It’s a Selfie Nation, and we just live in it.
We live in a world where people are more focused on taking a picture of themselves then interacting with the world around them. All it takes is a quick look at social sites like Instagram and Snapchat to see how many people are holding out their phones to snap a picture of themselves. Dell even created a funny commercial that focused around this social phenomenon—better known as the Selfie.
But what is this new social norm telling us?
It tells us that consumers want to be the center of attention in their world.
While they want to share their experiences, they also want to share themselves. For example, you see fewer and fewer pictures of just the Eiffel Tower from someone’s trip to France, and more pictures that look like this.
Banks can take this information and use it to their advantage. But how?
Well, they need to make consumers the focus of their attention rather than their goods and services.
Shifting attention from your goods and services onto the individuals that use your bank will reshape how your entire brand operates. If you make the consumers your focus, you can understand their wants and needs and, in turn, affect their purchasing decisions.
In doing so, banks will begin to act as organizations that serve their customers’ needs rather than banks that push their own needs upon customers.
But what can banks do to make their customers the main focus?
Showcase Success Stories
Highlight customer success stories with using your goods and services. Need a few ideas? Use a community event they attended with your bank or testimonials about their banking experiences. This makes the customer the focus of your story rather than your products exclusively.
The people featured will share the story with their network of friends, you can share it with your network of friends, and your exposure will grow—exponentially. Followers will feel like they are part of a community rather than a sales funnel. As a result, they’ll tune in to see what is going on in their community.
For example, Lakeland Bank wrote a story about a few men who received scholarships for their good deeds in the community. While Lakeland Bank provided the scholarship, the main focus was on the individuals who received the awards.
Why does this work? Your audience focuses on the good deeds of others and relates that positive image to your bank.
Reach Out to Influential People Within Your Community
Understand who is covering stories in your industry, and tell them about people in your community. Not only will the writers gain exposure, but your bank will as well.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be a bank publication, either. It just needs to be one that is popular in your community. You could invite writers to cover an event and show what’s being done to give back within the community.
A non-banking example is the company Flywheel Sports. The company’s blog focuses on the surrounding community and its cleverly titled “FlyFamily.” The blog highlights success stories of people who take Flywheel’s classes.
While the blogs do mention the benefits of the fitness classes and how much people enjoy them, the main focus is on the individual’s accomplishments and success story. The company wants to celebrate its customers’ accomplishments, and in turn, this creates engagement on its blog.
Make Purchasing Their Decision
Consumers have caller ID to screen for telemarketers, they hate sales associates that follow them around trying to convince them to buy things, and they ignore thousands of advertisements each and every day. In other words, they know when you are forcing products on them and will resist that pressure.
However, if you put your product in places that customers frequent for their own enjoyment, they will begin to feel as though purchasing decisions are their own idea.
For example, creating a blog that highlights your community will discretely put you smack bang in the middle of your consumers’ world. They will come to you for information that is designed for them and will establish a relationship with your bank.
While you aren’t telling them to open an account or telling them about the latest mortgage rates available, you are slowly building a connection with them that will affect their purchasing decision.
Because they are emotionally connected to you, they will make purchasing decisions in your favor and think it was their idea all along.
Understand Your Customers
Get to know what your customers use your banking for the most, what kinds of articles they enjoy, if they use social media, etc. By doing so, you will have a better idea of who your customers are as a whole and be able to cater your content to them.
In turn, the content will feel more personal and as if it has been created specifically for them.
Just like taking that Selfie has given them 100 likes, 10 new friend requests, and tons of pending Twitter followers, you need to show customers that by using your products, something good will happen to them.
Why do these five steps put you in a better position in the hearts and minds of consumers? Creating focus around your customer will establish an emotional connection with individuals in your community. These connections will foster relationships that go far beyond an account number.
Bank goers will begin to look at you as more than just somewhere to deposit their paychecks and leave. Perhaps people will even start taking selfies in front of your bank doors.