First Montana Bank Increases Brand Awareness With Localized Digital Marketing

The Challenge

First Montana Bank has been a community bank serving eight diverse markets from small, rural communities to cities like Missoula, across Montana since 1913. First Montana Bank also has the distinction of being named Forbes “Best-In-State Bank” for two years running. The small central leadership team takes on many roles as they work to advance the mission of the bank to help Montana’s economy prosper, especially the Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Denise Moore. Moore was looking for a business solutions partner to help develop and implement marketing strategies and programs. 


The marketing department needed a way to improve efficiencies in digital marketing that were scalable. The bank knew it needed to revamp its goals to focus on increasing awareness and reach and not be drowned out in a sea of “Firsts” and “Montanas” in the banking space. The team also needed the ability to quickly pull data necessary to compile reports for bank leadership, the Board of Directors, and its chief officers.

“One of the biggest returns on investment with SOCi is the cost of my time. SOCi is our business and marketing partner. We talk and look at our performance and results, and SOCi helps me figure out where to focus efforts and what needs attention. I can then develop programs from that information that help us gain customers.” – Denise Moore, Vice President of Marketing and Communications

The Solution

First Montana Bank began working with SOCi as a marketing partner to help refine its localized digital marketing goals and institute programs to increase brand awareness. The bank is using the SOCi platform for Reviews, Listings, Social, Boost PLUS, and Social Listening


“After talking to many SOCi competitors, I asked how often I would get to interact with a customer “partner”. The answer across the board was that appointments could be scheduled on request. As a one-person marketing “team”, I knew I needed something more proactive. I wanted a business partner that could brainstorm and find solutions with me. SOCi feels like a Cadillac service. During regularly scheduled standing meetings with my strategic account manager, we discuss the latest business trends, review dashboard information, and dive into actionable business insights which help us hit benchmarks. Social media is a constantly changing and evolving landscape. One person can’t be an expert in everything and SOCi fills in those gaps and keeps me on top of our game,” said Moore. 


SOCi has helped the bank increase its local social postings by making it easy to schedule and engage with posts, including new social “community conversations”, sharing how the bank supports nonprofits, employee advocacy, and the bank’s community involvement. In local search, the bank now appears for searches that matter near local branches and uses SOCi to measure how it appears for certain keywords and queries to figure out how to move the needle when needed. When the bank first started working with SOCi, zero bank locations appeared for the search, “ATM + local city” in the local pack, and now at least thirty percent of branches appear for this search. 


“The SOCi platform is so great for me because I can set up one post and iterate on it from there for all platforms instead of natively. I can schedule ahead of time in one place across the different channels. Before there was no easy way to keep our listings updated, but now with SOCi we do. Because of that, we have seen improvements in Google Maps activity and increases in click-to-call as well. SOCI provides the ability for us to have one consistent voice and keep all messaging on brand,” noted Moore.

SOCi Results

First Montana Bank conducted a customer survey after implementing SOCi on brand awareness. Thirteen percent of users replied “Yes, they could recall seeing the bank’s social media posts” and are engaged with the bank online. Before SOCi, the response was insignificant. 


According to Moore, “the quarterly results SOCi provides help drive us forward.” Those actions show up in how First Montana Bank’s Google Business results have increased in the following ways with SOCi:



Increase in clicks on all listings year over year



Increase in Google Business Profile views year over year



Increase in search views year over year



Increase in website visits year over year



Increase in direction requests from Google Maps year over year



Increase in calls to local bank branches year over year

Learn how SOCi can help take your
localized marketing to the next level.