Being in the financial services industry, social media constantly has a negative connotation – especially when the notion of allowing employees to use it arises.

But, we’re not harping- instead, we’ve listed the benefits of having your financial institution’s employees active on social media.

Maybe we can change your mind…

Free Advertising

Social media was once free. It used to have 100% organic reach, meaning if a bank was to post a status update, it would reach every single person who Liked the bank’s page. However, the people at Facebook are no fools. They know how important reaching potential clients is for brands and therefore initiated pay to play. They have drastically dropped organic reach, and we can only expect those numbers to continue to decline.

Allowing bank employees to be on social media and share corporate posts will increase your organic reach WITH NO ADDITIONAL COST. It has a ripple effect. As employees share a post, some of their friends will see it, and so on.

Collaboration And Professional Development

Sometimes we don’t know the answers to problems we are trying to solve. Luckily, tons of industry influencers and peers spend their time on social media channels and are happy to offer their advice.

Asking a question can yield tons of answers, which in the long term can benefit the bank as a whole. This is one of the many reasons “mommy bloggers” have become so successful. Being a mom comes with more struggles than most paid careers, and social media has allowed moms all over the world to connect, collaborate, and share stories. Many of these conversations result in better moms. The same can happen for bank employees.

Zap A PR Nightmare

Whether your bank is on social media or not, people are talking. Social media can let a small problem turn into a massive PR nightmare. However, if bank employees are on social media interacting with customers, and communicating effectively, they can nip a PR nightmare in the bud. Consumers can forgive bad behavior, but if a bank doesn’t put themselves on the platforms where customers interact, they will struggle to fix issues.

A PR problem can escalate quickly — especially as younger generations rely more heavily on social media platforms for information. If a bank isn’t equipped to handle these communication tools, problems will spread throughout the public more quickly than a bank can keep up.

Networking With Potential Clients

The horrifying reality of cold-calling is that only 5-10% of people answer their phones, it has a rate of less than 2% of calls resulting in a sale, and it ends up costing a company 60% more per lead.

Social media is a great place for prospecting and acts as a place for a soft introduction.  It has broken down barriers to entry in a big way. Typically, to network with potential clients a bank would have to purchase a sponsorship or pay to attend an event. Today, employees can use social media to join discussions, attend free online events, and connect online. Networking now comes at a fraction of the cost, but bank employees need to be there to take advantage of it.

Transparency

Millennials don’t trust online advertising, they share experiences online, trust their friends, are socially conscious, and value openness and transparency. Why? They were raised in turbulent times (especially with the economy,) and therefore tend to be skeptical consumers. They can sniff out a fake company image from a mile away, and can immediately tell if company is deliberately silencing employees voices and hiding behind curtains of deceit.

For that reason, when employees are on social media it builds trust with potential customers. If a bank has a social media page, but doesn’t allow employees to interact or engage with it, it sends the message that they have platforms as sales tools, scripted by professionals, which lack authenticity. In other words, social media becomes another curtain, hiding the great and powerful oz, and we all know how that story ends. Customers have no interest in getting to know that kind of company.

So while social media comes with risk, having social media can do wonders for a banking institution. Most importantly, when the people who work within your bank take to social media, it gives your audience people to trust, rather than a brand. People trust people. They don’t trust sales and marketing messages.