BSG Financial Group recently hosted an educational webinar entitled, “Maximizing Social Media for Community Financial Institutions.” The webinar provided instruction on social media compliance, shared tips for posting to various social networks and highlighted new developments in social media strategies. Response to the session was overwhelming, indicating that the information provided would be valuable to others who were not able to attend.
Below you will find a few questions that were asked and the answers from our presenter, Sara Harris of Insight CRM Solutions. Many of the questions we received were especially relevant to community institutions that do not have a formal social media strategy. If you would like to view the entire webinar, including the Q & A portion, go here.
QUESTION: How do we start in social media? How do we get ‘out of the gate’ in this space?
To start out, even if you are intimidated by social media and are not really ready to post, I recommend that you secure your brand on the social networks. What this means is that you create and verify an account for your credit union on Twitter and Facebook, for example. Even if that’s all you do, that is a great start. You have established your institution’s presence and people will be able to find you. I have seen on several occasions a credit union being impersonated – other users using their name or logo without consent. A verified account reduces confusion in the event that there may be other accounts that might seem like they are your institution, but are not!
As you move forward and begin to put a social media team and strategy in place, focus first on content. You don’t have to post every day, but when you do, make sure that your content is relevant. Post items that will provide information that your account holders or prospects are interested in. This could be financial education or community events or just something that is unique about the products you offer. Be true to your institution’s personality, and be responsive. If somebody comments or asks a question, take the time to respond in a thoughtful way.
The main point is that it is important to be on social media, even if you are simply ‘listening’ for mentions of your institution or responding to inquiries. Social networks are where many of your account holders are spending time, checking their news feed and sharing information. Younger members may not want to take time to visit a branch. They might not even want to bother dialing your phone number. But if they can find you on Facebook or they can tweet a question, they will. Be prepared for those types of interactions by listening and being present on social networks so that you can respond.
QUESTION: How long does it take for financial institutions to get up and running with an effective social media listening and monitoring program?
It does not have to take long at all! There are a variety of social media management tools out there, but Social IQ™ was developed specifically for financial institutions. Our set up process includes a short survey and an interview to determine all the different ways the brand might be referenced in the media. Once the software is up and running, you may not even have to log in every day; Social IQ continually scans social media networks and the web looking for mentions of your brand and sends you alerts and summary reports to keep you aware of what is being said – day and night. This could include a range of mentions from a tweet or a check-in to a blog post or news article. All of your social media activity is archived for compliance and reporting. Social IQ saves you time and energy while helping make sure your reputation stays golden!