Many banks have started using Facebook in order to reach out to their customers and improve their customer service. These banks realize that there are conversations going on in which they are the topic, and not joining in these conversations would be a lost opportunity. However, some banks do not understand that being present on a social media platforms such as Facebook is not enough. Financial institutions, like other industries, need to start conversations and participate in those already started.
This is what has been driving success for local banks such as Mercantile Bank. Michelle Shangraw, the Senior Vice President and Retail Banking Director for Mercantile Bank, explains how this local bank in Michigan not only starts the conversation, but they start it in real life. She claims that since they are a local bank in a small community, their biggest concern is connecting with the community. In order to keep people in the community talking about Mercantile, their employees have been participating in MercMobs. During these “mobs”, Mercantile Bank employees get out into the community by crowding a local restaurant during lunch in hopes of generating buzz. Along with this, employees participate in community service. Mercantile launched a campaign based upon a foundation called “make a difference” and uploads videos of employees participating and giving back.
Below is a picture of Mercantile Bank of Michigan employees volunteering at a local elementary school.
Mercantile Bank not only creates buzz in the community, but on their Facebook page as well. They post things people can relate to, rather than trying to advertise financial opportunities on a platform where people go to connect. Another bank that understands this concept is Farmers and Merchants Bank, which posts “local community events” on its FB page.