August 2, 2022

The 4 Answers Financial Marketers Need to Make the Case for Social Selling

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

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

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

Does Our Social Media Marketing Drive ROI?

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

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

• Targeting

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

• Feedback

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

• Conversion

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

• Efficiency

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Do We Need in a Fintech Partner?

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

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

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

• Customized onboarding.

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

• Team training.

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

• Strategy consultation.

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

• Content libraries.

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

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

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

Get in touch with us today to schedule a demo!

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August 2, 2022

The 4 Answers Financial Marketers Need to Make the Case for Social Selling

By
Denim Social

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

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

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

Does Our Social Media Marketing Drive ROI?

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

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

• Targeting

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

• Feedback

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

• Conversion

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

• Efficiency

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Do We Need in a Fintech Partner?

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

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

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

• Customized onboarding.

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

• Team training.

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

• Strategy consultation.

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

• Content libraries.

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

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

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

Get in touch with us today to schedule a demo!

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SIMILAR POSTS:

What’s your top marketing priority? If you’re a marketer at a large financial institution, it’s probably winning new customers. And a big part of achieving that means growing your audience online. Your organization might have embraced effective lead generation strategies such as social selling and coached producers into successfully engaging with prospects. But what happens when those brand intermediaries have exhausted their first-degree connections? Your marketing efforts could stagnate unless you consistently guide new audiences to the top of the sales funnel. Thankfully, paid social advertising is a tried-and-true way to get more eyes on your brand.

You can’t sleep on paid ads. Working only on organic content will limit your social reach compared with incorporating a paid social strategy, which is why 80% of brands surveyed by HubSpot were using paid social media advertising. Their reasoning? Though great to lead top-of-funnel viewers further down the marketing funnel through education and relationship-building, they’ll eventually run out of leads if they’re not actively working to attract more. That’s where paid advertising can really boost your efforts. Whether you’re furthering the reach of your brand page or specific intermediaries (for that human touch!), paid advertising will help you reach more audiences within their natural environments.

Unsure where to begin? Don’t worry — from the first steps of audience targeting to coordinating with organic content to using analytics to optimize and scale, Denim Social is here to help you get started with paid social advertising.

How to Advertise Financial Services on Social Media

Paid advertising is a bit of a cheat code for financial marketers. Instead of pushing out only organic content and waiting and hoping that your target audience sees it, you can use paid ads to make sure your content hits the right audiences at the right times. This also means ads can be tailored to niche audiences and specific demographics, allowing for more precise targeting. Paid ads mean you can tweak your messaging for different demographics — whether that’s first-time homebuyers, retirees looking for life insurance, etc. — and know that those ads will reach them.

But before you can start crafting marketing magic, you need to decide on both your audience and digital channel of choice. Understand the neighborhood you’re building your presence in. Visual channels such as Instagram, for example, reach younger Gen Z audiences, while LinkedIn is consistently trusted across all generations. Each requires different types of content, hashtags, and formatting to appeal to the target demographic.

Channels such as Facebook and Twitter have refined tools that guide you through social marketing bid strategies. Social ad campaigns cost money, and a proper scope is important for the campaign to be successful. Set a budget, along with defined start and end dates, while targeting your ads.

Of course, your work doesn’t end once the ads are running. Consider A/B testing to make sure you’ve matched the right messages to the right audiences. Don’t be afraid to try different variations — phrasing, hashtags, visuals, or anything else — until you find exactly what works for your audiences. Any time you improve your content, you’re also improving your paid ad ROI.

Optimizing Your Social Media Strategy for Both Paid and Organic Content

Paid social ads are crucial for targeting the right customers, but it’s important to remember they rest on a foundation of consistent organic content. Like bread and butter, paid and organic social strategies work best together. After all, if you’re using social selling tactics (and you should be!), you know how effective intermediaries’ organic posts can be with early-stage leads — those who are aware of your intermediaries but aren’t ready to make a purchase — to show the heart and humanity of your brand. As a financial marketer, you also understand how organic publishing of curated social content helps you distribute your targeted messages to wide audiences.

But what about the narrower audiences you’d like to reach? To get in front of more specific (and new-to-you) audiences, you can create a specific strategy to attract top-of-funnel prospects with your paid ads. Within this strategy, you’ll find and speak to your core audience, connect with people who have shown past interest in your content, and target “lookalike” audience members who are most similar to your best customers. All the while, make sure your organic content continues audiences’ journeys toward conversion.

Remember that your paid ad strategy isn’t limited to message-boosting at the brand level — in fact, it should amplify your team’s social selling posts, too. Even though tapping intermediaries as social media brand ambassadors is a people-first approach, social selling isn’t constrained to organic content alone. Your intermediaries’ posts are prime for paid amplification because they likely feel more authentic to your audiences, generating more trust in your intermediaries (and, by extension, your financial institution).

So, be certain your digital marketing strategy has a two-pronged approach to keep your organic and paid online advertising working hand in hand. The paid social posts put a megaphone on your message, breaking through the noise of newsfeeds to reach the right people at just the right time. And don’t leave behind other types of content! When creating blog posts for the company website, take your best lines and gold nuggets and repurpose them as standalone social posts tailored to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. That way, you’ll get the most value out of each piece of content you create.

Using Analytics to Scale

So, you’ve got a couple of paid ad campaigns running, and you’ve coached your intermediaries to create organic posts to complement them. Now you can sit back, relax, and watch the conversions come rolling in ... is what we’d like to say. But of course, a marketer’s job is never done; we can’t ignore advertising tracking.

To keep growing your ROI, your financial institution will need to track quantitative metrics about how the campaigns are going. Some common key performance indicators are click-to-open rates, new customer acquisitions, and other conversion targets.

Once you understand which metrics make the most sense for your specific institution, you can set growth objectives. When you add tracking for multiple social channels to the mix, it can get a little messy trying to organize everything — especially because what you track can change depending on your goals for each channel.

When tracking brand awareness, for example, you need to understand impressions, likes, comments, and followers. This will capture who was exposed to your messaging and who was moved enough by it to engage in some way. But if brand awareness isn’t your only goal, you’ll have a whole other set of metrics to capture as well. If you’re monitoring customer engagement, then metrics such as shares, messages, and click-throughs will be important. These actions show that your call to action was effective at driving users through your social media content funnel.

This can feel like a lot of moving parts (and it is!), but having a unified, user-friendly analytics dashboard can keep the data from becoming number soup. By benchmarking these metrics with regular reporting, you’ll be able to quantify the effectiveness of paid campaigns over time. Not only will this help you identify the most effective campaign strategies, but it will also provide a wealth of data proving how your efforts are furthering business goals. Throw those numbers in a PowerPoint — it’s a great resource to bring before the bosses when it’s time to allocate paid advertising spend.

As your ROI grows, your advertising budget will hopefully follow. Use the data to inform your next steps, and invest in marketing tools that let you easily carry out campaigns — the result will be more leads, more conversions, and a more successful business.

Moving Forward With Denim Social

As a marketer, you’ve already got a lot on your plate. Don’t let inefficient social media management add to that. The Denim Social platform is built specifically for financial institutions. That means compliance, advertising, content curation, and publishing are all rolled into one easy-to-use solution. Let Denim Social’s software do the heavy lifting, so you can spend more time helping intermediaries nurture leads. After all, if your institution isn’t building out its social media community, someone else might be.

With power analytics and an intuitive interface, Denim Social provides simple, scalable social media marketing for financial institutions. From ideating paid campaigns to scaling up successful social media strategies, our platform will walk you through every step of the way. For more information on how Denim Social fits your institution, reach out for a free software demo today.

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

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

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

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

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. 

Your financial institution, loan officers, bankers, agents, or advisors have spent a lot of time and effort building a robust social selling program, driving brand and associate presence, and establishing a good flow between marketing, compliance, and sales. Then comes the announcement that your organization will be going through a merger or an acquisition. Now what?

While it can at first seem like the hard work that was put into your social selling strategy was wasted, there are measures you can take to preserve the progress in social media marketing you’ve made and set your institution up for success both during and after a transition.

Digital transformation is one of the leading drivers of M&A activity and social selling can help your institution stay ahead. The industry shows no signs of slowing down, so banks, investment and wealth management firms, DBAs and others, will be faced with more uncertainty and opportunity for M&A activity in the future.

So, how to prepare and sustain a social selling program during transition? Start with these steps to create a foundation in your digital marketing strategy that will weather any change.  

  1. Be open and flexible as organizational shifts occur. Understanding what is changing and how it impacts various departments will make preserving or updating strategies more efficient. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and advocate for your social selling program as you navigate a new company environment.
  1. Document your social selling program. When you're in the thick of day-to-day marketing activity, it's easy to skip documenting the key tenets of the program you've designed. Take the opportunity to get down on paper the stakeholders involved, the strategy in use, the outcomes expected, etc. so it's easy to advocate for resources.
  2. Establish regular communication between compliance, marketing, and leadership. Get buy-in early and often from other departments. Sales should know why social selling is important to business, and legal and social media compliance should oversee that they are doing social selling safely. Progress and outcomes of the program should be made easily available, and setting regular meetings to keep everyone in the loop will make any transitions much easier and more adaptable.
  3. Be prepared to show records of all social media activity and history. Where there is a merger or acquisition, there is sure to be an audit. Keeping your strategy, your posts, and user information all in one place that can be easily accessed will give credibility to your social selling program and build trust with any new leadership. When users post through a platform, it is a quick fix to pull any needed information for compliance purposes.
  4. Get your budget in order. While budgets for marketing departments tend to be increasing, especially for social media, being faced with a merger might necessitate some budget rebalancing. Adopting a social selling strategy increases the value of your efforts, and multiplies what a brand can do alone, making it a budget-friendly approach.
  5. Track performance. Having a solid grasp of social media ROI and social selling analytics can inform how to present a budget to leadership and make the most of what is available. With insight from analytics, you can prove to the company that output on social media is resulting in input from new business. And remember, frontline employee engagement in a program is a powerful metric to emphasize!

Throughout the merger and acquisition process, keep an open mind and expect changes. Having management on the same page while promoting and driving the social selling program will be instrumental to ongoing success. In the face of potential transitions, feel confident that your financial institution social media marketing can withstand the test of time by preparing now.  The right social media management tools can give you the confidence to successfully transition your program, while staying compliant. Ready to learn more? Talk to your customer success manager or book a demo with us today.

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.

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

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

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

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

Organic and Paid: Better Together

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Expand your audience base.

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

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

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

3. Drive leads into conversions.

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

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

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

I was beyond excited to attend Adweek’s Social Media Week in New York City this week with some of my Denim Social teammates. Social Media Week is one of the world’s premier conferences covering the most up-and-coming trends and topics in the social media industry, and includes workshops on creating content, paid social advertising, and how to thrive in an ever-connected era from industry leaders. The team and I were excited to learn about the latest trends and best practices to bring it back to our customers in the financial services industry. 

Some of the latest social trends can feel unreachable within a regulated industry but there was a clear theme from all thought leaders that unified everything we heard: authenticity.

Authenticity will always resonate and it’s what audiences are craving in our overly-curated world. The pandemic taught us to focus on what matters most and consumers are expecting to see what matters most to them in their social feeds. 

So what does that mean for financial services? It’s simple. The same authenticity that financial services professionals have used to build relationships and trust with customers over the years is the same authenticity that will resonate on social media. Regulations can make social seem hard to conquer but if you show up as yourself, the trusted professional you already are, your social presence will become a natural extension of you and your business.

Beyond authenticity, here are a few other key takeaways from our time at Social Media Week:

  1. Find the platform mix that works for you; if your customers aren’t on a particular social platform, you don’t need to include those platforms in your mix
  2. Listen to what is resonating with your social audiences and consistently weave that into the content you’re sharing.
  3. Content should be differentiated across social platforms but your core message should stay consistent; even though content might look different from LinkedIn to Instagram, your message should stay the same.
  4. Attention spans have drastically decreased over the last 15 years (from 11 seconds to 2.5); let this drive what you say on social to keep your audience’s attention, make it matter!
  5. People trust people over brands; empower your localized sales forces (agents, advisors, loan officers, etc.) to be active on social and help them weave it into their everyday processes.

As we move forward in an age of technology, Denim Social is here to support financial institutions as they navigate all the new ways to reach customers and connect with them on a personal level. While the multitude of avenues for networking can seem overwhelming, it actually just means that there are more opportunities than ever for your business to provide value to meet your customers wherever they are. Keep following along with us for more social media news updates and insights on Instagram and LinkedIn.

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GUIDES

The 4 Answers Financial Marketers Need to Make the Case for Social Selling

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

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

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

Does Our Social Media Marketing Drive ROI?

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

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

• Targeting

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

• Feedback

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

• Conversion

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

• Efficiency

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Do We Need in a Fintech Partner?

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

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

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

• Customized onboarding.

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

• Team training.

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

• Strategy consultation.

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

• Content libraries.

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

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

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

Get in touch with us today to schedule a demo!

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ALL GUIDES:

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

    The 4 Answers Financial Marketers Need to Make the Case for Social Selling

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

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

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

    Does Our Social Media Marketing Drive ROI?

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

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

    • Targeting

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

    • Feedback

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

    • Conversion

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

    • Efficiency

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    What Do We Need in a Fintech Partner?

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

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

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

    • Customized onboarding.

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

    • Team training.

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

    • Strategy consultation.

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

    • Content libraries.

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

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

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

    Get in touch with us today to schedule a demo!

    Download the Guide

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

    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

    The 4 Answers Financial Marketers Need to Make the Case for Social Selling

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

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

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

    Does Our Social Media Marketing Drive ROI?

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

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

    • Targeting

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

    • Feedback

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

    • Conversion

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

    • Efficiency

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    What Do We Need in a Fintech Partner?

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

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

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

    • Customized onboarding.

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

    • Team training.

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

    • Strategy consultation.

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

    • Content libraries.

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

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

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

    Get in touch with us today to schedule a demo!

    Download the Guide

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

    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

    The 4 Answers Financial Marketers Need to Make the Case for Social Selling

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

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

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

    Does Our Social Media Marketing Drive ROI?

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

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

    • Targeting

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

    • Feedback

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

    • Conversion

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

    • Efficiency

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    What Do We Need in a Fintech Partner?

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

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

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

    • Customized onboarding.

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

    • Team training.

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

    • Strategy consultation.

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

    • Content libraries.

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

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

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

    Get in touch with us today to schedule a demo!

    Download the Guide

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    ALL GUIDES:

    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
    August 2, 2022

    The 4 Answers Financial Marketers Need to Make the Case for Social Selling

    By
    Denim Social

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

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

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

    Does Our Social Media Marketing Drive ROI?

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

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

    • Targeting

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

    • Feedback

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

    • Conversion

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

    • Efficiency

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    What Do We Need in a Fintech Partner?

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

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

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

    • Customized onboarding.

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

    • Team training.

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

    • Strategy consultation.

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

    • Content libraries.

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

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

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

    Get in touch with us today to schedule a demo!

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    OTHER NEWS:

    It’s that time of year again. Nope, not Christmas (not yet, anyway). Instead, it’s time for marketers everywhere to reflect on the past year and plan their social media strategies for the year ahead. As consumer expectations for personalization rise, meeting customers’ needs for connection is no longer just a “nice to have.” It’s essential for building trusting business relationships. The financial services industry already understands the power of personal connection through intermediaries. That’s why empowering them through social selling — helping them forge connections with customers and prospects alike — should take center stage in your 2023 marketing strategy.  

    Need some extra convincing? First, consider that social media has become entrenched in consumers’ lives and wallets. Accenture expects social commerce to grow to $1.2 trillion in just three years, with Millennials and Gen Zers propelling most of that growth. And their spending power continues to skyrocket. Most important? They’re using social media like search engines when researching financial products and services. In fact, about 40% of Gen Zers said they’d sooner use TikTok and Instagram for search than Google. Whether you’re in insurance, banking, or mortgage, both your brand and your individual experts need to be discoverable on the channels that matter, building trust with authentic and educational content.

    With that in mind, here are three tips for building a successful 2023 social selling strategy:

    1. Expand to Short-Form Video

    Short-form video is taking over social channels such as YouTube and Instagram — not to mention the meteoric rise of TikTok. Now more than ever, social users expect their feeds to include short, easy-to-watch clips that educate and entertain them. It’s called “edutainment,” and it can be a powerful (and authentic) tool in a social selling strategy. Whether you’re planning to adopt TikTok or post content on an existing network such as Instagram, your social selling strategy for 2023 can include video to set up your intermediaries as experts who can influence their prospects and customers.

    Need content ideas? Empower your social sellers to provide financial planning ideas or market trend analyses, for example, to get the wheels turning for prospects and customers. Your marketing team should ask themselves questions such as: What topics confuse your target audiences? What questions do prospects and customers have? How can your intermediaries break down these confusing topics into “snackable” content? Younger audiences are looking to channels such as Instagram to find personalized content like this. Your social sellers should meet them there, ready to engage (and entertain!) with authenticity and empathy.

    2. Combine Organic and Paid for Maximum Impact

    If 2022 taught us anything, it should be that it’s a matter of when — not if — social media algorithms change, so you need to be ready to adapt your marketing strategy accordingly. For instance, as social networks continue to show a preference for individuals over brands, you can and should funnel more resources into social selling for your intermediaries. However, investing in paid social media advertising is also a good idea, especially as search-driven social behavior accelerates.

    You cannot control the organic algorithm, but with paid social advertising, you can manage who you reach and with what message. Don’t worry, your social sellers don’t need to become paid social experts. We recommend marketers execute paid on behalf of their social sellers. This allows you to maintain control of your budget and frees up intermediaries to engage with their audiences through their organic posting or leads generated from paid. Be sure to advocate for your social sellers as you negotiate your paid social budget for the year. Consider redirecting brand funds or advocating for additional spend for your intermediaries. (Need help marrying your organic and paid strategies? We have resources for that!)

    3. Keep It Consistent

    Your social selling strategy will only be as impactful as it is consistent. Maintaining a consistent posting cadence is absolutely paramount. For one thing, it will help you overcome some of those tricky algorithmic changes. Plus, if your social sellers aren’t posting at least a few times a week, their audience engagement will quickly peter out as other content fills the void.

    Consistency in messaging is just as — if not more — important. Your social sellers should stay on message for the brand or brands they represent, but staying compliant in a regulated industry is also crucial. The good news is that Denim Social makes consistency and compliance easy. For example, our content approval workflows ensure that nothing goes live without your team’s permission, protecting your brand voice and keeping your intermediaries compliant. On top of that, our shared libraries of preapproved and customizable content mean your intermediaries’ social feeds stay full. The result? You’ll never face content logjams again, and your intermediaries’ audiences will remain engaged.

    The 2023 tea leaves are clear: You’d be wise to invest your resources in social selling to connect with and serve an engaged online audience. Want to build your 2023 social selling strategy but don’t know where to start? Check out the Denim Social 2023 Trend Report.

    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.

    In this case study, we'll look at how BOK Financial and Denim Social teamed up to get loan officers active on social and more engaged with their local communities.

    Click below to learn how they did it.

    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.

    Content is king. And in today’s digital market, social media is the queen consort. Considering that 40% of Generation Z prefer to use social media over Google as a search engine, every brand (in every industry) needs to be thinking about how to stay relevant and discoverable on social media. So, how do you, as an insurance marketer, help your brand stand out? Include your agents in your strategy by activating a social selling program, empowering them to post unique content to their own social networks to leverage social media as a viable sales avenue.

    Including social selling in your brand marketing strategy is so important because consumers want to speak with more than just a brand; they want to feel connected to the services they use and the people who provide them. The distribution of genuine content — from both carriers and local agents — helps humanize insurance and forges stronger connections between agents and the communities they serve. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as about 70% of young insurance agents already use Facebook and LinkedIn. But being on social channels means little if intermediaries don’t have the compelling content needed to drive engagement.

    So, that sparks a few basic questions: What does effective social selling content look like, how can insurance marketers and agents curate and create the right content, and what tools are necessary to execute a social selling program at scale? Below, we’ll demystify the process of creating and distributing high-quality social selling content that fuels customer connections and, ultimately, sales.

    High-Quality Social Selling Content: What Does It Look Like?

    Above all else, social selling content should be personal, authentic, and tailored to both the community an agent serves and the audience they hope to reach. An insurance agent’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.

    So, what are the essential components of great content?

    • Personal connection — Social selling content should bring agents’ personalities to life to help customers feel connected to them. Whatever skills they leverage to connect with clients in real life are the same skills they should lean on when posting to social media. Are they always cracking jokes? Digging into the latest industry topic? Or maybe relating to clients through a personal hobby? Creating content for social should be an extension of the personality agents bring to their desks when sitting across from clients.

    Personalizing goes beyond just posting, too! Engaging and interacting with others’ content that aligns with your skills, hobbies, and professional strategy is just as important. Including yourself in conversations not only keeps you top of mind, but is also an easy way to diversify your content strategy. Adding context and perspective to others’ content adds variety to your presence and takes the pressure off always having to come up with something from scratch.

    • Authenticity — Anything you share on social should come from the heart; 88% of consumers cite authenticity as a key factor when choosing between brands. An agent should be real about the value they offer others, the problems they can solve, and the real-life experiences they’ve navigated. Agents can share behind-the-scenes peeks into their daily work lives, such as updates about meetings (and photos, with permission!) with long-tenured clients or snapshots of their lives outside the office. Maybe they took their dog to work and can share a photo — possibly alongside information on commercial property insurance for pets at the office.

    Using firsthand storytelling is an authentic way to form deeper connections with customers. If your intermediaries feel nervous, remind them just to be themselves! After all, they’re in sales for a reason. The connections they make are equally real, regardless of whether they happened in person or on social.

    • Community focus — Local agents have an advantage over national carriers because they’re living within the communities they serve. When agents speak with local perspectives, they solidify their reputations as trustworthy and knowledgeable.

    When agents share snippets from their own lives, they can easily transform themselves into micro-influencers within their communities. For example, if agents are grabbing flowers for the office, they can tag their local florist in a shout-out on their agency social accounts. If one of their carriers donates to local causes, the agent could highlight what the support means to the community (and themselves).

    When your social selling content hits the trifecta of community focus, authenticity, and personal connection, agents are most likely to be bringing in leads and harnessing all that social media has to offer. But understanding what high-quality social selling content should look like is only the first step; the next steps involve building out your content distribution process, or the steps between drafting a post and hitting “publish.”

    Bringing Social Selling to Life

    As a social media marketer in the insurance world, you’ve likely thought about empowering your intermediaries on social. There are many considerations, such as building a library of meaningful content agents want to share, empowering agents to create their own unique content, weaving paid advertising into the mix, and making it all easy. With the right tools, insurance marketers can accomplish these essential tasks more easily than ever before:

    • Empowering agents to post with curated content. Getting agents to buy into your social selling program can be as simple as giving them the power to post (with the necessary approvals process, of course!). With Denim Social, you and your intermediaries can access curated social media content through a shared library, meaning users can select from a wide range of content to share that you’ve thoughtfully created and pre-approved.

    Content libraries make sourcing that curated content super easy. Instead of wondering where their next social media posts will come from, agents can use pre-populated post copy or share the latest articles relevant to their audiences. Marketing teams can pre-approve and custom-curate the social media posts before housing them in the content libraries, meaning teams are free to create because they can worry less about finding content, gaining approvals, ensuring the content is on-brand, and meeting compliance standards.

    • Keeping agent social messaging compliant and on-brand with approval workflows. It’s exciting when your social selling program advances to the level of empowering individuals to create original content, but setting agents free to post without prior approval could also pose risks. Approval workflows and other compliance tools can ensure all content is approved before it is published. So, how does that work in practice?

    With Denim Social, insurance agents can collaborate with marketing teams to create social posts. Or, agents can initiate unique posts from the platform and an approval group will receive notifications to ensure the social posts look perfect before going live.

    • Putting social ad spend behind local agents. Once the organic social foundation is set with high-quality content, marketers should consider taking their ad spend beyond the brand and delivering paid social on behalf of their local agents. Almost 30% of internet users spot new products and brands through paid ads, so if paid isn’t part of your strategy yet, it should be.

    Denim Social’s paid social solution makes it simple to execute paid ads on behalf of your local agents to make your ad spend go further. The platform’s proprietary paid ads manager provides an at-a-glance view of ad performance across multiple geographies and helps you optimize your spend easily. Denim Social also delivers clear engagement metrics and allows you to share localized results with agents in just a couple of clicks.

    In short, Denim Social can help you run a holistic social selling program across organic and paid. With a robust content integration, curated content libraries, and built-in compliance workflows and collaboration tools, Denim Social arms insurance marketers to launch true social selling programs that convert leads into customers. If you’ve considered empowering your intermediaries through a social selling program but aren’t sure where to start, request a demo with us today to learn how Denim Social can help.

    The power of social media is undeniable. The ability of banks to engage with and influence customers and prospects via digital channels is essential to modern marketing strategies. 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.

    Unsurprisingly, the vast majority of banks are active on social media, and at least 7 in 10 have been for five or more years. Banks understand that engaging on social media is table stakes. They have to be there, but how they do it will vary. Being active and being effective are often two separate things. A key question for banks today is how to move beyond using social media to promote and strengthen their brand, and harness these platforms to foster sales.

    In this case study, Denim Social and American Bankers Association show how banks are using social media to ramp up digital engagement and build sales. Download your copy here.

    What’s your top marketing priority? If you’re a marketer at a large financial institution, it’s probably winning new customers. And a big part of achieving that means growing your audience online. Your organization might have embraced effective lead generation strategies such as social selling and coached producers into successfully engaging with prospects. But what happens when those brand intermediaries have exhausted their first-degree connections? Your marketing efforts could stagnate unless you consistently guide new audiences to the top of the sales funnel. Thankfully, paid social advertising is a tried-and-true way to get more eyes on your brand.

    You can’t sleep on paid ads. Working only on organic content will limit your social reach compared with incorporating a paid social strategy, which is why 80% of brands surveyed by HubSpot were using paid social media advertising. Their reasoning? Though great to lead top-of-funnel viewers further down the marketing funnel through education and relationship-building, they’ll eventually run out of leads if they’re not actively working to attract more. That’s where paid advertising can really boost your efforts. Whether you’re furthering the reach of your brand page or specific intermediaries (for that human touch!), paid advertising will help you reach more audiences within their natural environments.

    Unsure where to begin? Don’t worry — from the first steps of audience targeting to coordinating with organic content to using analytics to optimize and scale, Denim Social is here to help you get started with paid social advertising.

    How to Advertise Financial Services on Social Media

    Paid advertising is a bit of a cheat code for financial marketers. Instead of pushing out only organic content and waiting and hoping that your target audience sees it, you can use paid ads to make sure your content hits the right audiences at the right times. This also means ads can be tailored to niche audiences and specific demographics, allowing for more precise targeting. Paid ads mean you can tweak your messaging for different demographics — whether that’s first-time homebuyers, retirees looking for life insurance, etc. — and know that those ads will reach them.

    But before you can start crafting marketing magic, you need to decide on both your audience and digital channel of choice. Understand the neighborhood you’re building your presence in. Visual channels such as Instagram, for example, reach younger Gen Z audiences, while LinkedIn is consistently trusted across all generations. Each requires different types of content, hashtags, and formatting to appeal to the target demographic.

    Channels such as Facebook and Twitter have refined tools that guide you through social marketing bid strategies. Social ad campaigns cost money, and a proper scope is important for the campaign to be successful. Set a budget, along with defined start and end dates, while targeting your ads.

    Of course, your work doesn’t end once the ads are running. Consider A/B testing to make sure you’ve matched the right messages to the right audiences. Don’t be afraid to try different variations — phrasing, hashtags, visuals, or anything else — until you find exactly what works for your audiences. Any time you improve your content, you’re also improving your paid ad ROI.

    Optimizing Your Social Media Strategy for Both Paid and Organic Content

    Paid social ads are crucial for targeting the right customers, but it’s important to remember they rest on a foundation of consistent organic content. Like bread and butter, paid and organic social strategies work best together. After all, if you’re using social selling tactics (and you should be!), you know how effective intermediaries’ organic posts can be with early-stage leads — those who are aware of your intermediaries but aren’t ready to make a purchase — to show the heart and humanity of your brand. As a financial marketer, you also understand how organic publishing of curated social content helps you distribute your targeted messages to wide audiences.

    But what about the narrower audiences you’d like to reach? To get in front of more specific (and new-to-you) audiences, you can create a specific strategy to attract top-of-funnel prospects with your paid ads. Within this strategy, you’ll find and speak to your core audience, connect with people who have shown past interest in your content, and target “lookalike” audience members who are most similar to your best customers. All the while, make sure your organic content continues audiences’ journeys toward conversion.

    Remember that your paid ad strategy isn’t limited to message-boosting at the brand level — in fact, it should amplify your team’s social selling posts, too. Even though tapping intermediaries as social media brand ambassadors is a people-first approach, social selling isn’t constrained to organic content alone. Your intermediaries’ posts are prime for paid amplification because they likely feel more authentic to your audiences, generating more trust in your intermediaries (and, by extension, your financial institution).

    So, be certain your digital marketing strategy has a two-pronged approach to keep your organic and paid online advertising working hand in hand. The paid social posts put a megaphone on your message, breaking through the noise of newsfeeds to reach the right people at just the right time. And don’t leave behind other types of content! When creating blog posts for the company website, take your best lines and gold nuggets and repurpose them as standalone social posts tailored to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. That way, you’ll get the most value out of each piece of content you create.

    Using Analytics to Scale

    So, you’ve got a couple of paid ad campaigns running, and you’ve coached your intermediaries to create organic posts to complement them. Now you can sit back, relax, and watch the conversions come rolling in ... is what we’d like to say. But of course, a marketer’s job is never done; we can’t ignore advertising tracking.

    To keep growing your ROI, your financial institution will need to track quantitative metrics about how the campaigns are going. Some common key performance indicators are click-to-open rates, new customer acquisitions, and other conversion targets.

    Once you understand which metrics make the most sense for your specific institution, you can set growth objectives. When you add tracking for multiple social channels to the mix, it can get a little messy trying to organize everything — especially because what you track can change depending on your goals for each channel.

    When tracking brand awareness, for example, you need to understand impressions, likes, comments, and followers. This will capture who was exposed to your messaging and who was moved enough by it to engage in some way. But if brand awareness isn’t your only goal, you’ll have a whole other set of metrics to capture as well. If you’re monitoring customer engagement, then metrics such as shares, messages, and click-throughs will be important. These actions show that your call to action was effective at driving users through your social media content funnel.

    This can feel like a lot of moving parts (and it is!), but having a unified, user-friendly analytics dashboard can keep the data from becoming number soup. By benchmarking these metrics with regular reporting, you’ll be able to quantify the effectiveness of paid campaigns over time. Not only will this help you identify the most effective campaign strategies, but it will also provide a wealth of data proving how your efforts are furthering business goals. Throw those numbers in a PowerPoint — it’s a great resource to bring before the bosses when it’s time to allocate paid advertising spend.

    As your ROI grows, your advertising budget will hopefully follow. Use the data to inform your next steps, and invest in marketing tools that let you easily carry out campaigns — the result will be more leads, more conversions, and a more successful business.

    Moving Forward With Denim Social

    As a marketer, you’ve already got a lot on your plate. Don’t let inefficient social media management add to that. The Denim Social platform is built specifically for financial institutions. That means compliance, advertising, content curation, and publishing are all rolled into one easy-to-use solution. Let Denim Social’s software do the heavy lifting, so you can spend more time helping intermediaries nurture leads. After all, if your institution isn’t building out its social media community, someone else might be.

    With power analytics and an intuitive interface, Denim Social provides simple, scalable social media marketing for financial institutions. From ideating paid campaigns to scaling up successful social media strategies, our platform will walk you through every step of the way. For more information on how Denim Social fits your institution, reach out for a free software demo today.

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    August 2, 2022

    The 4 Answers Financial Marketers Need to Make the Case for Social Selling

    By
    Denim Social

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

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

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

    Does Our Social Media Marketing Drive ROI?

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

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

    • Targeting

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

    • Feedback

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

    • Conversion

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

    • Efficiency

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    What Do We Need in a Fintech Partner?

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

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

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

    • Customized onboarding.

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

    • Team training.

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

    • Strategy consultation.

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

    • Content libraries.

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

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

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

    Get in touch with us today to schedule a demo!

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    Independent agents are taking over the scene — 62% of property and casualty premiums in the U.S. were written by independent agents in 2021 — so competition is fiercer than ever. Independent agents who want to stand out need to build up their personal brands online to reach customers and keep relationships strong. When agents use their personal social networks to find prospects, build relationships, and grow their thought leadership, they’re using one of the most powerful strategies available to them: social selling.

    Social selling might be a familiar strategy for captive agents who have their carriers’ built-in marketing support, but independent agents must create their business (and relationships) from scratch. More and more, those relationships are built over social media. That’s the challenge for agents in this new landscape, but it’s also the big opportunity. People buy from people, and building personal relationships is what insurance agents have always done best. They just need to translate those rapport-building skills into modern digital spaces with a few key strategies.

    Adopt social selling as a go-to strategy.

    Social selling unifies sales and marketing, transforming social media into a revenue driver by giving agents an avenue to showcase their thought leadership, engage with potential and existing customers, and build trust and relationships in the process. It is similar to offline selling: Build trust with customers, get to know them, and explain how your product helps solve their problems. But it proves even more powerful — 78% of social sellers outsell their peers who don’t use social media.

    To get ahead in social selling, agents must harness the power in their relationships and personal networks. Research shows that content shared by employees gets eight times more engagement than content shared by a brand. A social selling strategy can not only help agents reach more people, but also can also help them humanize their own work and brand.

    For independent agents, personal branding can make all the difference. Agents shouldn’t be afraid to be unique and show their authentic selves on social media. From sharing personal photos to comments on client posts, the more clients see agents as personal friends and unique people, the more engaged they will be.

    Why does letting personality show matter for agents? Credibility has become increasingly important for customers, with 88% of consumers citing authenticity as a key factor in deciding what brands they like and support. Clients want to know they can trust their agents, especially when making decisions that majorly affect their families and lives, so social selling content should reflect authenticity and relatability.

    Understand and accept agents’ evolving roles in the changing landscape of digital insurance.

    The sales process has gone digital in many ways, but that does not change the value of human guidance from an insurance advisor — the role of the trusted insurance advisor isn’t going anywhere.

    Human connection remains a meaningful part of the insurance transaction. When people’s lives change, their relationships with their agents matter, and the work that agents have put into fostering trust and strong relationships will pay off.

    Social media is a crucial tool in keeping intermediaries connected in this digital age and agents need to be comfortable using modern social media marketing and sales strategies.

    Don’t go it alone — look for trusted support resources.

    When independent agents are active in social selling, they shouldn’t go it alone. The resources agents have been consulting for years often have active blogs and social accounts from which they can source content. Many carriers and insurance industry thought leaders also offer curated social content that is ready to share and can typically be personalized by the agent.

    A social selling strategy powered by a thoughtful content mix can help independent agents not only reach more people, but also reinforce the thought leadership and trust-building they’ve been demonstrating to clients outside of social media for years.

    Find the right tools.

    Curating content, creating a regular cadence of posting, monitoring multiple social channels — there are a lot of moving pieces in an independent agent’s social selling strategy. Social selling is just one of the many things an independent agent has in their sales repertoire. This makes it so important to have technology built for social selling specifically. The less time agents spend on the organizational aspects of social selling, the more time they have to build customer relationships, communicate authentically and, ultimately, build trust online.

    This article was originally published in Insurance Journal.

    It’s that time of year again. Nope, not Christmas (not yet, anyway). Instead, it’s time for marketers everywhere to reflect on the past year and plan their social media strategies for the year ahead. As consumer expectations for personalization rise, meeting customers’ needs for connection is no longer just a “nice to have.” It’s essential for building trusting business relationships. The financial services industry already understands the power of personal connection through intermediaries. That’s why empowering them through social selling — helping them forge connections with customers and prospects alike — should take center stage in your 2023 marketing strategy.  

    Need some extra convincing? First, consider that social media has become entrenched in consumers’ lives and wallets. Accenture expects social commerce to grow to $1.2 trillion in just three years, with Millennials and Gen Zers propelling most of that growth. And their spending power continues to skyrocket. Most important? They’re using social media like search engines when researching financial products and services. In fact, about 40% of Gen Zers said they’d sooner use TikTok and Instagram for search than Google. Whether you’re in insurance, banking, or mortgage, both your brand and your individual experts need to be discoverable on the channels that matter, building trust with authentic and educational content.

    With that in mind, here are three tips for building a successful 2023 social selling strategy:

    1. Expand to Short-Form Video

    Short-form video is taking over social channels such as YouTube and Instagram — not to mention the meteoric rise of TikTok. Now more than ever, social users expect their feeds to include short, easy-to-watch clips that educate and entertain them. It’s called “edutainment,” and it can be a powerful (and authentic) tool in a social selling strategy. Whether you’re planning to adopt TikTok or post content on an existing network such as Instagram, your social selling strategy for 2023 can include video to set up your intermediaries as experts who can influence their prospects and customers.

    Need content ideas? Empower your social sellers to provide financial planning ideas or market trend analyses, for example, to get the wheels turning for prospects and customers. Your marketing team should ask themselves questions such as: What topics confuse your target audiences? What questions do prospects and customers have? How can your intermediaries break down these confusing topics into “snackable” content? Younger audiences are looking to channels such as Instagram to find personalized content like this. Your social sellers should meet them there, ready to engage (and entertain!) with authenticity and empathy.

    2. Combine Organic and Paid for Maximum Impact

    If 2022 taught us anything, it should be that it’s a matter of when — not if — social media algorithms change, so you need to be ready to adapt your marketing strategy accordingly. For instance, as social networks continue to show a preference for individuals over brands, you can and should funnel more resources into social selling for your intermediaries. However, investing in paid social media advertising is also a good idea, especially as search-driven social behavior accelerates.

    You cannot control the organic algorithm, but with paid social advertising, you can manage who you reach and with what message. Don’t worry, your social sellers don’t need to become paid social experts. We recommend marketers execute paid on behalf of their social sellers. This allows you to maintain control of your budget and frees up intermediaries to engage with their audiences through their organic posting or leads generated from paid. Be sure to advocate for your social sellers as you negotiate your paid social budget for the year. Consider redirecting brand funds or advocating for additional spend for your intermediaries. (Need help marrying your organic and paid strategies? We have resources for that!)

    3. Keep It Consistent

    Your social selling strategy will only be as impactful as it is consistent. Maintaining a consistent posting cadence is absolutely paramount. For one thing, it will help you overcome some of those tricky algorithmic changes. Plus, if your social sellers aren’t posting at least a few times a week, their audience engagement will quickly peter out as other content fills the void.

    Consistency in messaging is just as — if not more — important. Your social sellers should stay on message for the brand or brands they represent, but staying compliant in a regulated industry is also crucial. The good news is that Denim Social makes consistency and compliance easy. For example, our content approval workflows ensure that nothing goes live without your team’s permission, protecting your brand voice and keeping your intermediaries compliant. On top of that, our shared libraries of preapproved and customizable content mean your intermediaries’ social feeds stay full. The result? You’ll never face content logjams again, and your intermediaries’ audiences will remain engaged.

    The 2023 tea leaves are clear: You’d be wise to invest your resources in social selling to connect with and serve an engaged online audience. Want to build your 2023 social selling strategy but don’t know where to start? Check out the Denim Social 2023 Trend Report.

    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.

    In this case study, we'll look at how BOK Financial and Denim Social teamed up to get loan officers active on social and more engaged with their local communities.

    Click below to learn how they did it.

    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.

    Denim Social is excited to share that its platform will now offer integrated customer relationship management (CRM) capabilities through a new integration with award-winning CRM, lead management, and engagement platform, Insellerate. Denim Social users can now automatically capture leads generated from Denim Social Pages in the Insellerate platform.

    Social selling is a non-negotiable to drive a modern marketing strategy, but without the right tools, loan officers struggle to connect social media activity to real life opportunity. Together with Denim Social, Insellerate users can track and automate social media leads, taking prospects from click to contract.

    “People buy from people. In this environment, relationships matter more than ever,” said Doug Wilber, CEO of Denim Social. “Together, Denim Social and Insellerate can help loan officers transform social media relationships into deals closed.”

    Here’s how the integration works:

    • Mortgage marketers who use both Denim Social and Insellerate can connect the platforms.
    • When a prospective borrowers or industry contact completes a form on a Denim Social landing page, the lead will be automatically distributed to track in Insellerate and trigger engagement via automation.
    • With the Denim Social integration, Insellerate records will be created, updated, assigned, and marketing automations triggered – no emails or manual updates needed.

    “We know the right tools can empower loan officers to engage more effectively with industry professionals and borrowers alike,” said Josh Friend, CEO and founder of Insellerate. “When every deal counts, social selling with the Denim Social integration can help Insellerate users increase conversion rates, lower costs and, of course, close more deals.”  

    Homestead Funding, a multi-state licensed mortgage lender, actively uses the Denim Social platform to reach and engage prospects. The Insellerate integration was developed to meet the needs of Homestead’s team.

    Denim Social is invested in the financial industry, bringing valuable tools and unique expertise to our partnership,” said Daniela Bigalli, SVP sales and marketing Homestead Funding Corp. “When we approached Denim Social and Insellerate with our overall vision they were collaborative and excited to build an integration that was tailored to our team’s needs. Working together we feel confident that we can achieve our goals of a streamlined and efficient user experience for our loan originators.”

    Ready to maximize your social selling and fire up leads in your CRM? Connect with a Denim Social or Insellerate representative to activate the integration.

    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

    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