Reviews are a mainstay of social media platforms; Facebook features them prominently on business profiles and Google displays your star rating on your map listing. These reviews don't just impact how your rank in search results, they communicate important information to prospective consumers. We see this all the time with restaurants and mechanics, but how can we use social media reviews for banks and credit unions?
Who's Using Social Media Reviews?
In short, everyone. 53% of consumers search for local businesses at least one time per month, according to BrightLocal, and quite often reviews about your business will be featured prominently on the first page of Google's search results. 91% of consumers regularly or occasionally read online reviews.
These reviews are seen as extremely trustworthy, especially when compared to your advertising messages. 88% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Yelp publishes their user demographics and their most recent version shows that young and affluent make up a bulk of their audience.
Despite the ubiquity of reviews, there is a demographic that makes social media reviews for banks and credit unions even more appealing...
According to Bill Tancer, author of Everyone's a Critic, the most active group of reviewers are young parents; specifically young moms. In fact, young moms are 5 times more likely to leave or consult a review when compared to the rest of the population.
This group is incredibly important because studies have shown time and time again that women are typically in charge of a households financial decisions.
Young moms are 5x as likely to rely on reviews and women account for 89% of Bank Account choices.
So, who uses reviews? Your ideal customers.
What Are The Most Popular Social Media Review Sites?
The most popular social media review sites for banks and credit unions are:
- Yelp; 25% of Yelp users have used the platform to search for financial services. 26,380 reviews are added to Yelp every minute.
- Google My Business: Displays your star rating in Google Search Results and on your Google Map listing
- Facebook: Nearly 3/4 of all social media complaints are on Facebook (when compared to Twitter and Instagram)
- Yahoo Local Listings
The financial industry has several niche sites; sites that compare account features to help consumers pick the right product. These sites often include consumer reviews, so it's worth including them in your listening strategy.
How Do You Claim Your listing?
This might come as a shock to you, but the reality is consumers are already leaving and using reviews about your business. Every platform we have discussed so far will allow consumers to submit a review on your business even if you don't own your listing. In some instances, they might have created an unofficial listing for you by scraping web data.
Each platform has their own process for claiming ownership of your listing, though they typically look like:
- Find your business on the platform.
- Click the "Claim this business" button.
- Create an account.
- Wait for a postcard or a robocall with a confirmation code.
- Enter the code to associate the listing with your account.
The process can take anywhere from a couple hours to several weeks depending on the method.
How Can I Get More Social Media Reviews?
Tactic 1: Incorporate asks into your products/service. 7 out of 10 customers will leave a review if asked. Train your frontline staff to inform your consumers that you have a presence on Yelp or Google and let them know that you'd love the feedback. Mention it on your other social media channels. Place a CTA in your email newsletters. Use a window cling on your branch doors, or a table tent at your counters. There are plenty of ways to promote your presence on social media review sites and encourage your consumers to leave a review. Try to place the asks at the end of a positive experience to capitalize on the emotion.
Tactic 2: Highlight positive reviews on other channels. Taking a positive Yelp review and promoting it on Facebook does two things: 1. It acts as social proof to your audience. 2. It demonstrates to the community that you take reviews seriously and reminds encourages them to adopt those channels to provide feedback.
Tactic 3: Be active on social media review platforms. Being active means more than just completing your listing. It means responding to every review in a timely manner. You might be wondering how fast is "timely?" According to this study, about 4 hours.
Tactic 4: Be review worthy. Think about what triggers a review. An average visit won't inspire most people; it's the extremes that translate into a social media review. Try to figure out the special something that is worth talking about. That could be always having dog treats or remembering little details about the consumer. In our own study, we found 27% of reviews mentioned a specific employee by name. It can be those little human touches that make the difference.
How Should You Respond to Social Media Reviews?
Not all reviews are the same. As a marketer, you should have an understanding of the value of personas. Reviews are similar. Consider the following reviewer personas:
Disappointed Dan - Dan has been a long time customer or has heard wonderful things about your institution, but his most recent experience legitimately fell short of their expectations. He is hurt for you because he knows you are capable of better. His review will cite all the positives of the former you and then contrast that image with his most recent experience. Your approach to responding to this kind of review should be to align your expectations with his. You both wanted that great experience he pictured. Try to understand why that didn't happen and assure him that you will be taking steps to right those wrongs. Wrap your response up by apologizing and inviting him back to see the difference.
Angry Andrew - He is furious and mentions a litany of issues. In fact, some of these issues are unavoidable acts of god. The truth is, this person just had a bad day and the experience with you was the straw that broke the camels back. A common mistake is to try and address each issue the reviewer mentions. Instead, look for what I call the "breakup moment." There was one issue that was the deal breaker and everything else this reviewer mentions is a rationalization for being upset. If you can address the "breakup moment" then you are addressing the root of his frustration. Match the reviewers level of disappointment and take personal accountability. It's in these types of reviews that you should consider offering some compensation with your apology; a follow-up phone call, to ask for you by name next time he is in, or something of value.
Helpful Harry - Harry isn't always mad. He just wants you to know that there was an issue; his review comes from a place of earnest concern. He assumes that this was an unusual occurrence for you and falls outside of the normal experience. This is probably a 3-star review. Respond to Harry by thanking him for all the positives he acknowledges about your business, but let him know that anything short of 5-stars is a miss for your institution. Let him know that you will be sharing the feedback with your team and you look forward to wowing him the next time he is in.
Show-off Sam - Sam understands your business better than you do. At least, that's what he would like everyone to believe. He will set up the review by mentioning his experience in the industry or mention someone he knows that is an expert. Then, Sam will paint a picture of how far short you fell. In your response, acknowledge that it sounds like Sam knows what he talks about and then paint a picture of how his experience should have been. Your goal is to align yourself on the same side as Sam's opinion.
Trolling Tom - His review lacks specifics but is packed with insults. It's probably loaded with profanity. Trolls get their power from staying anonymous. Your gut reaction might be to try and figure out who this person is and call them out over technicalities or expose them as not being a real customer. Do so with caution. They attack people over policy. If there is a service complaint, it will still be directed at a person; "What idiot manager thinks XYZ is a good idea." There is no winning with a troll. Your only option is to not engage with them.
Writer William - Like Shakespeare, this customer's review is more art than feedback. Rich in imagery and story development, the reviewer chooses to use 100 words when 3 would do. They write to show they are a great writer. Leaving this review is about them; writing is a hobby and your business is their muse. They see their reviews as a valuable contribution to the review community. Respond to these customers by acknowledging the time and effort they put into their review, and then address any complaints they might have expressed.
Rules for Responding to Social Media Reviews for Banks
- Respond quickly
- Use this formula: A Thank you, cite specific issues, clarify expectations, explain the resolution
- Know when to take it offline
- Block or Flag reviews
- Know when you are responding to the community
Expanding on point #5: Sometimes you are writing a response directly to the reviewer, but sometimes that relationship is unsalvagable and you are writing a response to the future customer who is looking at these reviews. You want to demonstrate to them that you are customer focused, take complaints seriously, and are always looking to improve. The scorned customer might not be open to hearing this, but by taking the time to respond, you set the bar for future customer service.
Learn More From ReviewTrackers
To better understand how to use social media review for banks, we interviewed Mandy Yoh of ReviewTrackers. You can watch the complete session here: