Social media plays a vital role in any company’s marketing efforts and many companies continuously see the various results from its implementation. According to MediaBistro, 74% of consumers rely on social media to influence their purchasing decisions, 81% are influenced by their friends’ posts on social media, and 71% of consumers who receive a quick social media response from brands are likely to recommend that brand to others.

But what are the implications of this social movement that’s grown far beyond just a trend? People everywhere use social media religiously and there are no doubts that these platforms influence what they buy. Simply put, it pays to be social.

Although social media has only been around for a decade or so, it has dramatically changed over said period of time. (Did you know that users originally were required to sign up for a Facebook account with a college email address?) That being said, it is important for bank and credit union brands to participate in current social paradigms and begin to incorporate incorporate social media into their content marketing strategies.

Is this important? Vital? Absolutely, and here are a few reasons why…

Social Media Marketing Integration

Your institution is already expected to have social media channels by the Millennial generation. Should your bank or credit union not have any, it will certainly affect your sales. According to a study by Forbes, 78% of the salespeople who use social media outsell their peers who do not. If you’re not on social media yet, we highly urge you to take action. You’re already extremely behind!

54% of businesses can track at least one transaction that was a result of social media engagement. Those who use social media give themselves a competitive advantage in the sale-making process and continue to see an increasing trend in their profits.

Images Have Taken Over The Internet

In case you didn’t already know, in 2012 Facebook spent a whopping $1 billion dollars to buy Instagram, further proving that  image sharing is HUGE and has become an internet phenomena of its own at this point. If that doesn’t convince you, Pinterest is the fastest growing independent site in history.

According to IACP’s Center for Social Media, 58 photos are added to Instagram every second and users share around 3,600 new photos a minute. These figures only continue to increase and as you can see, images are the driving force throughout social media – becoming a major influencer when it comes to consumer interactions.

YouTube Videos Enable SEO Benefits

In case you’ve been hiding under a rock, I should tell you that Google owns YouTube. So, if you create YouTube videos for your content, your posts will be 50 times more likely to show up in search results. YouTube is an excellent way to drive people to your website and create transparency. It’s an inexpensive way to gain exposure and consumer awareness.

Creating a video may seem like a daunting task. However, you can start by ignoring fancy video equipment and using your smartphone. You can use simple editing tools to chop up your video and highlight the key points you want to emphasize.  The content you provide is more important than having intricate editing skills. As your videos gain more exposure and viewership, you can start to think about whether you should hire a team to create higher quality video content.

Podcasts Continue To Grow

Podcasts continue to grow due to the mobile world’s insane take-over of the way we consume content. It allows for easy navigation of apps, simple mobile software, and instant streaming all from the convenience of your smartphone. This gives you the freedom to be creative. Podcasts have not been the most popular in the past, which gives you the opportunity to work on a field that is still in development. You have the chance to be unique and create a new marketing opportunity, but you must seize the opportunity fast as you’ll already being playing catch-up.

Social media isn’t a trend of the future, it’s a phenomenon of the present – the here and the now. It is not a business paradigm to be taken lightly. A dismissive and trivial attitude towards these platforms is an extreme misconception of the marketing reality we currently dwell in. Link up your profiles, create your content, and prepare to engage.

Your business depends on it.

What are some other reasons social media is vital for a bank’s/credit union’s content marketing strategy? Let us know in the comments section below!