atmsocial-media-icons-on-mobile-screen-640.jpg__640x360_q85_crop_subsampling-2By Alicia Blanda, ATMIA International Marketing Forum Chair on ATMmarketplace.com

According to Pew Research, 65 percent or more of internet users also use some form of social media. Women and men use social media at comparable rates. Social media is how many businesses are now reaching their audience with offers of everything from car rides to educational courses.

Is your ATM business social?

If people are using social media to find, review and promote other consumer-based businesses, why not ATMs? Cash is still important for in-store and in-person purchases, accounting for approximately 45 percent of U.S. consumer transactions, according to a study by Tremont Capital Group and the ATM Industry Association.

Easy access to cash is equally important — in fact, many banks and credit unions have begun catching on to the “cash convenience” message as a way to promote their business models.

Independent ATM operators, unlike financial institutions, focus entirely on the delivery of cash and account access — without the background messages about accounts, loans and other financial services.

How to use social media

Social media does not have to be difficult. With the right tools and planning, it can serve as a heavyweight marketing and customer service tool without  requiring heavy lifting in terms of time and energy. Here are some basics for creating and maintaining your social presence:

1) Create and curate content — Developing content can be the most time-consuming part of building a social media presence.

Creating your own posts, press releases and visuals can help with search engine optimization and click-throughs to your website, and can provide ready posting material for your social channels.

On the other hand, curated content from other sources is also beneficial, and can position your brand up as a go-to, nonbiased source of information. Services such as Google Alerts and Talkwalker can provide easy access to relevant articles based on specific keywords.

2) Use a social media dashboard — Scheduling posts ahead can be a real time-saver. Not only can a dashboard  simplify scheduling but it also can allow you to monitor mentions, clicks, messages and other interactions so you can respond in a timely fashion.

Hootsuite is one of the most popular of these services. Other options include Buffer, SproutSocial and SendSocialMedia.

3) Post at proper intervals — on any network, it’s possible to post too often or too seldom. Fortunately, there have been plenty of studies done to determine the best posting times and frequency.

  • Facebook — a study by Socialbakers found that five to 10 posts per week was ideal for businesses;
  • Twitter — the same study concluded that businesses should tweet at least once daily, but three tweets a day was optimal, with at least one hour between postings;
  • LinkedIn — a LinkedIn study concluded that posting 20 times per month or once per weekday allows businesses to reach approximately 60 percent of their audience; and
  • Instagram — according to a Slidebean article, businesses should post to Instagram one or two times a day on average. Frequency should depend on what’s trending. If you’re at an industry event that your audience is also attending, more posts than usual may be appropriate.

4) Post when your audience is online:  The wittiest subject line or hashtag and the best-written content won’t do a thing for your business if you don’t post when your target audience is online.

Consumers are usually online after working hours. On the other hand, a LinkedIn audience — who will likely be businesspeople — might be easier to reach during working hours.

Also, when posting to social media, keep in mind the speed at which posts can become old or out of reach of your audience. For example, your target audience might not see Tweets posted early in the day if they are viewing after hours, but Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn posts tend to have a longer shelf life.

Social media is a widely used and growing tool for reaching consumers and other businesses. With the steady use of cash and increasing digital traction in physical marketsm, it can be a winning platform for an ATM business, whether in the U.S. or elseshere around the world.

As part of its mission to assist ATM industry marketing professionals, The ATMIA International ATM Marketing Forum publishes a quarterly blog providing tips for making the most of your marketing efforts. To join the IAMF, contact Sharon Lane at +001-605-271-7371.

photo istock

4 ways to promote your ATM business with social media