June 23, 2020

3 Ways To Build A Stronger Personal Brand On Social Media

Social media can be pretty intimidating for some people—especially those who tend to shun the spotlight and avoid self-promotion.

That being said, there’s no denying that social platforms can and do allow individuals to build personal brands that afford them greater professional opportunities.

Having a robust social media presence is an asset to your long-term career growth. In a survey by recruitment platform Tallo, 87% of Gen Z respondents saw the career significance of online personal branding. These competitive young workers and employees-to-be are making it imperative for candidates of any age to up their personal branding game online.

No matter what career stage you’re in, you can use social media to your advantage to improve your personal brand. Here are three strategies that will help.

1. Look beyond LinkedIn

Most people assume that when it comes to career growth, the only social media platform worth spending time on is LinkedIn. This is a myth. While anyone who knows me has heard me tout LinkedIn as a crucial starting point (with over half a billion users worldwide!) there is real power in supplementing it—as long as your image and messaging remain consistent across all platforms and your goals are tailored to what each one does best. For instance, LinkedIn is indeed essential for delivering your digital first impression and expanding your professional network, but Twitter is ideal for sharing content you’ve published and starting a discussion. Should you have a professional presence on every major social platform? It depends on what you’re trying to accomplish.

Brian Freeman, CEO and founder of microinfluencer platform Heartbeat, believes it’s a mistake to overlook newer, trendy platforms like TikTok if you want to bulk up your audience.

TikTok makes it easier than any other platform to go viral and gain a new following, then pass that following on to other social media platforms where you have a presence,” he says. “Whether it’s Instagram, Twitch, Twitter, or YouTube, you can go viral on TikTok and gain thousands of new followers on a second platform at the same time.”

Most social media users are active on multiple platforms. When someone decides to follow you on one, follow them back—and then follow them on a different app to win their views across social.

2. Publicize your expertise

“Thought leadership” is a term often used in the content marketing world to describe content produced by company executives aiming to position themselves as experts in an industry or topic area. It can take myriad forms, but its goal is always to reinforce the credibility of the brands (personal and corporate) that produce and byline it—and it’s typically quite effective. Good news: It can work for you, too.

While publicists pitch the media, asking journalists to write about their clients, thought leadership lets you become the author of that coverage, not just by publishing your content in traditional outlets but also by publishing it through social media. If you’re an expert at something, let the world know by sharing your knowledge and ideas. Speaking at conferences, serving on boards and interacting with journalists and other influencers in your field of expertise will of course allow you to learn from and teach others, and it will also get you acquainted with people who might be able to help you achieve personal and professional goals. But taking a proactive approach to sharing your expertise on social media shows the world that you’re open to professional interaction and eager to answer questions. Engage in group discussions, provide thoughtful commentary on relevant posts and make an effort to introduce others to helpful resources, and you’ll be surprised by the opportunities that come your way.

3. Advocate for your organization

You’re serious about your career, so you want to be taken seriously—whether that’s at your current company or at the one you aspire to join. Your social accounts, when consistently and professionally branded, provide a platform for your company or college to get some free PR, which can help with both sales and recruiting on their end. Plus, by painting your colleagues and cohorts in a positive light, you’ll cement your image as a team player who cares about your organization’s future. That’s something every employer wants to see.

Doug Wilber, CEO of Gremlin Social (now Denim Social), a social media solution for banks, understands the power of social selling (branded content posted on employee accounts).

“When employees share their positive work experience on their personal accounts, they become powerful recruiting tools that can draw in potential candidates and increase employee retention,” he says.

In turn, employees also benefit from brand advocacy. When you have a credible personal brand online, your words carry more weight with potential customers and other external contacts, meaning you’ll likely have more success in your day-to-day role.

Social media scrolling doesn’t have to be mindless or unproductive. In fact, social platforms give you a way to create and seize opportunities that would have been off-limits just a decade ago. Start with the three strategies above, and you’ll be amazed to see how far your personal brand can reach.

This article was originally published on Forbes on April 7, 2020.

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June 23, 2020

3 Ways To Build A Stronger Personal Brand On Social Media

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Social media can be pretty intimidating for some people—especially those who tend to shun the spotlight and avoid self-promotion.

That being said, there’s no denying that social platforms can and do allow individuals to build personal brands that afford them greater professional opportunities.

Having a robust social media presence is an asset to your long-term career growth. In a survey by recruitment platform Tallo, 87% of Gen Z respondents saw the career significance of online personal branding. These competitive young workers and employees-to-be are making it imperative for candidates of any age to up their personal branding game online.

No matter what career stage you’re in, you can use social media to your advantage to improve your personal brand. Here are three strategies that will help.

1. Look beyond LinkedIn

Most people assume that when it comes to career growth, the only social media platform worth spending time on is LinkedIn. This is a myth. While anyone who knows me has heard me tout LinkedIn as a crucial starting point (with over half a billion users worldwide!) there is real power in supplementing it—as long as your image and messaging remain consistent across all platforms and your goals are tailored to what each one does best. For instance, LinkedIn is indeed essential for delivering your digital first impression and expanding your professional network, but Twitter is ideal for sharing content you’ve published and starting a discussion. Should you have a professional presence on every major social platform? It depends on what you’re trying to accomplish.

Brian Freeman, CEO and founder of microinfluencer platform Heartbeat, believes it’s a mistake to overlook newer, trendy platforms like TikTok if you want to bulk up your audience.

TikTok makes it easier than any other platform to go viral and gain a new following, then pass that following on to other social media platforms where you have a presence,” he says. “Whether it’s Instagram, Twitch, Twitter, or YouTube, you can go viral on TikTok and gain thousands of new followers on a second platform at the same time.”

Most social media users are active on multiple platforms. When someone decides to follow you on one, follow them back—and then follow them on a different app to win their views across social.

2. Publicize your expertise

“Thought leadership” is a term often used in the content marketing world to describe content produced by company executives aiming to position themselves as experts in an industry or topic area. It can take myriad forms, but its goal is always to reinforce the credibility of the brands (personal and corporate) that produce and byline it—and it’s typically quite effective. Good news: It can work for you, too.

While publicists pitch the media, asking journalists to write about their clients, thought leadership lets you become the author of that coverage, not just by publishing your content in traditional outlets but also by publishing it through social media. If you’re an expert at something, let the world know by sharing your knowledge and ideas. Speaking at conferences, serving on boards and interacting with journalists and other influencers in your field of expertise will of course allow you to learn from and teach others, and it will also get you acquainted with people who might be able to help you achieve personal and professional goals. But taking a proactive approach to sharing your expertise on social media shows the world that you’re open to professional interaction and eager to answer questions. Engage in group discussions, provide thoughtful commentary on relevant posts and make an effort to introduce others to helpful resources, and you’ll be surprised by the opportunities that come your way.

3. Advocate for your organization

You’re serious about your career, so you want to be taken seriously—whether that’s at your current company or at the one you aspire to join. Your social accounts, when consistently and professionally branded, provide a platform for your company or college to get some free PR, which can help with both sales and recruiting on their end. Plus, by painting your colleagues and cohorts in a positive light, you’ll cement your image as a team player who cares about your organization’s future. That’s something every employer wants to see.

Doug Wilber, CEO of Gremlin Social (now Denim Social), a social media solution for banks, understands the power of social selling (branded content posted on employee accounts).

“When employees share their positive work experience on their personal accounts, they become powerful recruiting tools that can draw in potential candidates and increase employee retention,” he says.

In turn, employees also benefit from brand advocacy. When you have a credible personal brand online, your words carry more weight with potential customers and other external contacts, meaning you’ll likely have more success in your day-to-day role.

Social media scrolling doesn’t have to be mindless or unproductive. In fact, social platforms give you a way to create and seize opportunities that would have been off-limits just a decade ago. Start with the three strategies above, and you’ll be amazed to see how far your personal brand can reach.

This article was originally published on Forbes on April 7, 2020.

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Doug Wilber helps financial institutions communicate through social media.

Wilber is the CEO of Denim Social, a Clayton, Missouri-based company that can help life insurers, banks, wealth management firms and other highly regulated clients reach out with ordinary posts and ads on services such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

The company has about 250 clients. In 2021, it attracted $5 million in financing from an investor group that included Fintop Capital.

Wilber has a bachelor’s degree in marketing and a master’s degree in business from Penn State University.

He has been involved with financial services marketing and startup management since 2006, when he became a prepaid card marketer at Discover Financial Services. For about 10 years, he has served on the investment committee of SixThirty Ventures, a business development program for financial technology startups.

He took over as the top executive at Denim Social in April 2020.

Wilber answered questions via email about how he thinks financial professionals should go about creating, using and sharing social media content.

The interview has been condensed and edited.

THINKADVISOR: Can efforts to reach out through social media be compatible with all of the compliance concerns that financial professionals face?

DOUG WILBER: Social media compliance keeps people up at night for a reason, but it doesn’t have to.

The right social media management tools can help ensure any post — whether it’s directly from a financial professional or a partner — is compliant.

Look for tools that offer approval workflows and keyword red flags.

What do you think, generally, about financial professionals sharing the content used in consumer awareness and outreach campaigns?

Shared content strategies can be effective, but only if the content is useful and the financial professional is being authentic.

Social media is really about relationships, and that means financial professionals need to engage with their communities online.

If partner content educates investors and showcases an advisor’s expertise, that can be a nice addition to their social feed. But shared content shouldn’t be the only thing they are posting.

Ideally, their social posts would primarily be personal, authentic content, with a measured amount of promotional and partner content.

Just like in real life, advisors need to educate first and sell second.

Are there some situations in which using shared outreach content makes more sense than others?

Shared content can be useful for broader topics, like financial education or market updates.

Financial professionals should avoid using partner content as their sole content source, though. Social media should be an extension of a professional’s real-life relationships.

Think about it this way: If you wouldn’t have a solely promotional conversation in real life, you shouldn’t do it on social media either.

Is creating a post from scratch different from sharing someone else’s post?

Whether a financial professional is creating or sharing a post, they should consider themselves and their firm responsible for the content.

One financial professional’s social media can impact the entire firm brand, after all.

Social media compliance is complex and requires marketing, compliance, and individual advisors to work together.

While we recommend every advisor be active on social media to share thought leadership and amplify the brand, they definitely shouldn’t go it alone or execute a strategy by posting natively to social media networks.

A social media management tool built for compliance can ensure every new and shared post is reviewed and approved by the right experts.

How can financial professionals avoid complaints about use of other people’s content?

Whether it’s financial information or cat videos, it’s good social media etiquette to give credit to the original creator.

The greater risk is a financial professional posting misinformation that could damage the reputation of a firm or non-compliant content that draws the attention of regulators.

What should financial professionals do if they see standard, compliance-approved social media content and want to personalize it?

Financial professionals should definitely be personalizing content. This is a great way to make social media posts more authentic, but an approval workflow in a social media management tool is essential.

Once a financial professional personalizes a post, they can submit it for approval to ensure their commentary is factually correct and compliant.

Without the right tools, scaling a review and approval process is impractical (if not impossible) and opens up a financial institution to risk.

In your opinion, are there any drawbacks to financial professionals using packaged content from outside content? If so, how can financial professionals address those challenges?

Standard and packaged content can be a great tool, but it has to be personalized and useful to be effective. Think about the value a follower is getting from the post. It needs to matter to them.

Today’s financial professionals must be social selling, not just building the brand by sharing content.

Smart financial professionals are using social media 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.

What Is Social Selling?

Whether you’re in banking, wealth management, insurance or mortgage, relationships are the bedrock of your business. 

Considering clients in these industries are handing over the keys to their personal kingdoms, it’s no surprise that trust and connection matter. That’s why successful sales strategies for these industries are focused on building long-term, trusted relationships. While this has traditionally been done in person for financial services, the digital landscape offers endless possibilities for relationship building. By now marketers and business leaders are familiar with social media and see the opportunity to build their brand, but most have only scratched the surface. To truly unleash the potential of social, financial institutions need to use social media as a sales tool. 

It’s called social selling and it works.

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.

Social selling is the perfect crossroads of marketing and sales. It enables intermediaries – like loan officers, financial advisors and insurance agents – to add value to the customer journey where there wouldn’t otherwise be an opportunity. Savvy marketing and sales teams unlock the power of relationships with social selling, enabling intermediaries to compliantly communicate, share and sell on the social channels of their choice.

Consider this: employees have 10x the reach and drive double the engagement compared to brand pages on social media. But it’s about more than likes and comments, social selling can transform social media into a revenue driver for your institution. Sales reps who regularly share content are 57% more likely to generate leads. The numbers check out, but social selling is also about building the intangible relationships that are the lifeblood of the industry.

The Intermediary is Here to Stay! Social Selling is a non-negotiable to drive a modern marketing strategy.

Products are increasingly digitized and direct-to-consumer business is on the rise, but that doesn’t mean the role of the intermediary is going away. It’s just changing. The way agents, loan officers and advisors interact with digital products will look different from the past, but the role of the advisor will always be needed. Human connection will remain a meaningful part of financial transactions. As expectations change, marketing and sales teams need to meet consumers on the channel of their choice. Social media isn’t going anywhere. It’s where consumers are interacting with each other, looking for advice, and looking for thought leadership on important life topics. This means intermediaries and producers have to be there.

My brand is on social media, so we’re social selling, right? 

Not quite. If your brand is active on social media, you’re off to a great start, but you’re leaving opportunity on the table if you’re not empowering agents, loan officers, advisors and more to share on social. If you only have brand pages, you’re not social selling yet.

Watch Here: Beyond the Brand | Social Selling Best Practices

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.

The Intermediary is Here to Stay: Products are increasingly digitized and direct-to-consumer business is on the rise, but that doesn’t mean the role of the intermediary is going away. It’s just changing. The way agents, loan officers and advisors interact with digital products will look different from the past, but the role of the advisor will always be needed. Human connection will remain a meaningful part of financial transactions.

As expectations change, marketing and sales teams need to meet consumers on the channel of their choice. Social media isn’t going anywhere. It’s where consumers are interacting with each other, looking for advice, and looking for thought leadership on important life topics. This means intermediaries and producers have to be there. 

Source: LinkedIn Social Selling Index

Building A Social Selling Program

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

Activate a hybrid distribution approach.

We find that teams that utilize social selling have the most empowered associates because they are able to create personalized, engaging content. However, we have also found that a hybrid distribution approach can be a great stepping stone to social selling. This usually includes the marketing team posting brand content on behalf of associates, and associates scheduling out pre-approved industry content from a content library, plus sprinkling in their own personal content. And rest assured, that personal content still goes through approval workflows.

Build a robust content library.

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

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

Communicate the value of social media consistently.

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

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

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

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

Train and Train Again‍

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

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

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

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

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

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

Social media is only as valuable as its users and that makes adoption key. If you’re struggling to motivate your team to hop on the social media bandwagon the right tools and support can make all the difference. 

Watch Here: Driving User Engagement on Social Media 

So you’re ready to launch a social selling program, but where do you start?

Developing a social selling strategy and launching a program can be daunting. As you know, marketing and sales teams are already juggling full plates. Adding social to the mix is a culture shift, and supporting hundreds or thousands of producers 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.  

This is one of our favorites: 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.

Align with Your Team on the Definition of Social Selling

As a marketing pro, you know what social selling is by now, but what about your team? This step may sound obvious, but you need to work to define social selling in your organization and differentiate from brand social media. Intermediaries may have less experience with social selling. Take the time to talk about what social selling can do 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 loan officers’, advisors’ and agents’ time, too. Prove it to them by sharing meaningful stats on the benefits of social selling.

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 advisors, loan officers and/or agents, 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.

Find Your Social Selling Technology

Once you’ve got your internal teams aligned on launching social selling for your producers, 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.

Identify Social Maturity

So you’re changing the narrative, gaining buy-in, and you’ve got the right tools 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 selling stick.

Train and Test Your User Group

Once you’ve identified agents, advisors or loan officers 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.

Measure Success and Optimize Over Time

Once you have momentum, fuel that success with regular content. It takes time: Start simply by creating versions of your brand content for individuals 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.

Download: Social Selling Made Easy 

Want to keep learning and training with your team?
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Social Selling Best Practices

If you are posting the same content on every social media network, you might be missing out on key engagement opportunities for your social selling strategy. What gets the most attention and engagement on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn isn’t universal, and financial marketers would be wise to seek a more nuanced strategy than just casting a wide net and hoping for the best. While there are general best practices to posting on social, making just a few distinctions to how you approach each of your networks can help you beat the dreaded social media algorithms and build credibility and expertise at the brand and individual producer levels. Let’s take a look at each network and how banks, wealth management firms, insurance agencies, and mortgage lenders can customize their strategies to the unique needs of each network to achieve growth and success.

Facebook: This is what you should know about our financial institution. 

Despite the emergence of new networks and the inevitable departure of Gen Z and Millennials, Facebook is still the most popular social media network, and it’s a non-negotiable for any business. For community banks and other smaller financial businesses, it is the perfect medium to connect with local communities. This network will be one of the first places many customers look for a business, so having updated and branded profile information is essential. It’s ideal for sharing important dates or events, announcements, or anything customers need to be in the know about. Utilize brand pages for general information, and allow your agents, advisors, or employees to curate more personalized content on their individual business pages. 

How To Succeed:

  • Share a wide variety of content geared towards informing and connecting with audiences
  • Post content related to the local community and partnerships with other business or organizations
  • Take advantage of user-generated content to build and maintain relationships with customers at the brand and producer levels
Download: Best Practices for Building Your Facebook Page

Twitter: Talking about our #financialinstitution. 

Sometimes Twitter seems like a mystery with its unique format, hashtag content, and 280-character limit. Like any other network, customers and prospects will consult a company’s account to find information they need to know; but more importantly, Twitter is a network people go to in order to hear news and opinions - and share their own. It is primarily a resource for sharing thought leadership and staying informed about industry updates. To be set up for success, brands and producers should follow relevant accounts like competitors, local businesses, and industry leaders. Hashtags are a useful way to learn about the broader conversations happening- plus, they provide insight into the hashtags marketers should be incorporating as well. Like any other network, brands engaging in social selling will enjoy the benefit of more engagement and awareness opportunities. 

How To Succeed:

  • Prioritize engaging in existing conversations, rather than creating original content
  • Retweet relevant information for your customers and your brand, and utilize the mention function to increase visibility
  • Follow and use hashtags related to your industry to stay connected to current events and other thought leaders
Download: Best Practices for Building Your Twitter Profile

LinkedIn: This is what our financial institution wants you to know, and why.

Branded as the professional social network, LinkedIn is perhaps the most important place for financial services brands and employees to be when it comes to social selling. This is a great way for brands to grow their reach by tapping into the power of user connections through sharing thought leadership and need-to-know information regarding their industry. Plus, authenticity is increasingly important on LinkedIn, with customers preferring to interact with brands that seem more relatable. Marketers and individual producers can use LinkedIn to share those values and insights into company culture that make people feel connected: photos, videos, and important awards or achievements can help boost engagement and brand awareness. With the power of a brand page combined with employee advocacy through social selling, LinkedIn should be a main focal point for any financial institution. 

How To Succeed:

  • Share images of community and in-person interactions and events with context on what it means to your business
  • Follow local businesses from your actual business page (such as: local library, schools, industry competitors, local figures) and engage with their posts from your business page
  • Share high-performing posts from industry thought leaders and other local businesses; this boosts their engagement and gets visibility for both of you
Download: Best Practices for Building Your LinkedIn Profile

Instagram: Here’s a photo or video of what our financial institution values. 

As a highly popular and visually-appealing social media network, Instagram is ideal for demonstrating a more human side to any financial brand, which is especially important for connecting with younger customers. This network is meant to be fun and entertaining for followers, while also staying on brand for financial companies and still informative. Of all the networks, Instagram is going to be the easiest way to reach younger audiences and get creative with content. For brands engaging in social selling, it’s a fun way to give producers a chance to show their personality and connect with customers on a more casual level. Instagram is also very dynamic and visual: the Reels and Stories functions provide alternative ways to share and engage quickly with video, which provides more opportunities to get in front of audiences within the platform than image posts alone.

How To Succeed:

  • Post images from community or in-person interactions; share important posts to brand and producer Stories, then save to Highlights
  • Use emojis in copy and keep text light and fun; it’s all about the visuals on this network
  • Follow other businesses/industry thought leaders; engage with their content and share posts to your own stories
Download: Best Practices for Building Your Instagram Profile

While every network has its own charms and best practices, there are a few overall things to keep in mind when launching a social selling program: stay authentic and non-salesy; keep compliance matters in mind; know how to maintain a balanced and informed feed; and finally, don’t forget that paid advertising can boost organic efforts on any network. Knowing what to post on each social media network can be overwhelming, but understanding the best way to approach social selling at the brand and individual levels on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn will translate to more engagement, better brand awareness, and increased trust from industry leaders and customers. With a little fine-tuning and support for your team, you can see the difference a network-based content approach can make for your financial institution.

Check Out These Social Media Network Best Practices for Social Selling:

LinkedIn Best Practices
Twitter Best Practices

Facebook Best Practices
Instagram Best Practices

Let’s talk about social media compliance for financial institutions.

In today’s digital landscape, marketers know that social media is a key element to any successful strategy. Social selling is a smart approach to empower financial advisors, loan officers and associates in social media, but it comes with risks. After all, just one rogue post could land your financial institution in regulatory hot water. Compliance is complicated, but don’t let it stop your employees from making the most of social media. Think your team is ready to start social selling? Ask yourself these five questions:

Do I know who has social media access and control? 

Your social strategy won’t be compliant unless it’s properly governed, so start by clearly documenting who has access to and control over what social media channels. According to the FFIEC, your social media policy needs to clearly outline individual roles and responsibilities on social. When roles are clearly defined, you’ll eliminate authorization confusion and avoid regulatory trip wires

Is my social media policy well-documented? 

If you don’t already have a social media policy in place, then it’s time to put one together. If you already have one, check that it is up-to-date. Ensure the policy is easy for all employees to digest, understand and implement.

Am I tuned-in to what’s happening on my social channels? 

You should be monitoring all activity across your brand’s and employees’ social media channel to ensure posts and engagement is compliant. 

Am I prepared for an audit? 

Surprise! You’re being audited. Be sure you’re ready with a social media archive that captures all postings and engagement activity. 

Do I have a clear picture of my social media risks? 

You could be fined for a mistake that slipped through the cracks if you don’t have fail-safes, like approvals and compliance checks, in your workflows. Start with a social media risk assessment, and if you already have one, consider re-reviewing it regularly.

Trend Report: A Marketer’s Guide to Social Selling

As financial marketers look to the coming year, most are wondering, “what’s next?” While no one can say for sure, our team of experts here at Denim Social are keeping a pulse on what’s new in digital marketing for financial institutions. Surely every marketer has found frustration in the often slower-than-average pace of digital adoption and change in the financial industry, but there can be benefits. Namely, financial marketers can look to more forward industries (like consumer brands and tech), to see what’s catching on and evolving. Even if you’re not quite ready to dive-in, as new trends emerge, financial marketers can begin to lay the groundwork with leaders for the future. Whether you’re in banking, mortgage, insurance or wealth management, we see a few key trends that every financial institution should begin preparing for.

But why change what’s working? If your institution hasn’t already come around to digital first marketing, let us put this gently – it’s time. In practice, this looks like moving marketing dollars from traditional media to social media centric digital strategies. Consumers in every age group are shifting to digital and it becomes more pronounced the younger the consumer. Younger generations are digital natives and their use of technology is rapidly increasing. In fact, about half of teens say they use the internet almost constantly, up from only about a quarter of teenagers who said the same less than 10 years ago. 

We get it, teens aren’t big revenue drivers for your institution… yet. Believe it or not, younger generation buyers now dominate the housing market, with Millennials representing 43% of home buyers. Housing is only the tip of the iceberg with younger audiences too. A massive generational transfer is underway as Baby Boomers age. Experts predict that $84 trillion will change hands in the next 25 years. All of this is to say, financial marketers need to be where their consumers are. Today, that means social media. Digital marketing and social media show no signs of slowing down, so financial institutions need to invest accordingly

Growth of Short-Form Video Content for Financial Services

Growth in short-form video is both changing what consumers watch and how they watch it. Even on other more traditional social media networks, attention spans are getting shorter. For example, short-form videos were just 21% of YouTube views in Q2 2021, but jumped to a whopping 57% of views in Q2 2022. Social media users are favoring videos in the 30 second to 1-minute range. 

The Rise of Financial Advice Influencers

Whether institutions like it or not, people are getting financial advice on social media. And it’s a trend that’s unlikely to change – Generation Z are almost five times more likely to get financial advice from social media platforms than people aged 41 or over. While this may feel like a challenge for financial marketers, at Denim Social, we see it as a massive opportunity. 

Increase in Personal Content and More Authenticity on Professional Channels

As more and more institutions adopt social selling strategies that put their people front and center, we’re seeing an increase in personal content. User-generated content is at the heart of a good social selling strategy because it is authentic. 

Enhanced Marketing Automation Connections

As institutions build out bigger social selling programs that include both paid and organic strategies, scale is always a challenge. Smart marketers are looking to increase marketing automations to help them effectively and efficiently manage digital marketing strategies. In fact, 63% of marketers plan to increase their marketing automation budgets. 

Social Media as Search Engine

Social media has long been viewed as an excellent brand-building tool, but today, financial institutions need to consider the value of social profiles for search discoverability. Increasingly audiences – especially younger ones – are using social media as a search engine. Recent Google research shows that nearly 40% of Gen Z prefers using TikTok and Instagram for search over Google.

The future of social media for financial institutions is bright and marketers who continue to advocate for increased social resources will reap the rewards. Whether you’re launching a social selling program or building your marketing automations, thinking long-term will help your team build toward a more connected and successful future. Remember this: You don’t have to be ready to dive into the next big thing right now, but it’s important to stay current with the social media trends of today so that you don’t get left behind tomorrow.

Content Strategy
Watch: Marketing Mix for an Informed & Healthy Social Media Feed

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.

General Social Selling Advice

Download: Denim Social Holiday Content Calendar

Above all else, social selling content should be personal, authentic, and tailored to both the community an institution serves and the audience they hope to reach. An institution’s or intermediary’s  social outreach should illustrate not a provider-to-customer relationship but a human-to-human relationship — after all, people buy from people. As the marketer, it’ll be your responsibility to help intermediaries understand how to do this. But your efforts will pay off in your social metrics: Content shared by employees receives eight times the engagement of posts from brand pages.

Social Selling Examples + Success Stories

Watch: Social Sellers in the Wild 
Financial Institution Social Media Examples

Financial Institution Social Selling Case Studies

Evolve Bank & Trust

Evolve Bank & Trust (“Evolve”) is an $700M+ asset institution with nearly 40 Home Loan Centers (HLC) and nearly 500 employees nationwide. Recognizing the importance of social media in their overall marketing strategy, the team came to Denim Social to improve social media performance metrics across their brand, local Home Loan Centers and individual Home Loan Consultant and Advisor Facebook pages.

Like so many financial institutions, Evolve had begun organic social media efforts, but lacked sufficient resources to scale a robust social media strategy that drove meaningful results.

Denim Social helped Evolve activate HLC Facebook pages over the course of just a few months. But page launches were just the beginning of our full-service onboarding. Denim Social’s dedicated Customer Success team trained users on how to use (and make the most of) the Denim Social platform. Our social media experts provided content strategy guidance and curated content libraries made it easy for the Evolve team to post across numerous pages with limited resources.

Bolstered by stellar results in organic, Evolve continues to expand their strategy with paid social media. In addition to offering a platform that fully integrates organic social media management, Denim Social’s team also provides weekly strategy support. Paid social media continues to drive more likes, higher engagement and increased reach and impressions for Evolve.

“Our sales team wants to be selling, and they don’t want anything to get in the way of selling. With Denim Social they can schedule everything to post and the engage when the time is right. They can easily schedule content and get back to selling.” - Seth Reeks, Digital Marketing Coordinator at Evolve Bank & Trust

BOK Financial: Scaling Social to Deepen Community Connection

BOK Financial is a financial services partner for consumers, businesses and wealth clients with more than 150 users on the Denim Social platform. In addition to building brand credibility and establishing loan officer expertise, Denim Social enables their mortgage loan officers to cultivate relationships in social media and organically source leads. 

Geographically dispersed across midwest and southwest, BOK Financial saw an opportunity to use loan officer social media to build their regional presence and community relationships. Recognizing the potential in a local-focused strategy, BOK Financial wanted hyper-local custom content to inspire follower engagement

Sounds simple, right? Like many financial institutions, the team faced competition for internal priority and a lack of support resources. Further, many seasoned loan officers didn’t understand the power of social media or functionally how to grow their followings. “The marketing team knew social media was a huge opportunity to engage local communities,” said Tiffany VanZandt, social media manager. 

“We noticed that loan officers were hesitant to post because of their lack of experience using social media networks. Finding time to schedule posts and coming up with content ideas was challenging for them, too.” BOK Financial found success in a two-pronged strategy to fire up loan officers’ feeds and local community engagement:

Posting on Behalf of Mortgage Loan Officers + Rallying Loan Officers to Get Active on Social

Recognizing the schedule crunch for mortgage loan officers, BOK Financial leveraged regional administrative teams to consistently schedule regional, company and industry content on behalf of mortgage loan officers. With Denim Social as its social media management platform, one administrative team member could easily post on behalf of many mortgage loan officers, all while staying in compliance. Localized content libraries made it simple for the central marketing team to distribute regionally relevant content to mortgage loan officers. 

While marketing support went a long way to getting loan officers active on social media, the BOK Financial team knew loan officers still needed to understand the potential in social media and how to personalize their feeds with hyper-local individual posts. Regional teams established a regular market leader communication that shared content ideas, examples of monthly top producers posts and showcased positive client reviews.

“Denim Social has drastically improved social media results for our mortgage team. Before we had this platform, only a few [loan officers] were actively using social media for business but today we have much more interest as the platform makes it less intimidating.” - Tiffany VanZandt, Social Media Manager at BOK Financial

AnnieMac Home Mortgage: Streamlining Social Selling

AnnieMac is one of the fastest-growing mortgage loan providers in the U.S., serving clients in 42 states. The team came to Denim Social looking to streamline its brand’s social media strategy and activate social selling for hundreds of loan officers. With significant national reach and scale, the brand sought to produce consistent and compelling content for the field. Recognizing the value of social media, AnnieMac saw an opportunity to stand out in the hyper-competitive mortgage market. But AnnieMac’s top priority? Staying in compliance. With an eager and dispersed field of loan officers, the lender needed tools that would make compliance easy every step of the way

Denim Social helped AnnieMac activate Facebook pages for more than 200 team members in just four months. The full scope of the project eventually encompassed social selling pages for 175 loan officers and 47 branch-level brand pages across 25 states. Once the pages were live, Denim Social provided curated content to fuel the social selling strategy. Denim Social set-up loan officers with success through customized training and today, still provides monthly new user trainings for the growing group of social-savvy loan officers. 

With a deeply-integrated social strategy that activates at the brand, branch and loan officer levels, AnnieMac is driving significant results. In its first year, the AnnieMac brand Facebook audience increased its social following by more than 11% and followers are engaging with its social media content more than ever before. The Denim Social platform has empowered AnnieMac to unlock the power of social selling and followers are noticing. 

Every post whether from the brand, branches or loan officers is compliance approved, significantly reducing risk. What’s more, AnnieMac reports an anecdotal “compliance by osmosis” effect. Thanks to the tools provided by Denim Social, employees and loan officers are continually learning what does and doesn’t meet compliance standards. 

“Denim Social has allowed me to efficiently and effectively manage multiple social media channels. I no longer have to spend hours researching and creating posts that are relevant to my followers. With Denim Social, it now only takes a few minutes to have a month’s worth of fresh content that is inspiring, timely and informational.” - Alexis Zwiesler, Branch Marketing Assistant at AnnieMac

Download: How Six Financial Marketers Are Creating Value in Social Media

What are other financial institutions looking like on social media? 

Your Social Selling Future is Bright

Unlimited Measures of Success

Your measures can evolve over time to include top performing agencies, agency highlights, highest performing content (based on engagement or adoption)

Ongoing Education

Consider hosting regular internal webinars on best practices, how to optimize content, how to start using paid advertising, and agency highlights and more. 

Merchandise Success Internally

Invite a social top performer to share relevant, real-life stories on how social has helped them grow their businesses and build and foster relationships

Drive Adoption 

Check in, check in, check in!  Set up regular check ins with your social sellers to make sure they’re seeing the value and keeping up with posting and responding to their audiences. 

Fuel Success with Content

Include intermediary content in your brand content planning. Start simple by tweaking your brand posts to sound like they’re coming from the voice of the agent.

Measure Your Success

Start small! Sometimes this just means basic adoption of your program. Are agents using it? Are their platforms connected to the technology you’ve invested in? Are they posting?

Download: Social Media Analytics Enhance Your Financial Institution’s Marketing Strategy

As any marketer worth their salt will tell you, analytics should drive your social strategy. While the “spray-and-pray” approach may have worked a decade ago, consumer

expectations for personalized experiences and C-suite demands for measurable results have raised the bar to a whole new level.

The good news is every social media post you publish is generating meaningful data about the audiences you are trying to connect with and convert. Indeed, social media marketing can have a huge reach — 83% of people say they discover new products on Instagram, and 54% of Gen Z say social media is their top influence channel. With the personal networks offered on the organic side and the advanced targeting of paid ads, social media is tough to beat as a customer acquisition tool.

Why is it, then, that so many digital marketers feel uncomfortable evaluating metrics and measuring ROI in social media marketing? Well, for starters, all the social media data in the world means nothing if you can’t transform it into meaningful insights in relation to business objectives.

Identifying meaningful insights around business objectives begins with setting specific, measurable goals for your campaigns. A great place to start is with your customers. You can easily develop goals when you ask questions like these:

  • Which of my customer segments am I most likely to reach on social media?
  • What types of content and experiences will resonate with them?
  • What motivates them and makes them tick?

With questions like these in mind, it’s easier to know what data to collect and how to begin analyzing it to make meaningful decisions. 

1. Efficiency

Social media measurement in itself is nearly impossible to do manually. If you’re trying to get telling analytics with a spreadsheet, you won’t have much luck. Social media measurement, like most analytics, requires the right tools.

Quantify the time you spend on measurement to appeal to management. The right analytics tools can help you collect valuable marketing data faster and easier. Data shows that simplifying workflows with technology can free up 20–30% of employees’ time, so show leadership that with the right tools, you can up your efficiency to do more faster.

Another reason leaders might shy away from the idea of a robust social media marketing strategy is compliance. Financial services is a heavily regulated industry, and electronic communication is certainly not exempt from regulatory scrutiny. Again, the right tools can help. Denim Social’s platform, for example, enables marketers to keep social media compliant in an efficient way. Among other compliance features, the platform automates approval workflows so the right people can sign off on the right social content with ease before it ever goes live.‍

2. Targeting‍

As algorithms change and organic social media is no longer a promising strategy on its own, marketers need to persuade leadership teams to invest in paid social media. Not only will paid get your messages in front of the right people with direct targeting capabilities, but it can also provide more data to help you understand what your target audience groups want and need.

By tracking paid performance by target audience group, you can better understand who’s connecting with what content and hone your social media strategy to connect with more prospects. Show leadership teams that when every message lands in front of exactly the right people, you’re maximizing social media marketing budget dollars — instead of wasting them on irrelevant or unengaged audiences.

3. Competitor tracking‍

Help leaders understand that, while measuring your own social media performance offers valuable insights, measuring your competitors’ performance can take your marketing game to the next level.

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

What’s more, social listening tools offer financial institutions a clear line of sight into how other brands are resonating with customers and encouraging engagement on social. Your brand can use those insights to craft even more relevant messaging and keep a leg up on the competition at all times.‍

4. Conversion opportunities‍

Landing page linking strategies on social media drive conversions, and nothing is more compelling to a leadership team than a direct line from marketing spend to sales. Track form completion rates to present a clear picture of how many viewers have deemed your content valuable enough to exchange their information for. Then, tie that to sales data to see how many prospects who submitted their information and received follow-ups from sales teams eventually signed on.

When you can draw that clear line from social post all the way to conversion, the bottom-line impact is clear to see. Compare that to traditional marketing tactics — has your leadership team ever seen a recorded, data-backed customer conversion metric from a billboard? Not likely.

Marketers know that staying relevant in today’s digital world requires a strong approach to social media marketing. Show leaders how upping efficiency, performance metrics, and competitive insight can empower your marketing team to elevate a data-driven social media strategy that delivers clear, measurable results.

Most of all, remember, you can do it! However, you don’t have to go it alone; we can help!

We believe social media is a very powerful sales tool and want to help you make social selling easy for your organization to implement.

Ready to learn more? Book a demo today. 

Customer relationship-building is one of the greatest value drivers for insurance agents. A benchmark analysis from McKinsey & Co. found agents with deeper customer relationships have higher product density than those lacking in relationships — often cross-selling three or more products per customer.

With that in mind, it’s essential that agents understand how to best leverage their humanity and personality to truly connect with their audiences. In today’s age, this extends to how agents present themselves and connect online.

When prospective clients meet an agent for the first time, they’re asking themselves, “Is this person likable? Can I trust them?” Clients want to feel an authentic connection that gives them peace of mind and assures them that someone has their best interests at heart.

This desire for connection isn’t limited to the insurance industry. In fact, 88% of consumers say that authenticity is a key factor when deciding the brands they like and support, and that trust is vitally important to entering working relationships. That desire for trust grows exponentially when it comes to insurance sales because the business is built around protecting clients’ futures.

Insurance agents have a head start on this — their businesses have always been rooted in authenticity. But as digital transformation in the insurance industry continues, it’s more important than ever that agents assert themselves through authenticity on social media. It’s no different from what agents and other insurance professionals have been doing in person for years. It’s about conveying expertise, building trust, and showcasing industry knowledge — except now it’s within the digital universe. Social media provides a new platform for staying top of mind with customers and prospects alike.

So, how should agents be more authentic on social media? Same as they would offline — with relationships.

Good selling starts with genuinely listening to clients and being authentic, no matter what. Insurance agents are there to identify clients’ life needs and build a solution to protect them against loss. They must genuinely care about clients’ needs to find the right solutions and demonstrate that level of care to earn trust.

Here’s how agents can bring that energy to social media:

View social media as an opportunity to provide value. Marketers and agents alike already know that authenticity is important to customer acquisition. That same authenticity should show up in social media activity.

Agents should still be themselves, just on digital channels. After all, in the insurance business, agents are selling a promise that a consumer may or may not ever see delivery on. If the client never has an accident, they’ll never make a claim.

This means a lot of time can pass between a point of sale and delivery of promise.

With the rise of social media, however, there is a growing opportunity to deliver value in the long term. Whether it’s sharing thought-leadership articles, checking in with clients on social media, or providing digital tools to help educate clients, the digital landscape provides ample opportunity to reinforce proof of agent value on an ongoing basis. Including both paid and organic social media marketing for insurance agents in the mix of sales practices is critical.

This won’t replace traditional tools like phone, email and in-person meetings, but having a mix of organic and paid content alongside them will complement other relationship-building efforts, keep agents top of mind, and continually provide value to clients and prospects.

Lean into the power of real-life experience. There’s a good chance that agents live and work in the communities they serve. Agents should use that advantage with prospective clients when building their authentic brands. Showing on social media what’s happening in their communities and their offices will help foster a sense of belonging and drive interest among followers.

Need more marketing ideas for insurance agents? Look to everyday experiences. If an agent runs into someone at a local event, they should take a selfie and tag the person on Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn. If a client drops off cookies, the agent should post a photo and a heartfelt message about what it meant to the team. Social media followers will connect with those real-life moments far more than they would with a branded post.

Embrace storytelling. Too often, social media marketing for insurance agents consists only of market statistics or limited-time promotions. While this type of content can absolutely be useful and helpful, it’s not enough on its own. Think about the brands you follow: Would statistics and discounts be enough to get you engaged?

Social media is about creating a narrative, not just posting facts or promotions.

Agents should share the true picture of what it’s been like to grow a practice. Tell client stories about how they’ve benefited from your insurance products (with permission and privacy in mind, of course). When agents share authentically, they build trust with clients and prospects.

Be themselves. If agents are only professional and stuffy, audiences won’t connect. Agents and marketers alike shouldn’t be afraid to let a little personality shine through on social media. Thought leadership can create credibility and demonstrate expertise, and it’s always better received when served up by a real-life person.

That’s what social selling is all about.

Posting is only one part of the strategy. Agents should also comment on and engage with clients’ posts as appropriate. Two-way communication is critical to building authenticity. Think about it as if you were having an in-person conversation; there would be plenty of back-and-forth throughout the discussion. Did a client become a grandparent? Their agent should congratulate them. Social selling is all about creating conversation, just like in real life.

Engagement provides the added benefit of personalization. Customers don’t want to feel like marketing collateral. When agents engage with them honestly and authentically, they’re well on their way to creating deep, lasting consumer relationships.

Building authenticity through social media is similar in principle to building authenticity in real life; it’s just using a different medium to do so. When intermediaries share personal stories and helpful content with clients in a way that reflects their true personalities, they’ll build lasting relationships both online and offline that will serve as the foundation of future sales.

*This article was originally published in Insurance Journal.

Make the most of your social media presence by optimizing your images and including essential information about your business on each platform. By giving your customers an optimal digital experience, you will be able to broaden your reach and provide better customer service through your digital platforms.

Facebook

IMAGE SIZING:

Profile picture: 170 x 170px (desktop), 128 x 128px (smartphones)

Cover photo: 820 x 312px (desktop), 640 x 360px (smartphones)

Keep the main content of your image centered. On a desktop the photo will display as 840x312px, but on mobile will size down to 640x360px.

Facebook post image: 1200 x 630px

The ideal width for a Facebook post image is 1200px, but height can vary based on what type of device the image display is optimized for. We recommend keeping it at the recommended size to keep consistency on all devices.

When creating a Facebook Ad graphic, any text should not take up more than 20% of the photo. You can find a cheat sheet here: https://www.facebook.com/ads/tools/text_overlay.

Facebook Video: 1280 x 720px

The optimal length for a short-form video on Facebook is 15 seconds to 1 minute; for a long-form video, it is 3 minutes. The maximum file size is 10GB.

Facebook Link Image: 1200 x 630px

Make sure to claim ownership of your links for the ability to change the link preview photo. You can find more info on that here: https://www.facebook.com/business/help/528858287471922?id=708699556338610.

Carousel Post: 1080 x 1080px

Carousel posts are a great way to display multiple services or features that you offer to your customers. When placing a Facebook ad you can link each carousel photo to a different link, making it easy for people to navigate to your specific products.

Facebook Story: 1080 x 1920px

Make the most of your stories by using all of your space and creating a fullscreen experience.

IMPORTANT PAGE INFORMATION:

Page name:

This is where you can name your Facebook Page, but be sure to keep it shorter than 75 characters.

Page username:

Customize your page URL by adding a username, making it easier for people to locate and navigate people from other digital platforms. Your Facebook URL can include up to 50 characters.

Page call to action:

Facebook gives you a variety of choices on calls to action. For example, if you’d like customers to contact you by email, you can set up a “Send Email” button with your email address connected and ready to go.

LinkedIn

IMAGE SIZING:

Profile picture: 400 x 400px

Upload your business logo here to personalize your profile. If this page is for an individual, this is where you will upload their headshot.

Cover Photo: 1584 x 396px

Having a personalized business cover photo will make your profile look more professional and give you the opportunity to provide page visitors with more of the look and feel of your business. This can include an image related to your business or a graphic with information on services you provide or your business slogan.

LinkedIn post photo: 1200 x 628px (mobile), 1200 x 1200px (desktop)

When targeting an audience on both desktop and mobile, make sure that you optimize for mobile to give people the best experience.

LinkedIn Link Photo: 1200 x 628px (mobile), 1200 x 1200px (desktop)

Providing an image with your link preview can help give viewers a better idea of article content and also communicate your brand look and feel.

LinkedIn Link Video: 4096 x 2304px maximum, 256 x 144 pixels minimum

The optimal video length for LinkedIn is 30-90 seconds and the maximum file size is 5GB.

IMPORTANT PAGE INFORMATION

Page name:

This is where your business name is located, as well as your company industry, location, and number of followers.

Page description:

Add your business slogan, mission, or a short description that tells people what your company, products, and services can do for them.

Twitter

IMAGE SIZING

Profile picture: 400 x 400px

Upload your business logo or headshot to personalize your profile.

Cover photo: 1500 x 500px

Be sure to center your content to give your followers an optimized experience on mobile.

Twitter post photo: 1200 x 675px

Allow your followers to see the entirety of the photo in their feed by adhering to this sizing guideline. The maximum file size is 5MB.

Twitter video: 1280 x 720px (desktop, recommended), 720 x 720px (mobile)

The optimal video length for Twitter is 20-45 seconds and the maximum file size is 512MB.

IMPORTANT PAGE INFORMATION

Underneath your profile photo, your company name and username will be displayed.

Write a short bio to tell people more about your business.

Instagram

IMAGE SIZING

Profile photo: 110 x 110px

Your profile picture will be small, so be sure your image is sized correctly and centered. This is a great place for your company logo.

Profile thumbnail: Displays as 161 x 161px

This is a preview of your large image post, but looks best when the photo posted is square.

Highlight Cover: 1080 x 1920px

Your cover photos should have centered images to give your highlight reel a balanced look. You can also name your highlights, but be concise as they can only be 15 characters long.

Instagram Feed Photo: 1080 x 1080px (square), 1080 x 1350 (portrait), 1080 x 566 (landscape)

The recommended width for all Instagram feed photos is 1080px, but the height can vary. To optimize for your feed display within your profile, we recommend using the sizing listed above to keep your image square.

Instagram Feed Video:  1080 x 1080px (square), 1080 x 1350 (portrait), 1080 x 566 (landscape)

The optimal length for an Instagram video is 30-60 seconds and the max file size is 650MB.

Instagram Feed Ad Photo: 1080 x 1080px

Your ad photo will display the same as a normal feed photo, but with a link attached. When creating an ad in Ads Manager, you’ll be able to upload a separate photo for Instagram to keep your photos optimized for the user experience.

Instagram Story: 1080 x 1920px (portrait), 1080 x 601 (landscape)

Make the most of your stories by using all of your space and creating a fullscreen experience. The maximum length of the story is 15 seconds.

Instagram Reels & Live: 1080 x 1920px

Reels can be used to offer tutorials, demos, or service features. These will be saved under your profile page for viewers to go back and watch at their leisure. The maximum length for Reels is 30 seconds. For Live, this can be used for announcements, events, or other Q&A sessions. These can also be saved for later viewing, and can last up to 4 hours.

BOK Financial is a financial services partner for consumers, businesses and wealth clients with more than 150 users on the Denim Social platform.

In addition to building brand credibility and establishing loan officer expertise, Denim Social enables their mortgage loan officers to cultivate relationships in social media and organically source leads.

Personal relationships are the bedrock of the financial advice industry. Nearly 75 percent of investors prioritize personal relationships when evaluating investment providers, Deloitte found. That’s why providers—even online brokers and robo-advisory firms—are taking care to preserve the human touch. Even with a growing trend toward digital automation to streamline trades and more, human connection is still paramount.

Bank marketers should reflect that by personalizing the digital experiences that they create for wealth management clients and prospects. Investors are accustomed to receiving personalized content online, including from their favorite retailers. They expect the same levels of customization from their service providers.

The benefits of customer personalization are mutual for investors and banks. When customers receive content tailored to their needs and financial situations, they understand their investment opportunities better and feel empowered to make the right financial decisions. And when they see wealth advisors addressing their specific needs—such as estate, retirement or education planning—they will naturally feel like those advisors understand their needs and can help them.

By contrast, when banks and advisors neglect personalization, they risk what Bain and Company calls “hidden defection,” or customers buying high-margin products such as loans, investments, and credit cards from competitors. Even if investors do not leave, they will go elsewhere to place their investments and purchase new financial products. Many customers who defect are attracted by personalized direct offers. That said, almost 80 percent of customers surveyed by Bain said they would have bought from their primary financial institutions if the banks had made equivalent offers.

It is clear that by creating improved digital experiences, banks can retain their clients’ business and even gain wallet share. So, how can they adjust their bank marketing strategies to prioritize customer personalization and build relationships?

1. Embrace a social selling strategy.

Whether financial advisors like it or not, their digital profiles affect how prospects view them. Almost 50 percent of investors say social media impacts whom they hire as a financial professional. And 33 percent report they seek financial advice online, according to Financial Advisor reporting on a Hartford Funds survey. Wealth advisors need to use social media to build rapport (and trust) with clients and prospects. When they demonstrate their value routinely, they’re more likely to be top of mind when customers are ready to purchase. That’s how strong digital profiles lay the foundation for social selling.

Social selling adheres to the same core principles as in-person selling: building relationships with customers, demonstrating knowledge, educating them and helping solve their problems. It all just happens online. Social selling empowers financial advisors to add value for customers through digital means when they wouldn’t have had the opportunity otherwise. Ultimately, sales reps who regularly share content are 45% more likely to exceed their quotas. So it is worth wealth advisors’ time to beef up their social profiles and engage with contacts.

2. Join customers on their preferred channels.

Investors are getting their information somewhere. it is essential to find out where that information comes from and to meet investors where they are.

Then, financial advisors should create profiles on those channels and organically engage with prospective clients. Why? Twenty percent of investors told Hartford Funds that a wealth advisor’s social media was their sole deciding factor when evaluating a financial professional.

For older investors, this might be traditional news channels’ Twitter or Facebook feeds. For younger investors, this could be newer channels such as TikTok. More than one-third of Gen Z Americans say they get financial advice from TikTok, and only 24 percent of investors in this age group get advice from financial advisors, according to a recent Vericast survey. That represents a big opportunity for financial advisors to win young investors’ business by meeting them through these channels. The key is to make any engagement enjoyable and authentic so that clients don’t feel like financial advisors are just trying to sell to them.

3. Create connected customer journeys.

Posting on social media is a great start, but if bank marketers want to drive ROI, they must create more robust digital journeys. The key to connected investor journeys is to avoid digital dead ends and always offer clear next steps.

At the start of the journey, wealth advisors must interact and create two-way dialogue online with existing audiences. They should then expand their audiences through tactics such as paid social media advertising, which can help them reach investors similar to their current customers or new target audiences.

In their social posts, financial advisors can drive audiences to content-driven landing pages that contain resources to download in exchange for contact information, which can help capture leads. Every step of the way, investors need to see the value, whether through educational content that wealth advisors share, access to more in-depth resources or complimentary consultations.

Banks benefit when they embrace customer personalization in their marketing strategies to keep customers engaged, build rapport and ultimately close more sales. That starts with giving wealth advisors access to the right processes and technology to deliver personalized education and offers. Once properly empowered, advisors can meet clients where they are, establish themselves as trustworthy, generate more leads and reduce the risk of “hidden defection” over time.

This article was originally published in ABA Bank Marketing.

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GUIDES

3 Ways To Build A Stronger Personal Brand On Social Media

Social media can be pretty intimidating for some people—especially those who tend to shun the spotlight and avoid self-promotion.

That being said, there’s no denying that social platforms can and do allow individuals to build personal brands that afford them greater professional opportunities.

Having a robust social media presence is an asset to your long-term career growth. In a survey by recruitment platform Tallo, 87% of Gen Z respondents saw the career significance of online personal branding. These competitive young workers and employees-to-be are making it imperative for candidates of any age to up their personal branding game online.

No matter what career stage you’re in, you can use social media to your advantage to improve your personal brand. Here are three strategies that will help.

1. Look beyond LinkedIn

Most people assume that when it comes to career growth, the only social media platform worth spending time on is LinkedIn. This is a myth. While anyone who knows me has heard me tout LinkedIn as a crucial starting point (with over half a billion users worldwide!) there is real power in supplementing it—as long as your image and messaging remain consistent across all platforms and your goals are tailored to what each one does best. For instance, LinkedIn is indeed essential for delivering your digital first impression and expanding your professional network, but Twitter is ideal for sharing content you’ve published and starting a discussion. Should you have a professional presence on every major social platform? It depends on what you’re trying to accomplish.

Brian Freeman, CEO and founder of microinfluencer platform Heartbeat, believes it’s a mistake to overlook newer, trendy platforms like TikTok if you want to bulk up your audience.

TikTok makes it easier than any other platform to go viral and gain a new following, then pass that following on to other social media platforms where you have a presence,” he says. “Whether it’s Instagram, Twitch, Twitter, or YouTube, you can go viral on TikTok and gain thousands of new followers on a second platform at the same time.”

Most social media users are active on multiple platforms. When someone decides to follow you on one, follow them back—and then follow them on a different app to win their views across social.

2. Publicize your expertise

“Thought leadership” is a term often used in the content marketing world to describe content produced by company executives aiming to position themselves as experts in an industry or topic area. It can take myriad forms, but its goal is always to reinforce the credibility of the brands (personal and corporate) that produce and byline it—and it’s typically quite effective. Good news: It can work for you, too.

While publicists pitch the media, asking journalists to write about their clients, thought leadership lets you become the author of that coverage, not just by publishing your content in traditional outlets but also by publishing it through social media. If you’re an expert at something, let the world know by sharing your knowledge and ideas. Speaking at conferences, serving on boards and interacting with journalists and other influencers in your field of expertise will of course allow you to learn from and teach others, and it will also get you acquainted with people who might be able to help you achieve personal and professional goals. But taking a proactive approach to sharing your expertise on social media shows the world that you’re open to professional interaction and eager to answer questions. Engage in group discussions, provide thoughtful commentary on relevant posts and make an effort to introduce others to helpful resources, and you’ll be surprised by the opportunities that come your way.

3. Advocate for your organization

You’re serious about your career, so you want to be taken seriously—whether that’s at your current company or at the one you aspire to join. Your social accounts, when consistently and professionally branded, provide a platform for your company or college to get some free PR, which can help with both sales and recruiting on their end. Plus, by painting your colleagues and cohorts in a positive light, you’ll cement your image as a team player who cares about your organization’s future. That’s something every employer wants to see.

Doug Wilber, CEO of Gremlin Social (now Denim Social), a social media solution for banks, understands the power of social selling (branded content posted on employee accounts).

“When employees share their positive work experience on their personal accounts, they become powerful recruiting tools that can draw in potential candidates and increase employee retention,” he says.

In turn, employees also benefit from brand advocacy. When you have a credible personal brand online, your words carry more weight with potential customers and other external contacts, meaning you’ll likely have more success in your day-to-day role.

Social media scrolling doesn’t have to be mindless or unproductive. In fact, social platforms give you a way to create and seize opportunities that would have been off-limits just a decade ago. Start with the three strategies above, and you’ll be amazed to see how far your personal brand can reach.

This article was originally published on Forbes on April 7, 2020.

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

Paid social is one of the most effective ways to introduce people who aren’t yet following your producers, agents, loan officers, or advisors to your financial institution at the right place and the right time.

Paid social is complementary to organic. While organic social builds first-degree connections and facilitates awareness, engagement, and branding, paid social allows you to reach larger, more tailored audiences.

BOK Financial is a financial services partner for consumers, businesses and wealth clients with more than 150 users on the Denim Social platform.

In addition to building brand credibility and establishing loan officer expertise, Denim Social enables their mortgage loan officers to cultivate relationships in social media and organically source leads.

As financial marketers look to the coming year, most are wondering, “what’s next?” While no one can say for sure, our team of experts here at Denim Social are keeping a pulse on what’s new in digital marketing for financial institutions on social media. This guide will not only educate you on the latest trends, but help you make the case for increased investment in social selling and digital marketing strategies at your institution.

Whether you’re in banking, wealth management, insurance or mortgage, relationships are the bedrock of your business.

Considering clients in these industries are handing over the keys to their personal kingdoms, it’s no surprise that trust and connection matter. That’s why successful sales strategies for these industries are focused on building long-term, trusted relationships.

To truly unleash the potential of social, financial institutions need to use social media as a sales tool. It’s called social selling and it works.

The power of social media is undeniable. The ability of banks to engage with and influence customers and prospects via interactive digital channels is an essential tool and a cornerstone of marketing. Gone are the days when it was “nice to have” a presence on platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. Today, these pathways are helping banks to build relationships that were historically cultivated by tirelessly walking up and down Main Street, shaking hands and leaving behind business cards.

In this case study by Denim Social and American Bankers Association, we take a look at how banks are using social media to ramp up digital engagement and build sales.

As any marketer worth their salt will tell you, analytics should drive your social strategy. The key to success is understanding how to link social media efforts to ROI metrics. Read this guide to learn how to gain insights that matter, optimize your strategy and prove your social success.

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

    3 Ways To Build A Stronger Personal Brand On Social Media

    Social media can be pretty intimidating for some people—especially those who tend to shun the spotlight and avoid self-promotion.

    That being said, there’s no denying that social platforms can and do allow individuals to build personal brands that afford them greater professional opportunities.

    Having a robust social media presence is an asset to your long-term career growth. In a survey by recruitment platform Tallo, 87% of Gen Z respondents saw the career significance of online personal branding. These competitive young workers and employees-to-be are making it imperative for candidates of any age to up their personal branding game online.

    No matter what career stage you’re in, you can use social media to your advantage to improve your personal brand. Here are three strategies that will help.

    1. Look beyond LinkedIn

    Most people assume that when it comes to career growth, the only social media platform worth spending time on is LinkedIn. This is a myth. While anyone who knows me has heard me tout LinkedIn as a crucial starting point (with over half a billion users worldwide!) there is real power in supplementing it—as long as your image and messaging remain consistent across all platforms and your goals are tailored to what each one does best. For instance, LinkedIn is indeed essential for delivering your digital first impression and expanding your professional network, but Twitter is ideal for sharing content you’ve published and starting a discussion. Should you have a professional presence on every major social platform? It depends on what you’re trying to accomplish.

    Brian Freeman, CEO and founder of microinfluencer platform Heartbeat, believes it’s a mistake to overlook newer, trendy platforms like TikTok if you want to bulk up your audience.

    TikTok makes it easier than any other platform to go viral and gain a new following, then pass that following on to other social media platforms where you have a presence,” he says. “Whether it’s Instagram, Twitch, Twitter, or YouTube, you can go viral on TikTok and gain thousands of new followers on a second platform at the same time.”

    Most social media users are active on multiple platforms. When someone decides to follow you on one, follow them back—and then follow them on a different app to win their views across social.

    2. Publicize your expertise

    “Thought leadership” is a term often used in the content marketing world to describe content produced by company executives aiming to position themselves as experts in an industry or topic area. It can take myriad forms, but its goal is always to reinforce the credibility of the brands (personal and corporate) that produce and byline it—and it’s typically quite effective. Good news: It can work for you, too.

    While publicists pitch the media, asking journalists to write about their clients, thought leadership lets you become the author of that coverage, not just by publishing your content in traditional outlets but also by publishing it through social media. If you’re an expert at something, let the world know by sharing your knowledge and ideas. Speaking at conferences, serving on boards and interacting with journalists and other influencers in your field of expertise will of course allow you to learn from and teach others, and it will also get you acquainted with people who might be able to help you achieve personal and professional goals. But taking a proactive approach to sharing your expertise on social media shows the world that you’re open to professional interaction and eager to answer questions. Engage in group discussions, provide thoughtful commentary on relevant posts and make an effort to introduce others to helpful resources, and you’ll be surprised by the opportunities that come your way.

    3. Advocate for your organization

    You’re serious about your career, so you want to be taken seriously—whether that’s at your current company or at the one you aspire to join. Your social accounts, when consistently and professionally branded, provide a platform for your company or college to get some free PR, which can help with both sales and recruiting on their end. Plus, by painting your colleagues and cohorts in a positive light, you’ll cement your image as a team player who cares about your organization’s future. That’s something every employer wants to see.

    Doug Wilber, CEO of Gremlin Social (now Denim Social), a social media solution for banks, understands the power of social selling (branded content posted on employee accounts).

    “When employees share their positive work experience on their personal accounts, they become powerful recruiting tools that can draw in potential candidates and increase employee retention,” he says.

    In turn, employees also benefit from brand advocacy. When you have a credible personal brand online, your words carry more weight with potential customers and other external contacts, meaning you’ll likely have more success in your day-to-day role.

    Social media scrolling doesn’t have to be mindless or unproductive. In fact, social platforms give you a way to create and seize opportunities that would have been off-limits just a decade ago. Start with the three strategies above, and you’ll be amazed to see how far your personal brand can reach.

    This article was originally published on Forbes on April 7, 2020.

    Download the Guide

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

    Paid social is one of the most effective ways to introduce people who aren’t yet following your producers, agents, loan officers, or advisors to your financial institution at the right place and the right time.

    Paid social is complementary to organic. While organic social builds first-degree connections and facilitates awareness, engagement, and branding, paid social allows you to reach larger, more tailored audiences.

    BOK Financial is a financial services partner for consumers, businesses and wealth clients with more than 150 users on the Denim Social platform.

    In addition to building brand credibility and establishing loan officer expertise, Denim Social enables their mortgage loan officers to cultivate relationships in social media and organically source leads.

    As financial marketers look to the coming year, most are wondering, “what’s next?” While no one can say for sure, our team of experts here at Denim Social are keeping a pulse on what’s new in digital marketing for financial institutions on social media. This guide will not only educate you on the latest trends, but help you make the case for increased investment in social selling and digital marketing strategies at your institution.

    Whether you’re in banking, wealth management, insurance or mortgage, relationships are the bedrock of your business.

    Considering clients in these industries are handing over the keys to their personal kingdoms, it’s no surprise that trust and connection matter. That’s why successful sales strategies for these industries are focused on building long-term, trusted relationships.

    To truly unleash the potential of social, financial institutions need to use social media as a sales tool. It’s called social selling and it works.

    The power of social media is undeniable. The ability of banks to engage with and influence customers and prospects via interactive digital channels is an essential tool and a cornerstone of marketing. Gone are the days when it was “nice to have” a presence on platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. Today, these pathways are helping banks to build relationships that were historically cultivated by tirelessly walking up and down Main Street, shaking hands and leaving behind business cards.

    In this case study by Denim Social and American Bankers Association, we take a look at how banks are using social media to ramp up digital engagement and build sales.

    As any marketer worth their salt will tell you, analytics should drive your social strategy. The key to success is understanding how to link social media efforts to ROI metrics. Read this guide to learn how to gain insights that matter, optimize your strategy and prove your social success.

    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

    3 Ways To Build A Stronger Personal Brand On Social Media

    Social media can be pretty intimidating for some people—especially those who tend to shun the spotlight and avoid self-promotion.

    That being said, there’s no denying that social platforms can and do allow individuals to build personal brands that afford them greater professional opportunities.

    Having a robust social media presence is an asset to your long-term career growth. In a survey by recruitment platform Tallo, 87% of Gen Z respondents saw the career significance of online personal branding. These competitive young workers and employees-to-be are making it imperative for candidates of any age to up their personal branding game online.

    No matter what career stage you’re in, you can use social media to your advantage to improve your personal brand. Here are three strategies that will help.

    1. Look beyond LinkedIn

    Most people assume that when it comes to career growth, the only social media platform worth spending time on is LinkedIn. This is a myth. While anyone who knows me has heard me tout LinkedIn as a crucial starting point (with over half a billion users worldwide!) there is real power in supplementing it—as long as your image and messaging remain consistent across all platforms and your goals are tailored to what each one does best. For instance, LinkedIn is indeed essential for delivering your digital first impression and expanding your professional network, but Twitter is ideal for sharing content you’ve published and starting a discussion. Should you have a professional presence on every major social platform? It depends on what you’re trying to accomplish.

    Brian Freeman, CEO and founder of microinfluencer platform Heartbeat, believes it’s a mistake to overlook newer, trendy platforms like TikTok if you want to bulk up your audience.

    TikTok makes it easier than any other platform to go viral and gain a new following, then pass that following on to other social media platforms where you have a presence,” he says. “Whether it’s Instagram, Twitch, Twitter, or YouTube, you can go viral on TikTok and gain thousands of new followers on a second platform at the same time.”

    Most social media users are active on multiple platforms. When someone decides to follow you on one, follow them back—and then follow them on a different app to win their views across social.

    2. Publicize your expertise

    “Thought leadership” is a term often used in the content marketing world to describe content produced by company executives aiming to position themselves as experts in an industry or topic area. It can take myriad forms, but its goal is always to reinforce the credibility of the brands (personal and corporate) that produce and byline it—and it’s typically quite effective. Good news: It can work for you, too.

    While publicists pitch the media, asking journalists to write about their clients, thought leadership lets you become the author of that coverage, not just by publishing your content in traditional outlets but also by publishing it through social media. If you’re an expert at something, let the world know by sharing your knowledge and ideas. Speaking at conferences, serving on boards and interacting with journalists and other influencers in your field of expertise will of course allow you to learn from and teach others, and it will also get you acquainted with people who might be able to help you achieve personal and professional goals. But taking a proactive approach to sharing your expertise on social media shows the world that you’re open to professional interaction and eager to answer questions. Engage in group discussions, provide thoughtful commentary on relevant posts and make an effort to introduce others to helpful resources, and you’ll be surprised by the opportunities that come your way.

    3. Advocate for your organization

    You’re serious about your career, so you want to be taken seriously—whether that’s at your current company or at the one you aspire to join. Your social accounts, when consistently and professionally branded, provide a platform for your company or college to get some free PR, which can help with both sales and recruiting on their end. Plus, by painting your colleagues and cohorts in a positive light, you’ll cement your image as a team player who cares about your organization’s future. That’s something every employer wants to see.

    Doug Wilber, CEO of Gremlin Social (now Denim Social), a social media solution for banks, understands the power of social selling (branded content posted on employee accounts).

    “When employees share their positive work experience on their personal accounts, they become powerful recruiting tools that can draw in potential candidates and increase employee retention,” he says.

    In turn, employees also benefit from brand advocacy. When you have a credible personal brand online, your words carry more weight with potential customers and other external contacts, meaning you’ll likely have more success in your day-to-day role.

    Social media scrolling doesn’t have to be mindless or unproductive. In fact, social platforms give you a way to create and seize opportunities that would have been off-limits just a decade ago. Start with the three strategies above, and you’ll be amazed to see how far your personal brand can reach.

    This article was originally published on Forbes on April 7, 2020.

    Download the Guide

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

    Paid social is one of the most effective ways to introduce people who aren’t yet following your producers, agents, loan officers, or advisors to your financial institution at the right place and the right time.

    Paid social is complementary to organic. While organic social builds first-degree connections and facilitates awareness, engagement, and branding, paid social allows you to reach larger, more tailored audiences.

    BOK Financial is a financial services partner for consumers, businesses and wealth clients with more than 150 users on the Denim Social platform.

    In addition to building brand credibility and establishing loan officer expertise, Denim Social enables their mortgage loan officers to cultivate relationships in social media and organically source leads.

    As financial marketers look to the coming year, most are wondering, “what’s next?” While no one can say for sure, our team of experts here at Denim Social are keeping a pulse on what’s new in digital marketing for financial institutions on social media. This guide will not only educate you on the latest trends, but help you make the case for increased investment in social selling and digital marketing strategies at your institution.

    Whether you’re in banking, wealth management, insurance or mortgage, relationships are the bedrock of your business.

    Considering clients in these industries are handing over the keys to their personal kingdoms, it’s no surprise that trust and connection matter. That’s why successful sales strategies for these industries are focused on building long-term, trusted relationships.

    To truly unleash the potential of social, financial institutions need to use social media as a sales tool. It’s called social selling and it works.

    The power of social media is undeniable. The ability of banks to engage with and influence customers and prospects via interactive digital channels is an essential tool and a cornerstone of marketing. Gone are the days when it was “nice to have” a presence on platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. Today, these pathways are helping banks to build relationships that were historically cultivated by tirelessly walking up and down Main Street, shaking hands and leaving behind business cards.

    In this case study by Denim Social and American Bankers Association, we take a look at how banks are using social media to ramp up digital engagement and build sales.

    As any marketer worth their salt will tell you, analytics should drive your social strategy. The key to success is understanding how to link social media efforts to ROI metrics. Read this guide to learn how to gain insights that matter, optimize your strategy and prove your social success.

    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

    3 Ways To Build A Stronger Personal Brand On Social Media

    Social media can be pretty intimidating for some people—especially those who tend to shun the spotlight and avoid self-promotion.

    That being said, there’s no denying that social platforms can and do allow individuals to build personal brands that afford them greater professional opportunities.

    Having a robust social media presence is an asset to your long-term career growth. In a survey by recruitment platform Tallo, 87% of Gen Z respondents saw the career significance of online personal branding. These competitive young workers and employees-to-be are making it imperative for candidates of any age to up their personal branding game online.

    No matter what career stage you’re in, you can use social media to your advantage to improve your personal brand. Here are three strategies that will help.

    1. Look beyond LinkedIn

    Most people assume that when it comes to career growth, the only social media platform worth spending time on is LinkedIn. This is a myth. While anyone who knows me has heard me tout LinkedIn as a crucial starting point (with over half a billion users worldwide!) there is real power in supplementing it—as long as your image and messaging remain consistent across all platforms and your goals are tailored to what each one does best. For instance, LinkedIn is indeed essential for delivering your digital first impression and expanding your professional network, but Twitter is ideal for sharing content you’ve published and starting a discussion. Should you have a professional presence on every major social platform? It depends on what you’re trying to accomplish.

    Brian Freeman, CEO and founder of microinfluencer platform Heartbeat, believes it’s a mistake to overlook newer, trendy platforms like TikTok if you want to bulk up your audience.

    TikTok makes it easier than any other platform to go viral and gain a new following, then pass that following on to other social media platforms where you have a presence,” he says. “Whether it’s Instagram, Twitch, Twitter, or YouTube, you can go viral on TikTok and gain thousands of new followers on a second platform at the same time.”

    Most social media users are active on multiple platforms. When someone decides to follow you on one, follow them back—and then follow them on a different app to win their views across social.

    2. Publicize your expertise

    “Thought leadership” is a term often used in the content marketing world to describe content produced by company executives aiming to position themselves as experts in an industry or topic area. It can take myriad forms, but its goal is always to reinforce the credibility of the brands (personal and corporate) that produce and byline it—and it’s typically quite effective. Good news: It can work for you, too.

    While publicists pitch the media, asking journalists to write about their clients, thought leadership lets you become the author of that coverage, not just by publishing your content in traditional outlets but also by publishing it through social media. If you’re an expert at something, let the world know by sharing your knowledge and ideas. Speaking at conferences, serving on boards and interacting with journalists and other influencers in your field of expertise will of course allow you to learn from and teach others, and it will also get you acquainted with people who might be able to help you achieve personal and professional goals. But taking a proactive approach to sharing your expertise on social media shows the world that you’re open to professional interaction and eager to answer questions. Engage in group discussions, provide thoughtful commentary on relevant posts and make an effort to introduce others to helpful resources, and you’ll be surprised by the opportunities that come your way.

    3. Advocate for your organization

    You’re serious about your career, so you want to be taken seriously—whether that’s at your current company or at the one you aspire to join. Your social accounts, when consistently and professionally branded, provide a platform for your company or college to get some free PR, which can help with both sales and recruiting on their end. Plus, by painting your colleagues and cohorts in a positive light, you’ll cement your image as a team player who cares about your organization’s future. That’s something every employer wants to see.

    Doug Wilber, CEO of Gremlin Social (now Denim Social), a social media solution for banks, understands the power of social selling (branded content posted on employee accounts).

    “When employees share their positive work experience on their personal accounts, they become powerful recruiting tools that can draw in potential candidates and increase employee retention,” he says.

    In turn, employees also benefit from brand advocacy. When you have a credible personal brand online, your words carry more weight with potential customers and other external contacts, meaning you’ll likely have more success in your day-to-day role.

    Social media scrolling doesn’t have to be mindless or unproductive. In fact, social platforms give you a way to create and seize opportunities that would have been off-limits just a decade ago. Start with the three strategies above, and you’ll be amazed to see how far your personal brand can reach.

    This article was originally published on Forbes on April 7, 2020.

    Download the Guide

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

    Paid social is one of the most effective ways to introduce people who aren’t yet following your producers, agents, loan officers, or advisors to your financial institution at the right place and the right time.

    Paid social is complementary to organic. While organic social builds first-degree connections and facilitates awareness, engagement, and branding, paid social allows you to reach larger, more tailored audiences.

    BOK Financial is a financial services partner for consumers, businesses and wealth clients with more than 150 users on the Denim Social platform.

    In addition to building brand credibility and establishing loan officer expertise, Denim Social enables their mortgage loan officers to cultivate relationships in social media and organically source leads.

    As financial marketers look to the coming year, most are wondering, “what’s next?” While no one can say for sure, our team of experts here at Denim Social are keeping a pulse on what’s new in digital marketing for financial institutions on social media. This guide will not only educate you on the latest trends, but help you make the case for increased investment in social selling and digital marketing strategies at your institution.

    Whether you’re in banking, wealth management, insurance or mortgage, relationships are the bedrock of your business.

    Considering clients in these industries are handing over the keys to their personal kingdoms, it’s no surprise that trust and connection matter. That’s why successful sales strategies for these industries are focused on building long-term, trusted relationships.

    To truly unleash the potential of social, financial institutions need to use social media as a sales tool. It’s called social selling and it works.

    The power of social media is undeniable. The ability of banks to engage with and influence customers and prospects via interactive digital channels is an essential tool and a cornerstone of marketing. Gone are the days when it was “nice to have” a presence on platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. Today, these pathways are helping banks to build relationships that were historically cultivated by tirelessly walking up and down Main Street, shaking hands and leaving behind business cards.

    In this case study by Denim Social and American Bankers Association, we take a look at how banks are using social media to ramp up digital engagement and build sales.

    As any marketer worth their salt will tell you, analytics should drive your social strategy. The key to success is understanding how to link social media efforts to ROI metrics. Read this guide to learn how to gain insights that matter, optimize your strategy and prove your social success.

    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
    June 23, 2020

    3 Ways To Build A Stronger Personal Brand On Social Media

    Social media can be pretty intimidating for some people—especially those who tend to shun the spotlight and avoid self-promotion.

    That being said, there’s no denying that social platforms can and do allow individuals to build personal brands that afford them greater professional opportunities.

    Having a robust social media presence is an asset to your long-term career growth. In a survey by recruitment platform Tallo, 87% of Gen Z respondents saw the career significance of online personal branding. These competitive young workers and employees-to-be are making it imperative for candidates of any age to up their personal branding game online.

    No matter what career stage you’re in, you can use social media to your advantage to improve your personal brand. Here are three strategies that will help.

    1. Look beyond LinkedIn

    Most people assume that when it comes to career growth, the only social media platform worth spending time on is LinkedIn. This is a myth. While anyone who knows me has heard me tout LinkedIn as a crucial starting point (with over half a billion users worldwide!) there is real power in supplementing it—as long as your image and messaging remain consistent across all platforms and your goals are tailored to what each one does best. For instance, LinkedIn is indeed essential for delivering your digital first impression and expanding your professional network, but Twitter is ideal for sharing content you’ve published and starting a discussion. Should you have a professional presence on every major social platform? It depends on what you’re trying to accomplish.

    Brian Freeman, CEO and founder of microinfluencer platform Heartbeat, believes it’s a mistake to overlook newer, trendy platforms like TikTok if you want to bulk up your audience.

    TikTok makes it easier than any other platform to go viral and gain a new following, then pass that following on to other social media platforms where you have a presence,” he says. “Whether it’s Instagram, Twitch, Twitter, or YouTube, you can go viral on TikTok and gain thousands of new followers on a second platform at the same time.”

    Most social media users are active on multiple platforms. When someone decides to follow you on one, follow them back—and then follow them on a different app to win their views across social.

    2. Publicize your expertise

    “Thought leadership” is a term often used in the content marketing world to describe content produced by company executives aiming to position themselves as experts in an industry or topic area. It can take myriad forms, but its goal is always to reinforce the credibility of the brands (personal and corporate) that produce and byline it—and it’s typically quite effective. Good news: It can work for you, too.

    While publicists pitch the media, asking journalists to write about their clients, thought leadership lets you become the author of that coverage, not just by publishing your content in traditional outlets but also by publishing it through social media. If you’re an expert at something, let the world know by sharing your knowledge and ideas. Speaking at conferences, serving on boards and interacting with journalists and other influencers in your field of expertise will of course allow you to learn from and teach others, and it will also get you acquainted with people who might be able to help you achieve personal and professional goals. But taking a proactive approach to sharing your expertise on social media shows the world that you’re open to professional interaction and eager to answer questions. Engage in group discussions, provide thoughtful commentary on relevant posts and make an effort to introduce others to helpful resources, and you’ll be surprised by the opportunities that come your way.

    3. Advocate for your organization

    You’re serious about your career, so you want to be taken seriously—whether that’s at your current company or at the one you aspire to join. Your social accounts, when consistently and professionally branded, provide a platform for your company or college to get some free PR, which can help with both sales and recruiting on their end. Plus, by painting your colleagues and cohorts in a positive light, you’ll cement your image as a team player who cares about your organization’s future. That’s something every employer wants to see.

    Doug Wilber, CEO of Gremlin Social (now Denim Social), a social media solution for banks, understands the power of social selling (branded content posted on employee accounts).

    “When employees share their positive work experience on their personal accounts, they become powerful recruiting tools that can draw in potential candidates and increase employee retention,” he says.

    In turn, employees also benefit from brand advocacy. When you have a credible personal brand online, your words carry more weight with potential customers and other external contacts, meaning you’ll likely have more success in your day-to-day role.

    Social media scrolling doesn’t have to be mindless or unproductive. In fact, social platforms give you a way to create and seize opportunities that would have been off-limits just a decade ago. Start with the three strategies above, and you’ll be amazed to see how far your personal brand can reach.

    This article was originally published on Forbes on April 7, 2020.

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    OTHER NEWS:

    With inflation still looming, clients and prospects remain cautious about spending and investments. This is especially evident in how today’s investors choose which financial advisors to work with (and how your brand acquires new prospects). As clients’ financials become even more vulnerable during market volatility, they need to know that their financial advisors are ready to build plans to help them meet their financial goals.

    Current and potential investors are looking for trustworthy advice—and building strong relationships is key to that. To truly cultivate financial advisor and client relationships that will lead to client acquisition and retention, bank financial advisors can be very effective through social selling.

    The importance of social selling for financial advisors

    Social selling is precisely 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 clients and ultimately build trust and rapport that will eventually lead to more accounts opened.

    It’s understandable that people might feel afraid and confused during market volatility, which is what makes social selling a critical trust-building opportunity. With social selling, financial advisors meet investors online in meaningful ways.

    Marketers now recognize the modern power of social media, and in today’s market your financial advisors can use social to reassure clients. When 73 percent of clients who work with financial advisors feel more prepared for a recession, it’s essential that financial brands proactively discuss the value of advice. But to do that successfully, advisors need to be at the center of the conversation.

    However, a social media brand presence does not equal a solid social selling strategy. You need your advisors to meet prospects throughout the buying journey, which requires investing in comprehensive social selling campaigns to connect with investors and build trust. When deciding who handles their investments, people don’t choose institutions; they choose people. So, help your advisors build those relationships online.

    How to build trust with potential clients using social selling

    This should go without saying, but prospective clients are already getting financial advice on social media. In fact, Gen Z is five times more likely to get financial advice on social media channels than people age 41 and over.

    To stay visible and competitive, your brand’s financial advisors can use social selling to become financial micro-influencers in their local communities. At its core, social selling is about the human element of one person’s relationship with another. Not just client to bank.

    Here are four ways to empower financial advisors to build impactful relationships with clients and new prospects:

    1. Post consistently

    If an advisor is new to using social selling, don’t worry. The first key to using social media to build trust and relationships is simple: consistency. Advisors should post often to stay top-of-mind with investors and build algorithmic preference. Consistency ensures that advisors are providing value to clients and prospects on a regular basis.

    And remember, every post counts. Not every post will get the engagement marketers hope for (or even the same amount), but each post should feel intentional and authentic to the advisors publishing it. Also, when your advisors post, they need to make sure there is a goal and specific audience for each one.

    2. Upload quality content to favor the algorithm

    Consistent posts are crucial, but you also have to ensure that advisors are posting high-quality content. One hot tip is to include a video or image (social media posts with images tend to garner more engagement). Also schedule posts for the ideal time for target audiences. After all, it doesn’t matter how great a post looks if no one sees it.

    Marketing teams can also help intermediaries craft copy that opens the door to conversations with their audiences, such as asking open-ended questions, soliciting responses, or featuring polls that can be answered on the spot. Social posts are at the top of any new client’s journey, so helping your social sellers craft posts with interactive elements will lead to more engagement and conversions.

    3. Source content from trusted third parties

    To facilitate advisors’ trust-building with clients and prospects, it is critical to ensure they only share information from credible third-party sources. There’s a lot of bad financial advice and misinformation out there. If the audience suspects that an advisor is full of baloney, the brand risks losing a lot of trust.

    Social content libraries can help ensure social sellers have access to trustworthy, fact-checked third-party content. It’s essential that financial advisors add personal commentary to make third-party content more authentic and personable.

    4. Encourage authenticity

    It seems simple to say, but trust hinges on authentic relationships. Today’s investors want to work with real people who connect with them on a human level. That’s why it’s so important to instruct and encourage advisors to be themselves when social selling. Suggest that they put some of their personality into their social selling posts, talk about things that are important to them, or ask their networks questions. (If this keeps you up at night from a risk perspective, know that approval tools can help ensure compliance.)

    When people interact with your advisors through social selling, they’ll see how much reliable value those advisors provide to their lives and will be more likely to trust your brand with their livelihoods. Authenticity is even more crucial when it comes to attracting prospects at the top of the funnel who haven’t gotten the chance to meet (and befriend) advisors yet.

    While the current economic climate poses many potential challenges, remember that gaining and keeping investors’ trust is the key to acquiring and retaining clients (even in tough times). Lean on social selling to tell the bank brand’s story, build thought leadership online for intermediaries, and gain more followers who convert into new clients. Let them get to know your institution and your intermediaries, and they’ll want to work with you, too.

    *This article was originally published in ABA Banking Journal.

    There’s no doubt about it: Firms that prioritize digital connections with clients are the ones who will succeed in the future. 

    I was thrilled to speak at this year’s SIFMA Social Media & Digital Marketing Seminar. From compliance pros to financial advisors, we were all there to learn more about digital transformation and what’s next for the client experience. I was there to speak, sure, but I most enjoyed listening to how financial services leaders are navigating the real-world digital challenges and building strategies that enable their institutions to thrive.  The common thread in every discussion was there – relationships will always be the top priority for firms and advisors.  

    Here are a few other key trends I saw emerge from the discussions: 

    1. Social media is an integral part of digital transformation. As the industry undergoes massive digital transformation, social media will continue to play an important role in the client experience. For industries that go to market through intermediaries, it’s an essential communications channel. Helping your team understand the importance of social media and its value in creating real business results should be a pillar in a more robust digital transformation. .
    2. Education and training are necessary for advisor success. While most financial advisors see the power of social, they need support from marketing teams to be successful. From content resources to functional training, advisors are hungry for marketing guidance to optimize their strategies. 
    3. Compliance and marketing have to work together. Teams need to work for, not against, one another in order to be successful in any social media or digital marketing strategy. There will always be risk for financial services providers sharing information online, but with a coordinated approach, marketers can be confident that anything being shared is approved. 

    The future of the industry is bright and digital transformation offers the opportunity to reach even more potential clients. Marketers can use the power of social media to support advisors and provide clients an experience that converts. Denim Social can help institutions with tools and resources to make building those meaningful relationships easy. See how social selling works in our Social Selling Guidebook for Financial Institutions

    Personalization isn’t new to marketing. The process of connecting with customers has been moving in that direction for years, and for good reason. One survey found that 80% of respondents would be more likely to do business with companies that offered personalized experiences. But it seems many financial institutions haven’t yet gotten the news.

    If you dig through the numbers, you’ll find that personalization applies to the financial industry. In fact, 72% of consumers rate personalization as highly important in finance. They value text alerts, customized tasks and opportunities to transact more efficiently. They also want digitally driven features that save them time with routine tasks and the ability to track multiple accounts using a single dashboard.

    Financial marketers’ job is figuring out how to use personalization to gain (and retain) customers — and how to get leadership to buy in. It’s an easy sell: Personalization enhances the customer experience and also helps teams use social media marketing budgets more efficiently.

    But financial marketers are often up against a knowledge gap. Senior management doesn’t always understand a digital-first strategy focused on personalization. Financial institutions historically aren’t known to be early adopters or quick to change, which can leave marketers spending years advocating for updates.

    The question is, how exactly do you get buy-in from leadership to start personalizing and investing more money for social media marketing. The following strategies can help you get started:

    Target the right people: Social media marketing is about identifying target audiences and catering strategies accordingly. The same applies when securing your social media marketing budget. When looking for buy-in, target those on the leadership team who are likely to understand what excellence in personalization looks like.

    Great personalization is omnichannel; it engages consumers on the channels of their choice and it’s deeply human. To humanize marketing beyond the brand level, financial institutions need to reach out to leaders who would be open to highly personalized tactics such as social selling, which puts employees and producers on the frontlines to build relationships for the brand.

    Craft the right message: Messaging is critical in marketing — and that goes double for selling the idea of a more personalized social strategy. Your message needs to resonate with your audience, even if your audience is one decision-maker. Link everything back to ROI by explaining that customers weigh bank reputation and online presence when deciding among financial institutions.

    Be prepared to explain how you’ll track and increase customer conversion metrics through your campaigns. When arguing for more money toward paid social media advertising, for example, you’ll want to explain how it can boost conversion rates, meaning more customers (and revenue) coming in from your ads. Framing your message in business terms will help you advocate for funds to support personalization at scale.

    Present the right data: Use compelling data to bring your message home. With 75% of B2B buyers using social media to make buying decisions, social selling is powerful for attracting new customers. But it’s important to understand whether your customers want to talk to your brand. Your audience is likely more comfortable engaging with brand intermediaries instead; people buy from other people.

    That’s why so many financial institutions find it valuable to launch social selling programs that position agents, advisors and loan officers to build customer relationships. Social media is thick with prospects, as 54% today use social networks to conduct product research. Your team can capture prospects where they are with the right strategies, processes and technology.

    Decide the right timing: The time to start advocating for personalization is now. Approach leadership about earmarking money for personalization in the budget for social media marketing.

    Remember that most financial institutions establish their fiscal budgets for the year and often don’t revisit those budgets for another year. 41% of marketing budgets are based on the previous year, with only 10% revisited quarterly, meaning you should plan ahead for social initiatives that might take more money down the line. You likely won’t get another chance to advocate for that money once the budget is set.

    Personalized relationships matter, and it’s time to make the case for an expanded marketing budget to support better personalization. With any marketing strategy, you want to approach the right audience with the right message at the right time. Then, with funds secured, your team can get to the exciting part: attracting prospects with education, keeping customers engaged with personalized messaging, and driving bottom-line impacts.

    *This article was originally published in BAI.

    With a less than rosy outlook, it’s essential that every mortgage loan officer maintain an edge on the competition. The marketing tactics of the past may not be successful when there are fewer buyers in the pool of prospects. Now is the time to be more strategic and paid social advertising can help loan officers make the most of every marketing penny.

    One-third of internet users find new products and brands through paid ads. That’s a lot of opportunity. Paid social is one of the most effective ways to introduce people who aren’t yet following your loan officers to your financial institution at the right place and the right time.

    Let’s start with some good news. Although paid social media may feel intimating, if you’re already doing organic social media, you’re off to a great start. But if you’re not using paid social advertising, you’re missing out. Here are three reasons to add it to your marketing strategy:  

    1. Understand what’s working in social media

    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 and make improvements for the future. A/B testing helps you isolate what elements of your ads need to change by showing what resonates and what doesn’t. This means you’ll never waste a dollar on the wrong creative or message.

    Think about it this way, does a billboard ever provide performance data? Didn’t think so.

    Further, paid social media insights can even be applied to your organic social media strategy. Did a paid post have unexpectedly high engagement? Use it as a blueprint to try to isolate why. As you see what’s performing, invest more dollars into posts that convert while cutting or changing content that doesn’t.

    2. Reach new audiences

    Another reason paid social is so important is that organic content only reaches an average of 2.2% of followers of social media platforms. But this doesn’t mean it’s time to ditch organic social media and put all your eggs in the paid basket.

    Paid social is complementary to organic. While organic social builds first-degree connections and facilitates awareness, engagement, and branding, paid social allows you to reach larger, more tailored audiences.

    Both organic and paid social media can help increase your reach on social media, and it starts with activating loan officers. A social selling approach can increase your results tenfold and drive higher engagement. Paid social then supercharges your social strategy and helps you reach new prospects.

    Complementary paid advertising, breaks through a loan officer’s first-degree social connections to reach second- and third-degree connections, who will include important professional referral sources.

    3. Drive leads into conversions.

    Don’t let your marketing funnel lead to dead ends. Make sure loan officers are linking back to a website or other relevant brand content. Paid social media ads can generate leads by offering call-to-action options that get attention and clicks.

    With the right technology, clicks on social media ads can trigger a loan officer’s CRM. That’s warm leads in their inbox.

    With spring buying season on the horizon, now’s the right time to start formulating a plan to differentiate. Paid social media advertising can give loan officers a leg up on the competition. Ready to learn how to start? Check out Denim Social’s guidebook, Getting Started with Paid Social Media Advertising for Financial Institutions.

    *This article was originally published in MBA Newslink.

    People buy from people. It’s an old adage in business that still holds true today: Trust and relationships are the bedrock of insurance. A deeper agent-customer relationship means more products sold over a longer period. It’s crucial to understand that trust extends to the world of digital, especially social media.

    In today’s environment, it’s not enough to release content from your carrier’s social accounts and hope that consumers will connect with it. Your strategy needs to include agents, the advisors building customer relationships in their communities. Enabling agents to leverage social media to engage and form bonds with existing and potential customers opens the door to agent-centered digital sales. As part of a bigger digital strategy, a social selling program for intermediaries helps establish their presence within the digital landscape, showcasing thought leadership, building relationships, and ultimately growing business.

    Why Is Social Selling Important for Building Trust in Insurance?

    As digitization continues to be a hot topic, one thing has remained steady: the agent’s role. Although many customers are accustomed to buying auto coverage online, for example, that isn’t the case as their needs mature. Just because a customer is digital-first doesn’t mean they don’t want human guidance, especially when protecting their futures.

    Social selling is a powerful addition to an agent’s toolbox (and your marketing toolbox!). After all, most consumers spend roughly two and a half hours online daily. So, agents who engage their online networks through social media are more likely to expand their prospect and customer relationships.

    However, it’s not enough to show up in digital spaces. “Being there” is a great first step but doesn’t ramp up trust-building in a systematic, measurable way. Instead, you need to establish digital marketing strategies that lean on social media and social selling as powerful sales tools (which they are!).

    Here are some key steps:

    1. Identify your agents’ social maturity.

    There will always be varying levels of social media experience from the agent perspective. From naysayers to dabblers to experts, evaluating and segmenting your agent group is critical before constructing a social selling program.

    The agents most comfortable and active on social media often become early adopters and champions of internal social selling programs and digital marketing strategies. With some education and profile optimization, this elite team is an incredible tool for securing more buy-in. Getting them started on social selling before their peers allows them to gain experience with the process, build interest, and better advocate for the strategy.

    2. Educate agents on the value of social media as a sales tool.

    Agents might assume that because they have social accounts for their business, they must be social selling. They’re not. Social selling is much more than “keeping up” a social media account. It’s consistently posting organic content, strategically weaving in paid advertising, and engaging with an audience. Just like in-person relationship building, the value comes in the conversations and connections. Agents should continually engage and turn those conversations into digital-first relationships to grow their business.

    It’s worth the effort to teach your agents about the unique benefits social selling can bring to their roles. Patience and demonstrating value are key. One way to demonstrate that value is by sharing a striking social selling statistic: 80% of salespeople who hit at least 150% of their goals say they’ve leveraged technology consistently to connect with consumers. That statistic is hard for ambitious, high-performing agents to ignore. More agents will be willing to get on board with social selling when they believe it can directly affect their paycheck, promotions, and commissions. (And it can!)

    3. Invest in a comprehensive social selling platform.

    Social selling at scale can seem overwhelming for even the most seasoned leaders. Understanding that not all social media management tools are created equal is the best place to start. Finding a platform dedicated to social selling, especially one that’s industry-specific, is key.

    A solid social selling tool should do several things. It should enable a small and mighty team of marketers to manage a robust content library, analyze the broader story of the value of agent social selling, and monitor and archive from a compliance and regulatory perspective. Most of all, it needs to be easy for agents to use.

    After choosing a social selling platform that does all these things, it’s good to run some test drives with your expert social media users (the agents who were first identified as being active on social media). Beginning with a concentrated group of agents allows everyone involved to learn the social selling tool’s nuances before scaling. After the initial user group is up and running, it’s easy to fold more agents into the process.

    4. Collect data and optimize over time.

    Getting your agents to believe in social media as a powerful relationship-building tool is the foundation of any successful social selling program. Building a content library to help position them as thought leaders within their social networks is the next layer. Once agents have adopted the concept of social selling and are posting regularly, you can establish benchmarks for what social selling means for your organization.

    It’s important to track social selling like any other marketing or sales program. You can set general KPIs to start, such as agent adoption, basic content usage, and engagement. More KPIs can be added to the mix later, such as return on ad spend and leads generated.

    Finally, it’s essential to make sure agents know social selling is a slow-and-steady process. The power of social selling grows over time — the way trust and good relationships do. When done correctly and patiently, it can move the sales needle in trackable ways.

    Whether in person or online, consumers will always value the guidance of a trusted advisor. Building that trust and providing value through an effective social selling strategy with the above steps is crucial to establishing your agents’ positions within the digital landscape. Some things change in business, but others never do: “People buy from people” will always be true.

    *This article was originally published in Digital Insurance.

    Next year’s marketing budget” has quickly become “this year’s marketing budget.” How you allocate your dollars could mean the difference between a record-breaking 2023 or one to forget.

    No pressure. Social media can help you reach your marketing goals, but an organic-only strategy is a recipe for under-performance, considering organic content alone only has a 2.2 percent reach on Facebook, 5.3 percent on LinkedIn, and 9.4 percent on Instagram. To crush social media goals this year, your team needs to invest in paid social media advertising.

    Determining where to earmark money has always been a challenge for marketers. In a digital world, it’s even more complex because there are so many avenues to take, including both organic content and paid advertising. Don’t overlook either, yet it is important to ensure that your marketing budget breakdown is designed to help you meet (and exceed) your goals.

    Here are five tips for bank marketing teams to make the most of paid social media advertising in 2023.

    1. Expand your social platform mix

    Generation Z is moving deeper into adulthood and significant financial events, such as snagging full-time employment, buying cars, and purchasing homes. With this in mind, your digital advertising content needs to be where young people “live” online. Here’s a hint: They don’t live on Facebook.

    That doesn’t mean you should abandon your Facebook page—far from it. Your Facebook business page is where you’ll connect with consumers from older generations and drive engagement with customer support and personable branded content. Your social sellers are just as valuable on Facebook, too, when their posts are targeted toward the needs of older consumers.

    To get the most out of your strategy, you need to use a mix of channels for organic and paid advertising. An excellent way to determine which platforms to try first is to research your competitors. Find out where they’re making inroads and seem to be outshining your brand, then use those insights to drive growth in the areas where you want to be more competitive. We’re seeing more and more brands have success with Instagram. This might be your year to expand.

    2. Incorporate short-form videos into your social content

    From YouTube to Instagram, algorithm-driven, short-form video content will conquer all else in 2023. Almost half of Gen Z uses video sites, such as TikTok and YouTube, to search before Google. Video posts rank higher in searches, keep viewers connected with your posts longer and give you opportunities to humanize your brand while advertising. If you haven’t folded video into your bank’s paid advertising strategy, you need to explore its power sooner rather than later. Remember, though, that consumers no longer gravitate toward long-form content. They like “snackable” videos, such as Instagram Reels.

    Of course, not all content has to be released in a video format. Aim for a mixture of video, image, interactive and text formats when you post. Then, track to see which type of content drives the highest metrics for target audiences. As you become more confident in social video advertising, you should see a boost in responses.

    3. Think beyond brand advertising with social selling

    Building strong, trusting relationships with customers is the foundation of financial marketing. Now is the time to take advantage of social selling. Put simply, social selling is the practice of using associates to post authentic content, humanizing your brand and leveraging their personal networks to form stronger connections with customers.

    A successful social selling program involves intermediary-led organic social media publishing, but that shouldn’t be the only angle. Organic content helps cultivate richness and authenticity for the bank brand, but it doesn’t provide value for people who don’t know anything about your institution. A paid social selling strategy is an effective way to get in front of customers you haven’t met and who might not be following your social sellers yet. Organic social strategies build first-degree connections and engagement, while paid strategies provide wider reach and tailored audiences.

    These two symbiotic strategies can have a significant effect on ROI in financial services marketing. According to LinkedIn, employees who regularly share content are 45 percent more likely to exceed their quotas, and their companies are 57 percent likelier to generate leads. Which is nothing to scoff at.

    4. Experiment with ways to personalize your customer interactions

    Paid advertising allows you to do more than just show ads to potential customers;. It also provides a level of personalization that’s hard to attain in organic posts. Whether you’re greeting them by name or collecting location data to recommend a specific bank branch near them, one in seven customers wants their engagements with financial institutions to feel personalized.

    How can bank marketers ensure their paid social advertising feels more personalized and genuine? One solution is through highly targeted ads and corresponding landing pages. The more paid advertising content is targeted, the more pertinent and customized it will seem to readers. And remember, the right tech stack platform and tool can help you automate without overspending, so you don’t have to waste staff time and energy on routine tasks.

    5. Double down on re-targeting

    Privacy laws are moving toward limiting the use of third-party cookies, but you can still re-target ads via popular social media networks. Re-targeting lets you stay in front of a prospect or customer throughout their entire digital journey. With the right content and calls to action, you can drive more traffic back to your bank’s landing pages—and drive new leads into your pipeline.

    The conversion rates and ROI of comprehensive re-targeting campaigns can be major. Compared to basic social paid advertising, re-targeting your ads can give you a considerable boost.

    Juggling marketing budget allocation from year to year can feel overwhelming. Nevertheless, it is important to determine where to place resources to get the highest possible ROI across the board. Banks benefit when their advertising strategies include investment in expanding social platform presence, incorporating videos into  content, adding social selling to your lineup, personalizing customer interactions and leveraging re-targeting options.

    *This article was originally published in ABA Bank Marketing Journal.

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    June 23, 2020

    3 Ways To Build A Stronger Personal Brand On Social Media

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    Social media can be pretty intimidating for some people—especially those who tend to shun the spotlight and avoid self-promotion.

    That being said, there’s no denying that social platforms can and do allow individuals to build personal brands that afford them greater professional opportunities.

    Having a robust social media presence is an asset to your long-term career growth. In a survey by recruitment platform Tallo, 87% of Gen Z respondents saw the career significance of online personal branding. These competitive young workers and employees-to-be are making it imperative for candidates of any age to up their personal branding game online.

    No matter what career stage you’re in, you can use social media to your advantage to improve your personal brand. Here are three strategies that will help.

    1. Look beyond LinkedIn

    Most people assume that when it comes to career growth, the only social media platform worth spending time on is LinkedIn. This is a myth. While anyone who knows me has heard me tout LinkedIn as a crucial starting point (with over half a billion users worldwide!) there is real power in supplementing it—as long as your image and messaging remain consistent across all platforms and your goals are tailored to what each one does best. For instance, LinkedIn is indeed essential for delivering your digital first impression and expanding your professional network, but Twitter is ideal for sharing content you’ve published and starting a discussion. Should you have a professional presence on every major social platform? It depends on what you’re trying to accomplish.

    Brian Freeman, CEO and founder of microinfluencer platform Heartbeat, believes it’s a mistake to overlook newer, trendy platforms like TikTok if you want to bulk up your audience.

    TikTok makes it easier than any other platform to go viral and gain a new following, then pass that following on to other social media platforms where you have a presence,” he says. “Whether it’s Instagram, Twitch, Twitter, or YouTube, you can go viral on TikTok and gain thousands of new followers on a second platform at the same time.”

    Most social media users are active on multiple platforms. When someone decides to follow you on one, follow them back—and then follow them on a different app to win their views across social.

    2. Publicize your expertise

    “Thought leadership” is a term often used in the content marketing world to describe content produced by company executives aiming to position themselves as experts in an industry or topic area. It can take myriad forms, but its goal is always to reinforce the credibility of the brands (personal and corporate) that produce and byline it—and it’s typically quite effective. Good news: It can work for you, too.

    While publicists pitch the media, asking journalists to write about their clients, thought leadership lets you become the author of that coverage, not just by publishing your content in traditional outlets but also by publishing it through social media. If you’re an expert at something, let the world know by sharing your knowledge and ideas. Speaking at conferences, serving on boards and interacting with journalists and other influencers in your field of expertise will of course allow you to learn from and teach others, and it will also get you acquainted with people who might be able to help you achieve personal and professional goals. But taking a proactive approach to sharing your expertise on social media shows the world that you’re open to professional interaction and eager to answer questions. Engage in group discussions, provide thoughtful commentary on relevant posts and make an effort to introduce others to helpful resources, and you’ll be surprised by the opportunities that come your way.

    3. Advocate for your organization

    You’re serious about your career, so you want to be taken seriously—whether that’s at your current company or at the one you aspire to join. Your social accounts, when consistently and professionally branded, provide a platform for your company or college to get some free PR, which can help with both sales and recruiting on their end. Plus, by painting your colleagues and cohorts in a positive light, you’ll cement your image as a team player who cares about your organization’s future. That’s something every employer wants to see.

    Doug Wilber, CEO of Gremlin Social (now Denim Social), a social media solution for banks, understands the power of social selling (branded content posted on employee accounts).

    “When employees share their positive work experience on their personal accounts, they become powerful recruiting tools that can draw in potential candidates and increase employee retention,” he says.

    In turn, employees also benefit from brand advocacy. When you have a credible personal brand online, your words carry more weight with potential customers and other external contacts, meaning you’ll likely have more success in your day-to-day role.

    Social media scrolling doesn’t have to be mindless or unproductive. In fact, social platforms give you a way to create and seize opportunities that would have been off-limits just a decade ago. Start with the three strategies above, and you’ll be amazed to see how far your personal brand can reach.

    This article was originally published on Forbes on April 7, 2020.

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    With inflation still looming, clients and prospects remain cautious about spending and investments. This is especially evident in how today’s investors choose which financial advisors to work with (and how your brand acquires new prospects). As clients’ financials become even more vulnerable during market volatility, they need to know that their financial advisors are ready to build plans to help them meet their financial goals.

    Current and potential investors are looking for trustworthy advice—and building strong relationships is key to that. To truly cultivate financial advisor and client relationships that will lead to client acquisition and retention, bank financial advisors can be very effective through social selling.

    The importance of social selling for financial advisors

    Social selling is precisely 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 clients and ultimately build trust and rapport that will eventually lead to more accounts opened.

    It’s understandable that people might feel afraid and confused during market volatility, which is what makes social selling a critical trust-building opportunity. With social selling, financial advisors meet investors online in meaningful ways.

    Marketers now recognize the modern power of social media, and in today’s market your financial advisors can use social to reassure clients. When 73 percent of clients who work with financial advisors feel more prepared for a recession, it’s essential that financial brands proactively discuss the value of advice. But to do that successfully, advisors need to be at the center of the conversation.

    However, a social media brand presence does not equal a solid social selling strategy. You need your advisors to meet prospects throughout the buying journey, which requires investing in comprehensive social selling campaigns to connect with investors and build trust. When deciding who handles their investments, people don’t choose institutions; they choose people. So, help your advisors build those relationships online.

    How to build trust with potential clients using social selling

    This should go without saying, but prospective clients are already getting financial advice on social media. In fact, Gen Z is five times more likely to get financial advice on social media channels than people age 41 and over.

    To stay visible and competitive, your brand’s financial advisors can use social selling to become financial micro-influencers in their local communities. At its core, social selling is about the human element of one person’s relationship with another. Not just client to bank.

    Here are four ways to empower financial advisors to build impactful relationships with clients and new prospects:

    1. Post consistently

    If an advisor is new to using social selling, don’t worry. The first key to using social media to build trust and relationships is simple: consistency. Advisors should post often to stay top-of-mind with investors and build algorithmic preference. Consistency ensures that advisors are providing value to clients and prospects on a regular basis.

    And remember, every post counts. Not every post will get the engagement marketers hope for (or even the same amount), but each post should feel intentional and authentic to the advisors publishing it. Also, when your advisors post, they need to make sure there is a goal and specific audience for each one.

    2. Upload quality content to favor the algorithm

    Consistent posts are crucial, but you also have to ensure that advisors are posting high-quality content. One hot tip is to include a video or image (social media posts with images tend to garner more engagement). Also schedule posts for the ideal time for target audiences. After all, it doesn’t matter how great a post looks if no one sees it.

    Marketing teams can also help intermediaries craft copy that opens the door to conversations with their audiences, such as asking open-ended questions, soliciting responses, or featuring polls that can be answered on the spot. Social posts are at the top of any new client’s journey, so helping your social sellers craft posts with interactive elements will lead to more engagement and conversions.

    3. Source content from trusted third parties

    To facilitate advisors’ trust-building with clients and prospects, it is critical to ensure they only share information from credible third-party sources. There’s a lot of bad financial advice and misinformation out there. If the audience suspects that an advisor is full of baloney, the brand risks losing a lot of trust.

    Social content libraries can help ensure social sellers have access to trustworthy, fact-checked third-party content. It’s essential that financial advisors add personal commentary to make third-party content more authentic and personable.

    4. Encourage authenticity

    It seems simple to say, but trust hinges on authentic relationships. Today’s investors want to work with real people who connect with them on a human level. That’s why it’s so important to instruct and encourage advisors to be themselves when social selling. Suggest that they put some of their personality into their social selling posts, talk about things that are important to them, or ask their networks questions. (If this keeps you up at night from a risk perspective, know that approval tools can help ensure compliance.)

    When people interact with your advisors through social selling, they’ll see how much reliable value those advisors provide to their lives and will be more likely to trust your brand with their livelihoods. Authenticity is even more crucial when it comes to attracting prospects at the top of the funnel who haven’t gotten the chance to meet (and befriend) advisors yet.

    While the current economic climate poses many potential challenges, remember that gaining and keeping investors’ trust is the key to acquiring and retaining clients (even in tough times). Lean on social selling to tell the bank brand’s story, build thought leadership online for intermediaries, and gain more followers who convert into new clients. Let them get to know your institution and your intermediaries, and they’ll want to work with you, too.

    *This article was originally published in ABA Banking Journal.

    There’s no doubt about it: Firms that prioritize digital connections with clients are the ones who will succeed in the future. 

    I was thrilled to speak at this year’s SIFMA Social Media & Digital Marketing Seminar. From compliance pros to financial advisors, we were all there to learn more about digital transformation and what’s next for the client experience. I was there to speak, sure, but I most enjoyed listening to how financial services leaders are navigating the real-world digital challenges and building strategies that enable their institutions to thrive.  The common thread in every discussion was there – relationships will always be the top priority for firms and advisors.  

    Here are a few other key trends I saw emerge from the discussions: 

    1. Social media is an integral part of digital transformation. As the industry undergoes massive digital transformation, social media will continue to play an important role in the client experience. For industries that go to market through intermediaries, it’s an essential communications channel. Helping your team understand the importance of social media and its value in creating real business results should be a pillar in a more robust digital transformation. .
    2. Education and training are necessary for advisor success. While most financial advisors see the power of social, they need support from marketing teams to be successful. From content resources to functional training, advisors are hungry for marketing guidance to optimize their strategies. 
    3. Compliance and marketing have to work together. Teams need to work for, not against, one another in order to be successful in any social media or digital marketing strategy. There will always be risk for financial services providers sharing information online, but with a coordinated approach, marketers can be confident that anything being shared is approved. 

    The future of the industry is bright and digital transformation offers the opportunity to reach even more potential clients. Marketers can use the power of social media to support advisors and provide clients an experience that converts. Denim Social can help institutions with tools and resources to make building those meaningful relationships easy. See how social selling works in our Social Selling Guidebook for Financial Institutions

    Personalization isn’t new to marketing. The process of connecting with customers has been moving in that direction for years, and for good reason. One survey found that 80% of respondents would be more likely to do business with companies that offered personalized experiences. But it seems many financial institutions haven’t yet gotten the news.

    If you dig through the numbers, you’ll find that personalization applies to the financial industry. In fact, 72% of consumers rate personalization as highly important in finance. They value text alerts, customized tasks and opportunities to transact more efficiently. They also want digitally driven features that save them time with routine tasks and the ability to track multiple accounts using a single dashboard.

    Financial marketers’ job is figuring out how to use personalization to gain (and retain) customers — and how to get leadership to buy in. It’s an easy sell: Personalization enhances the customer experience and also helps teams use social media marketing budgets more efficiently.

    But financial marketers are often up against a knowledge gap. Senior management doesn’t always understand a digital-first strategy focused on personalization. Financial institutions historically aren’t known to be early adopters or quick to change, which can leave marketers spending years advocating for updates.

    The question is, how exactly do you get buy-in from leadership to start personalizing and investing more money for social media marketing. The following strategies can help you get started:

    Target the right people: Social media marketing is about identifying target audiences and catering strategies accordingly. The same applies when securing your social media marketing budget. When looking for buy-in, target those on the leadership team who are likely to understand what excellence in personalization looks like.

    Great personalization is omnichannel; it engages consumers on the channels of their choice and it’s deeply human. To humanize marketing beyond the brand level, financial institutions need to reach out to leaders who would be open to highly personalized tactics such as social selling, which puts employees and producers on the frontlines to build relationships for the brand.

    Craft the right message: Messaging is critical in marketing — and that goes double for selling the idea of a more personalized social strategy. Your message needs to resonate with your audience, even if your audience is one decision-maker. Link everything back to ROI by explaining that customers weigh bank reputation and online presence when deciding among financial institutions.

    Be prepared to explain how you’ll track and increase customer conversion metrics through your campaigns. When arguing for more money toward paid social media advertising, for example, you’ll want to explain how it can boost conversion rates, meaning more customers (and revenue) coming in from your ads. Framing your message in business terms will help you advocate for funds to support personalization at scale.

    Present the right data: Use compelling data to bring your message home. With 75% of B2B buyers using social media to make buying decisions, social selling is powerful for attracting new customers. But it’s important to understand whether your customers want to talk to your brand. Your audience is likely more comfortable engaging with brand intermediaries instead; people buy from other people.

    That’s why so many financial institutions find it valuable to launch social selling programs that position agents, advisors and loan officers to build customer relationships. Social media is thick with prospects, as 54% today use social networks to conduct product research. Your team can capture prospects where they are with the right strategies, processes and technology.

    Decide the right timing: The time to start advocating for personalization is now. Approach leadership about earmarking money for personalization in the budget for social media marketing.

    Remember that most financial institutions establish their fiscal budgets for the year and often don’t revisit those budgets for another year. 41% of marketing budgets are based on the previous year, with only 10% revisited quarterly, meaning you should plan ahead for social initiatives that might take more money down the line. You likely won’t get another chance to advocate for that money once the budget is set.

    Personalized relationships matter, and it’s time to make the case for an expanded marketing budget to support better personalization. With any marketing strategy, you want to approach the right audience with the right message at the right time. Then, with funds secured, your team can get to the exciting part: attracting prospects with education, keeping customers engaged with personalized messaging, and driving bottom-line impacts.

    *This article was originally published in BAI.

    With a less than rosy outlook, it’s essential that every mortgage loan officer maintain an edge on the competition. The marketing tactics of the past may not be successful when there are fewer buyers in the pool of prospects. Now is the time to be more strategic and paid social advertising can help loan officers make the most of every marketing penny.

    One-third of internet users find new products and brands through paid ads. That’s a lot of opportunity. Paid social is one of the most effective ways to introduce people who aren’t yet following your loan officers to your financial institution at the right place and the right time.

    Let’s start with some good news. Although paid social media may feel intimating, if you’re already doing organic social media, you’re off to a great start. But if you’re not using paid social advertising, you’re missing out. Here are three reasons to add it to your marketing strategy:  

    1. Understand what’s working in social media

    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 and make improvements for the future. A/B testing helps you isolate what elements of your ads need to change by showing what resonates and what doesn’t. This means you’ll never waste a dollar on the wrong creative or message.

    Think about it this way, does a billboard ever provide performance data? Didn’t think so.

    Further, paid social media insights can even be applied to your organic social media strategy. Did a paid post have unexpectedly high engagement? Use it as a blueprint to try to isolate why. As you see what’s performing, invest more dollars into posts that convert while cutting or changing content that doesn’t.

    2. Reach new audiences

    Another reason paid social is so important is that organic content only reaches an average of 2.2% of followers of social media platforms. But this doesn’t mean it’s time to ditch organic social media and put all your eggs in the paid basket.

    Paid social is complementary to organic. While organic social builds first-degree connections and facilitates awareness, engagement, and branding, paid social allows you to reach larger, more tailored audiences.

    Both organic and paid social media can help increase your reach on social media, and it starts with activating loan officers. A social selling approach can increase your results tenfold and drive higher engagement. Paid social then supercharges your social strategy and helps you reach new prospects.

    Complementary paid advertising, breaks through a loan officer’s first-degree social connections to reach second- and third-degree connections, who will include important professional referral sources.

    3. Drive leads into conversions.

    Don’t let your marketing funnel lead to dead ends. Make sure loan officers are linking back to a website or other relevant brand content. Paid social media ads can generate leads by offering call-to-action options that get attention and clicks.

    With the right technology, clicks on social media ads can trigger a loan officer’s CRM. That’s warm leads in their inbox.

    With spring buying season on the horizon, now’s the right time to start formulating a plan to differentiate. Paid social media advertising can give loan officers a leg up on the competition. Ready to learn how to start? Check out Denim Social’s guidebook, Getting Started with Paid Social Media Advertising for Financial Institutions.

    *This article was originally published in MBA Newslink.

    People buy from people. It’s an old adage in business that still holds true today: Trust and relationships are the bedrock of insurance. A deeper agent-customer relationship means more products sold over a longer period. It’s crucial to understand that trust extends to the world of digital, especially social media.

    In today’s environment, it’s not enough to release content from your carrier’s social accounts and hope that consumers will connect with it. Your strategy needs to include agents, the advisors building customer relationships in their communities. Enabling agents to leverage social media to engage and form bonds with existing and potential customers opens the door to agent-centered digital sales. As part of a bigger digital strategy, a social selling program for intermediaries helps establish their presence within the digital landscape, showcasing thought leadership, building relationships, and ultimately growing business.

    Why Is Social Selling Important for Building Trust in Insurance?

    As digitization continues to be a hot topic, one thing has remained steady: the agent’s role. Although many customers are accustomed to buying auto coverage online, for example, that isn’t the case as their needs mature. Just because a customer is digital-first doesn’t mean they don’t want human guidance, especially when protecting their futures.

    Social selling is a powerful addition to an agent’s toolbox (and your marketing toolbox!). After all, most consumers spend roughly two and a half hours online daily. So, agents who engage their online networks through social media are more likely to expand their prospect and customer relationships.

    However, it’s not enough to show up in digital spaces. “Being there” is a great first step but doesn’t ramp up trust-building in a systematic, measurable way. Instead, you need to establish digital marketing strategies that lean on social media and social selling as powerful sales tools (which they are!).

    Here are some key steps:

    1. Identify your agents’ social maturity.

    There will always be varying levels of social media experience from the agent perspective. From naysayers to dabblers to experts, evaluating and segmenting your agent group is critical before constructing a social selling program.

    The agents most comfortable and active on social media often become early adopters and champions of internal social selling programs and digital marketing strategies. With some education and profile optimization, this elite team is an incredible tool for securing more buy-in. Getting them started on social selling before their peers allows them to gain experience with the process, build interest, and better advocate for the strategy.

    2. Educate agents on the value of social media as a sales tool.

    Agents might assume that because they have social accounts for their business, they must be social selling. They’re not. Social selling is much more than “keeping up” a social media account. It’s consistently posting organic content, strategically weaving in paid advertising, and engaging with an audience. Just like in-person relationship building, the value comes in the conversations and connections. Agents should continually engage and turn those conversations into digital-first relationships to grow their business.

    It’s worth the effort to teach your agents about the unique benefits social selling can bring to their roles. Patience and demonstrating value are key. One way to demonstrate that value is by sharing a striking social selling statistic: 80% of salespeople who hit at least 150% of their goals say they’ve leveraged technology consistently to connect with consumers. That statistic is hard for ambitious, high-performing agents to ignore. More agents will be willing to get on board with social selling when they believe it can directly affect their paycheck, promotions, and commissions. (And it can!)

    3. Invest in a comprehensive social selling platform.

    Social selling at scale can seem overwhelming for even the most seasoned leaders. Understanding that not all social media management tools are created equal is the best place to start. Finding a platform dedicated to social selling, especially one that’s industry-specific, is key.

    A solid social selling tool should do several things. It should enable a small and mighty team of marketers to manage a robust content library, analyze the broader story of the value of agent social selling, and monitor and archive from a compliance and regulatory perspective. Most of all, it needs to be easy for agents to use.

    After choosing a social selling platform that does all these things, it’s good to run some test drives with your expert social media users (the agents who were first identified as being active on social media). Beginning with a concentrated group of agents allows everyone involved to learn the social selling tool’s nuances before scaling. After the initial user group is up and running, it’s easy to fold more agents into the process.

    4. Collect data and optimize over time.

    Getting your agents to believe in social media as a powerful relationship-building tool is the foundation of any successful social selling program. Building a content library to help position them as thought leaders within their social networks is the next layer. Once agents have adopted the concept of social selling and are posting regularly, you can establish benchmarks for what social selling means for your organization.

    It’s important to track social selling like any other marketing or sales program. You can set general KPIs to start, such as agent adoption, basic content usage, and engagement. More KPIs can be added to the mix later, such as return on ad spend and leads generated.

    Finally, it’s essential to make sure agents know social selling is a slow-and-steady process. The power of social selling grows over time — the way trust and good relationships do. When done correctly and patiently, it can move the sales needle in trackable ways.

    Whether in person or online, consumers will always value the guidance of a trusted advisor. Building that trust and providing value through an effective social selling strategy with the above steps is crucial to establishing your agents’ positions within the digital landscape. Some things change in business, but others never do: “People buy from people” will always be true.

    *This article was originally published in Digital Insurance.

    Denim Social has been named to the HousingWire 2023 Tech100 list for mortgage. The exclusive list of honorees recognizes the most innovative technology in the mortgage industry. 

    The Tech100 program provides housing professionals with a comprehensive list of the most innovative and impactful organizations. The list can be leveraged to identify partners and solutions to the challenges that mortgage lenders and real estate professionals face every day.

    “In a competitive environment, every edge matters for mortgage loan officers,” said Doug Wilber, CEO at Denim Social. “A social selling program managed with our platform empowers mortgage loan officers to use social media to reach prospects, build relationships and close more deals.”

    This is Denim Social’s first appearance on the HousingWire list. The platform is used by more than 250 institutions in mortgage, banking, wealth management and insurance. 

    To learn more about how Denim Social can help mortgage loan officers activate social selling, read our guidebook, Helping Mortgage Loan Officers Achieve Success with Social Media Marketing.

    Connect & Convert on Social

    Successfully scale conversion optimized campaigns across all social media channels with built-in compliance, publishing tools, and more.
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    Connect & Convert on Social

    Successfully scale conversion optimized campaigns across all social media channels with built-in compliance, publishing tools, and more.
    Book a Demo

    Connect & Convert on Social

    Successfully scale conversion optimized campaigns across all social media channels with built-in compliance, publishing tools, and more.
    Book a Demo