by Betsy Noll
When her hands aren’t full with her two twins boys, Molly Bates is chugging away in her office with the latest news on everything banking. As assistant vice president and marketing director at Fairfield National Bank (FNB), Bates spends her days partnering with local businesses and organizations to keep FNB constantly connected with their close-knit community. She knows the importance of social media marketing and how to do it in a way that keeps the community coming back to FNB.
Bates was eager to respond when I asked her to give me some insight on social media marketing. From research within the industry to reaching target audiences in the bank world, she reveals her secrets to success online.
Q: Why do you think social media is important to building consumer engagement?
Molly Bates: In today’s world, information is always at our fingertips. People talk, and using social media is one of the easiest ways for people to communicate. Getting feedback and referrals from your clients is an important tool to gaining market share and it is also an inexpensive form of advertising. In addition, the more you know about your clients the more you can make sure your products and services meet their needs.
Q: What people/organizations do you follow to stay up-to-date on social media trends and why?
MB: Most of the information I receive is in regard to financial advertising and social media. There is a newsletter called the Financial Brand that is pretty good. I also review the social media sites of organizations within the financial industry (American Bankers Association, etc…)
Q: Whom do you connect with on a daily basis via social media? What would one of those connections look like?
MB: While I actively view our social media daily, we do not post on social media daily. We post approximately 2 – 3 times per week. An example post is found below.
Q: What is the hardest part about reaching your target audience through these social media outlets? How do you overcome in these instances?
MB: The hardest part about reaching our target audience through social media is the ever-changing trends. I am fortunate to have a network of colleagues at our parent company, Park National Bank, that work to keep up on these trends and share a lot of information with me. It is also important to use a variety of social media outlets. Just putting everything on Twitter or Facebook won’t cut it. You have to incorporate several of these outlets in order to truly get your message out there.
Q: What is one piece of advice you would give to a budding social media specialist?
MB: I would suggest that you research the demographics of your social media outlets and tailor your messages to those demographics. What you put on Facebook may not be the same thing you put on Twitter (or at least it might be a different version or tone of the message.)
Bates has perfected the balance of working for and with her community. She understands that the relationships in the office and online are of equal importance to the success of the other. By being social before promotional, this persona she gives FNB becomes much more than a bank, but a group of people who genuinely, deeply care.