LinkedIn is one of the most popular social media networks, with more than 450 million active users, over 40% of which are in the United States. At the same time, many don’t know how to use the platform, with most banks either not using it at all or not enough. Despite that, LinkedIn is a powerful tool for financial organizations, giving bankers access to potential clients, leads, and even providing tools for sales.
How can banks use LinkedIn? These 8 LinkedIn tips will get you started.
1. Encourage Individual Participation
LinkedIn is most useful for business to business banking, and that means business owners are looking at individual bankers on your team. Encouraging and even asking employees to be active on LinkedIn is one way to do more with the platform. Individuals who create dynamic profiles and directly work to connect to leads and prospects on the platform will greatly increase sales, simply because many business owners look for business solutions, including bankers, on LinkedIn.
How much time should individuals be spending on LinkedIn? Try starting out with 1-4 hours a week and ramping up productive output to 4-6 hours per week.
2. Create and Share Content
LinkedIn has a large content sharing platform, which you can take advantage of. Business owners and individuals both use the platform to search for information and advice. In addition, LinkedIn is one of the few platforms where users actively share helpful business information with their followers for no other reason than to be helpful. Publishing articles, infographics, and videos can help your bank to gain a larger audience and more traction in your area by establishing thought leadership, building relationships with potential consumers, and creating content so that you show up in more searches.
3. Develop Meaningful Connections
The days of cold calling are all but over. No one wants to be sold to. But people who are adding bankers on LinkedIn are generally looking for banking services. Taking advantage of this and building meaningful relationships will help you in taking that add to a sale. For example, some bankers choose to individually add new contacts and follow up each one with a personal message. Others take it a step further, inviting new contacts to coffee or a meeting. Taking LinkedIn seriously and treating your contacts as meaningful relationships, including getting to know them and what they need before making a pitch, is one of the advantages offered by the platform.
4. Personalize Your Connections and Tag Them
LinkedIn connections should always be chosen with care. If you have 5,000+ connections and most of them don’t even know who you are, you have a problem. Most of the time, you should maintain a high number of connections (at least 500) to show that you’re connected, but then organize and remove irrelevant contacts as you add new connections and form new relationships.
It’s also a good idea to tag and organize your connections on LinkedIn, so that you know who is who. For example, you can sort connections based on prospective leads, existing customer, niche, or anything else you want. You just have to take the time to tag connections, to begin with.
5. Treat LinkedIn Like Modern Calling
Tools like LinkedIn Sales Navigator, users adding you to the platform, and even InMail will allow you to connect and create a sales pitch for individuals. Unlike with cold calling, you have the opportunity to learn a great deal about the lead and their needs before you ever get in touch.
However, it’s important not to spam. If people don’t want to hear from you, don’t contact them. And, don’t use generic copy-paste messages. If you’re adding someone, have a legitimate and personal reason to do so. Consider using LinkedIn sales tools to find and connect with leads.
6. Invest Consistent Time in LinkedIn
LinkedIn can be a valuable marketing tool for banks, but it does require consistent time. Make sure you or your bankers set aside the consistent time to connect on the platform, be active, and consistently follow up. Daily sharing, posts, and interaction with others are a must.
7. Create a Direct Pitch
Your LinkedIn page is something like a web page. It has to directly communicate your brand and what you offer. Unfortunately, most use it as a resume, even when they aren’t actively looking for jobs. Instead, bankers are better off using the LinkedIn profile to create a pitch. Treat it like a sales page and talk directly to your ideal lead. What can you do for them? Why? Why do you love it? Try to make yourself stand out and avoid generic resume language. You have 2,000 characters to fill out a user profile, and you should use as much of it as possible.
How Can Banks Use LinkedIn Profiles? – Create a single company page and link personal profiles to that page. All of the ‘boring’ data like loan portfolios and company summaries can go there to add relevance to individual banker pages.
Tagline – Your LinkedIn tag has a 120-character limit (But you should stick to 80 with spaces) and is a good place to showcase what you’re good at. Avoid boring and hard to translate terms like “Branch Manager”, that already shows up in your job description. Instead, use a semantic search phrase that defines what you do with personality. “Working Hard to Be Portland’s #1 Investment Banker”
LinkedIn is designed for people who want to be involved. Join groups but only if you can participate. For example, you can follow banking groups and stay on top of trends, join industries you specialize in to be better aligned with their industry, and help you to stay on top of needs. But, you shouldn’t be adding yourself to groups just to have the logo on your profile. Groups can allow you to make valuable connections, especially local small business groups, providing you’re willing to spend time contributing and helping others for free.
While many marketing experts want to know how banks can use LinkedIn, the secret is usually getting individual bankers involved. It is important to create and maintain an active company page and post articles or share from your blog, but individual banker participation is where you will make connections, create leads, and drive sales.