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Selling Yourself and Your Bank on LinkedIn

July 21, 2014

I had the pleasure of teaching Social Media Best Practices for Financial Institutions at the 2014 ABA Stonier Graduate School. I was a three and a half hour course over two days. You can see the presentation deck here:

 

The attendees and I had a lot of fun, or at least I’ll say I certainly did since the evals aren’t in yet. We watched this parody video I created (http://youtu.be/Pah2EurgMOQ), we looked at four incredible case studies of banks, credit unions, and vendors who know who they are and can implement strategic social media campaigns, and covered a lot of trends.

Unfortunately, what I didn’t do was spend enough time on my favorite social media tool, LinkedIn.

I had a few slides in there including this one but it was not enough in retrospect:

 

Business Case for Bankers to be on LinkedIn

 

I say it was not enough because among my class attendees, only about 66% were on LinkedIn and less than half had established an effective company presence on the platform. This despite the fact that LinkedIn is the 10th most visited site in the world and it’s where more than 300 million professionals go to be seen, research vendors prior to purchases, and to build their professional reputations.

Why aren’t all of you on LinkedIn in full force? Seriously, what’s wrong with you?

Maybe it’s the fact that Facebook and Twitter are B2C avenues instead of LinkedIn’s more specific B2B play? Maybe it’s because they are viewed as sources of customer engagement? Maybe it’s because they are just “sexier”?

Regardless of the reasons, banks and bankers who don’t adopt a significant and personalized presence are going to regret it in the coming years. The reason is that this is an incredibly valuable tool within consultative sales – which is what we in the banking industry are in when we do it correctly – and there is still a lot of opportunity to own your local market.

A couple of years ago some highly visible social media pundits were touting that the ROI of social media is that “your business will still be relevant in a few years.” I love that quote because it’s so full of itself it can barely fit through the door to the Internet. It’s also easy to fall back on that quote because it takes the hard work out of justifying your resource allocation. “Yes, we’re staying relevant, that’s why we have 1.5 people dedicated to social media now!”

Relevance is B.S.

The real justification for ramping up your personal and company presence on LinkedIn is the S word: Sales. You need to do it to generate sales. That’s what it’s there for and your competitors aren’t using it effectively…not yet anyway. But they will. They are coming. They are coming for you.

This isn’t me waxing rhapsodic about an unproven tool. LinkedIn has the critical mass of users to justify resources, but, more importantly, I’ve seen the sales results for myself and among bankers I consult. Simply put: it works!

I believe in the platform so much that I’ll be teaching Creating Customer-Centric LinkedIn Profiles at the 2014 ABA HiX Marketing Conference in September.

While there, I also have the privilege of co-presenting a keynote with an amazing individual named Dan Swift from LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/in/danjswift).

In the keynote, we’ll share stories from our own career where we took ownership over our career growth instead of waiting to be selected and how LinkedIn helps with that goal. Essentially, it’s selling yourself…the greatest product you will ever have to sell.

I hope to see many of you at the conference! More info on the conference can be found here: http://www.aba.com/Training/Conferences/Pages/MKTG.aspx.

In the meantime, if you agree or disagree with me, please use the Internets to engage in the discussion!

 

2014 ABA Marketing Conference HiX

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