Last month I wrote about my frustration with institutional brands’ inability to create content that people will care about. All the tips telling me how to save money and stretch my dollar, it can be a big turn off to many people. In fact, in my frenzy, I callously said that nothing would make me care, and I was wrong. You see, in writing that post, I knew that a follow up would be needed because it is a little unfair to tell people they are doing it wrong without offering ideas on getting it right. So, here you will find a set of tips on what content would actually get people’s attention, affinity and ultimately amplification should they interact with your content.
In compiling this list, I looked closely at some of the most successful brands from The Financial Brand Power 100. These tips are things that are working in terms of growing fans and generating likes and engagement for both large and small brands. Us social media strategist like to write posts that are aspirational and full of things that you MUST do, but, most organizations just don’t do them. The recommendations fall on deaf ears. We are consistently preaching the need to be authentic, only talk about yourself 20% of the time, offer value, guide and counsel. The usual recommendations apply. But below, I am going to get specific in terms of the exact examples and types of content you should be serving up if you want to get a return on that like.
Right now, you are likely posting countless “savings” tips and “stretching” tips. Stop doing this. Instead, give me ways to grow my money. Talk about interest rates, talk about CDs. Get specific with it too. Instead of saying, “Pay yourself first”. You should say: “CD rates are at an all-time high. Putting in $100 dollars today will give you $xxx in 6 months.” See what we did there, we promoted a product without promoting a product and we told you how to MAKE money. Same idea, different delivery.
You have experts; let’s hear from them
A financial institution is full of people who know amazing things about money, the economy and investing. In case you didn’t know, people love money. They want to find ways to get more money (see above) but they also want to know what the experts in the field are reading and looking at. Share THAT content! Drive me to the articles and ebooks your experts are reading. This is super valuable to people and it also helps set you apart for your expertise.
Care about what I care about
I have written a lot lately about how shared passions can create an increase in engagement and fan base. This is a no-brainer. But, in doing so, you have to be authentic. So, if we both LOVE the Pittsburgh Pirates (that one’s for you Mr. Falls) and you have content that celebrates their season and accomplishments, I am going to engage because we both love the same thing. So, take a good hard look at your sponsorships. And ask; how can we leverage those relationships to build compelling content for our collective fans and grow our affinity with our shared passion. Posting the score might even be enough!
Help me feel good about choosing you
Banks, although sometimes they may seem the same, are very different in terms of brand personality. It is hard to change banks, so people rarely do it. But when I do choose you, remind me occasionally of your values. What is important to you. And if you can show me don’t tell me. Small Business Saturday and Chase Community Giving are both great reasons for me to feel good about choosing you. I do want to “like” you and I really want to like the choices I make. Help me do both by sharing content that shows me your values and how you improve the world/community/neighborhood.
Listen to me
Your fans have ideas. You should be open to them. Barclays UK recently did a ton of consumer outreach on their Facebook page inviting their fans to sound off on features and functionality of their online banking tools. They also offered a series of live chats with leadership to make the experience more personal but to ultimately make fans feel heard. This goes beyond responding to comments and posts, it is actively listening to fans and inviting them to be part of the conversation.
If you must talk about you, make it interesting
When you have earned the right to talk about yourself, spend those precious words and images being clever and interesting. Overlay some pop culture, use a real-time approach, but for the love of Pete, knock my socks off. Not too long ago, Barclays (again, I know, but they are doing a lot right!) posted an update about themselves that stuck with me for over a month, it simply said: Did you know that Reg Varney was the first man to withdraw money from the first ever Barclays cash machine in 1967? Now that is INTERESTING! Cash Machines in 1967!?! And it had an accompanying charming old newspaper clipping. I remembered it and I saw it in JUNE!
If you can help people grow their money, listen to them, make them believe in you and their decision, give them tools and present yourself less often and more interestingly, you will create a return on your Likes.