How is social media used by banks?

How banks address young target groups through social media marketing

The piggy bank no longer pulls, Instagram has to be here!

Online Marketing and Banking. There is still room for improvement. This is shown by many studies and studies that deal with the industry.

Marketing and sales departments wonder how best to address your target audiences. The young target group in particular is migrating. Your goal: N26, Revolut or at least an “online first” bank like ING.

There was a time when banks had a very good relationship with the target group.

Personal advice at the counter in the branch was worth its weight in gold. World Savings Day prepared the young target group to choose the future current account at the bank where the parents had deposited the savings book for the monetary gifts of relatives on anniversaries, graduations and other occasions.

But those times are over, the rules of the game have changed.

And social media marketing can help traditional banks to at least not completely reveal the terrain to young target groups under the new rules of the game.

Traditional banks also have the option of having a digital presence

Just like in content marketing, banks also have the opportunity via social media marketing to prove themselves communicatively on the digital floor and to seek direct contact with the target group.

The added value that banks can offer here: relevance, competence and know-how in all questions relating to financing, investments, etc. pp.

That sounds redundant and mundane, but many banks don't seem to realize this. You'd rather waste your energy on half-hearted employer branding campaigns. This creates wonderful videos to shame oneself, which can then be admired in various compilations on YouTube.

But not all banks with a focus on private customer business leave the topic of social media marketing cold. And some even master the social media keyboard really well.

What can social media marketing look like at banks?

The community is at the beginning

In order to reach an audience through social media marketing, we first need an audience. Sounds logical. This can happen organically or paid for.

Building a community should therefore be at the beginning in the first phase, because the best, most beautiful and cleverest content is useless if it is not seen.

If the community stands, then things can go on.

Value is the focus, not the ROI (first of all)

Forget the business goals for once. Focuses on the customer. Listen, get involved in communication, offer relevance. Selling comes later.

A free checking account is no longer a good argument these days. But maybe the advice when it comes to how the hard-earned money of the first job is better invested than in the savings account.

So it goes with many topics. The product or service should not be in the foreground in the first instance. The needs of the customers, the target group, should be addressed via social media communication. Preferably as a dialogue.

The next question could be: In which FORMAT can I best serve the needs of the customers? Checklists, how-tos, online tools or expert opinions can be used here.

Who is different is remembered

How is the salutation by a bank? You or you What is a bank allowed and not allowed to do? When does the seriousness of a credit institution suffer?

Honestly. Those who are too serious these days also have a problem. And precisely with the young target group.

That doesn't mean that banks should give a damn about all rules of conduct here, but authenticity has its place here. And by that I don't mean a fake youthfulness in an artificial language that marketing experts have come up with.

Ultimately, it is the tonality that often sets the framework for content. It influences the conception and format of content, especially in social media. This is important because it works differently than in the analog world.

But enough of the theory. Which banks are already successfully using social media marketing and what characterizes this success?

Successful social media marketing measures in the banking and financial sector

I have compiled some social media marketing examples from the financial sector here.

Chase Bank: added value on all channels

Chase is the US consumer and commercial banking business of JPMorgan Chase & Co.

It can be an integral part of a social media strategy to set up a so-called "content hub" for editorial purposes. This can be a blog or a kind of digital company magazine (magazine).

It is already clear on the homepage that Chase Bank is taking this approach. And with a lot of effort. Helpful content can be found under News & Stories. They are oriented towards the needs of customers and optimized for the web and also for Google.

Almost 4 million subscribers on Facebook show that the bank is serious about communication via social media.

For this purpose, extra content is created, but also content from the content hub is disseminated, advertised and linked.

The "closer to home challenge" campaign demonstrates how this can be done:

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The Facebook post links to the landing page:

On the landing page, content is played that is both useful for visitors and focuses on the bank's product. Gamification elements loosen up or playfully combine customer and service provider perspectives.

Chase's Insta account looks a bit messy. However, you can see very well how many formats can be used here. Chapeau!

Overall, the bank's social media and PR team play a lot of topics, but they always revolve around either brand, services or customer needs. The content is not too promotional, so thumbs up!

Chase Bank's social media channels

Wells Fargo: From stagecoach to financial services provider with an affinity for social media

Not so well known in Europe, but Wells Fargo was first a stagecoach transport company. Then came financial services. Henry Wells and William Fargo were also co-founders of American Express (again a beacon in the financial industry when it comes to content marketing).

Apart from maybe Snapchat and TikTok, the bank leaves out little when it comes to communicating with customers on social media.

The bank spans a wide range of topics on Facebook. Service topics, advice, products, but also the topic of "social responsibility" play an important role here. Target group: Customers, new customers - but also your own colleagues.

The bank is also active on Instagram with 75,000 subscribers and has very consistent communication.

The other social media channels are also used excellently. Lots of content that fits the brand. Lots of content that is selected in a customer-centric way. A content strategy that fits!

The point of criticism that the videos on YouTube could use more media budget seems almost pedantic.

Wells Fargo social media channels

The Deutsche Bundesbank

The Deutsche Bundesbank also dares to use social media. Almost mandatory for a public institution, in my opinion.

A newsroom that aggregates all social media activities looks a bit "old school", but such a representation is always useful. Who doesn't like to remember Twitterwalls? The memory almost makes you feel sentimental.

And this is where another social media channel joins: Flickr. In fact, you rarely see that, because in the age of Instagram and Pinterest, Flickr seems a little anachronistic.

However, the images are available in very good quality. The 23 followers thank 😉 - seriously, good image source for journalists.

The Bundesbank is also active on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook. Overall, a robust appearance on social media. Maybe a little too formal. But that can still be.

After all, the first steps have been taken!

Social media channels of the Deutsche Bundesbank

State Bank of India

The State Bank of India surprises with an extraordinary web design - at least from a European perspective.

The content on Pinterest is just as creative. This social media platform is also used a little differently than one would do in this country. It seems to be used more as a complement to Instagram's mechanics. After all, almost 18k followers do that.

With over 18 million fans on Facebook, 4 million followers on Twitter, almost 300k subscribers on YouTube ... the bank is a heavyweight in social media. The social media team is almost a media company that places and advertises countless content every day and interacts with the community.

Also interesting: the advertising media on Facebook and Instagram are very limited in terms of quantity.

Overall, therefore, a best case in our eyes, which shows that banks can also master content marketing in social media - even with a very large community and a correspondingly large amount of feedback and service requests.

State Bank of India's social media channels

What goals can social media not only achieve as a bank?

The examples may suggest that if you do a lot, you will achieve a lot. It doesn't have to be like that. Focused and well orchestrated measures (for example the interaction of social media, performance marketing and PR) can also lead to the desired success in a digital world.

But what can be celebrated as a success anyway? Of course, that depends on the individual goals that you should set yourself in the context of a social media strategy.

According to the American Bankers Association (2019), the strategic goals of banks in the context of social media marketing are:

  1. Community engagement
  2. Strengthening the customer relationship
  3. Opinion leadership and brand awareness
  4. Service and updates
  5. Employer branding
  6. Promotion of products and services

The longstanding involvement of US banks in particular in social media shows that these goals can also be achieved. Banks can act authentically on social media platforms.

More about social media marketing

Photo by Fabian Blank on Unsplash

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Co-founder and managing director of Agentur Gerhard. Strategy is important, so is pragmatism. Questions or inquiries directly via email.

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