Organizations with a social media presence attempt to gain a larger customer base to market product and services at a relatively low cost. Unfortunately, social media presence requires more than making a Facebook page. Building relationships through social media with consumers is important, especially for banks in order to promote and build trust. Unlike social media, traditional marketing can be difficult in establishing two-way communication. Two-way communication should be about helping others, answering questions, and providing informative data. Seventy percent of content should be about catering to current and potential customers by providing resources, information, and value added activities (Ginovsky, 2011). Most social media sites are free of charge and can cost a lot less to promote products and services compared to traditional media. One of the metrics used by marketers to determine the cost-effectiveness of marketing efforts is cost-per-impression (CPI), or the cost required to gain the attention of just a single member of their audience. Social media marketing channels like Facebook and Twitter yield a CPI lower than that of traditional marketing.
While social media can help build relationships for banks and lower the cost for marketing, social media can help gather important information and increase visibility through crowd sourcing. Crowd sourcing is an effective way to leverage the reach of the crowd through content marketing. Brands like American Express OPEN Forum grew rapidly by crowd sourcing. American Express tapped into the crowd of industry experts and invited them to write free content for the website (openforum.com, 2012). Content can come in many forms, including reviews, comments, images, videos, and more. Crowd sourcing can help banks gather information, surveys, and public opinion by crowd sourcing on social media.
Most social media sites, like Pinterest and Facebook, can help banks with crowd sourcing. To leverage crowd sourcing in social media marketing, banks can invite customers to pin content on Pinterest pin boards or share pictures and videos on Facebook or other social media sites. This helps keep customers engaged by allowing them to comment and provide feedback on the things that interest them the most. Pins, videos, and images can explain contests, quizzes, concepts of products or services, or a collection of interesting mages. There are many ways to leverage the crowd to assist with direct and indirect promotion of goods and services. Seth Wescott, an Olympic snowboarder, in conjunction with a bank generated 2,745 visits to the bank’s website and 14,486 page views because the engagement of users (Ginovsky, 2011).