By Lisa Gold Schier

In speaking with friends, co-workers and bankers, I have come across many reasons why more of us are not effectively using social media: not enough time, concerns about compliance and lack of knowledge top the list.

In banking, we are the relationship builders, the trusted sources and the personal interaction—whether in-person or via social, video, chat or other mediums. So how do we bridge the gap between in-person and digital interactions? How do we display our personality digitally while balancing compliance concerns? How do we personalize digital outreach and engagement through curated content and social media channels in order to educate customers and engage new prospects?

Banks’ retail customers and business clients expect personalized experiences. Using social media in a compliant way for bankers to engage with customers and differentiate themselves from the competition. According to Denim Social, ABA’s endorsed social media management platform, building a personalized and human digital experience is key, and the best place to start doing it is on social media. Informative and educational content is a fantastic entry point into a digital journey, as it starts by engaging prospects and building trust.

People trust people, and banks that have individual employees actively using social media on behalf of the bank’s brand are seeing results. Even when sharing the same content, on average employees see a click-through rate twice as high as their company’s own social channels see, according to LinkedIn. Two-thirds of consumers surveyed by the Harris Poll say they are likely to purchase an item or service they see on their social feeds.

Here’s a simple process to make social selling work in a bank context:

  • Marketing teams easily curate and share educational, compliant content in a pre-approved digital library.
  • Then employees access the approved content and share through their own, personal digital channels.
  • Approval workflows and compliance checks along the way ensure the posts meet both the bank’s compliance and branding requirements.

Employee posts are a complement to, not a substitute for, paid social media, which enables marketers to create and target paid ads specific to demographics, geography and more. Imagine creating educational content for a demographic of first-time homebuyers. Your loan officer shares savings tips, homeownership information and educational content on their social channels, establishing expertise and developing relationships along the way. Paid ads ensure the right homebuyers see the content.

According to IBM, when a lead is generated through social selling or employee advocacy, that lead is seven times more likely to close compared to other lead gen tactics. Through this digital relationship, your loan officer has engaged in social selling and is reaching new markets—all without leaving the comfort of their home, their office or (these days) their home office.

Lisa Gold Schier is an SVP at ABA, where she leads the ABA Endorsed Solutions team and business innovation.