Social media is an important component of any financial institution’s client engagement strategy. It’s a way to connect with and engage your communities and account holders. However, according to the 2019 State of Social Media in Banking report from the American Bankers Association, only 40% of respondents said they had implemented a plan for how frequently they post to social media, and just 19% said they have clear goals for their social-media efforts.
Whether your organization already has plenty of experience posting and sharing on social media or is just beginning to experiment with these powerful tools, having a clear strategy and knowing best practices can take your efforts to the next level. The following information is sourced from the PULSE/Discover® Debit Social Media Playbook.
Define Your Target
Each social-media platform caters to a different audiences. While their audiences overlap, some are better for reaching certain target audiences than others.
- Facebook is the behemoth. Almost everyone who uses the internet is on Facebook regularly. It’s more popular with older millennials and Gen Xers than other social platforms.
- Twitter users skew male and tend to be highly engaged in current events, with about 40% between the ages of 25 and 44.
- Instagram is typically geared toward a younger audience between the ages of 18 and 29.
- LinkedIn is best used for engaging influencers in the small-business community and is a great way to target business clients for business checking and small-business loans.
Following are best practices for each of the major platforms:
Even though Facebook doesn’t have a word limit, the research indicates that using fewer words contributes to higher engagement, which means followers liking or sharing the post. Posts with just 40 words have 86% higher engagement. We recommend always using images or videos for maximum engagement and refraining from using hashtags. Sponsoring Facebook posts is an affordable way to broaden your reach beyond those who already follow your brand.
Twitter allows your brand to get involved in current events. By using hashtags and keeping up with trending topics, you can jump on the bandwagon and generate content that gets broad attention. The studies show tweets that include a hashtag or two generate 21% higher engagement. Twitter can also be a great tool for listening for early warnings that account holders aren’t satisfied and addressing their concerns directly.
Your younger millennial and Gen Z account holders have migrated away from Twitter and Facebook and use Instagram as their primary information-sharing platform. We recommend limiting your bio to no more than 150 characters, post just once per day and target 3-4 p.m. for posts. Showing photos featuring faces generate 38% more likes.
The business community uses LinkedIn to network and share ideas. When it comes to posting company content, such as articles and opinion pieces, this platform is more suited for executives who represent your brand rather than the brand itself. Posting and sharing articles written by or for executives on LinkedIn can strengthen perceptions that they are industry thought leaders. We recommend always using visuals and keeping these posts between 1,000 and 2,000 words.
The full PULSE/Discover Debit Social Media Playbook is available to Discover Debit issuers through the Discover Debit Marketing Hub. The Discover Debit Marketing Hub is a platform that houses a library of customizable marketing templates built to drive engagement with cardholders. It provides more flexibility, ways for issuers to strengthen their brands and easy-to-use templates to simplify production of professional collateral.
Issuers that want to learn more about the Marketing Hub and Discover Debit overall should contact their Account Executive for more details.