Not everyone knows what they’re going to wear the next day. Sometimes, you wake up and find yourself rushing to put on your least-wrinkled closes and out you go – only to realize your socks aren’t matching… neither are your shoes. Getting dressed and posting social content online are very similar, with a little planning, they can always improve.

Right now, someone, somewhere, just uploaded a video of their cat falling off a table. Within a few hours, that video has easily racked up thousands-to-millions of views and likes. Was this planned? Probably not down to the nearest like. Yet, knowing that a majority like cat videos, the chances are high to score big.

While you can’t plan for everything, you can shift the odds to your favor. Rules that heavily apply to marketing yourself online; There are four important steps to consider: Planning, Creation, Community Engagement and Content Management.

With these in mind, in the banking world, you’ll be able to wear your perfectly planned outfit with pride.

Social Media Content Planning

 

Your plan should be your blueprint, your overarching map to success.

Now, there’s no general template that works for planning online content. You need to develop a plan that works for your brand – which can be daunting, but it’s not impossible.

Here are three major steps to be mindful of when developing your plan:

Set measurable goals.

Ask yourself, “what do we want our social channels achieve in the next few months?” Here are some objectives to aspire to:

  • More conversations
  • Build connections with prospective customers
  • Raise brand awareness
  • Establish industry authority

Knowing exactly what you want helps you steer closer to achieving it. Always make sure your goals are measurable. An example of this is, “we’d like more reactions to our Facebook content.” When the new strategy is executed, it’s easy to measure if page interactions are going up.

An opposite example of a measurable goal would be hoping your audience is excited that you’re posting more frequently.

Study the competition.

If competitors have a successful social media presence, chances are that’s not by accident. It never hurts to scope out a similar business and see what’s giving them the extra edge:

  • What content are they posting?
  • How often do they post?
  • Do they get much engagement?
  • Who’s their main audience?

Understanding what makes your competition successful can help show you what you may not be considering for your own success.

Plan visual content.

To go forward, sometimes, it helps to looks back. See what kind of social posts your team has produced in the past: What’s received the most engagement? What posts have met goals?

Find the ideas that work and use them as a guide to lead you to what type of content you want to produce going forward. Plan how you can create more of this content then map it out against a calendar. This will help determine what resources are needed to make it steady content.

For example, you could:

  • Highlight employees on Mondays
  • Use Wednesdays for engagement with followers – ask questions, create a poll, etc.
  • Make Friday’s fun with silly office photos

Develop a social media team comprised of content creators, experts, and approvers. Define who on your team best fits these rolls, those who can define what’s needed, those who can make it happen and those who can sign off on it.

We suggest mixing up your top performing content concepts and gage how they perform so you can adjust the calendar as needed.

Content can come in the form of posts on social channels, a regular blog, video series, employee highlights, etc., you name it; content is defined by its creator.

Not every bank has a crack shot in-house multimedia team – and that’s ok! Their content can still be strong and high in quality. This is thanks to the swiss-army-knife content generator right in your pocket: the smartphone.

Some content can call for classic point, aim and shoot with a phone:

  • Live events
  • Workplace fun
  • Lifestyle posts

If you’re trying to engage and inform, here are some tips to elevate your photo and video content.

Social Media Content Creation

Now that you have a plan, here comes the fun part: creating your content.

With over 500 million Facebook users viewing videos every day, video is quickly becoming the most popular content medium; they offer more room for expression, content sharing, and, often, better promotion through social media. You can create all kinds of content from “how-to” videos to direct advertising.

There are four key tips to keep in mind when creating a great video or general content:

Storytelling

If viewers aren’t engaged, they’ll click away faster than they clicked on it. With so much competition out on the internet – 60 hours of video is uploaded every minute to sites like YouTube, you have to stand out.

Now, telling a story doesn’t mean you need an A-B-C plot, you need emotion. What emotional value are you offering your viewer? Often, using a testimonial from someone who’s used your products is a great way to forge that connection. It gives the viewer someone to relate to and trust.

Marketing Strategy

What are the goals of this video? Who does it benefit? How does it tie into current strategies?

These are all important questions to keep in mind when developing content. This is where developing a video strategy comes into play.

Maybe the goal is to promote a new product to existing customers. How can video tie into current strategies? Referring to our previous example, you could have a customer who’s used the product speak on its behalf, highlighting the benefits. Which brings us into our next tip:

Defined Brand Values

What’s in it for the consumer?

Beyond promoting your latest product, it’s important to highlight the value consumers get by sticking with you. Define what you’re about and how sharing those drive value for your brand as a whole:

  • Do you values help you connect with your audience?
  • Does it build trust?
  • Does it help solidify your brand identity?

Expressing your brand values ties into storytelling – no matter what type of content you produce, because your story is your brand.

Personalization

The testimonial examples we provided above compliment personalizing your brand. Banks often struggle to show consumers that they recognize them as individuals. Creating content focusing on stories and creating dialogue can help fix that issue.

Reaching out to your consumers, hearing their stories, and asking them to share is an instant gateway for other consumers to connect with your brand. Seeing the effects your services have on others like them creates interest, drives conversations and is emotionally resonant.

You don’t need high-end software to create quality content. There are plenty of easy-to-use apps you can utilize:

  • PhotoDirector
  • VSCO
  • Lightroom
  • Picsart

These videos can also come in a variety of forms: s

Social Media Community Engagement

As important as it is to create content when you need, it’s also important to remember who it’s for: the audience.

As a content creator, it’s important to be actively engaging with the audience – especially if they like, share or comment on content. Responses can be as simple as thanking them for their kind words or sharing their experience.

If you run into negative comments, it’s important to reply to those as well. Here’s a good template to use:

Hello [NAME OF REVIEWER], thanks for sharing your feedback. Sorry for the bad experience.

Let us know how we can make it better for you.

Don’t just copy and paste this response, however, as it gives the impression of an automated message. Tailor your comment to the customers dissatisfaction, and, if possible, provide a solution to their issue via a link or a form of contact.

Beyond hyping up your own brand, having a brand advocate can also be a smart move. A brand advocate is crazy about your brand or product and wants to share it with all their friends.

Once they’re on your radar, consider sending them a product to do a T&E (test & evaluate) on and ask them to promote your page for you. Scratch their back and they might scratch yours.

Social Media Content Management

There’s a slew of user-friendly management apps designed to help you keep posts organized:

  • Gain
  • Sprout
  • Later
  • Linkinbio
  •  

These are only a few. They will assist you on what platforms accept which forms of content. They’ll assist with scheduling posts out well in advance, alert to errors, streamline the approval process, and so on.

These act as your handy social media hub to keep track of what’s being made in and sent out of your institution.

No matter how you dress up your social media, to do it well, you must have a plan. Once you know what you want, you have the tools to make it practically at your fingertips. Always remember to listen and respond to your audience if they have comments. Finally, make sure you’re managing your posts and that they fit your style. Because no one can pull off you better than you.