Almost every time I go to follow a new bank on LinkedIn, I’m disappointed at the lack of engagement and presence of their staff, especially their business development staff and investment folks.
It may be fun to believe that business still happens primarily on the golf course and at lunch but the numbers show that business is happening online…all the time…without you. Here’s why a lack of involvement on LinkedIn should scare a banker:
LinkedIn is still growing strong!
About 20 months ago the total number of LinkedIn users was 100 Million with 44 Million in the U.S. Now it’s up to 200 Million Users with 74 Million in the U.S. Despite being the largest LinkedIn user base, the U.S.’ user base continues to expand rapidly.
LinkedIn is populated with “professional” level users!
Bankers all over American are lamenting lost revenue due to regulations. They are also determined to recruit a more affluent new customer base. (side note: if everyone is trying to recruit this segment, you can’t all win!).
So banks are looking for this class of customer and yet not forcing – yes, it should come to forcing your staff onto LinkedIn in my opinion – their highest profiled and, most likely, highest pay staffers to use a tool that has the following demographics:
Income: LinkedIn users on average have an income of $109,000 compared to Facebook’s $25,000 according a study by Seeking Alpha in 2012. The average income on Twitter also towers over Facebook with more than double at $52,000 per user. Source.
Yes by all means let’s invest more money into tweeting trivia questions about U.S. currency instead of getting deeply involved in a proven tool that houses some of the area’s senior executives and highly paid business professionals.
Bankers are not a relevant source of funds for tomorrow’s entrepreneur!
Question: What do high growth entrepreneurs think of bankers?
Answer: They don’t.
I’ve had the chance to participate in several StartUp America and StartUp Weekend events in the last few months. Several of these events featured free advice from area CPAs, lawyers, entrepreneurs, venture capital groups, angel investors, and 1 very sad and lonely banker. I talked to this guy for awhile and he said, “No one wants to talk about traditional funding.” I almost took out a small line of credit for my LLC just to cheer him up.
But he’s right! When entrepreneurs think about funding and talk about startup challenges, they think of Lean Startup Methodologies, VCs, Angel Investors, and bootstrapping. They don’t think of a bank. Mainly because they don’t see bankers at most of these functions. Nor do they don’t see them online. They don’t see them as part of their world. And your absence on tools they may be using – like LinkedIn – will continue to reinforce this.
Social Selling and thought leadership should be the goals of any effective business development person…in any industry. What are your business development officers engaging in to stay relevant in the changing world of sales? Country club memberships?
Mark Zmarzly is a financial services professional looking to help others with updates and insights about bank marketing, social media, and industry news. He is also the Senior Vice President of Financial Services at ACTON Marketing: www.actonfs.com.