Imagine you’re a child again, sitting in front of a pile of Lego pieces scattered across your bedroom floor. There are no instructions, and it looks like mass chaos.  Where do you go from here?

Most people think that this is where creativity is unleashed, but how can you do that in this type of environment? Creativity is best unleashed when you previously had a solid foundation in what you need to create. Your creativity becomes focused and will better accomplish your goals.

Sometimes in order to release creativity or allow creativity to flow, you need instructions on how to begin to get there. The problem with instructions comes down the road. It comes when you begin to rely too heavily on them and they stifle your creativity.

We all remember when we lost Lego pieces to a set. Did we just stop building that spaceship? No. We used our creativity and knowledge about other pieces to create something new.

While our banks need rules at the beginning, as they grow, they become bureaucratic breeding grounds. They initiate policies, procedures, and instructions to have complete control. But what becomes of creativity?

You lock yourself into that point in time where you’re missing a Lego piece to complete the spaceship. You need to use your creativity to make it better; however, your inability to divert from the “rules” stops you. I believe this is why banks are struggling with creativity and, in turn, affecting the successfulness of their marketing and social media departments.

In order for banks to become creative and grow in social media, they will need to throw away those instruction manuals and start building a strategy from a vision in their mind.

How will they do that?

Forget Rules And Regulations

Not entirely of course, but they will certainly have to not let regulations stifle creativity, but help it flourish.

Think of what can be done rather than what can’t. In the world of social media, the possibilities are endless. Unfortunately, most bank’s creative ideas are shot down before they are even given a chance to begin.

Take the example of TD Bank Canada and its “TD Thanks You” campaign, the Westjet video, The Coca-Cola Happiness Machine, and other point-of-sale innovations that have been popping up all over social media for months. TD Bank Canada was the first to adopt these innovated ideas into banking, and it created an emotional connection to its audience. Why haven’t other banks thought like this?

Study Other Brands To Learn New Possibilities

On my 5th birthday, I received my first Lego spaceman set. It was awesome. Initially, I followed the instructions and created spaceships directly from the manual. However, within months I started creating my own spaceships. Lego introduced me to the idea of the Lego spaceship, but my innovative thinking took my spaceships to a whole new level.

Banks should do this as well. While they can study examples of other creative social media marketing campaigns, they don’t want to copy them entirely. Instead, they need to use their own creativity to adapt them into their bank’s operations.

For example, what TD Bank Canada did was beyond inspiring, but some banks just don’t have the kind of marketing budget to send families to Disney World or book flights to Trinidad. But  they can make people feel happy in other ways. (All it took was a few Cokes for that student body to smile.)

So adapt the rules to fit your needs.  Flirt with them a little. In doing so, smiles will start popping up around your community faster than these viral videos do.

Work With People Who Believe 

With all the rules and regulations that come with running a bank, sometimes it can be hard to see past the rule book. Instead, surround yourself with people who support these ideas and want to find a way to make the ideas become actions.

It takes a room of individuals that is willing to work together to be creative and compliant. Just because you have rules doesn’t mean creativity needs to be stifled. In order to do this, you need to surround yourself with people who support you—with people who believe.

Think about the success your bank would have if it became more humanistic and less transactional. TD Bank Canada received over 3.5 million views of its video in less than a week! That exposure is monumental. All the comments focused on how great the ad was, how happy it made them feel, and how surprised they were to see it coming from a bank. This could be you.

All it takes is for you to put those manuals to the side and start putting your social media platforms together piece by piece. You might even find you created a marketing spaceship that rockets your bank into the galaxy of social stardom.

Do you agree, disagree? Let us know in the comments below!