Social Media 101: Know Your Channels

Social media is a vital component of your marketing and communications strategy and has increasingly become a major channel through which Americans get their news.

According to Pew Research Center, 68% of all Americans turn to social networking sites to stay informed and that number isn't likely to drop anytime soon. Pew also found that users favor the social media as a news source for the convenience, making social media platforms essential to any marketing plan.   

There are 5 key channels your bank should be using (depending on your audience):

  1. Twitter – Useful for providing customers with timely information. Focus on news, events and what is happening in the moment. Tone: business and casual.
  2. Facebook - Useful for customer engagement, brand awareness, and as a platform to share your story. Focus on relevant, timely information affecting the community and the bank’s customers. Tone: friendly, casual.
  3. Instagram - Useful for engaging with customers, building your brand and sharing your community bank’s story. Tone: friendly, casual.
  4. LinkedIn - Useful for connecting with local entrepreneurs, businesses and customers. Focus on educational/informative articles, as well as business and professional development. Tone: business.
  5. Youtube - For hosting your bank’s videos and sharing educational/informational videos on social. Tone: Business and casual.

Getting Feedback

Set up a Google Analytics account on your website to test effectiveness. You may find that one channel works better than others in your market, which will help you allocate resources more effectively. Get customer feedback too.  Ask customers which social media platforms they use, and which ones they prefer to interact with their businesses on. This will also help you better plan your communications outreach.

While not directly related to social media, the use of online forums like Yelp and Google Places are also becoming an important communication channel for consumers.  Be sure to monitor such sites and respond accordingly.