Use our built-in metrics comparisons to learn what’s working for others and where you’re ahead.

When you’re looking at your own metrics, be sure to pay attention to where the customer journey is going. Failure to guide customers to a landing page and other lead-generating tools will lead to dead ends, which isn’t the best use of these channels. Trackable links and analytics help marketers recognize the best avenues for using social media posts to capture leads that translate into sales. If you aren’t effectively working toward leads, it’ll be difficult to defend the necessity of your budget.

Finally, don’t measure your ROI too soon. If you’re going to connect the value of social to your broader business objectives, you need to sync your measurement time with your sales cycle or risk misunderstanding (and likely underestimating) the impact of social. Help leadership understand that ROI isn’t a one-and-done and it’s not instantaneous. That way, you’re guiding their expectations to the bigger picture of what your social media strategy is doing.

Troves of data are available from social media channels, and you’ll need the right technology to organize the information and arrive at a set of objectives that align with your larger business goals. The right measurement tool can build the confidence digital marketers need to foster social media marketing ROI success.

What’s the Cost of Getting Social Media Compliance Wrong?

Social media compliance for financial institutions can feel challenging, especially today. SEC Chairman Gary Gensler has brought increased scrutiny to social media since his appointment, and it’s understandable for institutions to want to pull back efforts to mitigate compliance risks. Make sure your executives understand that this method loses more than they gain.

Consider that customers are increasingly using digital methods to meet financial needs. Can anyone afford to lose out on that audience base? You won’t reach new customers, and you’re losing valuable social selling opportunities with the ones you have. Social selling influences half of revenue for 14 major industries — and financial services is one of them.

Rather than scaling back social media efforts (and in the process, your revenue), work to mitigate compliance risks. When senior management airs concerns over compliance, counter with technology to automate compliance monitoring. Denim Social was built for compliance, so you can focus less on worrying if you’re compliant and more on fostering leads.

With Denim Social, you can use numerous tools that can help in ensuring:

• Protection. Problematic posts never see the light of day, as our platform not only establishes an approval workflow but also flags posts containing questionable keywords or phrases even before the review process.

• Education. Our platform can serve as an ongoing compliance education tool. Team members receive almost immediate feedback and can test the equipped filters to understand what might cause regulatory trouble.

• Enablement. Denim Social allows for the creation content libraries and curated, pre-approved posts. Team members can pull from these resources without the need for approvals, adding speed and efficiency to the process.

• Record-keeping. The potential of an audit hangs over every financial institution. Our platform archives all social media posts and interactions. It even does the same with comments. If regulators come knocking, you’ll have a report in no time.

• Notifications. Should a team member try to send a post through the approval process with a prohibited keyword or phrase, those flags send a notification directly to the individual. Employees quickly learn what can and cannot be posted.

• Profile locks. Rules can be built within the platform that can prevent team members from posting problematic content, helping to quell worries about social media compliance. The goal is to provide the controls necessary to avoid issues.

• Editing. Admins can edit or delete team members’ posts, comments, or direct messages right from the platform — across any connected social channel. In fact, the process is automated when prohibited keywords or phrases hit the network.

Social media compliance for financial institutions shouldn’t be more complicated than any other compliance for your operation. It all comes down to your choice of technology, and Denim Social has the experience and tools you need to make it a breeze.

What Do We Need in a Fintech Partner?

The social media marketing needs of financial institutions are unique. You’re not necessarily selling a product or a service but a relationship with a qualified professional, which calls for authenticity and empathy to establish a sense of trust. The tactics used by “traditional” brands simply aren’t as impactful in the financial services space.

Beyond that, social media compliance is complex. Without industry knowledge, it can be difficult for a marketing agency to navigate the nuances set by FINRA. Your fintech partner should fully appreciate the regulatory constraints and respect the concerns of your financial institution while still understanding how to drive real value with your social media strategy.

However, according to Cornerstone’s “What’s Going On In Banking 2021” report, financial institutions aren’t having much success finding these qualified and attentive partners, noting that FI “boards will tire of not seeing results [from fintech partnerships]." Executives are relying on your expertise to identify fintech partners with a proven ability to collaborate and create solutions. And because boards may be wary of partners, you must be able to outline exactly how that partner will help you reach your goals. Help executives understand these benefits.

• Customized onboarding.

Denim Social customizes our onboarding process to meet your specific needs, so executives know they’re getting an experience tailor-made for the company. No questions are left unanswered — we walk alongside you to always offer an explanation. On top of that, our team will help you craft the communication necessary to get employees to use the platform. Emails, messaging, toolkits, and more are available to encourage adoption, so upper-level management knows they’re investing in a tool that will see widespread use.

• Team training.

Depending on your size and needs, we provide kickoff and regular training to help team members make the most of the platform so that decision makers can rest easy knowing our software isn’t being underutilized. We can also provide train-the-trainer sessions to move training internal, and our recently launched Academy can help marketers become certified on our platform.

• Strategy consultation.

Our customer success team can help you identify tactics to move the needle on your social media strategy. Just ask, and we’ll provide best practices and industry-relevant comparisons to inform your tactics and optimize your social selling implementation.

• Content libraries.

We work directly with your institution and UpContent to ensure you can create a customized content library that matches the specific needs of your business and your customers.

In order to optimize a social media strategy, FI leaders and marketers must be able to sustain compliance at scale and understand social media measurement and analytics to see ROI. When you understand your metrics, you can bring that knowledge to decision makers, too. They’ll see the value you bring to the brand and associates (and match that value when it’s time to make budgets). Trusted fintech partners with dedicated customer success teams can help.

Bottom line: Social media is hard, but marketers don’t have to do it alone. With Denim Social, they have dedicated team members they can call to help.

Get in touch with us today to schedule a demo!

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

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How Denim Social Works With Agency Partners to Create Consistent,Compliant Digital Marketing for Financial Services

Many financial institutions partner with outside agencies to create digital marketing experiences. They hire agencies to do what they do best: build connections to customers in creative ways. Even with this support, however, financial services marketers still have to ensure every piece of digital marketing stays compliant and distribute those pieces to their brand, branch, and employee feeds.

That’s where Denim Social fits into the picture — not as a replacement for agencies you’re already working with, but as a tool to boost their efforts. Financial institutions can turn to Denim Social to work with agency partners to activate more effective, efficient, and compliant social media marketing strategies. When agencies can rely on our compliance and management platform to cover the logistics behind social media marketing, they can focus all of their energy on crafting impactful campaigns. And financial institutions can get more out of their marketing dollars.

Here’s how we can work with agency partners to support financial institutions’ social media strategies and digital marketing efforts:

1. Curated Content for Social Media

So you’ve hired an agency to craft your social media marketing strategy and write attention-grabbing, interest-piquing posts. But not all of your social media posts should be new content. Your brand and employees should also share relevant news or helpful guides from other reliable sources.

You don’t need to task your agency partners with curating existing material Denim Social can free up their time to focus on creating new campaigns with our curated content support.​ Our integration with content curation industry leader UpContent brings relevant, curated articles directly to the Denim Social platform, so marketers or agencies don’t have to be responsible for sourcing every post. That means a lot, especially for financial institutions running social selling campaigns where hundreds or even thousands of employees post brand-related content.

2. Social Media Compliance Tools

The last thing any digital marketing agency wants is to create content that will land your brand in regulatory trouble. But financial institution marketers understand that even one noncompliant post could be a big problem. Denim Social can serve as the compliance checkpoint between the content an agency creates and the public, ensuring no posts go live that shouldn’t.

Our platform offers keyword and phrase filtering to bring any creative copy with potentially noncompliant messaging to your attention — before it goes live. What’s more, automated approval workflows can streamline agencies’ communication with financial institution marketers, compliance teams, and other stakeholders to get the proper sign-off on every post with ease. Marketers also know they must record every social post and interaction in case they get audited by regulatory agencies, but agency partners shouldn’t have to focus their efforts on administrative tasks and record-keeping. That’s where Denim Social can help with automatic archiving tools to get tedious tasks out of the way and let agencies do what they do best. 

3. Paid Social Media Management
Denim Social can work with agencies to deliver the best possible results for paid social media advertising. Our proprietary social media ads manager automatically optimizes ads’ performance and consolidates all social media platforms into one easily accessible dashboard for a one-stop shop.

When agencies can efficiently manage and optimize ads, they can easily scale campaigns at the brand, location, and advisor level. And when agencies can scale further and deliver more results, financial institutions get more bang for their agency buck.

4. Accurate, Data-Driven Results

Financial institution leaders need data to inform the smartest and most impactful decisions when determining where to allocate their marketing budgets. So agencies must provide that data to prove their worth beyond vanity metrics alone. Denim Social can help by clearly connecting social media campaigns to real business results.


For example, agency partners can easily create landing pages for each campaign using our Landing Page Builder. From there, they can incorporate landing page links into the social media marketing strategy and track analytics to see how many prospects followed the digital journey from social post to landing page to getting in touch to learn more. Essentially, social media can drive conversions — which translates to more profit for your institution. And Denim Social can help provide the analytics agencies need to prove it.

Successful digital marketing for financial services has to cover a lot of bases. It must be relevant, consistent, and compliant. Few financial institutions can do all of that on their own — and even their agency partners can use a hand to create more efficient and effective campaigns. That’s whereDenim Social fits into the mix. We don’t replace agencies: We support them in creating the strongest possible social media marketing strategies for financial institutions.

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.

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 Keep Financial Institution Social Media Non-Salesy

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

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

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

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

1. Use employees as your delivery channel.

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

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

2. Share educational content.

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

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

3. Include links in promotional posts.

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

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

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

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

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

It’s no surprise that social media can help drive results for your mortgage business. In fact, the question for most marketers at mortgage lending institutions isn’t IF they should be doing more social media marketing - it’s HOW. Download to learn how to:

  • Scale your social selling program
  • Plan your content strategy
  • Train your loan officers

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

Instant Download

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

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

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

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

Every Mortgage Marketer Should Ask Themselves

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

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

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

Read this guide if you’re asking yourself:

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

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

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

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

Every Financial Services Marketer Should Ask Themselves

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

Stronger Customer Relationships on Instagram

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

How 6 Financial Marketers Are Creating Value in Social Media

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

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

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

ABA Study: The Current State of Social Media

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

  • Is it important to equip your sales personnel with social media accounts?
  • Does your bank measure the impact of your social media use?
  • COVID-19 & Bank Social Media

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

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

    Evolve Bank & Trust (“Evolve”) is an $700M+ asset institution with nearly 40 Home Loan Centers (HLC) and nearly 500 employees nationwide. See how Denim Social helped Evolve activate Home Loan Center Facebook pages over the course of just a few months.

    Download Here
    GUIDES

    How to Keep Financial Institution Social Media Non-Salesy

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

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

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

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

    1. Use employees as your delivery channel.

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

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

    2. Share educational content.

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

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

    3. Include links in promotional posts.

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

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

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

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

    Download the Guide

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

    It’s no surprise that social media can help drive results for your mortgage business. In fact, the question for most marketers at mortgage lending institutions isn’t IF they should be doing more social media marketing - it’s HOW. Download to learn how to:

    • Scale your social selling program
    • Plan your content strategy
    • Train your loan officers

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

    Instant Download

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

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

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

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

    Every Mortgage Marketer Should Ask Themselves

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

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

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

    Read this guide if you’re asking yourself:

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

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

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

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

    Every Financial Services Marketer Should Ask Themselves

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

    Stronger Customer Relationships on Instagram

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

    How 6 Financial Marketers Are Creating Value in Social Media

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Enjoy!

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

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

    ABA Study: The Current State of Social Media

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

  • Is it important to equip your sales personnel with social media accounts?
  • Does your bank measure the impact of your social media use?
  • COVID-19 & Bank Social Media

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

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

    Evolve Bank & Trust (“Evolve”) is an $700M+ asset institution with nearly 40 Home Loan Centers (HLC) and nearly 500 employees nationwide. See how Denim Social helped Evolve activate Home Loan Center Facebook pages over the course of just a few months.

    Download Here
    GUIDES

    How to Keep Financial Institution Social Media Non-Salesy

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

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

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

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

    1. Use employees as your delivery channel.

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

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

    2. Share educational content.

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

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

    3. Include links in promotional posts.

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

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

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

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

    Download the Guide

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

    It’s no surprise that social media can help drive results for your mortgage business. In fact, the question for most marketers at mortgage lending institutions isn’t IF they should be doing more social media marketing - it’s HOW. Download to learn how to:

    • Scale your social selling program
    • Plan your content strategy
    • Train your loan officers

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

    Instant Download

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

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

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

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

    Every Mortgage Marketer Should Ask Themselves

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

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

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

    Read this guide if you’re asking yourself:

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

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

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

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

    Every Financial Services Marketer Should Ask Themselves

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

    Stronger Customer Relationships on Instagram

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

    How 6 Financial Marketers Are Creating Value in Social Media

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Enjoy!

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

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

    ABA Study: The Current State of Social Media

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

  • Is it important to equip your sales personnel with social media accounts?
  • Does your bank measure the impact of your social media use?
  • COVID-19 & Bank Social Media

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

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

    Evolve Bank & Trust (“Evolve”) is an $700M+ asset institution with nearly 40 Home Loan Centers (HLC) and nearly 500 employees nationwide. See how Denim Social helped Evolve activate Home Loan Center Facebook pages over the course of just a few months.

    Download Here
    GUIDES

    How to Keep Financial Institution Social Media Non-Salesy

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

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

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

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

    1. Use employees as your delivery channel.

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

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

    2. Share educational content.

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

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

    3. Include links in promotional posts.

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

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

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

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

    Download the Guide

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    ALL GUIDES:

    It’s no surprise that social media can help drive results for your mortgage business. In fact, the question for most marketers at mortgage lending institutions isn’t IF they should be doing more social media marketing - it’s HOW. Download to learn how to:

    • Scale your social selling program
    • Plan your content strategy
    • Train your loan officers

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

    Instant Download

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

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

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

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

    Every Mortgage Marketer Should Ask Themselves

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

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

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

    Read this guide if you’re asking yourself:

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

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

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

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

    Every Financial Services Marketer Should Ask Themselves

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

    Stronger Customer Relationships on Instagram

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

    How 6 Financial Marketers Are Creating Value in Social Media

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Enjoy!

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

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

    ABA Study: The Current State of Social Media

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

  • Is it important to equip your sales personnel with social media accounts?
  • Does your bank measure the impact of your social media use?
  • COVID-19 & Bank Social Media

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

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

    Evolve Bank & Trust (“Evolve”) is an $700M+ asset institution with nearly 40 Home Loan Centers (HLC) and nearly 500 employees nationwide. See how Denim Social helped Evolve activate Home Loan Center Facebook pages over the course of just a few months.

    Download Here

    RESOURCES

    NEWS
    July 27, 2021

    How to Keep Financial Institution Social Media Non-Salesy

    By
    Doug Wilber
    CEO, Denim Social

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

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

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

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

    1. Use employees as your delivery channel.

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

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

    2. Share educational content.

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

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

    3. Include links in promotional posts.

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

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

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

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

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    OTHER NEWS:

    The true foundation of sales is relationship building. While this has traditionally been done in person, especially in the insurance industry, the digital landscape offers endless possibilities for relationship building. This is why leveraging social media as a sales tool is so integral to your digital marketing strategy.

    Social selling is the perfect crossroads of marketing and sales, and enables intermediaries to add value to the customer journey where there wouldn’t otherwise be an opportunity. After all, Net Promoter Scores are 15 points higher for property and casualty insurance customers when they’ve interacted with their insurers within the past year.

    Developing a social selling strategy and launching a program can be daunting. Marketing and sales teams are already juggling full plates. Adding social to the sales mix is a culture shift, and supporting hundreds or thousands of intermediaries in weaving social into their everyday processes isn’t a small feat. Remember that social selling is more than marketing: It’s using social media as a digital relationship-building and sales tool.  

    This mindset shift can take some time, and launching your strategy and program won’t happen overnight. Luckily, there are tools available to make this culture shift much easier. Denim Social was built to power social selling programs within the financial services industry, and we’ve outlined what it takes to launch a successful program:

    1. Align with your team on the definition of social selling.

    Social selling is just what it sounds like: using social media to sell a product or service. It’s leveraging social to build personal relationships, showcase thought leadership, engage with prospects, interact with existing customers, and ultimately build trust and rapport that will eventually lead to sales.

    While this may be old news to you, intermediaries may have less experience with it. Take the time to talk about it this way and educate your teams on using social media as a sales tool. This time spent learning a new marketing tactic is very much worth your agents’ time, too. Prove it to them by sharing meaningful stats on the benefits of social selling. For example, LinkedIn’s 2022 State of Sales Report found the most successful sellers at large companies — those reaching more than 150% of quota — routinely use technology to build human connections with buyers.

    2. Educate your sales team.

    Remember that social selling isn’t just marketing’s responsibility. It’s an effort that should be supported by both marketing and sales. If you’re in a marketing role looking to launch social selling for your intermediaries, take the time to educate your sales partners on social selling. Craft your elevator pitch on how social helps intermediaries meet customers where they are in the digital landscape and how enabling them on social helps amplify your brand messaging.

    Keep in mind that social media in a heavily regulated industry can feel risky, and adding it to the mix of sales tactics that have “always been done a certain way” can feel like a huge change. Patience is key! Own the narrative around social selling, build your group of internal champions to help with this culture shift, and invest time in change management and your communication plan.

    3. Find your social selling technology.

    Once you’ve got your internal teams aligned on launching social selling for your intermediaries, it’s important to find a tech solution to make it all easier! Seek a solution that creates efficiencies for the administrators of your program and your users. For instance, does your platform account for compliance coverage? Does your vendor understand the nuances of your industry? As you’re evaluating potential platforms, make sure to consider both the administrative and end-user experience, as well as both organic and paid capabilities. A holistic social selling platform will include all these things.

    Spoiler alert: At Denim Social, we do all these things! We specifically support the financial services industry, understand your compliance needs, and, most importantly, understand the impact intermediaries can make through social selling (both organic and paid). We can also operate with any other tools you use to manage your brand, so you have full control over your tech stack.

    4. Identify social maturity.

    So you’re changing the narrative, gaining buy-in, and you’ve found Denim Social to help you — what’s next? It’s time to dig into your user group to identify social maturity. You don’t have to do it all at once — a phased approach with folks of different social maturity levels will make this easier to learn and scale from.

    Start by simply searching for your intermediaries on social media. How easy is it to find them? Are their pages updated and on brand? Is their “about” info robust and accurate? Have their profile photos been updated in the last decade?

    If you are answering “yes” to a lot of these, you already have a great start. Those are your people. But if you aren’t, that’s OK — you’ll just need to start with some generalized social education and profile optimization to get your group started. Taking the time to deliver this education is critical in making social media for insurance agents stick.

    5. Train and test your user group.

    Once you’ve identified agents who are either already active on social or ready to be active, start communicating. Let your whole organization know that you’re launching a social selling program. The more folks who know, the more they can support your work. Then, communicate with your first user group; let them know what to expect throughout the launch, including your level of support and upcoming training to get them started.

    And finally ... train! Depending on the level of social maturity of your launch group, this might mean starting with the basics of each social platform, as well as the basics of organic and paid social. If your users are super ready, it could mean jumping right into your social selling tech solution.

    6. Measure success and optimize over time.

    Once you have momentum, fuel that success with regular content. It takes time: Start simply by creating intermediary versions of your brand content and add this content to your content planning processes (for instance, you might craft language your agents can use to share branded social posts). One of the perks of Denim Social? We curate your library with our content integration.

    Finally, measure your success and share it with your internal champions, teams, and leadership. Your measurement might just consist of basic content usage and engagement at first, but it will ultimately grow to measuring return on ad spend and leads generated. Take the time to celebrate small wins and educate your internal partners on the growth of your social selling program. Check in with your social sellers to make sure they’re understanding the value and celebrating with you.

    At the end of the day, remember that launching and maintaining a social selling program is a long-term commitment. It can take a while to steer the ship in a new direction, and that’s OK! It means you’re thoughtfully implementing a new strategy and are training your team appropriately.

    To learn more about how insurance agents can optimize social selling and promote growth, connect with Denim Social today.

    Forward-thinking marketers understand the power of social media at all stages of their marketing funnel. From awareness and consideration to loyalty and even advocacy, social and digital channels can and do inform purchase decisions. Financial institutions are catching on — more than 90% of the 50 largest banks are currently on Facebook, and 88% have active Twitter accounts — but being on social media doesn’t equate to a strong social media strategy. Today’s digital market requires an integrated strategy that meets target audiences throughout the buyer’s journey. This means investing in paid social campaigns alongside organic and driving deeper relationships with customers through social selling.

    Sounds easy, right? While marketers may understand the strategies and costs associated with modern social success, senior decision makers may still need educating and persuading. That’s why it’s essential to be able to effectively communicate the benefits of integrated social media strategies. In addition to intangible benefits like building trust and humanizing your brand, both organic and paid social selling strategies offer metrics that enable marketers to prove value.

    After all, people buy from people. So if you’re ready to advocate for an expanded social media strategy, start by asking yourself these questions. Not only will they help you decide on your strategic priorities, but they will also show you how to articulate the value of social media strategies to the people holding the budget strings. To prove the value of social media in financial services and get buy-in from senior leaders, marketers must ask themselves these questions:

    Does Our Social Media Marketing Drive ROI?

    Expanding a social media strategy often means increased spending — so you must be able to show decision makers the value of social. While financial marketers are already advocates — they know the power of paid social media efforts and have seen it in action — other leadership may not have that knowledge. It’s up to marketing teams to connect the dots on how their efforts are driving business results, and that means providing a strong argument based on metrics and concrete benefits.

    Data tells a powerful story, so let it guide the conversation. And to further strengthen your case for expanded social media strategies, make sure to highlight these benefits:

    • Targeting

    While organic content is important, leaders must understand that it’s not enough to impact the bottom line without paid support. Paid social media gives more flexibility than organic content — you can target specific customer subsets, or even new audience bases, allowing for greater personalization and a higher ROI. It’s all about delivering relevant content to the right consumers at the right time.

    • Feedback

    Feedback may not always impact the bottom line, but social media itself does offer a direct line to consumers. With the lines of communication open, it becomes easier to listen and learn about their wants, needs, and interests. An open-ended post, for instance, can encourage comments, which provide qualitative feedback on any given topic. This will improve the trust in your institution; customers (and their followers!) will see the commitment to providing an ever-improving experience.

    • Conversion

    Social media is about more than likes: If you’re providing links on social media (and you should), you’re creating conversion opportunities. Direct consumers to a landing page — from there, you can collect lead information. All that’s left is a follow-up. If that landing page has a form, track completion rates. The icing on top? These interactions are all measurable. Prove value by comparing these metrics with traditional tactics. When did a leader ever see a recorded, data-backed conversion metric from a billboard?

    • Efficiency

    Measuring social media marketing ROI, like most analytics, requires technology — and the right technology, at that. Spreadsheets simply won’t cut it, and they’re not as accurate or efficient as the tools that fintech partners offer. That’s why the Denim Social platform was built with financial institutions in mind. Its analytics capabilities allow for a more efficient means of capturing results while also centralizing information. Data is readily available, which can simplify and improve the approval workflow. Improvements to the workflow process have been shown to free up 20% to 30% of employees’ time — so bring that statistic to decision makers to prove its necessity.

    How Do You Use Social Media Analytics to Make Your Case?

    Expanding marketing strategies means collecting more data, and that necessitates a robust social media management tool. Gathering data on any social media marketing campaign affords you the opportunity to measure its overall performance and gives you clear-cut evidence to support business measures related to those efforts.

    Of course, data should be gathered based on specific criteria. Meaningful insights come from specific measurable goals related to your campaign and the goals of company decision makers. While the objectives of any social media strategy for financial services will vary from one institution to the next, any marketing effort can benefit from optimizing strategy through social media ROI metrics.

    Use metrics to hone your messaging and audience. Every social media marketing post is a learning opportunity about what resonates with your audience. Analytics show what topics drive engagement, what calls to action inspire clicks, and so on. Then, fine-tune subsequent posts based on your findings. Mastering social is an iterative process. When speaking with upper management, highlight how this process delivers greater value over time by continuously evolving.

    As you optimize your messaging, look to target audiences. Social media, and paid social in particular, allows you to target subsets of consumers. Vary your messaging and content, and you begin to understand what connects with whom. This allows you to maximize social media spend going forward — you’re not wasting time and effort putting messaging in front of an uninterested audience. When decision makers want to reach specific audiences, outline how putting money toward paid ad campaigns makes that happen.

    Audience engagement with your posts isn’t the only important metric; they’re likely interacting with your competition, too. Denim Social’s social listening tools provide a simple — but comprehensive — snapshot of competitors. Use our built-in metrics comparisons to learn what’s working for others and where you’re ahead.

    When you’re looking at your own metrics, be sure to pay attention to where the customer journey is going. Failure to guide customers to a landing page and other lead-generating tools will lead to dead ends, which isn’t the best use of these channels. Trackable links and analytics help marketers recognize the best avenues for using social media posts to capture leads that translate into sales. If you aren’t effectively working toward leads, it’ll be difficult to defend the necessity of your budget.

    Finally, don’t measure your ROI too soon. If you’re going to connect the value of social to your broader business objectives, you need to sync your measurement time with your sales cycle or risk misunderstanding (and likely underestimating) the impact of social. Help leadership understand that ROI isn’t a one-and-done and it’s not instantaneous. That way, you’re guiding their expectations to the bigger picture of what your social media strategy is doing.

    Troves of data are available from social media channels, and you’ll need the right technology to organize the information and arrive at a set of objectives that align with your larger business goals. The right measurement tool can build the confidence digital marketers need to foster social media marketing ROI success.

    What’s the Cost of Getting Social Media Compliance Wrong?

    Social media compliance for financial institutions can feel challenging, especially today. SEC Chairman Gary Gensler has brought increased scrutiny to social media since his appointment, and it’s understandable for institutions to want to pull back efforts to mitigate compliance risks. Make sure your executives understand that this method loses more than they gain.

    Consider that customers are increasingly using digital methods to meet financial needs. Can anyone afford to lose out on that audience base? You won’t reach new customers, and you’re losing valuable social selling opportunities with the ones you have. Social selling influences half of revenue for 14 major industries — and financial services is one of them.

    Rather than scaling back social media efforts (and in the process, your revenue), work to mitigate compliance risks. When senior management airs concerns over compliance, counter with technology to automate compliance monitoring. Denim Social was built for compliance, so you can focus less on worrying if you’re compliant and more on fostering leads.

    With Denim Social, you can use numerous tools that can help in ensuring:

    • Protection. Problematic posts never see the light of day, as our platform not only establishes an approval workflow but also flags posts containing questionable keywords or phrases even before the review process.

    • Education. Our platform can serve as an ongoing compliance education tool. Team members receive almost immediate feedback and can test the equipped filters to understand what might cause regulatory trouble.

    • Enablement. Denim Social allows for the creation content libraries and curated, pre-approved posts. Team members can pull from these resources without the need for approvals, adding speed and efficiency to the process.

    • Record-keeping. The potential of an audit hangs over every financial institution. Our platform archives all social media posts and interactions. It even does the same with comments. If regulators come knocking, you’ll have a report in no time.

    • Notifications. Should a team member try to send a post through the approval process with a prohibited keyword or phrase, those flags send a notification directly to the individual. Employees quickly learn what can and cannot be posted.

    • Profile locks. Rules can be built within the platform that can prevent team members from posting problematic content, helping to quell worries about social media compliance. The goal is to provide the controls necessary to avoid issues.

    • Editing. Admins can edit or delete team members’ posts, comments, or direct messages right from the platform — across any connected social channel. In fact, the process is automated when prohibited keywords or phrases hit the network.

    Social media compliance for financial institutions shouldn’t be more complicated than any other compliance for your operation. It all comes down to your choice of technology, and Denim Social has the experience and tools you need to make it a breeze.

    What Do We Need in a Fintech Partner?

    The social media marketing needs of financial institutions are unique. You’re not necessarily selling a product or a service but a relationship with a qualified professional, which calls for authenticity and empathy to establish a sense of trust. The tactics used by “traditional” brands simply aren’t as impactful in the financial services space.

    Beyond that, social media compliance is complex. Without industry knowledge, it can be difficult for a marketing agency to navigate the nuances set by FINRA. Your fintech partner should fully appreciate the regulatory constraints and respect the concerns of your financial institution while still understanding how to drive real value with your social media strategy.

    However, according to Cornerstone’s “What’s Going On In Banking 2021” report, financial institutions aren’t having much success finding these qualified and attentive partners, noting that FI “boards will tire of not seeing results [from fintech partnerships]." Executives are relying on your expertise to identify fintech partners with a proven ability to collaborate and create solutions. And because boards may be wary of partners, you must be able to outline exactly how that partner will help you reach your goals. Help executives understand these benefits.

    • Customized onboarding.

    Denim Social customizes our onboarding process to meet your specific needs, so executives know they’re getting an experience tailor-made for the company. No questions are left unanswered — we walk alongside you to always offer an explanation. On top of that, our team will help you craft the communication necessary to get employees to use the platform. Emails, messaging, toolkits, and more are available to encourage adoption, so upper-level management knows they’re investing in a tool that will see widespread use.

    • Team training.

    Depending on your size and needs, we provide kickoff and regular training to help team members make the most of the platform so that decision makers can rest easy knowing our software isn’t being underutilized. We can also provide train-the-trainer sessions to move training internal, and our recently launched Academy can help marketers become certified on our platform.

    • Strategy consultation.

    Our customer success team can help you identify tactics to move the needle on your social media strategy. Just ask, and we’ll provide best practices and industry-relevant comparisons to inform your tactics and optimize your social selling implementation.

    • Content libraries.

    We work directly with your institution and UpContent to ensure you can create a customized content library that matches the specific needs of your business and your customers.

    In order to optimize a social media strategy, FI leaders and marketers must be able to sustain compliance at scale and understand social media measurement and analytics to see ROI. When you understand your metrics, you can bring that knowledge to decision makers, too. They’ll see the value you bring to the brand and associates (and match that value when it’s time to make budgets). Trusted fintech partners with dedicated customer success teams can help.

    Bottom line: Social media is hard, but marketers don’t have to do it alone. With Denim Social, they have dedicated team members they can call to help.

    Get in touch with us today to schedule a demo!

    For financial institutions, digital marketing for their financial services is a must, but organic posts are not enough on their own to build and nurture audiences. Organic content only reach an average of 2.2% of followers of social media platforms, so how can financial institutions stand out in busy social media newsfeeds and reach more people in their natural environments? The answer lies in paid social media advertising.

    A third of internet users find new products and brands through paid ads, so it’s no surprise to see a rise in digital ad spend over the years. While organic posts are also an important part of a social media strategy, paid ads are where financial institutions can grow their audience and reach their marketing goal metrics.

    You’re not doing ads for the sake of ads. Know your goals. Do you want to convert, get people to consider you, or build brand awareness? The platforms are going to ask you these questions, but you should know before you ever start building the ad sets. Once you have your ad campaign, budget, and targeting ready — the red tape needed before breaking ground — you can begin implementing your digital marketing strategy. This process can be repeated on multiple campaigns for maximum impact, increasing your ROI with each successful campaign.

    Creating Paid Ad Campaigns for More Effective Marketing Efforts

    When optimizing digital marketing for banking or any other financial institution, you’ll always hit these four key pillars:

    1. Choose a Platform

    Determining which platform is right for your financial institution depends on your objectives and target audience. There are no right or wrong answers; it’s about whom you want your ads to reach and for what purpose. For example, if you’re looking to build trust with professionals, LinkedIn is consistently rated as the most trustworthy platform. Featuring your ads there will have a higher impact than posting on platforms such as Instagram.

    Speaking of, Instagram is often used by Gen Z, and the most popular platform for following brands — almost 90% of people say they have followed, visited a brand site, or made a purchase because of Instagram ads. This would be a great place to post investment tips and personal finance advice because, according to FINRA data, Gen Z users are looking specifically for that subject. Tailoring your content to a specific platform requires thoughtful planning, but it’s a step you won’t regret.

    2. Create and Test Content

    Even a single social media post is made up of a lot of moving parts — from the images, to the copy, to the call to action — and each part can be optimized. Look at what pieces of your ads work, and change what doesn’t. Don’t follow trend articles; rather, pay attention to what works for your audience and your institution.

    This could mean using paid ads to A/B test different audiences or trying out different CTAs. The options are nearly endless. Track the performance of individual content decisions and use these insights to make improvements. And remember, all these content decisions — especially the placement of links — should be made with your customers’ purchase decision journeys in mind. Consumers want brands to be practical, authentic, and engaging. Test your content to ensure you’re delighting your audiences at every touchpoint.

    3. Monitor Analytics

    Every platform has analytics — but they all handle them differently. That’s why Denim Social gives you access to real-time, easy-to-understand engagement metrics across the board. Monitoring your analytics helps you track engagement metrics and benchmark your success against forecasts and competitors. By tracking which posts your audience engages with the most, you can also give your team a place to start when creating new content: Our platform lets you share local insights with your teammates in just two clicks. Taking high-performing topics and adapting them further will help you provide customers with the knowledge they find most valuable and cultivate trust. Almost a third of internet users say they find new products and brands through paid social ads, so monitor who you’re reaching and how it’s boosting your institution.

    4. Optimize Budget

    We’ve mentioned the need to set a budget, but let us emphasize that budgeting is crucial in your digital marketing strategy. With so many ad options available and so many potential target audiences to reach, it can be confusing to know where to invest your marketing dollars. Thankfully, Denim Social uses a proprietary social media ads manager to automatically optimize ad performance across multiple platforms. This allows you to run an omnichannel marketing strategy with ease.

    Digital marketing for financial services can seem daunting at first. Financial services marketers have a lot of details to pay attention to, and each platform has its unique way of serving ads. But a singular platform like Denim Social can help you run and monitor social media ad campaigns across all networks and ensure you’re standing out among the competition — to get started, reach out for a demo of the Denim Social platform today.

    In today's market, building and maintaining strong relationships with your connections is more important than ever. Your business and customer relationships can also help you make new connections, building your referral network and sales pipeline.

    Listen in as FinLocker President and COO, Brian Vieaux and Denim Social CEO, Doug Wilber, discuss how in a tough market, mortgage loan officers have an opportunity to use their social media influence to reach the right people at the right time and how you can get started with a social selling program to drive sales.

    Interested in learning more about social selling for mortgage loan officers? Check out our guidebook: Helping Mortgage Loan Officers Achieve Success with Social Media Marketing

    Most mortgage marketers have gotten comfortable with organic social media, but if you’re noticing your results are down, you’re not alone. Changing algorithms on social media platforms mean that an organic-only strategy is no longer viable today. To stand out in today’s social media environment, mortgage marketers need to invest in social selling and paid social advertising.

    In this session with the Mortgage Bankers Association, we look at next-level social strategies and key considerations for driving ROI (and deals) with social selling and paid social. We're joined by experts from GoPrime Mortgage to discuss real world examples.

    Watch the full webinar below: 

    If you're ready to learn more about social selling, check out our e-book, A Guide to Helping Mortgage Loan Officers Achieve Success with Social Media Marketing.

    Financial institutions often play it safe when it comes to marketing — and for good reason. They need to be certain they follow all compliance and governing regulations. But problems can also arise when firms play it too safe with their marketing mix and forgo largely effective modern tactics, such as paid social media advertising.

    Organic social media should still have a place in your strategy, especially in a social selling program. Cultivating organic posts from your associates' accounts is a great way to add context, richness, and humanity to your brand. For current customers, organic social media posts can be a way to demonstrate the heart and culture of your company as you provide “behind the scenes” and in-office content that speaks to the personalities and values of your employees and institution.

    For prospective customers, organic social can serve as a "verifier." A strong social media presence signals to prospects that your company and employees are legitimate and lends more insight into your value proposition.

    However, what’s missing in this social media marketing strategy is the value for top-of-funnel leads — those who don’t know anything about your institution yet. According to a recent study, only 2.2% of your followers see your posts on Facebook, 5.5% on LinkedIn, and 9.4% on Instagram. Paid social media advertising is one of the most effective ways to introduce people who aren’t yet following your producers, loan officers, or advisors to your institution at the right place and the right time.

    Organic and Paid: Better Together

    Organic and paid social have a symbiotic relationship. Organic social builds first-degree connections and facilitates awareness, engagement, and branding, while paid social allows you to reach larger, more tailored audiences.

    For instance, if you’re working for a wealth management firm, your top-of-funnel leads are unlikely to find your firm by searching Facebook, but if they happen to be scrolling and see your Facebook ad for a financial advisor's retirement planning services, they are more likely to navigate to your social and landing pages. There, your organic posts, which have been building over time, can show off the legitimacy of your brand and your advisor's expertise.

    The question, then, is how to marry existing organic strategies with paid campaigns in your social media strategy for the highest return. Start here:

    1. Amplify what works (and drop what isn't).

    With paid social media ads, you can see immediate results, which makes them great for testing. If a post is underperforming, use A/B testing to experiment with different images, copy, and calls to action to make improvements for the future. A/B testing helps you isolate what elements of your ads need to change by showing which ones resonate and which don’t.

    This method can even be applied to previously organic content: Did an employee's post have unexpectedly high engagement? Use it as a blueprint to try to isolate why. A paid ad will bring the post in front of greater audiences, and changing a few aspects can help identify why it was so successful in the first place.

    As you see what’s performing, invest more dollars into posts that convert while cutting or changing content that doesn’t. With paid social media ads, you can see immediate results versus organic’s longer-term commitment. That makes paid ads well-suited to testing.

    2. Expand your audience base.

    Both organic and paid social media can help increase your reach on social media, and it starts with activating advisors in addition to brand pages. A social selling approach can increase your results tenfold and drive higher engagement. Facebook ads reach 1.95 billion average monthly users, and an average user clicks 12 ads per month, so significant reach is up for grabs.

    With an organic social selling strategy, you can reach more people in your existing social and professional communities. But with a complementary paid ad strategy on top of that, you can break through your first-degree social connections to reach second- and third-degree connections, who will include important professional referral sources.

    Utilize paid amplification of employee posts to benefit. Your advisors should be your brand's ambassadors, so up your social selling game by maximizing the reach of their posts.

    3. Drive leads into conversions.

    Don't let your marketing funnel lead to dead ends. Make sure employees are linking back to your site or other relevant brand content. A well-crafted organic post that drives to a landing page can be the start of a meaningful digital experience that creates business results. Combine this with paid social media ads, which can generate leads by offering call-to-action options that get attention and clicks.

    For instance, an organic post can drive a prospective customer to a first-time homebuyer guide. But a paid social post lets you experiment further with a call-to-action button that makes taking the next step easy for potential customers.

    Organic and paid social advertising work best in tandem. To ensure you're getting the most out of your social selling strategy, check out our Social Selling Playbook for Financial Marketers.

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    July 27, 2021

    How to Keep Financial Institution Social Media Non-Salesy

    By
    Doug Wilber
    CEO, Denim Social

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

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

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

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

    1. Use employees as your delivery channel.

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

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

    2. Share educational content.

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

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

    3. Include links in promotional posts.

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

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

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

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

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    The true foundation of sales is relationship building. While this has traditionally been done in person, especially in the insurance industry, the digital landscape offers endless possibilities for relationship building. This is why leveraging social media as a sales tool is so integral to your digital marketing strategy.

    Social selling is the perfect crossroads of marketing and sales, and enables intermediaries to add value to the customer journey where there wouldn’t otherwise be an opportunity. After all, Net Promoter Scores are 15 points higher for property and casualty insurance customers when they’ve interacted with their insurers within the past year.

    Developing a social selling strategy and launching a program can be daunting. Marketing and sales teams are already juggling full plates. Adding social to the sales mix is a culture shift, and supporting hundreds or thousands of intermediaries in weaving social into their everyday processes isn’t a small feat. Remember that social selling is more than marketing: It’s using social media as a digital relationship-building and sales tool.  

    This mindset shift can take some time, and launching your strategy and program won’t happen overnight. Luckily, there are tools available to make this culture shift much easier. Denim Social was built to power social selling programs within the financial services industry, and we’ve outlined what it takes to launch a successful program:

    1. Align with your team on the definition of social selling.

    Social selling is just what it sounds like: using social media to sell a product or service. It’s leveraging social to build personal relationships, showcase thought leadership, engage with prospects, interact with existing customers, and ultimately build trust and rapport that will eventually lead to sales.

    While this may be old news to you, intermediaries may have less experience with it. Take the time to talk about it this way and educate your teams on using social media as a sales tool. This time spent learning a new marketing tactic is very much worth your agents’ time, too. Prove it to them by sharing meaningful stats on the benefits of social selling. For example, LinkedIn’s 2022 State of Sales Report found the most successful sellers at large companies — those reaching more than 150% of quota — routinely use technology to build human connections with buyers.

    2. Educate your sales team.

    Remember that social selling isn’t just marketing’s responsibility. It’s an effort that should be supported by both marketing and sales. If you’re in a marketing role looking to launch social selling for your intermediaries, take the time to educate your sales partners on social selling. Craft your elevator pitch on how social helps intermediaries meet customers where they are in the digital landscape and how enabling them on social helps amplify your brand messaging.

    Keep in mind that social media in a heavily regulated industry can feel risky, and adding it to the mix of sales tactics that have “always been done a certain way” can feel like a huge change. Patience is key! Own the narrative around social selling, build your group of internal champions to help with this culture shift, and invest time in change management and your communication plan.

    3. Find your social selling technology.

    Once you’ve got your internal teams aligned on launching social selling for your intermediaries, it’s important to find a tech solution to make it all easier! Seek a solution that creates efficiencies for the administrators of your program and your users. For instance, does your platform account for compliance coverage? Does your vendor understand the nuances of your industry? As you’re evaluating potential platforms, make sure to consider both the administrative and end-user experience, as well as both organic and paid capabilities. A holistic social selling platform will include all these things.

    Spoiler alert: At Denim Social, we do all these things! We specifically support the financial services industry, understand your compliance needs, and, most importantly, understand the impact intermediaries can make through social selling (both organic and paid). We can also operate with any other tools you use to manage your brand, so you have full control over your tech stack.

    4. Identify social maturity.

    So you’re changing the narrative, gaining buy-in, and you’ve found Denim Social to help you — what’s next? It’s time to dig into your user group to identify social maturity. You don’t have to do it all at once — a phased approach with folks of different social maturity levels will make this easier to learn and scale from.

    Start by simply searching for your intermediaries on social media. How easy is it to find them? Are their pages updated and on brand? Is their “about” info robust and accurate? Have their profile photos been updated in the last decade?

    If you are answering “yes” to a lot of these, you already have a great start. Those are your people. But if you aren’t, that’s OK — you’ll just need to start with some generalized social education and profile optimization to get your group started. Taking the time to deliver this education is critical in making social media for insurance agents stick.

    5. Train and test your user group.

    Once you’ve identified agents who are either already active on social or ready to be active, start communicating. Let your whole organization know that you’re launching a social selling program. The more folks who know, the more they can support your work. Then, communicate with your first user group; let them know what to expect throughout the launch, including your level of support and upcoming training to get them started.

    And finally ... train! Depending on the level of social maturity of your launch group, this might mean starting with the basics of each social platform, as well as the basics of organic and paid social. If your users are super ready, it could mean jumping right into your social selling tech solution.

    6. Measure success and optimize over time.

    Once you have momentum, fuel that success with regular content. It takes time: Start simply by creating intermediary versions of your brand content and add this content to your content planning processes (for instance, you might craft language your agents can use to share branded social posts). One of the perks of Denim Social? We curate your library with our content integration.

    Finally, measure your success and share it with your internal champions, teams, and leadership. Your measurement might just consist of basic content usage and engagement at first, but it will ultimately grow to measuring return on ad spend and leads generated. Take the time to celebrate small wins and educate your internal partners on the growth of your social selling program. Check in with your social sellers to make sure they’re understanding the value and celebrating with you.

    At the end of the day, remember that launching and maintaining a social selling program is a long-term commitment. It can take a while to steer the ship in a new direction, and that’s OK! It means you’re thoughtfully implementing a new strategy and are training your team appropriately.

    To learn more about how insurance agents can optimize social selling and promote growth, connect with Denim Social today.

    New research from social media pros and partners, Denim Social and UpContent, shows that economic trends like rising interest rates and inflation are impacting more than bank accounts – they’re influencing social media activity. Denim Social and UpContent integrate to offer financial marketers curated collections of relevant, high-quality and compliant social media content.

    Hundreds of UpContent-derived third-party articles are shared by Denim Social users every week generating thousands of clicks. This integration provides unique insights on what content is resonating and driving engagement. The pulse study data shows three key social trends from the first half of 2022, including:

    Financial Wellness Content on the Rise

    From Q1-Q2 this year, the number of clicks per financial wellness article shared were up nearly 10%, indicating that  social media users are interested to learn more about financial health during tough economic conditions. Sharing credible financial wellness content can help both financial brands and individual producers educate followers and build trust.

    Expanded Content Resources Available for Real Estate and Mortgage

    Marketers increased available content in both real estate (+27%) and mortgage (+38%), helping users navigate spring buying season and a changing interest rate environment. In today's market, mortgage loan officers see the value in using social media to build and maintain strong relationships.

    Social Media Interest on the Rise for Banking

    Banking users are getting more traction with social media, boasting a 36% increase in clicks per article shared, quarter over quarter. This affirms Denim Social research showing year-over-year increases in social media channel adoption within the banking industry.

    Content sourcing continues to be a challenge for financial marketers. Not only is it time consuming, it can be especially tough to find high-quality, credible content. Together, Denim Social and UpContent make it easy to source curated, third-party articles. Here’s how it works:

    • Simply log in to Denim Social to access the curated content libraries. No search engine required and custom libraries can be quickly created for you to directly address the content needs of your market and strategy without as much as lifting a finger.
    • Curated posts include pre-populated post captions or your team can customize the message to fit your brand.
    • Select posts to use at the brand level or your marketing team can pre-approve and organize posts for employee use.

    Wondering if Denim Social and UpContent is a fit for your financial institution? Check out what our customers have to say:

    It’s really handy to have the UpContent Library in the Denim Social platform that we can grab trending topics from;  we can customize both the topics we want to see and articles from publications that our team prefers. We can also be specific to our various markets to include more local content in addition to industry-wide news.

    -Tiffany Van Zandt, Marketing Specialist, Bank of Oklahoma

    “Denim’s partnership with UpContent gave us a whole library of engaging content in just a few clicks. The articles provided allows us to share updates in the financial industry, what’s going on in our communities, and overall personal wellness. Since we started posted with UpContent, every one of our end users has experienced growth with their page engagement.”

    -Ken Stump, Digital Marketing Specialist-Content Team Lead, Dart Bank

    If you’re ready to fire up a social selling strategy with pre-approved content libraries and approval workflows, we’re here to help. Sign up for a demo to learn how Denim Social can help your institution level-up its social media strategy.

    About UpContent:

    UpContent helps marketing, sales, and HR professionals build trust, deepen relationships, and drive revenue through strategically curated content. UpContent analyzes millions of articles monthly and taps into the collective expertise of their company’s team by empowering individuals to engage with, and enrich, high-quality articles prior to sharing with customers and prospects through one of UpContent’s many social media, email marketing, and website partnerships and integrations. For more information, visit https://www.upcontent.com.

    Forward-thinking marketers understand the power of social media at all stages of their marketing funnel. From awareness and consideration to loyalty and even advocacy, social and digital channels can and do inform purchase decisions. Financial institutions are catching on — more than 90% of the 50 largest banks are currently on Facebook, and 88% have active Twitter accounts — but being on social media doesn’t equate to a strong social media strategy. Today’s digital market requires an integrated strategy that meets target audiences throughout the buyer’s journey. This means investing in paid social campaigns alongside organic and driving deeper relationships with customers through social selling.

    Sounds easy, right? While marketers may understand the strategies and costs associated with modern social success, senior decision makers may still need educating and persuading. That’s why it’s essential to be able to effectively communicate the benefits of integrated social media strategies. In addition to intangible benefits like building trust and humanizing your brand, both organic and paid social selling strategies offer metrics that enable marketers to prove value.

    After all, people buy from people. So if you’re ready to advocate for an expanded social media strategy, start by asking yourself these questions. Not only will they help you decide on your strategic priorities, but they will also show you how to articulate the value of social media strategies to the people holding the budget strings. To prove the value of social media in financial services and get buy-in from senior leaders, marketers must ask themselves these questions:

    Does Our Social Media Marketing Drive ROI?

    Expanding a social media strategy often means increased spending — so you must be able to show decision makers the value of social. While financial marketers are already advocates — they know the power of paid social media efforts and have seen it in action — other leadership may not have that knowledge. It’s up to marketing teams to connect the dots on how their efforts are driving business results, and that means providing a strong argument based on metrics and concrete benefits.

    Data tells a powerful story, so let it guide the conversation. And to further strengthen your case for expanded social media strategies, make sure to highlight these benefits:

    • Targeting

    While organic content is important, leaders must understand that it’s not enough to impact the bottom line without paid support. Paid social media gives more flexibility than organic content — you can target specific customer subsets, or even new audience bases, allowing for greater personalization and a higher ROI. It’s all about delivering relevant content to the right consumers at the right time.

    • Feedback

    Feedback may not always impact the bottom line, but social media itself does offer a direct line to consumers. With the lines of communication open, it becomes easier to listen and learn about their wants, needs, and interests. An open-ended post, for instance, can encourage comments, which provide qualitative feedback on any given topic. This will improve the trust in your institution; customers (and their followers!) will see the commitment to providing an ever-improving experience.

    • Conversion

    Social media is about more than likes: If you’re providing links on social media (and you should), you’re creating conversion opportunities. Direct consumers to a landing page — from there, you can collect lead information. All that’s left is a follow-up. If that landing page has a form, track completion rates. The icing on top? These interactions are all measurable. Prove value by comparing these metrics with traditional tactics. When did a leader ever see a recorded, data-backed conversion metric from a billboard?

    • Efficiency

    Measuring social media marketing ROI, like most analytics, requires technology — and the right technology, at that. Spreadsheets simply won’t cut it, and they’re not as accurate or efficient as the tools that fintech partners offer. That’s why the Denim Social platform was built with financial institutions in mind. Its analytics capabilities allow for a more efficient means of capturing results while also centralizing information. Data is readily available, which can simplify and improve the approval workflow. Improvements to the workflow process have been shown to free up 20% to 30% of employees’ time — so bring that statistic to decision makers to prove its necessity.

    How Do You Use Social Media Analytics to Make Your Case?

    Expanding marketing strategies means collecting more data, and that necessitates a robust social media management tool. Gathering data on any social media marketing campaign affords you the opportunity to measure its overall performance and gives you clear-cut evidence to support business measures related to those efforts.

    Of course, data should be gathered based on specific criteria. Meaningful insights come from specific measurable goals related to your campaign and the goals of company decision makers. While the objectives of any social media strategy for financial services will vary from one institution to the next, any marketing effort can benefit from optimizing strategy through social media ROI metrics.

    Use metrics to hone your messaging and audience. Every social media marketing post is a learning opportunity about what resonates with your audience. Analytics show what topics drive engagement, what calls to action inspire clicks, and so on. Then, fine-tune subsequent posts based on your findings. Mastering social is an iterative process. When speaking with upper management, highlight how this process delivers greater value over time by continuously evolving.

    As you optimize your messaging, look to target audiences. Social media, and paid social in particular, allows you to target subsets of consumers. Vary your messaging and content, and you begin to understand what connects with whom. This allows you to maximize social media spend going forward — you’re not wasting time and effort putting messaging in front of an uninterested audience. When decision makers want to reach specific audiences, outline how putting money toward paid ad campaigns makes that happen.

    Audience engagement with your posts isn’t the only important metric; they’re likely interacting with your competition, too. Denim Social’s social listening tools provide a simple — but comprehensive — snapshot of competitors. Use our built-in metrics comparisons to learn what’s working for others and where you’re ahead.

    When you’re looking at your own metrics, be sure to pay attention to where the customer journey is going. Failure to guide customers to a landing page and other lead-generating tools will lead to dead ends, which isn’t the best use of these channels. Trackable links and analytics help marketers recognize the best avenues for using social media posts to capture leads that translate into sales. If you aren’t effectively working toward leads, it’ll be difficult to defend the necessity of your budget.

    Finally, don’t measure your ROI too soon. If you’re going to connect the value of social to your broader business objectives, you need to sync your measurement time with your sales cycle or risk misunderstanding (and likely underestimating) the impact of social. Help leadership understand that ROI isn’t a one-and-done and it’s not instantaneous. That way, you’re guiding their expectations to the bigger picture of what your social media strategy is doing.

    Troves of data are available from social media channels, and you’ll need the right technology to organize the information and arrive at a set of objectives that align with your larger business goals. The right measurement tool can build the confidence digital marketers need to foster social media marketing ROI success.

    What’s the Cost of Getting Social Media Compliance Wrong?

    Social media compliance for financial institutions can feel challenging, especially today. SEC Chairman Gary Gensler has brought increased scrutiny to social media since his appointment, and it’s understandable for institutions to want to pull back efforts to mitigate compliance risks. Make sure your executives understand that this method loses more than they gain.

    Consider that customers are increasingly using digital methods to meet financial needs. Can anyone afford to lose out on that audience base? You won’t reach new customers, and you’re losing valuable social selling opportunities with the ones you have. Social selling influences half of revenue for 14 major industries — and financial services is one of them.

    Rather than scaling back social media efforts (and in the process, your revenue), work to mitigate compliance risks. When senior management airs concerns over compliance, counter with technology to automate compliance monitoring. Denim Social was built for compliance, so you can focus less on worrying if you’re compliant and more on fostering leads.

    With Denim Social, you can use numerous tools that can help in ensuring:

    • Protection. Problematic posts never see the light of day, as our platform not only establishes an approval workflow but also flags posts containing questionable keywords or phrases even before the review process.

    • Education. Our platform can serve as an ongoing compliance education tool. Team members receive almost immediate feedback and can test the equipped filters to understand what might cause regulatory trouble.

    • Enablement. Denim Social allows for the creation content libraries and curated, pre-approved posts. Team members can pull from these resources without the need for approvals, adding speed and efficiency to the process.

    • Record-keeping. The potential of an audit hangs over every financial institution. Our platform archives all social media posts and interactions. It even does the same with comments. If regulators come knocking, you’ll have a report in no time.

    • Notifications. Should a team member try to send a post through the approval process with a prohibited keyword or phrase, those flags send a notification directly to the individual. Employees quickly learn what can and cannot be posted.

    • Profile locks. Rules can be built within the platform that can prevent team members from posting problematic content, helping to quell worries about social media compliance. The goal is to provide the controls necessary to avoid issues.

    • Editing. Admins can edit or delete team members’ posts, comments, or direct messages right from the platform — across any connected social channel. In fact, the process is automated when prohibited keywords or phrases hit the network.

    Social media compliance for financial institutions shouldn’t be more complicated than any other compliance for your operation. It all comes down to your choice of technology, and Denim Social has the experience and tools you need to make it a breeze.

    What Do We Need in a Fintech Partner?

    The social media marketing needs of financial institutions are unique. You’re not necessarily selling a product or a service but a relationship with a qualified professional, which calls for authenticity and empathy to establish a sense of trust. The tactics used by “traditional” brands simply aren’t as impactful in the financial services space.

    Beyond that, social media compliance is complex. Without industry knowledge, it can be difficult for a marketing agency to navigate the nuances set by FINRA. Your fintech partner should fully appreciate the regulatory constraints and respect the concerns of your financial institution while still understanding how to drive real value with your social media strategy.

    However, according to Cornerstone’s “What’s Going On In Banking 2021” report, financial institutions aren’t having much success finding these qualified and attentive partners, noting that FI “boards will tire of not seeing results [from fintech partnerships]." Executives are relying on your expertise to identify fintech partners with a proven ability to collaborate and create solutions. And because boards may be wary of partners, you must be able to outline exactly how that partner will help you reach your goals. Help executives understand these benefits.

    • Customized onboarding.

    Denim Social customizes our onboarding process to meet your specific needs, so executives know they’re getting an experience tailor-made for the company. No questions are left unanswered — we walk alongside you to always offer an explanation. On top of that, our team will help you craft the communication necessary to get employees to use the platform. Emails, messaging, toolkits, and more are available to encourage adoption, so upper-level management knows they’re investing in a tool that will see widespread use.

    • Team training.

    Depending on your size and needs, we provide kickoff and regular training to help team members make the most of the platform so that decision makers can rest easy knowing our software isn’t being underutilized. We can also provide train-the-trainer sessions to move training internal, and our recently launched Academy can help marketers become certified on our platform.

    • Strategy consultation.

    Our customer success team can help you identify tactics to move the needle on your social media strategy. Just ask, and we’ll provide best practices and industry-relevant comparisons to inform your tactics and optimize your social selling implementation.

    • Content libraries.

    We work directly with your institution and UpContent to ensure you can create a customized content library that matches the specific needs of your business and your customers.

    In order to optimize a social media strategy, FI leaders and marketers must be able to sustain compliance at scale and understand social media measurement and analytics to see ROI. When you understand your metrics, you can bring that knowledge to decision makers, too. They’ll see the value you bring to the brand and associates (and match that value when it’s time to make budgets). Trusted fintech partners with dedicated customer success teams can help.

    Bottom line: Social media is hard, but marketers don’t have to do it alone. With Denim Social, they have dedicated team members they can call to help.

    Get in touch with us today to schedule a demo!

    For financial institutions, digital marketing for their financial services is a must, but organic posts are not enough on their own to build and nurture audiences. Organic content only reach an average of 2.2% of followers of social media platforms, so how can financial institutions stand out in busy social media newsfeeds and reach more people in their natural environments? The answer lies in paid social media advertising.

    A third of internet users find new products and brands through paid ads, so it’s no surprise to see a rise in digital ad spend over the years. While organic posts are also an important part of a social media strategy, paid ads are where financial institutions can grow their audience and reach their marketing goal metrics.

    You’re not doing ads for the sake of ads. Know your goals. Do you want to convert, get people to consider you, or build brand awareness? The platforms are going to ask you these questions, but you should know before you ever start building the ad sets. Once you have your ad campaign, budget, and targeting ready — the red tape needed before breaking ground — you can begin implementing your digital marketing strategy. This process can be repeated on multiple campaigns for maximum impact, increasing your ROI with each successful campaign.

    Creating Paid Ad Campaigns for More Effective Marketing Efforts

    When optimizing digital marketing for banking or any other financial institution, you’ll always hit these four key pillars:

    1. Choose a Platform

    Determining which platform is right for your financial institution depends on your objectives and target audience. There are no right or wrong answers; it’s about whom you want your ads to reach and for what purpose. For example, if you’re looking to build trust with professionals, LinkedIn is consistently rated as the most trustworthy platform. Featuring your ads there will have a higher impact than posting on platforms such as Instagram.

    Speaking of, Instagram is often used by Gen Z, and the most popular platform for following brands — almost 90% of people say they have followed, visited a brand site, or made a purchase because of Instagram ads. This would be a great place to post investment tips and personal finance advice because, according to FINRA data, Gen Z users are looking specifically for that subject. Tailoring your content to a specific platform requires thoughtful planning, but it’s a step you won’t regret.

    2. Create and Test Content

    Even a single social media post is made up of a lot of moving parts — from the images, to the copy, to the call to action — and each part can be optimized. Look at what pieces of your ads work, and change what doesn’t. Don’t follow trend articles; rather, pay attention to what works for your audience and your institution.

    This could mean using paid ads to A/B test different audiences or trying out different CTAs. The options are nearly endless. Track the performance of individual content decisions and use these insights to make improvements. And remember, all these content decisions — especially the placement of links — should be made with your customers’ purchase decision journeys in mind. Consumers want brands to be practical, authentic, and engaging. Test your content to ensure you’re delighting your audiences at every touchpoint.

    3. Monitor Analytics

    Every platform has analytics — but they all handle them differently. That’s why Denim Social gives you access to real-time, easy-to-understand engagement metrics across the board. Monitoring your analytics helps you track engagement metrics and benchmark your success against forecasts and competitors. By tracking which posts your audience engages with the most, you can also give your team a place to start when creating new content: Our platform lets you share local insights with your teammates in just two clicks. Taking high-performing topics and adapting them further will help you provide customers with the knowledge they find most valuable and cultivate trust. Almost a third of internet users say they find new products and brands through paid social ads, so monitor who you’re reaching and how it’s boosting your institution.

    4. Optimize Budget

    We’ve mentioned the need to set a budget, but let us emphasize that budgeting is crucial in your digital marketing strategy. With so many ad options available and so many potential target audiences to reach, it can be confusing to know where to invest your marketing dollars. Thankfully, Denim Social uses a proprietary social media ads manager to automatically optimize ad performance across multiple platforms. This allows you to run an omnichannel marketing strategy with ease.

    Digital marketing for financial services can seem daunting at first. Financial services marketers have a lot of details to pay attention to, and each platform has its unique way of serving ads. But a singular platform like Denim Social can help you run and monitor social media ad campaigns across all networks and ensure you’re standing out among the competition — to get started, reach out for a demo of the Denim Social platform today.

    In today's market, building and maintaining strong relationships with your connections is more important than ever. Your business and customer relationships can also help you make new connections, building your referral network and sales pipeline.

    Listen in as FinLocker President and COO, Brian Vieaux and Denim Social CEO, Doug Wilber, discuss how in a tough market, mortgage loan officers have an opportunity to use their social media influence to reach the right people at the right time and how you can get started with a social selling program to drive sales.

    Interested in learning more about social selling for mortgage loan officers? Check out our guidebook: Helping Mortgage Loan Officers Achieve Success with Social Media Marketing

    Social media for banks is a necessity. That’s a given. You meet customers where they are, and today, that’s online. But customers (and potential customers) are not just engaging and interacting with one bank’s website, apps and social accounts. They are seeing competitors’ accounts, too. Bank marketers must leverage social media analytics to understand what works for their competitors—and figure out how to do it better.

    A competitive analysis of social media data in the banking industry can help guide your strategy by quantifying the successes and failures of your rivals. This is especially true of community banks, which may feel they are fighting an uphill digital battle against the resources of fintech companies and enterprise financial institutions. Thankfully, lots of competitor data is publicly available. Plenty of successes and blunders are out there for any savvy bank marketer to learn from. With the right social media analytics tool, this data could be the key to keeping up in today’s fast-paced environment.

    There’s a lot of powerful data on social media, and banks can leverage this to their advantage. Analytics and competitive insights empower bank marketers—even at smaller institutions—to be smart and efficient with both their time and dollars. You cannot differentiate your institution unless you know and understand the stories your competitors are telling.

    You also need to be aware of the quality of your competitors’ ads, calls to action and websites. If your marketing materials are not comparable you could lose customers. It is more than just optimizing a landing page—there needs to be a quality experience at every possible touchpoint. To start understanding competitors, consider these three tips when analyzing social media for banks:

    1. Benchmark your strategy. Benchmarking is the foundation of any competitive marketing strategy because it shows how measuring your competitors’ performance can help you step up your bank’s marketing game.

    With social listening tools that enable tracking competitors’ social media activity, leaders can see the organization’s performance benchmarked against competitors and get a clear picture of where social needs more investment to stay competitive.

    For instance, if you’re working to understand how often your team should be posting to social media channels, look at how often a competitor is posting. Or if you’re aiming for 50 percent audience growth and see everyone else has 5 percent month-over-month, you know to adjust expectations to be more achievable.

    2. Understand what is resonating. When financial institutions embrace social listening, they gain clear insight into how other brands are producing engagement on social channels and resonating with customers. One bank finding resonance could be an outlier, but if multiple competitors are using the same technique, your brand can use those trend insights to craft even more relevant messaging and maintain an advantage against the competition.

    Track which trends and are getting high engagement for your competitors. Which topics that drive the most engagement? Certain aspects of storytelling? Or maybe specific kinds of posts, such as short-form videos, resonate best. Understanding what works for your competitors will teach you what works for you. Conversely, if they have posts that are driving little to no engagement, learn from their mistakes and avoid spending your time and dollars doing the same thing.

    3. Identify proactive opportunities. Monitoring competitors on social media can provide unique insights and offer proactive opportunities for your institution to pick up a customer. For better or worse, social media gives us all a view into a brand’s dirty laundry. If you notice a competitor getting social media complaints on a particular service or product, this could be an opportunity for you to target that audience and tell them how you do it better.

    Are people posting messages on your competitors’ pages about how hard it is to reach a customer service representative with them? Grab the opportunity and design a targeted paid campaign that emphasizes your institution’s excellent customer service.

    These moments may not come often or easily, so stay vigilant to make the most of them.

    Competitor social media analysis is a vital tool to help smaller financial institutions remain competitive. It keeps your finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the industry while identifying what’s working—and what’s not—for the bigger players.

    This article was originally published on ABA Bank Marketing.

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