The shift towards a “digital first”’ marketplace is transforming the retail banking industry. Digital channels are replacing branch sites as the focal point of the banking experience. In this changing environment, the key to sustainable growth is dependent on a bank’s ability to successfully transition into a digitally savvy institution.
This is especially true for their marketing departments. Customers are spending more time researching, buying and updating their financial portfolios online. A key challenge facing the modern digital marketer is developing strategies that target the right customer base and offer timely and relevant product offerings.
The Rise of Social Media Marketing
As the amount of time spent on social networks continues to increase so does the importance of marketing on those channels (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) Social media marketing is fast becoming the most powerful way to increase brand awareness and promote brand authenticity.
While branded social media channels are important, studies show customers are more likely to trust information from within their networks. Seventy percent of adults online reported trusting recommendations from friends and family but only 15% trusted companies’ social media posts.
In addition, social media networks (like Facebook) are changing their algorithms to prioritize posts from friends and family. The impact and engagement of branded content shared through an employee’s social media channel is an important marketing strategy that cannot be overlooked.
Enter Employee Advocacy
Employee advocacy programs are designed to increase brand awareness and promote organic marketing efforts through the network of your employees; most often their social networks. Let’s assume each employee has 100 engaged followers on their social networks. For a bank with 5000 employees, promoting a piece of branded content through an employee advocacy program could generate up to 500,000 impressions, all organically.
Social Media Risks and Rewards
While it’s easy to see why the idea of employee advocacy is gaining traction, there are still some conservative industries that are wary of social sharing. Many organizations worry about:
- Remaining compliant within a strictly regulated industry
- Ensuring employees posted messages are relevant, accurate and reflect the brand
- Adoption rates and how they can encourage employees to share company content on their personal social networks
To mitigate these potential risks, it is paramount that employee advocacy is rolled out as a strategic marketing program.
- Employees must be trained on social media best practices and know exactly what is expected of them when posting.
- There should also be executive buy-in, as the lead by example approach has proven extremely effective in driving employee advocacy adoption rates and usage.
- But the easiest way to mitigate sharing risks, remain compliant and increase user adoption is to implement an employee advocacy platform.
Employee Advocacy Platforms
By hosting all compliant branded content on one easy to use platform, employees can – in one click – share these on brand messages to the social network of their choice. A large Canadian financial institution implemented the PostBeyond platform and within 45 days, had over 24,500 pieces of content shared and generated roughly +$168k in earned media value while remaining compliant.
As the world continues to become more digital, modern retail banks must develop not only a presence on social media but also strategies to drive traffic and engagement. Adoption of an employee advocacy program can help create a more robust and strategic social media marketing program. One with greater reach and authenticity.