8 Tips to Grow Your Social Media Presence in 2020

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8 Tips to Grow Your Social Media Presence in 2020

Produced by Amy Hearn, Vice President of Marketing & Communications | Published September 21, 2020

This article was originally published on Credit Union Times

 

Social media can be a cornerstone component in building a comprehensive digital marketing strategy. It offers direct targeting to the exact type of people you'd like your message to reach. It’s a way to spread brand awareness, share helpful information, tell your story of who you are, and, of course, even sell. For marketers at banks, credit unions, financial institutions, and in fintech, it’s all very clear: there’s a need to go digital and get on social. It’s where consumers are. According to a 2019 report from HubSpot, over 40% of the world’s population is on social media (an estimated 3.2 billion users), with 54% of those social users using social platforms to research products and services.

The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated this need as we’ve seen an abrupt shift to operating in virtual environments. Social media has continued to grow as an important tool to share and distribute information with social platforms reporting 2020 increases in user engagement and platform usage, according to Sprout Social. 

Consider the following tips when starting or growing your financial institution’s social presence and strategy. 

 

1. Identify Your Audience 

Pew Research Center reports 7 out of 10 US adults have used and are familiar with social platforms. With a reported 2.45 billion active monthly users, Facebook continues to be the leading platform, with Instagram topping 1 billion, and LinkedIn and Twitter each boasting over 300 million according to Sprout Social’s 2019 Index. Taking the opportunity to introduce yourself, your business, and your role in a community can help identify a group of people who not only are interested but are willing to follow and share your business page. Take time as an organization to consider who your ideal audience (demographics, interests, careers, industries, etc.) is and what content could be produced to reach them. 

 

2. Evaluate What Platforms Work for Your Business

Consumers have an unprecedented number of ways to search and find businesses online. In its infancy, social media was simply one way for people to connect virtually. Today: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and TikTok are the most popular US platforms. These options attract different audiences and provide alternative ways to share and process information. By considering your ideal audience and strategic goals, your organization can evaluate which platform(s) should be leveraged to build a social presence. Identify the platform that best helps share your message and amplifies your presence to employees, partners, and consumers. Sprout Social’s 2019 Index shares that 66% of consumers report they like and follow a brand on Facebook. On Instagram, it’s 90%.

 

3. Consider Strategic Messaging 

Consumers don’t necessarily want to be sold something on social. They want to have an experience. Your business is more than its products and services, and social is an important way to communicate that story. Your message should be strategically tailored across different platforms. Twitter is commonly used to discover new information and quickly access news, while LinkedIn can be more effective at lead generation with a stronger sales pitch about your institutions products and services. Partner with industry publications, identify hashtags you can participate in, and monitor who is currently sharing and amplifying your brand. Use effective, consistent messaging that resonates with your audience, builds your brand, and  helps others find and share your story. 


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4. Leverage Comprehensive Analytics 

Social platforms offer comprehensive analytics dashboards that can provide additional insights about your audience and how content is consumed. These analytics provide information about your audience and followers, while also offering tangible metrics to measure growth and progress. Engagement, follower count, and average reach can be used to quantify your efforts to drive people to a certain link, post, or message. By intentionally measuring social-driven goals, you can assess how social is impacting the organization and where it fits in your marketing strategy. 

 

5. Make a Content Calendar

Often, financial institutions fall into the trap of only posting on their social platforms when something is ‘happening.’ Don’t use social only as a vehicle to share news or upcoming events. Have a consistent, ongoing presence  be dependably consistent with planned posts scheduled each week. Pew Research reports that 74% of Facebook users visit the site daily, and as algorithms shift to show users content that relevant and specific to their interests, it’s important you continually provide information that can help resonate with audiences and increase your following.

 

6. Research Industry Compliance Standards 

It’s important that institutions consider how their messages can remain compliant. This may mean regular check-ins with the legal team to ensure there isn’t a compliance issue or concern. The CCPA and GDPR have more recently driven data collection and privacy accountability, while Section 5 of Federal Trade Commission Act, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, FDIC and NCUA, among others, have policies in place to help offer consumer protections. Additionally, UDAAP (unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts and practices) policy outlines how financial institutions can market products and services. 

 

7. Consider an Ad Campaign

Social media is one of the remaining spaces available to marketers where it is not necessary to pay to play, offering opportunities to reach people organically and free of cost. However, advertising can be utilized to help prompt audience action or share a specific message or campaign. Social media ad spend was over $89 billion in 2019 and shows no sign of slowing down, as Facebook reported over 7 million individual advertisers last year. Don’t be afraid to put some social ad dollars in the budget. 

 

8. Regularly Re-Evaluate Your Social Strategy

Social media is not a sitting target as new platforms continue to emerge and consumer behaviors change. Remember Myspace? Heard of TikTok? The financial industry is a relatively new player in the social space, with most organizations only adopting in the last 3-4 years according to an ABA Research Study. It’s important financial marketers continually stay educated on changing consumer behaviors, platform updates, and how those variables affect the implemented social strategy. For example, Instagram only introduced ‘stories’ in 2016, but that element is now a critical component of how users engage with the platform.  

 

Social media holds a lot of influence for both consumers and financial institutions. What you don’t do is just as important at what you choose to do. It’s critical your institution is not simply on social just to be there. Ensure there is intentional growth, regular posting, and an ongoing strategy that helps you connect with your ideal consumer audience, while also striving to meet business growth goals.  


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About Allied Solutions 

Allied Solutions, LLC is one of the largest providers of insurance, lending, and marketing products to financial institutions in the US. Allied Solutions uses technology-based products and services customized to meet the needs of 4,000 clients, along with a portfolio of innovative products and services from a wide variety of providers. Allied Solutions maintains over 16 regional offices and service centers around the country and is a subsidiary of Securian Financial Group, Inc.

 

Content in the blog posts are the opinion and views of the writer, and don't necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Allied Solutions.

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