As a society, we’re enthralled by social media, so it makes sense for social media and the banking industry to join forces and reach out to their customers where they’re hanging out online. Almost everyone is on Facebook. Many people check in multiple times each day from their smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers at work.

Ask the Expert

“Social media will continue to force service industries like banking to find ways to engage with customers,” Michael Versace, global research director for IDC Financial Insights said in an American Banker article online.

So, Is it Weird for a Bank to Be on Facebook?

So, should banks, credit unions and other financial service providers be on Facebook? Yes! Since their customers come from all walks of life and backgrounds, it’s a good idea to have a presence where they all spend time each day: online.

Then How Should a Bank Use Facebook?

Small financial-based businesses can offer social media posts that provide helpful information and resources for their followers. Here are a few ideas to get started:

By providing consistent, engaging content that’s of interest to the bank’s customers, the institution is building a community. The bank is no longer seen as a place to visit once a month, but rather as a source of financial expertise and a go-to when you’re shopping for your next auto loan or need to research retirement savings options.

Who Should Do All of this Facebook-ing?

If the bank already has a marketing professional on staff, consider sending them to a specialized training class or conference directed at using social media to boost sales and engagement among customers. If the financial institution has a small staff, consider hiring a social media specialist on contract or part-time to manage the communications between Facebook followers and the bank.

Above all, it’s very important to learn how to talk to your Facebook audience. For example, you don’t want to start a Facebook page, then never communicate. Leaving customer questions and comments unanswered leaves the platform open for unmoderated negative feedback and spam — making your business look less than professional with poor customer service and a lack of follow-through.

Ready to learn more? Get our Guide to Social Media for Local Business

Angela is a contributor to the Connectivity blog. She also writes about content marketing and working online at Web Writing Advice. Angela was ranked in the Yahoo! Top 1000 Writers from 2009-2013.