Perhaps your bank doesn’t have social media but is thinking about diving into the social media pool. Perhaps your bank already has established platforms but is looking to expand into other areas.

Either way, this post is designed to help your bank make a better decision about which social media platform you may want to explore.

Do you want Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube, Vine, Snapchat, Periscope or something else?  With so many to choose from, it can be somewhat overwhelming. The possibilities are endless.

Deciding doesn’t need to keep you up at night. Instead, approach it logically. Follow these  5 steps to decide if a social media platform is right for your bank.

Choose a Goal

Each social media platform operates in different ways and accomplishes different goals. You should have separate goals for each platform. The goals should coincide with the usefulness of a particular social media platform.

For example, your goals for an Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter account would be vastly different.

Your goal on Facebook may be to reach out to people who are not customers but have similar demographics and interests to pre-existing customers.

Your goal on Instagram may be to give a more visual feel to your bank’s community environment.

Your goal on Twitter may be to link up to influencers in the banking industry to discuss key happenings and potential industry threats.

Each goal needs to be created first.  Then use the platform as a tool to get you the results you want.

Find Content That Works

How do you know what content is working? This is where your analytical tools come into play. Understand which posts are successful and on which channels. This allows you to better understand each platform as a whole.

If you have content that doesn’t work on Facebook but works on Instagram, you probably shouldn’t cross-promote it. Just stick to using Instagram.

On the flip side, content that is successful on multiple channels can be used across all to get the most viewership potential.

In other words, help the content that helps you.

Content that works hard for you and brings in readership is the content worth putting time and energy toward. If it doesn’t work hard for you, leave it in the trash for someone else to pick up.

Look at Other Banks

No matter what industry you are in, it is essential to understand what your competitors are doing. For example, small banks should pay attention to the rise of mobile banking and the convenient services other large banks are offering.

If they didn’t, they would be shut down across America. Why? If nothing else, looking at the competition allows you to stay in the game. It allows you to understand what features, products, and services are essential to your bank’s growth.

Same goes for a social media strategy. Pay attention to where your competitors are in the social media world. What success/failures they are encountering?

Answer that question. It will give you a better idea what customers are interacting with. Then, you can tailor your content to fit their needs.

Not only should you pay attention to where other banks are, you should pay attention to where they are not. If a bank believes that a specific goal aligns with a certain platform—and no competitors are on it—what better way to get ahead of the game!

Ask Your Current Followers

What better way to get an answer than straight from the horse’s mouth. If you get tons of interaction on Facebook and you are thinking about adopting another platform, send out a post like this:“Hey everyone! We’re thinking about giving you more access into our world. Where in social media would you like to see us next? Pinterest? Twitter? Instagram? The opportunities are endless!”Not only are you creating engagement, but you are asking them what they want. Maybe your bank thought a Twitter following would be a good idea, but your audience tells you they are begging for an Instagram account. Time to rethink your strategy.

Don’t Forget the Chopped Liver

This step comes after you’ve made your decision. You have created a new profile. The fun is just getting started. However, it is important not to forget your other social media platforms.

They’re the platforms that put in all the hard work to enable you to expand. Just keep your content consistent and engaging to ensure your audience remains entertained and loyal.

These steps equip your bank with a logical process when deciding to play in the social media game. Making a decision without a plan never pays off.

However, now you’re armed with steps to make a sound decision. You have a better idea on how to find the right fit.

Be sure to let us know your thoughts on which social media platforms banks and credit unions should be on in the comments below!