Remember the day when having a web site was the number one task on your list? Fast forward 10 years, and now the bare minimum requirement that banks need in order to be found and connect with their prospects is a website. Social media, search optimization, analytics, customer feedback are now just as important to implementing a strategic marketing initiative for your institution. Is your web and social presence measuring up? With technology changing at the speed of light, it takes constant monitoring and oversight to keep the pace. How can you enhance your institutions web and social presence?
- Is your web site mobile and social ready?
The use of smart phones and tablets continues to grow rapidly. Nearly two-thirds (63%) of cell phone owners now use their phone to go online, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. Is your web site mobile responsive so that viewers on their mobile devices can find the information they need and have a positive experience viewing your web site? In addition, do you have social media icons prominently displayed on your home page so visitors can easily connect with you through social channels?
- Are you easy to find?
While many may view search engine optimization as very complex and daunting, there are some basic things you need to do to help your institution get found in search or on mobile devices. “Brick and mortar” institutions that have a street address need to optimize for local search. This means claiming your page on Google Plus Local (because it’s Google), adding Google maps to your web site, and submitting your web site to location based web sites such as Foursquare.
- Are you playing by Google’s rules?
The latest Google algorithm update, Hummingbird, put more emphasis on content creation and social media. Do you add new content to your web site at least once a week? While some institutions add new content through press releases and articles within the web site, adding a blog to your web presence will enhance your search rankings and also provide content to share on social media platforms.
- Are you using social media strategically?
Not all social media platforms are equal and, as noted above, it’s important to be active on social media to help with Google search. But, the platforms you use and the content you share needs to be relevant to the markets that use them. Facebook is known for B2C interaction while LinkedIn is predominantly used for B2B connections. Google+ has a larger male presence while Pinterest has a larger female presence.
- Do I hear crickets when I visit your blog or social media sites?
There is nothing worse than going to a blog or Facebook business page to find the last post was more than one month ago. Post to blogs and social media frequently and consistently for your customer and prospects to take you seriously. In addition, content added consistently is also important for Google search.
- Do you have a plan?
Creating content, scheduling social media posts, and tying all the marketing and promotional activities of the institution together will take planning and execution. A proven method is to divide the tactics into smaller chunks. A blog and social media editorial calendar is useful to plan daily and weekly tasks to create consistent and timely content and updates. These should integrate with the marketing plan action items as they relate to your promotions, events and other activities.
- Are you talking to humans?
“Bank speak” can sometimes creep into marketing materials, web site content and social media posts. Be aware that social media is “social”, so content needs to be engaging and invite interaction. Be careful not to speak “at” your audience and practice speaking “to” them. Imagine you are talking to a person on the other side of your communication.
- Are people talking about you?
Including testimonials on your web site is a must. In today’s social world, people look for referrals and recommendations from their friends, family and peers. For this reason, it is important to also get reviews on social media platforms and on Google+.
- Are you using tracking systems?
Google Analytics offers a wealth of information about how people are using and finding your web site. Social media platforms also have their own analytics tools to help measure reach, engagement and activity. Are you reviewing this data at least monthly?
- Are you listening to feedback?
Feedback can come in many forms, but have you incorporated a system to use this information for enhancing your message? Tracking systems provide data to adjust various factors in your web and social presence. Social conversations also can give insight to trends and issues your target market may be experiencing.
With technology changing at the speed of light, it takes constant monitoring and oversight to keep the pace. How can you enhance your institutions web and social presence?