Driving traffic to your Facebook page: the goal is to engage customers and prospects with the bank's brand. But you can't do that unless you attract a significant number of viewers. Here are some techniques for boosting your page's popularity.

Author:Adams, Jillian

IT USED TO BE THAT YOU WERE AHEAD OF THE GAME JUST BY BEING ON FACEBOOK. However, as more and more of your bank competitors join Facebook, simply having a presence is no longer enough. You need to get people to connect and engage with your brand online.

One way to draw in more customers is by motivating them to "like" your page. Consumers are using social sites to learn more about companies they are interested in and to research products and services. In fact, according to Mashable.com, 56 percent of Facebook "fans" say they're more likely to recommend a brand to a friend after "liking" a page. Furthermore, 51 percent of "fans" say they're more likely to buy a product since becoming a "fan."

Even with the importance of social media, financial institutions find themselves stretched for time when implementing a social media plan. Another interesting finding in Financial Brand's recent study was that 40 percent of financial institutions spend one to five hours per week managing their social media strategy. Some larger financial intuitions or companies may argue this is not enough time. However, in most cases, small community institutions are often lucky to have even two employees dedicated to marketing. So, if you only have a few hours each week to dedicate to social media, you need to make the hest use of that time. The following are the top five ways to maximize the effectiveness of your social media efforts:

  1. Develop appealing content

    Once you get people to connect to your page, content is what will keep your "fans" coming hack. Whenever people "like," "comment" or "share" your content, it will help to make your page more viral--that is, make your content appealing enough that your users will replicate and distribute the information to their friends over the Internet. Events such as financial education seminars, community events and donations are great post ideas. Financial literacy and online privacy tips are also important to incorporate. Remember, it's important to show your institution's personality too. Marlborough Savings Bank (assets: $440 million!, Marlborough, Mass., hosts an "Ask the Expert" question every week. Fans can email in questions and the answer is later posted on the page.

    Tagging other business pages and posting on their "wall" is an effective and simple way to spread the reach of your page. If you are supporting an event for a nonprofit or partnering with another organization, tag them in a post or write on their...

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