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A Community Bank’s Guide to Social Media | Monthly Marketing

In today’s fast-paced and hyper-connected world, it seems as though everyone and their mother maintains some type of social media presence. If you’ve had that thought, you’re not far off: Sprout Social reports that as of January 2022, 3.96 billion people worldwide are on social media across all platforms. So, it makes sense that large companies and small businesses alike have taken to social media to reach their ideal customers. Can community banks do the same? Absolutely! Here’s a quick guide to harnessing the power of social media for your community bank, from picking the right platforms to creating the right content and reaching the right people.

Know Your Audience

Before you or your staff even think about creating your first post, you must first define your audience. It doesn’t make sense to put a message out into the world without knowing who you’re talking to, right? You may even want to compile this information into a document for future reference and to inform your marketing strategy down the road. Further, you may target different audiences for different products and services your bank offers—for example, you may target one type of audience for small business loans and another for mortgage loans. As you define those audiences, consider elements such as demographics, needs, wants, and goals.

Choose Your Platforms(s)

Hundreds of social media platforms exist across the internet, and your community bank can’t maintain a presence on all of them—nor should you try! Even if you narrowed your list down to the 10 most popular platforms, you would still spread yourself too thin trying to consistently engage on all of them. Focus your efforts on 1-3 social media platforms and build an engaged audience there.

Create Content

Once you know your audience and your platforms, it’s time to develop some content to post. Whether you post photos, videos, links to blogs and articles, or something else, your posts should be on-brand for your institution and relevant to your audience. You don’t have to share the latest meme or engage in the latest TikTok trend if it doesn’t fit with your bank’s mission and unique voice. Your content should showcase your unique value and tell potential customers who you are in the world of community banking. Here are some ideas:

  • Showcase popular products and services with a graphic or video. This can be an engaging way to make your audience aware of what you have to offer, from CDs to home loans.
  • Share testimonials and reviews of your institution, or certain products, from customers. This is a great way to highlight the value you provide to satisfied customers.
  • Highlight staff members that regularly interact with customers. Share short bios, make a short video, or highlight their accomplishments. This builds trust between your audience and your service providers.
  • Show support for community causes, whether it’s a local charity, youth sports programs, or disaster relief efforts. Show your customers that you’re not just a financial institution, but a valued member of your community.

Post on a Schedule

Once you have some content stored away to share, create a posting schedule, and stick to it. Consistent posting is the best way to ensure that your posts actually appear in your followers’ feeds—just because you post it, doesn’t mean they will see it. The algorithm that determines which posts appear in users’ feeds rewards pages that consistently share engaging posts. So, what constitutes “consistent?” Ideally, your bank’s page would share one post to each platform a day. However, depending on the amount of time and resources you’re able to devote to your social media strategy, that may not be realistic. So if your posts need to go up once or twice a week, that should work as well. Using a social scheduling tool, such as Hootsuite or Buffer, can also make your social media process more efficient. (Note: Meta Business Suite has a built-in scheduling tool for Facebook and Instagram).

BONUS: Hire a Marketing Staff Member

Developing a strategic and engaging social media presence can be time-consuming and labor-intensive. If you can see social media becoming a major marketing channel for your community bank, consider hiring a full-time marketing staff member. Ideally, this would be a member of your community with a background in marketing, digital marketing, or social media management.

 

The world of social media can seem overwhelming at first glance, but it represents a significant opportunity for your community bank. With a strong strategy in place, a social media presence can help your institution reach potential customers in new and engaging ways.

 

Getting the right support from a correspondent banking institution can also help your community bank thrive. Independent Community Banker’s Bank has established a reputation for excellence over the last 30 years. ICBB serves Community Bank’s throughout Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Tennessee to better serve their customers using a variety of services, including credit card solutions and loan participation. To learn more about how we can assist your bank visit www.icbb.bank or contact our Account Executive team solutions@icbb.bank.

 

About the Author Madison J. Caplinger is the Marketing Associate for Independent Community Bankers’ Bank. Prior to working with ICBB, she helped small businesses expand their reach through digital marketing as an independent contractor. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Eastern Kentucky University and will graduate with a Master of Arts in Mass Communication, focus in Digital Strategy, from the University of Florida in May 2023.

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