The history of banking goes back a few thousand years to grain loans in ancient Babylonia. But more recently banking has become a norm within common society. The evolution of technology has helped banks increase in size and geographic regions. This transformation has led banking into becoming one of the most competitive economic entities in modern civilization. So what does the future of banking look like? Even more competitive.
“Business has only two functions – marketing and innovation”- Milan Kundera
Consumers have advertisements thrown at them everyday. We find many ways to mute out traditional marketing by fast-forwarding through commercials and subscribing to online news sources outside of print. More banks are online and embracing platforms like Facebook and Twitter daily. Facebook has over a billion users and Twitter is the fastest growing social network on the web. Social networks aren’t going away, and can be the most valuable tools for bank marketers. Whether it’s prospecting, nurturing leads, or customer service the social space needs to receive more attention. Especially after the FFIEC recently asked for comments on guidance.
Like Google’s Penguin algorithm which determines search engine rankings, Facebook’s edgerank algorithm plays an integral part in controlling not only how many people – but more specifically which people – see your content. Banks market on Google by positioning against other local banks by keyword analysis and SEO research. Facebook is different because banks are competing for a spot on a customer’s exclusive newsfeed. Banks are not only competing against other banks but now competing against other brands, people, and advertisements. After a previous update of edgerank brands have seen their reach decrease on the platform. So what factors play a part in whether your bank content is seen on someone’s newsfeed?
- Has the person or the person’s friends interacted with your content in the past?
- Has your previous content gone viral within the person’s social graph or network?
- Has the person interacted more frequently with that type of content. photo, text, poll?
- Has your content received complaints?
You now know why edgerank matters, and what criteria the algorithm uses to display newsfeed content. So how does one gear content to optimize for edgerank and greater reach within Facebook? There are a few steps.
Let’s think about why people go to community banks. Consumers love community banks because they have a relationship with an individual lender and have an affinity for that local branch/brand. Facebook is no different, the first key to get your messages broadcasted to your market is creating an affinity for your brand. A sense of mutual respect and loyalty strengthens affinity.
“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product of service fits him and sells itself.”- Peter Drucker
Each post on Facebook holds a different weight. “Likes” and comments weigh differently within each post and people interact differently with different types of posts. Comments are valued at a greater weight than “likes” due to the effort required by the user to post a comment. Comments, therefore, are much more valuable in terms of generating the edgerank and are also the bank’s most valuable source of consumer interaction and service improvement. Posts should be carefully crafted to elicit comments over “likes” to improve continuous customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Every month banking costumers expect to receive a letter from the bank with a statement and perhaps a promotion. What if there was time decay and you sent the letter a week later? There would be a lot of questions and most likely a customer service nightmare. The easiest way to get on top of time decay when posting on Facebook is an editorial calendar and scheduling a post everyday.
So going back…addressing affinity, weight, and time decay are the first three steps to helping your bank stand out from not only other banks, but other brands. The best way to do this is by posting content that connects with the user on a personal level. The most shareable, commented, and liked content on Facebook is usually a photo, link, or video. And this content needs to be posted everyday to avoid having it buried in edgerank.