LinkedIn Success for Savvy Community Bankers Who Want to Grow

LinkedIn Success for Savvy Community Bankers Who Want to Grow

Community banks are all about building local relationships. As the ICBA says, “Their relationship banking philosophy is ingrained in the way they conduct business, one loan—one customer—at a time.” They also cover an enormous amount of the country’s banking, comprising 99% of all banks in the country and providing around 60% of all small business loans. 

Social media is a vital tool for community banks to build those relationships by engaging their neighbors online. Even better, the increasingly personal tone of successful social media campaigns aligns perfectly with how community banks want to present themselves. It is, “…an open invitation for community banks to focus on telling human stories in their social posts.” (ICBA)

LinkedIn is the primary social media platform for business and offers community banks unparalleled opportunities to grow their business. ICBA notes, “For community banks, experts say LinkedIn offers exciting opportunities for strengthening industry and customer connections and branding.”

Let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits LinkedIn success can provide:

  • Build Relationships
    LinkedIn is a great way to expand relationships with customers. By connecting with them and their content, savvy LinkedIn users learn details about personal background, personal interests, products, services, and more. All without an appointment. Interacting with the posts that customers make, whether from their personal profiles or a company page, is a public declaration of interest and support for them and their businesses.  

  • Impress Prospects
    Members of the local community who are not yet customers are likely to notice when banks and their employees are actively supporting other local businesses. Strategic LinkedIn content that includes photos and posts about the community will further demonstrate the bank’s local focus. Prospects will then view the bank’s company page and check out a few employee profiles, giving the bank more chances to impress them.

  • Draw Candidates
    Recruitment and job hunting are a major focus of user activity on LinkedIn. Community banks that take full advantage of LinkedIn with up-to-date pages and relevant content posted on a regular basis will make a positive impression on job seekers. They will show that they take social media seriously as a part of the bank’s communication and local engagement strategy. 

  • Get Referrals
    Existing customers and partners are powerful sources of new business. When people need a product or service, they often ask someone they trust for a recommendation. LinkedIn makes it easy for users to share information, leading prospects right to a bank's company page, a representative’s profile or their LinkedIn messaging in-box. 

 

It’s clear that community banks have a lot to gain by being engaged, effective LinkedIn users. But success on LinkedIn requires planning and thorough attention to detail. The company brand needs to be communicated consistently across the company page, leadership profiles, and employee profiles. It should also be clear to LinkedIn users that the bank is made up of people, not a list of names with impressive-sounding titles and credentials.

That last part is key for a community bank. The team a bank has built says a lot about its values and priorities. Thus, the personal branding of bank employees interacts with the bank’s branding and success. Helping bank employees to tell their stories on LinkedIn by creating personal profiles that reflect both the bank’s brand and their individuality is a worthwhile investment, especially if the employees are engaged in the local community via organizations, volunteering, etc. 

Putting all the pieces in place on LinkedIn produces a multiplying effect. Bank employees are watching for and interacting with customers and partners, sharing information, answering questions, celebrating successes, and offering support. The individualized attention deepens customer relationships and draws prospects seeking the same level of commitment from a local bank. Partnerships strengthen because of the pride and goodwill generated through joint projects. Some of the bank leadership might even step out further, developing into thought leaders and possibly even gaining some media attention that further raises the bank’s profile.

Pretty soon, the conversation is buzzing, and everyone is working together to create opportunities for all. Just like a community should be.