Values-based banking has surged in recent years, and it’s no coincidence that the growth in social, ethical, green, and alternative banking has mirrored the growth in social media. Values-based banks, like First GREEN Bank, focus on the needs of people, rather than the needs of the market. First GREEN Bank, for example, has been a pioneer in the state of Florida for investing in green initiative, including preferred financing of buildings that meet LEED certification standards, long-term fixed-rate lending for solar energy panel systems, and grants through the non-profit First Green Foundation.
So what does that have to do with the rise of social media? Values-based banking relies on long-term customer relationships. Our customers believe in our mission, they trust us, and social media helps us provide an ongoing dialogue and sustain our relationships. Social media also helps us demonstrate our ethical ideology by providing:
Social media lets our bank listen and respond to our customers and prospects. The give-and-take that social media facilitates puts our employees and executives in front of our customers, allowing us to answer questions, explain our values and how we demonstrate them, and discuss the sustainability challenges that we all face. Our customers know we’re listening to what they have to say.
Values-based banking taps into core beliefs and ethics. One of the best ways to reach people who share those values is through social media. Typically, your friends know more about your beliefs and values, and are more likely to recommend businesses that share those values. More generalize marketing campaigns and promotions may reach larger numbers, but social media helps us reach the people who are most likely to respond to our message.
Again, values-based banking cultivates long-term relationships, and communication is critical to maintaining any relationship. Social media fosters discussion, inclusion, and the exchange of ideas. Our customers talk not only to us, but to each other, and that helps to reconnect and renew our ongoing relationship.
At First GREEN Bank, we’ve discovered that people are looking for more from their banks than just the transaction-based relationships they get from mainstream financial institutions. Consumers have also discovered that it’s hard to tell much about a company’s values from advertising or annual reports, and they’re turning more and more to social media to get a “true” picture of a company. At First GREEN Bank, we’re fine with that. If you’re looking for a values-based alternative to your current bank, then let’s talk.