The Rise (and rise) of Social Media

Of the many changes COVID has helped spur, one of the most dramatic has been its dizzying effect on what media we connect to and just how much of it we consume. As Forbes reports, a staggering 49% of the world’s population is now active on social media. And in the months since the pandemic began, the data shows we’re spending more time on social than ever with a 61% uptick in usage since April and 45% more time per day spent scrolling, liking and commenting.

More than just a way to stay connected during physical distancing, social media now plays an outsized role in consumers’ brand selection behavior. In fact, social media has now become the single most powerful influence on the path-to-purchase, with 71% of consumers reporting that they research, vet and reflect on their brand relationships via social channels before buying.

For financial institutions, this means that effectively using social media is table stakes for brand storytelling and consumer communication. Realistically, social media has now transformed from a nice-to-have to a critical component of any effective marketing strategy – a Swiss army knife that can help brands connect, promote, and inspire. So, how can banking best leverage the power of the medium? Through relevance, valuable content and authentic brand engagement.

Consider Eastern Bank’s approach to their #JoinUsForGood campaign – a platform through which the bank inspires civic participation and encourages its customers and everyone to share and promote stories of social good. It’s at once a powerful statement of the brand’s values and a way to create a relevant connections and call-to-action for financial products and services, like insurance.

Another example is Utah’s Mountain America Credit Union’s which is attracting consumers with the power of video content. Its Guiding You Forward series, a well-curated and produced video series that educates its audiences (in a fun way) on important financial topics and promotes its products and advisory services in a form that’s both credible and relevant. These video posts drive heavy engagement, most with well over 500 views and shares.  

Finally, BMO Harris uses its social channels to feature the powerful #BMOforWomen campaign, a targeted approach for building opportunities, community and engagement for women entrepreneurs and business owners. This is a highly-sophisticated and meaningful way to attract and engage women customers who represent a significant sector of small businesses and make most household purchasing and brand-led decisions.  

To learn more about developing targeted brand communication and social media strategies that drive engagement, deeper audience connections and business growth, email