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What Do Financial Institutions Really Get Out of Social Media?



The days of getting your bank or credit union into social media simply because that’s where financial marketers are “supposed” to take their institutions are over.

Toe-dipping into social wastes time and money because it lacks basic commitments like knowing what you are doing there and why. In fact, experts here and there are now suggesting that for some institutions, it’s OK to sit down with social and have that, “It’s not you, it’s me” talk, and then (gasp) break up.

Stop tweeting? Stop posting on Facebook? Give up “stories” on Instagram? That’s right. There are a ton of posts online from individuals saying how they’ve rediscovered life after getting off social media. Not many posts talk about companies ditching Twitter or Facebook altogether. But outbound social efforts are coming under scrutiny.

At the least, experts are saying that what financial institutions are aiming for in social media and how they use it should get a serious reexamination. Social best practices formed during this channel’s early days can be questioned now that paid social, for example, is part of the picture. Bragging points based on “likes” and simple tallies of followers seem less and less meaningful.

Why it Matters:

Worldwide social marketing is the number-two expenditure among all of the channels and tools used. There’s no time for fooling around anymore.

The Gartner Annual CMO Spend Survey, based on an international sample within a cross-section of industries, found the marketing dollar gets split as follows:

  • Digital Advertising 13.5%
  • Social Marketing 11.3%
  • Website 10.4%
  • Search Engine Optimization 9.9%
  • Mobile Marketing 9.8%
  • Offline Advertising 9.4%
  • Event Marketing 9%
  • Partner/Channel Marketing 9%
  • Email Marketing 8.9%
  • Paid Search 8.6%0

( Read More: The Financial Brand’s Power 100 Social Media Database )

Looking At Social Media Engagement As A Method and a Metric

Financial institutions’ use of social media varies widely among banks and credit unions. How seriously it is taken isn’t necessarily a matter of institution size.

One of the oldest mantras in social media, going back to a time when a handful of platforms wasn’t overtly monetizing their offerings, was that “selling” on social media was verboten, or, at least, in bad social media taste. The point of commercial interests coming onto social was to interact, to engage, with consumers and prospects. In a 2021 blog titled, “You’re Using Social Media All Wrong. Here’s What You Should Do Instead,” business owner Justin Bariso confessed that over years of using social, “I fell into a trap. I was using social media as a broadcasting tool. Mostly it was, ‘Here, check out something I wrote.’ Or, ‘Here’s what I think about topic X’.”

“I learned the best way to utilize social media is to focus on two questions: How can I start a conversation? What can I learn from a conversation?”

Many financial institutions’ effort fall into the same category, attempting to bring people to their websites to read content marketing pieces about financial products or even entertainment. In fact, a complaint aired in other blogs is that this use of social media has been undermined by the platform’s efforts to keep users in their “walled gardens.”

Bariso continues his argument for changing the way social is used back to the classic position. One-way communication merely imitates traditional advertising.

So he changed his attitude. “In time, I learned the best way to utilize social media is to focus on two questions: How can I start a conversation? What can I learn from a conversation?”

In its Social Media Industry Benchmark Report, Rival IQ studied social media practices using engagement as a ruler. The study looked at 150 companies selected at random in each industry examined. The firm added up multiple forms of interaction that can be measured, including retweets, shares, reactions, comments, favorites and likes. The sum was divided by total follower count to produce an “engagement rate.” Rival IQ found that banks and credit unions were ahead of the median engagement rate on Twitter and slightly under it for Facebook and Instagram.

The company suggests that calculating engagement rates this way controls for post volume and audience size and thus helps marketers gauge how their social efforts compare to competitors. By contrast, likes alone don’t prove much. “1,000 likes makes a huge difference to a brand with 2,000 followers, but is a drop in the bucket to a brand with 100,000 followers,” the report states.

An Inconvenient Truth:

The pursuit of social media engagement may only reflect the wishful thinking of a financial brand. Honestly, how much of what banks and credit unions put on their Twitter timelines is all that engaging?



How to Innovate Quickly and Win Indefinitely

Moderator Mary Wisniewski sits down with Jeffery Kendall CEO of Nymbus, to explore how banks can quickly build next-generation digital banking products, services and experiences NOW.

Wednesday, March 24TH 2pm (ET)

Do People Really Need To Hear From You?

In a Forrester report, “Know Your Social Media Audience in 2021 — And If They Want To Interact With You,” analysts Jessica Liu and Sarah Dawson argue that all business users of social channels should conduct research to determine if their target audience consists of enough people who truly want a connection. Social, defined broadly to include social networks, blogs, ratings sites and more, offers places of interest to some consumers and not to others.

“For some brands, the investment may not be worth it if their target audience doesn’t want to hear from them,” the analysts write.

Forrester divides social media users into four groupings that institutions can consider for their own audience evaluation:

Social Skeptics: They rarely use social media, period, and they don’t want to connect with brands on social. Their average age: 55. (27% of U.S. population.)

Social Samplers: They don’t avoid connections with brands, but don’t look for them, either. They do appreciate social media engagement with brands. Their average age: 45. (29% of population.)

Social Supporters: They actually expect outreach from your brand and frequently connect with firms on social. Social media is part of their daily existence. Their average age: 38. (27% of population.)

Social Savants: These consumers constantly connect with brands on social. They tend to connect with a brand on social before making any other connection with it. In fact, two-thirds of them think it is cool to connect with brands on social. Their average age: 34. (17% of population.)

Something long said about Millennials and Gen Z applies here, that they expect brands to take a stand on societal issues. 64% of Social Savants “regularly purchase from brands/companies that align with my personal values,” while only 24% of Social Skeptics do so.

Read More:

Social Listening: What You ‘Hear’ May Be More Important Than What You Say

The Supporters and the Savants could be a recruiting ground for a trend that is being seen, as described in Deloitte Insights’ Global Marketing Trends report: “Customer engagement is quickly becoming a two-way street where customers participate as brand ambassadors, influencers, collaborators and innovators.”

This departs from the professional paid influencer approach in favor of “real people.” Marketers can set up programs to engage with willing consumers to participate in product development, and more. Further, Deloitte points out, older consumers may be willing to take part in some efforts more than younger ones. Deloitte research found that consumers 46 and older have been willing to write online reviews, give advice about specific products and services, give input regarding product design and post content about a brand.

“Instead of shouting into the void and hoping for a response, companies can mine social media conversation to understand what consumers really want from them”

— Jessica Liu, Forrester

These ideas build on the concept of “social listening.” While social posting by brands is an outbound affair, the other way to use social media is to see what is being said on the various platforms about a specific bank or credit union, its competitors, the industry as a whole and more. A study by Talkwalker found that 28% of brands surveyed worldwide consider social media channels among their top three ways of interacting with consumers and monitoring their moods.

In fact, for some brands, social listening may be more valuable than outreach. “Instead of shouting into the void and hoping for a response, companies can mine social media conversation to understand what consumers really want from them,” writes Forrester’s Jessica Liu, in the report, “It’s OK to Break Up with Social Media.” This makes more sense, she says, than “thoughtlessly blasting more social ads or blindly propping up organic social accounts.”

The institution generally still needs accounts to be at the table, but the usage is different.

With the vast sea of traffic out there on the internet, what is bank or credit union going to track so it knows what people are saying about their brand?

A blog on Hootsuite’s site provides the following list of keywords and subjects as a starting point for monitoring:

  • Institution brand name and social media “handles.”
  • Product names, including common misspellings.
  • Competitors’ brand names, product names and handles.
  • Industry buzzwords.
  • The institution’s slogan and those of rivals.
  • Names of key people for the institution and competitors.
  • Campaign names and keywords.
  • Branded hashtags as well as competitors.
  • Unbranded hashtags related to the industry.

Read More:

Can ROI Separate Productive Social Media Activity From Time Wasters?

Ultimately upper management and the beancounters in financial institutions still look at social media expenditures and wonder what they are getting for their money. Marketers and social media chiefs strive to demonstrate that there’s a sound return on investment.

Many marketers, however, lack confidence in the numbers they are handing out, according to research by LinkedIn Marketing Solutions.

The study report suggests that, pressured to come up with something, many marketers provide management with key performance indicators, rather than real ROI measurement. The report contends that many attempts to provide ROI try to measure this too soon. Some sales cycles are measured in months, according to the study, so attempting measure ROI too soon leads to inaccurate conclusions.

Key Insight:

In social media, KPIs are highlights of what happens in each chapter of a book. By contrast, ROI is the equivalent of what happened after the entire story is over.

A blog by Hootsuite suggests that ROI not be considered in literal numbers, but in terms of what social media does for the overall marketing effort. A social listening effort that produces information that can be shared with Product Development is demonstrating its payoff, the blog contends.

“The value is in the intelligence gathered,” says the blog, “rather than in sales or revenue.”

Ultimately, to decide if social media is actually doing something for an financial institution, marketers and their internal clients have to agree on what it is they are trying to do. Only then can results be contrasted with the costs of staff, tools and other factors.

( Read More: 6 Ways Financial Marketers Can Improve Their Online Reputation )

Is It Time For A Social Media Breakup?

But let’s say everything is settled internally, all parties agree on what social media has or hasn’t accomplished for the bank or credit union, and a potential decision is looming to exit a platform or to give up outbound social media in general.

This can cause some indecision, but Forrester says institutions should not let social media hold them hostage. The “break up” report notes that some companies have simply become uncomfortable with the stew of sludge that some facets of the social media network have become.

Each institution can only react to its own circumstances and experience. But here’s one bit of food for thought. Forrester reports that 41% of Millennials and Gen Z in one of its surveys say they are spending less time on social media. Maybe not every bank or credit union actually has to be there.

Read More

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3 ways to recruit engineers who fly under LinkedIn’s radar




Sergiu Matei is the founder of Index, a platform that helps teams find and hire world-class remote software developers and be globally compliant from the get-go.

We’ve recently been bombarded with news of job surpluses, including predictions that the number of software developer roles will increase 22% by 2030. With the need for nearly a quarter more developers, recruiters are having to scale their search and look under the stones that have previously been left unturned.

It’s easy to assume in the digital age that job candidates are waiting at the end of a mouse click, but the online hiring space isn’t as encompassing as we think. Less than 10% of people on LinkedIn don’t have an education that surpasses high school, despite 87% of developers having taught themselves a new coding language, framework or tool without formal education.

People who live in emerging markets use LinkedIn less frequently, even though these locations harbor some of the world’s most promising tech talent.

Some developers choose not to have a LinkedIn account because it feels like another social media channel to maintain. This aversion makes sense considering engineers focus more on hard skills rather than their online personae.

This week, LinkedIn announced it would start offering its services in Hindi, which will allow the service to reach 600 million people globally. People who live in emerging markets use the platform less frequently, even though these locations harbor some of the world’s most promising tech talent.

Companies can’t let how they’ve hired in the past influence their approach today — doing so means missing not just the quantity of developers, but the quality and diversity of them. The remote revolution didn’t just broaden where we can recruit, it’s expanded who we can bring on board. With that in mind, these are the best ways to tap into the hidden developer gems.

Open up your content, chats and code

No recruiter should think of hiring a developer as the same process as selling a product or service. As Adam DuVander explains in “Developer Marketing Does Not Exist,” resonating with developers requires more education and less promotion than the majority of companies currently provide.

The content you publish can organically pique people’s interest, as long as it has a strategic purpose and doesn’t overly mention your brand or services; for example, blog posts about upskilling, industry trends and exclusive data insights. You could also host events like webinars, round tables, quizzes and hackathons that are less for recruitment purposes and more to showcase the team and culture. Don’t be afraid to be lighthearted with your content, either. Memes, GIFs and videos are a great way to demonstrate that you don’t take yourself too seriously. And once you remove the promotional positioning, developers in the shadows will start to come forward.

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People Buy People On LinkedIn Not Companies: Here’s Why




On LinkedIn, people buy into other people, not companies. LinkedIn is all about you, the leader. When people make decisions, it is based on who you are, how they feel about you and other emotional, sometimes intangible feelings. This is true for social media and in real life.

Gut reactions, good vibe, rapport — people build up a trust with you, or not as the case may be. That’s why authenticity is key. People will find out if you’re fake. And since people on LinkedIn buy into other people, that’s why the best course to get more business is to market your company through your personal page on LinkedIn.

I’ve written before about what I call “the Richard Branson effect,” which can easily be replaced with the Elon Musk effect, the Bill Gates effect or any other public figure in business. These types of company leaders have more engagement and followers on LinkedIn than their respective companies. One hundred times more people follow the leader and founder of Virgin Atlantic, Richard Branson, than the company itself.

People buy people. People follow people, not companies. Even when leaders like Michael Dell have fewer followers than their company page, they actually have more engagement levels for their posts.

As another example, if you look at the Microsoft company page on LinkedIn (and bearing in mind that they own LinkedIn), the company has 14 million followers, but sometimes its posts get literally zero comments. They tend to be boring company updates about diversity, the environment, Azure, the Surface products. Who cares?

So, you have to wonder, if Microsoft often gets such little engagement on LinkedIn, then how do small companies have a chance? You have to keep in mind that when the CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella, posts, he routinely gets hundreds of thousands of engagements. People buy into Satya, and when he talks about Microsoft, people listen.

They see more authenticity in Satya. It feels more personal. You can’t take the company to the pub, cafe or restaurant but you can take the CEO or Founder.

It’s often the best place to do business in a bar. This is where the real action happens and where the real “you” comes out. You have a drink, you relax, you build a rapport and you share. You then start trusting one another and that’s how business is done. You can’t take a company out for a drink.

I closed my physical office in Singapore, and I have all my meetings at the W Hotel’s WooBar. I invite people to come and meet me there as it’s a break for them away from their home or physical office in the business district.

Their decision of whether to outsource to my company is often based on how well they get along with me. It can of course go both ways. The ones who enjoy my sometimes polarizing personal brand often become my clients. The whole process is based on social selling, not hard selling.

Build a relationship socially with potential clients. Share the good, bad and ugly about yourself on LinkedIn. You then gain permission in other people’s view to share your company through your personal page on LinkedIn. People will come to trust you and buy your service because of you.

Ultimately, selling is about people, trust, rapport and relationships, and you can’t do that through a company website or a company page on LinkedIn; you can only do it through you and your personal page and brand.

So, my advice is don’t waste time on your LinkedIn company page, and instead focus on your LinkedIn personal page to see results. The examples of successful business personalities speak for themselves.

Forbes Business Council is the foremost growth and networking organization for business owners and leaders. Do I qualify?

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8 Tools that are a Must for LinkedIn Automation – Times News Express




When it comes to social media platforms, LinkedIn might come across as Facebook’s older, more responsible, and infinitely more boring sibling. When it comes to functionality, however, it is an invaluable resource to professionals all across the globe. As of 2021, LinkedIn has more than 774 million registered members from more than 200 countries, and savvy HR and marketing-minded professionals would be wise not to overlook the vast array of resources it offers.

From networking to brand building, to publishing, LinkedIn can provide a multitude of services.  However, all of these options and the wealth of data can potentially hamper efficiency and productivity.

Here are the seven must-have Linkedin automation tools that will help get the results you want in less time.

Lead generating software that responds at the click of a button is good. Software that runs in the background while you accomplish tasks elsewhere is even better. For example, Castanet can manage single or multiple LinkedIn profiles and continuously run to automatically generate appointment requests, connection invitations, and skill endorsements.

Searches can be precisely filtered by LinkedIn profile characteristics in order to seek out quality clients who are more likely to have an interest in your company and the products or services you offer. When you have a connection with your clients, it means better leads and less wasted time on undesirable prospects.

​​Dux-Soup is a sales tool focused on automated lead generation. Based upon the parameters you set, it automatically contacts sales prospects selected on LinkedIn. It can also send direct messages, endorse skills, send personalized connection requests. A handy feature is its ability to schedule multiple, delayed, personalized messages.

Crystal is an excellent source of information for both sales and HR professionals. It is able to mine data from LinkedIn profiles to predict communication styles and personality types and therefore give you a better idea of how best to approach customers, coworkers, and prospective employees.

Using the DISC personality method, Crystal also offers various training courses to show you how to implement your acquired data into the most effective processes for team building, hiring, and sales generation.

LeadFeeder uses web tracking technology to identify what companies visit your website and are potentially interested in your services. It is beneficial for gauging the effectiveness of your marketing efforts, as it also tracks how visitors find your website and the path they take. It can even offer data on the specific portions of your website being viewed.

One strange downside of LinkedIn is the overabundance of users and potential sales opportunities. LeadFuze uses powerful filters to narrow down prospects, generate lead lists, and acquire verified personal email addresses to initiate contact.

On the HR side, LeadFuze can run filters to search for potential candidates across LinkedIn who are not actively searching for a job. The LeadFuze search allows hiring managers to find contact information for quality individuals who would be unlikely to apply for posted job offerings independently.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator is added via a simple Chrome extension. It allows you to view LinkedIn profile data if you are emailing someone with a corresponding Gmail account. The LinkedIn Sales Navigator account gives you additional information about them as you’re engaging in direct contact, making it easier to tailor your communication to the specific individual you’re dealing with.

When trying to gather as much information about a potential client as possible, it can sometimes be an arduous process to search throughout the various social media platforms for the same individual or company. Discoverly streamlines that process by gathering all the information from the most commonly used social media sources and compiling each person or company’s social media presence all in one place.

No more logging into five different places to get a comprehensive view of a prospective client’s web presence. Instead, Discoverly lets you toggle between all the platforms in one location for quick searching abilities.


Whether you’re using LinkedIn to build your brand, generate sales leads, or expand your hiring search, the actual platform can contain so much data that streamlining is necessary.  These after-market tools and plugins can help you navigate LinkedIn and make the most out of all the resources at your disposal.

Image Credit: pixabay; pexels; thank you!

The post 8 Tools that are a Must for LinkedIn Automation appeared first on Calendar.

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