Don’t Fail to Use the Power of LinkedIn!

Originally posted on Forward Banker.

Guest post written by Trevor Rasmussen, Content Marketing Manager, Deluxe Corporation.  

Deluxe Financial Services is the NAFCU Services Preferred Partner for Check Printing, Online Check Ordering, Check Fraud Prevention, and Member Loyalty Solutions.

In the movie Minority Report, Tom Cruise’s character, Chief John Anderton, and his pre-crime unit, are tasked with using “Pre-Cogs” to look into the future and then stop crimes before they happen.

Imagine being able to tell yourself to start or stop doing something based on what will happen one day in the future. What decisions would you stop yourself from making? What key business decisions would you do differently?

For some of you in marketing this might be one of those moments. Financial institutions are getting more active in social media but according to the 2013 State of Bank & Credit Union Marketing from Financial Brand, only 47 percent of banks and credit unions claim to use LinkedIn. In reality, only 30–35 percent of banks and credit unions currently have a presence on LinkedIn. If your financial institution is ignoring LinkedIn, you are missing out on the most powerful social media tool for banks and credit unions.

With more than 238 million users worldwide and 84 million in the United States, LinkedIn is flexing its muscle as a force in the social media world. Most marketers just don’t realize how to use LinkedIn effectively. Here are a few tips to help you get jump started:

Curate Quality Content. Are you creating a brand that is consistent across all mediums and is focused on delivering relevant, focused, buyer-centric content? If you aren’t, you are falling behind. Your customers are using LinkedIn to learn and if you aren’t out there feeding information to them, you are missing a huge opportunity. Before you can do this, you need to make sure your company page is one that people will want to follow and that your staff is sharing your content with your account holders and prospects.

Complete Your Summary. We live in an age that is all about content and you have to deliver your content in a unique, fresh, and interesting way. Don’t regurgitate your website on LinkedIn—create unique, interesting, and fun content that people will want to read and share. You should focus on including a strong hero image that is an extension of your brand, creating an interesting and searchable “Summary,” and using your “Products & Services” tab to promote your products in a fresh way.

Use Social Selling. In a recent blog, I talked about how social media is an effective banking conversion tool and how your employees are the key to unlocking those conversions. Take a few minutes and open up LinkedIn.com and search for “business banking” in your local market. Does anyone from your financial institution show up on the first page? According to a company called Seeking Alpha, the average income for a user on LinkedIn is $109,000. Just to put that in perspective the average Facebook user earns only $25,000. LinkedIn delivers the best audience for creating profitable customers and it happens to be a network that is driven by individual users as well. With a little effort you may start seeing new leads fall right into your lap. Here are some ways you can use social selling on LinkedIn:

1. Engage Your Employees. Don’t fear social media, embrace it and use your employees to drive leads. What is your front line doing when people are not in the branch engaging with them? Turn them loose in social media and drive new leads! Don’t get me wrong, you need a strong plan and likely a way to monitor their activity, but these are both very achievable.

2. Connect With Everyone. LinkedIn differs from Facebook in that connections are the key to unlocking leads. If you know someone, connect with them and it opens up all their connections to you as potential leads.

3. Build Strong Profiles. There were over 5.7 billion professionally-oriented searches on LinkedIn in 2012. You need to show up in these searches and a great profile will make that happen!

4. Join Key Groups. LinkedIn has over 2.1 million groups (as of August 2013) and over 5,000 groups that have the word “banking” in it. Groups are the key to new connections. Share some great content, join in discussions, show you are knowledgeable and people will come to you when they have a need.

I’d love to hear which of these tips is going to appear on your marketing radar over the next three months or one year. This is a great place to discuss what works and what doesn’t work based on real-life experience!

More educational resources and contact information are available at www.nafcu.org/Deluxe.

Also available: Building an Effective Social Marketing Program and Benchmarking for Success (Podcast and Presentation) »

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