There’s no denying that social media is an integral part of most businesses these days, as platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram give a lot of room for discovery, advertising, and brand awareness. Client acquisition and retention are typically supported by social media activity, with companies often hiring marketing professionals or create teams to manage these accounts.
The question is: Does Social Media Work for Financial Companies? A good chunk of social media activity relies on trending topics and visuals, especially for restaurants or fashion retailers, but this might not always be relevant to banking or investment companies. Here’s a rundown of my experience of how finance firms have been leveraging social media in the past years.
Aside from showing the status updates of your friends on your feed, Facebook and Twitter also serve as an information portal for many. Some use these as a way to get instant updates on breaking news and developing stories while others also follow certain accounts to get more information on their interests.
Because of that, financial firms are able to take advantage of this feature in order to advance financial education. Insurance and investment companies can post data on how their funds are performing compared to traditional savings accounts or put projections on how economic growth and inflation can affect future prices.
In doing so, companies in the financial industry can also share information about their existing products and how it can address their clients’ needs. Providing financial advice and education can also foster community engagement, allowing them to expand their existing client base.
Networking through LinkedIn
Since financial firms typically operate in a more serious atmosphere, the social networking platform LinkedIn might be more appropriate for these professionals. This has been the strategy of Morgan Stanley, which has steered clear of the Facebook craze and found more success in building contacts through LinkedIn.
As it turns out, one agent of the company brought in around $10 billion in new business just from the connections made through LinkedIn. Morgan Stanley continues to encourage their financial advisors to engage in conversations through Twitter and LinkedIn while forming new client relationships as well.
Another effective way to build brand awareness through social media is through marketing campaigns. This can be in the form of socially responsible projects such as Chase’s Community Giving project, which utilized social media to give donations to charities, or through encouraging campaigns like First National Bank of Omaha’s “Pay Yourself Challenge” that promotes saving for personal needs.
According to Jorge Fontanez, VP & Marketing Manager of Chase Community Giving, this initiative spurred a 15% increase in their Facebook fan base and allowed them to be the one of the top growing apps on the social media platform. For FNBO, their campaign had a long-lasting success in various channels including YouTube, MySpace, and iTunes.
Creating Brand Ambassadors
People generally rely on positive testimonials before availing of financial services from a particular firm, and social media is also a good way to create brand ambassadors. When clients are satisfied with the products they’ve purchased or the service of a company, they can give recommendations through Facebook and Twitter, thus expanding the firm’s reach to different social circles.
MasterCard, which is one of the more traditional financial companies, used to ban social media usage in the workplace before they soon realized the potential benefits to the company that this could bring. Since then, MasterCard embraced social media and even installed a listening program called “Conversation Suite” which would allow their employees to keep track of discussions involving the company.
In doing so, MasterCard was also able to educate their employees on the relevance of social media and spurred the creation of unique content and regular conversations about the company. “Over the past six months, 125,000 people created unique content or commentary about MasterCard, stimulating 520,000 social media conversations, with a potential reach of 1.3 billion people. We’re doing this everyday across 43 markets and 26 languages in real time,” shared Marcy Cohen, VP & Senior Business Leader for MasterCard. Src: (https://www.supermoney.com/2014/04/10-financial-brands-social-media/)
Customer Service and Engagement
Lastly, perhaps one of the most practical ways to make use of social media is to apply it to customer service and engagement services. In the past, most businesses relied on telephone or email interaction to address client inquiries or complaints, and now social media can be a more approachable means to achieve this.
Bank of America, which already has a pretty wide reach to US households, still enjoyed a strong surge in customer queries through social media channels. The company primarily makes use of Twitter to handle questions and resolve issues, even creating a tracking system that can enable their employees to quickly respond to any concerns regarding the company or their products.
Similarly, Capital One, which is one of the newer financial institutions in the US, has emerged as a top financial services brand on Facebook after garnering around 3 million likes and almost 60,000 mentions. Facebook has been an effective way to reach a younger audience and Capital One has taken a step further by partnering with groups that cater to a similar niche.
Vanguard Group, which is an investment company based in Pennsylvania, was ranked by Kasina LLC as one of the top asset management firms that utilize social media for customer service and engagement. Amy Dobra, head of Vanguard’s Retail Client Experience Group, explains that this strategy is always evolving and fits with their belief that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to communicating with clients.
These financial firms are proof that social media has been one of the biggest developments in the past few years, opening up new avenues for communication and education for businesses in different sectors. As this type of technology continues to evolve, more firms are likely to join the fold while existing ones could continue to stay on top of the game.
Is your finance firm receiving the digital content attention it deserves? Tweet me @Charli_Says and let me know or click here to contact me.