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Social Media is not about Likes and Followers

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Social Media is one of the most cost-effective ways of reaching your clients, but most banks and credit unions have no clue how to use it properly. From tweeting about random things like who just won the local basketball game to Facebook posts promoting their newest television commercials, banks are still struggling to understand and use this powerful marketing medium.

HINT: Social Media is not about raking up likes!

Social Media Marketing is NOT about how many thousands of followers you have on Facebook and Twitter. It’s about giving your customers a voice and allowing them to champion your brand throughout the community. It’s about becoming seen as a valuable resource, a resource that people want to do business with.

We asked Robert Richardson, Creative Director and Owner of Richardson Marketing, why so many banks are struggling to be relevant on social media.

I think it has a lot to do with marketers not understanding the medium. Unfortunately, social media is quickly becoming a haven for spammers, scams, and multi-level schemes.

Instead of taking the time to build a loyal community of followers, a lot of banks and credit unions have fallen into the trap of thinking that they need millions of followers to be effective. But that’s not how social media works.

Social media by nature is “social.”

Think of it this way, when you’re out in the real world “being social,” do you walk into a bar and yell out some lame quote or message to the entire crowd? Of course not. So why do so many banks take this approach online?

Just like other forms of marketing, there is no one size fits all solution. Not everyone wants to be blasted with your message 20 times a day, and simply tweeting a bunch of useless nonsense is not going to translate into getting more customers. If you expect social media to work for you are going to have to be a little bit more creative. You’re going to have to give people something that they value.

So how can a bank or credit union effectively use social media?

Let’s take a look at a campaign that Robert Richardson developed, that Nevada State Bank and a number of their credit unions clients are using.

Spending a fraction of what the bank would normally spend on traditional marketing methods, he developed a campaign that put them front and center throughout their branch network.

The idea was actually pretty simple and can be used by just about any community bank in the country.

“Almost every bank that I’ve worked with is usually involved with at least a couple of different charities and causes. But how many of those banks allow the community to decide where those funds go?” Robert Richardson asked.

This is the basis for the campaign that Nevada State Bank has been running for years.  The bank donates a portion of its charitable funds to help a local school build a new computer lab or library. Richardson developed the campaign to allow people in the community to vote for which school they thought deserved the bank’s donation.


Think about how powerful this campaign could be for your bank. The viral nature of a campaign like this will do more for your brand than any other type of marketing could ever do. How great would it be if you could help schools throughout your bank’s network, while at the same time becoming the topic of conversation for years to come? With the power of social media, you can do both.

Social media allows you to take a simple concept like helping kids and turn it into a high power marketing campaign.

Instead of wasting money on radio ads and billboards, hoping they finally bring someone through the door, you could easily run this campaign like this at a fraction of the cost. And unlike traditional marketing, this type of social campaign has the potential to turn everyone in your branch network into a walking billboard for the bank.

Every parent from those schools is going to tell everyone they know to go to YOUR PAGE and vote for their kid. It puts your brand front and center in the community.

When was the last time one of your commercials generated that kind of buzz?

For more information on the campaign or to find out how you can take advantage of this style of marketing head on over to Richardson Marketing and talk to one of their Financial marketing specialists.

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