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TD Bank?s relatable social media posts make it a leader: report

As banking increasingly takes place online and on mobile, financial institutions have tried to shift their marketing efforts to social media, with TD Bank and SunTrust Banks two of the leaders here, according to a new analysis by Engagement Labs. 

Savvy banks recognize that consumers are increasingly spending time on social media, often on their mobile phones, and are coming up with new strategies to retain customers, upsell and ensure customer lifetime value as a result. TD Bank leads the overall score on both Facebook and Twitter, thanks to its efforts to engage consumers in unique ways. 

?In general, I believe we?re in the 1st or 2nd inning of a 9 inning baseball game,? said Bryan Segal, CEO of Engagement Labs. ?In an industry like banking, change in how customer interactions are managed in regulated environment takes time and effort. 

?Engagement Labs? data suggests that banks have seen the opportunity that social media is providing, and are starting to use the channels to share their corporate messaging, social responsibility initiatives, educate, conduct community outreach, and dabble in product selling,? he said. ?Depending on the bank, you will see a varying degree of comfort and expansion to the use of social media. 

?From the data, it is clear that banks are at two ends of the spectrum, either very active or sitting on the sidelines. Given the trends, we will see more movement towards extending the use of social media to increase customer and prospect touch points, and in humanizing and developing personal relationships.?
Financial connection
TD Bank?s social media strategy stands out because of how it makes financial jargon more digestible for customers with its #FinancialEducation hashtag. 

The bank recently took to social media asking consumers which financial topics they would like to learn more about and to use the #FinancialEducation in their answers. 

Rounding out the top five banks on Facebook are SunTrust Banks, Bank of America, Citibank and Ally Bank.

On Twitter, besides TD Bank, the top five include Regions Bank, Chase, Wells Fargo and U.S. Bancorp. 

Engagement levels
Engagement Labs also took a closer look at how well banks? audiences on their social media channels engage with the brands? content.

SunTrust Banks has the highest score on Facebook in terms of engagement. The higher engagement levels are driven by the fact that the bank?s top posts are less focused on finance and more on interactions as well as moments that may require the help of the bank. 

For example, SunTrust Banks used the #MySunnyDay hashtag for users to describe what they are saving for. 

The other leaders in terms of Facebook engagement are TD Bank, Ally Bank, Regions Bank and Citibank.

Regions Bank has the highest engagement core on Twitter. The bank conducts Twitter chats with its followers on a variety of subjects, from taxes to personal supporters. The bank is also engaging students on college campuses with its sponsorship initiatives.

When it comes to engagement on Twitter, the other leaders are TD Bank, SunTrust Banks, U.S. Bancorp and BNY Mellon. 

?The results suggest that what is really working is how banks are using social media to become personas instead of institutions,? Mr. Segal said. ?Those that have shifted from a purely product and rate conversation to lifestyle advice, sponsorships and social responsibility area generally seeing more engagement.  

?We see success in the personalization of a very structured industry, and educating folks on money, personal finance, savings, and corporate responsibility,? he said. ?All in all, it is an amazing metamorphosis to see the banking institutions humanizing their approach and the data shows that the content resonates well with consumers and is engaging.?

Final Take
?Chantal Tode is senior editor on Mobile Marketer, New York