Friends, Schmiends – Making Social Media Count
The top 35 banks on Facebook reach a mere 0.6% of their base, according to a study by Retail Bank International. “If you exclude the three top-performing banks, the average drops to one in every 525 customers – only 0.2% of their base.”
The numbers point to three interesting challenges financial institutions face in crafting their social media outreach. First, not everyone who “likes” your page is or will become a customer. Second, measuring your outreach effort is more complex than counting friends. Third, lenders are missing countless opportunities to engage valued audiences.
For now, “likes” are the currency many organizations and their marketing arms use to measure their Facebook success. The numbers, however, have little correlation to real business objectives. They don’t tell you what, if anything, visitors did with the information they received on your page.
Many organizations cannot quantify their results because they launched their pages without having measurable business or communication objectives in mind. For example, how will the page reduce customer support calls, bolster business leads, increase queries about new accounts, etc.?
If banks want to use Facebook and other social media tools to attract prospects and bolster existing client relationships they must engage visitors in relevant conversation. Instead of focusing their posts solely on services, accomplishments and financial performance, they should customize messages that speak to the needs of small-business owners, minorities, the unbanked and other key audiences.
By developing a strategic, measurable social media campaign, banks can better position themselves to become business partners rather than mere service agents.