Social Media a 'Yes' for Financial Executives: BankSocial
“Five years ago, social media was a ‘no’ from financial executives,” said Amy McLlwain, Global Industry Principal for the Financial Social Media division of Hootsuite, a social media scheduling platform. “Fortunately, that has changed to a ‘yes,’” she added.
Hundreds of financial industry marketing professionals and executives attended the #BankSocial Conference in Miami, Fla. to discuss the latest social media trends, compliance issues and engagement tactics for members, employees and consumers.
“Your employees are out there on social media trying to help your brand and you might not even know it,” said McLlwain during a panel discussion. “There are different levels of employee advocacy and financial institutions need to have strict guidelines when they’re representing your brand.”
Jill Castilla, president/CEO of Citizens Bank, Edmond, Okla. has enjoyed the successes of engaging employees by forming cash mobs around the Edmond community.
“We needed a morale booster and we wanted to combine a project with social media and our employees that would benefit our small business community,” said Castilla. "The heart of what we do is for our communities."
During a panel discussion of community bank CEOs, all agreed that the goal of social media shouldn’t be to drive sales.
“Sure, we want sales as a goal of our overall organization, but as a part of our social media strategy? No,” said Mike Allard, SVP and Chief Marketing Officer for Avidia Bank.
Credit union and community bank leaders, at the #BankSocial conference, said the best first step for creating a social media strategy for your financial institution is bringing in your compliance team.
“Make sure there’s an understanding with compliance and HR of everything that’s involved in social media,” said CarrieAnne Cormier, vice-president of Retail and Digital Strategy for Avidia Bank. “Once you have that group on board with what you want to accomplish, then you’ll have a much easier time convincing your executive and management teams, as well as your board.”
Avidia Bank launched the Avidia Smarties social media program, as a way to engage employees and the public to represent the bank in the community. According to Avidia’s Facebook Page, Smarties are “loyal brand ambassadors to Avidia Bank! Knowledgeable about bank products/services and industry trends.”
Currently they have dozens of “Smarties” team members spreading the bank’s branding message around Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.
Cormier emphasized, “We worked closely with our executive team, board members, HR and compliance to create a social media policy to allow us to expand our social media presence with Smarties.”
“In our first month, we saw a 13% increase in our mobile banking app.” And it was all done through social.
Andrea Finn, Digital Marketing Manager at Royal Credit Union advised, “Don’t be afraid to try things out – even if they’re a little edgy.”