If I had it my way, everything I would write about would involve zombies, lipstick, Derek Jeter, and giraffes. An eclectic mix, but all of which interest me. However, what is interesting to me may not be interesting to my readers.

Knowing that I need to adapt my content to appeal to those reading it is exactly why we at #BankSocial speak about social media and banking. Our goal is to provide useful, interesting information to bank executives involved with marketing and new media.

We want to provide a place to stimulate conversation. We want to create engaging content that executives and marketing professionals want to share.

Banks need to do the same even though they may not be writing about the same things. Once your bank establishes a social media strategy, you will be responsible for creating content and distributing it through social media channels.

But there’s a catch.

This content needs to serve your audience, not you.

While your bank may want to push products and provide financial information, this might not be the type of content that your audience wants.

In fact, it’s probably stifling your bank’s online growth.

Instead, create content that serves your audience by following these 4 guidelines:

All Content Posted Should Have Value

People share things that hold value. You want your readers to find your content so useful that every time you post, they know they will find something valuable.

Usually people who value the same things relate and interact with each other. So by creating content that is valuable to your audience, you make it more likely that your bank’s content will get shared with others who have common interests.

All Content Posted Should Serve a Purpose

People want to feel like they have learned something when they view your content. Each post should serve a purpose. Whether you are trying to teach, to inform, to persuade, or to shock, each piece should be created to accomplish a specific goal.

While most people don’t want a piece on social media to be a hard sell. It can be used as an extension of your sales process.

For example, you may want your reader to learn something useful – like how to negotiate the price of a car. Once they have acquired this skill, they would come to you for a loan for that car. They already used you for knowledge, why not now use your services?

All Content Posted Should Position You as an Expert

The more you post, and the more your post serves your audience, the greater of an influencer you will become. People will begin to look at you as being knowledgeable of your industry and topics. In doing so, they will listen.

People also like content that makes them look good. Once they start viewing your bank as an expert, they will happily share your content because it will make them look like an expert as well.

All Content Posted Should Have a Strong Call to Action

People will share content that compels them to do so. A strong call to action tries to convince a person to perform a desired action immediately. Omitting one generally leaves your audience unclear of what to do next.

Each piece your bank creates should end with such a powerful call to action that individuals can’t help but want to share your content.

By creating content with these guidelines in mind, you will begin to answer the question that many bankers ask, “How do I ensure that my content gets shared even if I’m a seemingly ‘boring’ industry?”

So instead of creating content that your bank finds interesting, put yourself in your audience’s shoes. Try to understand what they find interesting.

By stopping content that only serves you, your bank’s online growth won’t be stifled any longer.

What are some successful attempts with new content at your FI? What has worked so far and what hasn’t?