I admit it: I am old-school. For 30 years, I have worked with community banks across the nation to provide what we now call traditional marketing and advertising. Newspaper ads and radio. Point of sale pieces and brochures. Press releases and statement stuffers.
Even today, I believe these traditional forms of marketing are an essential part of a community bank’s strategy of communicating with those in its market. It’s just part of who I am, a person who for many years only wanted a cell phone from which I could make calls or receive calls, period. Grudgingly, I finally got an iPhone and reluctantly admitted it was nice to have internet access and apps that could give me up-to-date weather and sports information. It was my personal foray into the world of better living through technology.
Two years ago, at the constant urging of staff members far younger than myself, The Eversole Group introduced GetSocial, a social media program designed to enhance our traditional ad program with a target of millenials; a program that could bring Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media outlets into play for the benefit of community banks. I was told that social media was the most impactful way of receiving and sending information for a generation no longer interested in the newspaper; a generation given to MP3 players and XM radio.
Granted, I was brought into GetSocial kicking and screaming, but now I am a believer. You can’t argue with hard numbers and facts, although I have tried unendingly to do so. Social media is here to stay and it’s in play for every community bank that wants to be seen by everyone with a smart phone. We are fortunate to have partnered with social media experts to offer GetSocial and it’s a great program that is administered professionally to ensure a comprehensive social media presence for participating banks. Reviews have been excellent and results have been very favorable. I admit defeat. One day, I may even tweet something, myself.
That’s not to say, however, that traditional marketing is dead. In fact, statistics tell us that 87% of banks continue to use newspaper advertising and 73% of banks continue to use local radio as a means of advertising. Those same banks, however, are now deeply committed to social media as well. Over the course of the past two years, I have come to learn two things about social media: The regulatory agencies that keep watch over national and state-chartered banks have quickly come to get their hands into social media oversight. No shock there…we all knew that would happen in short order.
There are no rules in the back of the social media book. Banks are being creative in finding ways to utilize YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, among other social media, to communicate with millenials. Weekly games, promoting community events, advertising products and providing discussion forums are just a handful of the ways banks are connecting with customers via social media. Creativity is your guide…and you can craft a social media program to fit what you believe is the most attractive plan for your market.
An excellent article that will help define your view on community bank’s use and need for social media can be found at: The State of Social Media in Banking by ABA Bank Marketing
The “Top 10” takeaways from this report include:
- Social media is a powerful way to boost the brand
- Social media programs are still maturing
- There’s a lot of work to be done in strategy and implementation
- Banks are foregoing opportunities by not using social media
- Giving employees a voice can be of great benefit
- Governance concerns can be resolved with management software
- Clicks and views are less meaningful that engagement
- Social media can be part of the foundation of an advertising program
- Social media will get more costly
- Banks can’t afford to not be in social media
If you are ready to talk about creating and rolling out a social media program, I invite you to talk with us today. The Eversole Group can create a blend of traditional and social media marketing, including web design, to meet your unique goals and needs.
You may call us at 601-977-5225. It would be our pleasure to take your total advertising program to a new level and position your bank to be a leader in communicating with customers and prospects of all ages and interests.