There’s no doubt about it: Social selling will play a crucial role in bringing in new commercial and consumer business in 2024, driving loan growth, and even increasing deposits by deepening relationships in the year ahead. Is your organization ready for it?! Social media can be a place where both marketing teams and lenders/sales agents struggle. There are objections to overcome, time and resource constraints, and some serious challenges when it comes to buy-in. Here are four key ways to address them and activate lenders on social media.
1. Convey the value of social media.
It’s crucially important to convey the value of social selling to both leadership and to the lender teams themselves. Leadership wants to see alignment between sales and marketing that will lead to key outcomes: more leads, more referrals, loan growth, deposits, and deeper relationships across commercial and consumer lines of business. Lenders want to know their time will be well-spent. They can be a little apprehensive to dive into putting out social content. It takes time; it maybe feels a little awkward; maybe they don’t know what to post. And the first hurdle is this: Is this even worth my time? The answer is: Yes! Both anecdotally and statistically, we know that social selling works!
Content posted by employees on their personal accounts gets better engagement. The most recent stats: Employee content receives eight times more engagement than content posted on brand channels.
That leads to more sales opportunities and hotter leads: That is, sales teams that embrace social media report an 18% pipeline growth, 28% faster. And that leads to some key advantages for lenders and sales agents who leverage it: 78% of social sellers hit their revenue goals compared to 38% of non-social sellers. In all, they have a 31% higher ROI than those using only traditional sales and relationship-building tactics.
The bottom line? When it comes to what’s in it for lenders and sales agents, the answer is results!
2. Think about lender content as nurturing customer relationships.
How many times have you heard it: “I don’t know what to post?” or “I don’t have time to be active on social media!” The truth is this: Yes. You. Do. But lenders likely need to think a little differently about how they’re approaching social media and creating content–and marketing can help.
Lenders often think about social media content as one more thing they have to do in an already-busy schedule. The reality is that the best content comes from showcasing the everyday work they’re already doing. The work they do to engage with and involve their community includes tons of things we don’t always think about as being great for social content: golf tournaments, galas, time with clients and colleagues, sponsored events, home builder events, lunch-and-learns, financial literacy workshops, volunteerism, fundraisers like walk-a-thons, kids sporting events, and college gameday. These are all things that many lenders are already attending. They’re already interfacing with key community members, clients, colleagues, business leaders, and future prospects at these events. That’s the hard, on-the-ground work that they’re great at and that builds excellent relationships. The next step is to turn that into social media content. And, when you’re already out in the community doing that great work, snapping a photo of it and writing a quick caption is really only a small next step, but it’s one that makes a huge difference!
3. Create a simple framework to make it easy and compliant.
Once lenders realize that social media content isn’t a thing they have to think up, brainstorm, or strategize–but rather an extension of the great work they already do to connect with people and build relationships, all they need is a framework and process. That’s where marketing can help.
Simple technology helps marketing and compliance teams build a usable process and workflow that makes it easy for lenders to upload content directly to their socials, while also looping marketing into what they’re doing and adding a simple compliance checkpoint.
Social Assurance’s Sales Agents tool is designed specifically for this purpose. It connects your lenders directly to the major social channels–Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter(X)–so marketing can see the content that’s going out and get insights into the events and activities lenders are involved with, so they can utilize them for great marketing content. And it works both ways. The tool also allows marketing teams to better support lenders, by providing a centralized repository of lender content. Your marketing team can create templated or on-brand marketing content specifically for lenders to distribute, submit it to compliance for approval, and upload it into a central content library that’s just for your lender teams. This grab-and-go content can be edited on the fly, adapted and personalized by lenders, and then published directly to their own personal channels through the platform. The result is the ability for marketing teams and lender teams to work together more effectively and provide a mix of personalized content and branded content that can be utilized by both lenders and the bank or credit union’s social media channels–all while remaining compliant.
4. Take it to another level.
With a simple framework in place (and a little technology!) that allows your sales and marketing teams to better align, your organization is well-positioned to take things to the next level in two key ways. First, the use of digital marketing. This might mean that lenders have online listings on search engines like Google, so that when folks in the market for a commercial loan or mortgage loan go looking for a lender near them, your lenders actually show up in those search results. Their listings include photos, contact information, and reviews from happy customers–making it easy for those in the market for a loan to reach out directly and generating leads in real-time. Marketing teams can support the effort to drive traffic to these pages through paid and organic digital marketing. That means optimizing these listings and also potentially investing in paid digital spend to increase their visibility and drive traffic (and thus leads) to lender listings. Paid and organic social media content can also contribute, again driving traffic and producing tangible leads that lenders can follow up on. And don’t forget Zillow, where lender listings show up right alongside the real estate listings buyers are browsing.
The second important outcome of an aligned sales and marketing effort is the ability to surface great stories that your marketing team can use to create meaningful content. Your lenders are volunteering, working with partner nonprofits, attending community events, and doing the great on-the-ground work that represents your organization. Providing a way for them to create social media content from those experiences also has the added benefit of keeping your marketing team in the know about how branch locations are involved in their communities–so you can surface great stories and use them to grow the presence of your brand and drive traffic (and leads!) back to your website.
Here to Help
We know that getting everyone on the same page can be a big lift. Our business development and client services teams are here to help you assess your current processes and determine where technology can help. We also offer a range of content services–ranging from long-form content and storytelling pieces to paid digital strategy and execution as well as social campaigns and cross-channel campaigns that bring everything together. Best of all, we’re well-versed in the unique needs of the financial services industry and the compliance requirements marketing teams face. Interested in learning more about how we can work together? Follow the link below to get in touch.