We hear it from the financial industry all the time. Our social media is failing. Social media doesn’t work. Nobody will interact with our posts. It’s Facebook’s fault. It’s Twitter’s fault. It’s compliance’s fault…

No. Social media is failing due to a fundamental misconception in how social media is to be used for marketing. They forget the social component. Social media is a two way communication tool meant to spark conversation. But even if you feel you’re fighting an uphill battle with no end in sight, there’s no need to worry. Here are some ways to fix your failing social media marketing strategies.

Revisit the message you are sending.

Facebook and Twitter were originally places that people went to socialize. (Try to remember that it was created by a college student in his dorm room.) Banks and brands alike are now encroaching on space that previously was reserved for people wanting to discuss what they’re eating for dinner, post cat videos, and creep on exes.

That being said, the content you produce needs to be engaging, informative, and entertaining. If you aren’t hitting all three on the head with each piece of content you create, you’re probably sending the wrong message.

Try asking and answering questions, sharing what your audience has to say, and posting non-banking related content. If all you do is post product updates, sales pitches, boring announcements, and pat-yourself-on-the-back posts, everyone will tune you out.

What message are you trying to send, and are you doing it?

Quit thinking B2C and B2B.

Instead start thinking H2H (Human to Human.) Begin to think of your bank as more than a brick and mortar building that provides goods and services. Instead think of it as the people inside trying to relate and communicate with the people outside.

How does one do that? By being human and getting personal. As stated before consumers are on social platforms to connect with friends, colleagues, and family. They aren’t looking to be sold something. Not most of the time at least. So it’s imperative that brands act as human as possible without losing touch of who they are.

Doing so will make your marketing feel less intrusive. You’ll sound like a fellow friend, rather than someone looking for consumers money.

Try highlighting employee accomplishments. They don’t all have to be professional one’s either. Perhaps a bank teller ran a marathon. Tell everyone. Share photos of your team doing fun things.

Give your bank a personality. (We know you’ve got plenty of them sitting in board rooms!)

Create a dialog that builds trust.

We know it’s difficult to know what you can and cannot answer on social media. But answering questions when possible in a public place allows other potential customers to trust you.

Consumers might visit your Facebook page and see that you completely resolved someone’s issue in a timely manner. They might see that you answered a simple question within minutes. This will create transparency between what you say online, and how your team operates internally. Thus, consumers will know that what you say online aligns with what you say in person.

With so many brands moving online, it’s hard to tell which ones you can trust just from their online presence. Opening up a dialog will make you stand out from 95% of brands that simply post to self promote.

If you hadn’t noticed already, the overall theme for success is to quit talking about yourself. Yes there’s a time and a place for that. But you will see your social success begin to grow once you step back, remove the spotlight from your goods and services, and project it onto your consumers.

What do your consumers look like and what are some things you could do to focus a little more on them? Leave your suggestions in the comment section.