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.

demographic use of social media reviews for banks from yelp
Source: Yelp

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.

women are most likely to use social media reviews for banks and make the banking 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:

  1. Find your business on the platform.
  2. Click the "Claim this business" button.
  3. Create an account.
  4. Wait for a postcard or a robocall with a confirmation code.
  5. 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. For detailed steps on claiming your business on each platform, check out this post.


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. consumers expect a response to a social media review within 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:

social media review for a bank

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.

social media review for a credit union