4 so­cial me­dia tips for the fi­nan­cial ser­vices in­dus­try

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

The fi­nan­cial in­dus­try had to over­come a lot of hard­ships in the past years. The bank­ing cri­sis and the re­ces­sion have led to in­creas­ing dis­trust in banks and the fi­nan­cial in­dus­try in gen­eral. In Cyprus, specif­i­cally af­ter the un­for­tu­nate cri­sis of 2013 and the in­tense public­ity sur­round­ing it, fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions strug­gled with re­build­ing their neg­a­tive rep­u­ta­tion among con­sumers.

As more cus­tomers turn to so­cial me­dia to in­form their choice of fi­nan­cial prod­ucts and voice their con­cerns there is an op­por­tu­nity for fi­nan­cial ser­vices com­pa­nies to im­prove their rep­u­ta­tion and in­crease their client’s trust and sat­is­fac­tion. So­cial me­dia mar­ket­ing al­lows banks and other fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions to com­mu­ni­cate with ex­ist­ing and prospec­tive con­sumers in a way that is per­sonal and rel­a­tive, while es­tab­lish­ing and main­tain­ing re­la­tion­ships. With im­proved tar­get­ing, en­hanced ad­ver­tis­ing, com­pli­ance sup­port, devel­op­ments in ROI track­ing and more, so­cial me­dia now has the po­ten­tial to play a mean­ing­ful role in your fi­nan­cial institution’s mar­ket­ing plan.

So, how can the fi­nan­cial ser­vices in­dus­try bet­ter lever­age so­cial me­dia to at­tract new clients and so­lid­ify re­la­tion­ships with ex­ist­ing ones while en­gag­ing on­line in a com­pli­ant and safe man­ner? To an­swer this ques­tion we hosted a ca­sual dis­cus­sion with mar­ket­ing pro­fes­sion­als on the fu­ture of fi­nan­cial ser­vices and so­cial me­dia. We were for­tu­nate enough to be joined by ex­perts from the bank­ing, in­sur­ance and an­a­lyst com­mu­nity as well. There were some fas­ci­nat­ing de­bates and lots of prac­ti­cal ex­am­ples of how banks, wealth man­age­ment and in­sur­ance com­pa­nies have made best use of so­cial me­dia. Here are my take­aways from the event.

By now, most ad­vanced or­gan­i­sa­tions have al­ready in­te­grated so­cial me­dia into their com­mu­ni­ca­tions ef­forts. Yet oth­ers in the fi­nance sec­tor have held back. Ex­ec­u­tives are con­cerned about the se­cu­rity of so­cial me­dia ac­counts and making mis­takes that could dam­age their rep­u­ta­tion or re­sult in neg­a­tive fi­nan­cial con­se­quences. With the right tech­nol­ogy and poli­cies in place, you can se­cure your so­cial pro­files, safe­guard your brand and keep reg­u­la­tors happy. So­cial re­la­tion­ship plat­forms like Hootsuite have built-in com­pli­ance fea­tures to pre­vent your com­pany from post­ing so­cial me­dia mes­sages that could vi­o­late reg­u­la­tory guide­lines, along with se­cu­rity fea­tures to main­tain con­trol of your cor­po­rate so­cial me­dia ac­counts. How­ever, tech­nol­ogy is only part of the com­pli­ance equa­tion. In or­der to avoid blun­ders, your FS com­pany needs a pol­icy that gives employees clear guide­lines for busi­ness-re­lated mes­sages on so­cial me­dia.




Use data to in­form de­ci­sions.

There’s no ques­tion. Peo­ple are talk­ing about your FS or­gan­i­sa­tion on so­cial me­dia. But be­fore you speak up, make sure you lis­ten. Lis­ten­ing en­ables com­pa­nies to understand what cus­tomers want, what they’re say­ing about the brand, and what they’re say­ing about com­peti­tors. In lis­ten­ing to what cus­tomers com­plain about or praise the or­gan­i­sa­tion for, fi­nance com­pa­nies gain in­sights into what they can im­prove about their ser­vices or what drives cus­tomer de­ci­sions. Data can also be used to in­form mar­ket­ing cam­paigns. For ex­am­ple the ING group dis­cov­ered that their mar­ket­ing cam­paigns were los­ing ef­fec­tive­ness as by the time they went out, many of them were no longer rel­e­vant to the bank’s cus­tomers. By im­ple­ment­ing a cen­tralised cam­paign man­age­ment pro­gramme, with per­son­alised of­fers in real time, de­liv­ered through mul­ti­ple chan­nels, ING in­creased av­er­age cam­paign re­sponse rates and expects to re­duce its direct mar­ket­ing costs.

Share rel­e­vant con­tent.

So­cial me­dia is an ex­cel­lent method for fi­nan­cial ser­vices com­pa­nies to show­case their ex­per­tise and ex­pe­ri­ence in dif­fer­ent ar­eas while still ad­her­ing to le­gal reg­u­la­tions. Re­search shows that in­vest­ment cus­tomers and prospects are hun­gry for ad­vice and tips that will help them take their next steps on the road to solid fi­nan­cial plan­ning. So gen­er­ate con­tent – videos, blog en­tries, short white pa­pers, case stud­ies – that helps them solve a prob­lem or in­creases their aware­ness on a topic in the in­dus­try. Do­ing so will po­si­tion your com­pany as an in­dus­try leader. The wis­est cus­tomer

Build re­la­tion­ships that last.






on re­ten­tion. Loyal cus­tomers are cru­cial to the long-term vi­a­bil­ity of your busi­ness, and in to­day’s com­pet­i­tive en­vi­ron­ment, build­ing trust is key. I know that I would con­tinue to use the ad­vi­sor who un­der­stands me, who grows with me and who I be­lieve looks out for my best in­ter­ests over some­one new and un­proven who may claim of­fers of bet­ter cov­er­age at a lower cost. How do you build and main­tain trust with clients via so­cial me­dia? En­gage, not just with con­tent but with the au­di­ence as well. Re­spond to com­ments or par­tic­i­pate in di­a­logue. Things you no­tice on so­cial me­dia might prompt you to pick up the phone or sched­ule a meet­ing. So­cial me­dia, more than any other medium, pro­vides the op­por­tu­nity to es­tab­lish and sus­tain re­la­tion­ships. What you choose to do with that op­por­tu­nity is up to you.

With th­ese four tips you’re bet­ter po­si­tioned to move your FS or­gan­i­sa­tion’s so­cial me­dia pro­grammes for­ward. As you take your next steps, watch what works and mea­sure so­cial’s im­pact on core busi­ness goals. If you put a strong foun­da­tion in place to­day – based on se­cu­rity, com­pli­ance and a fo­cus on the so­cial cus­tomer – your or­gan­i­sa­tion will be able to con­fi­dently scale up its in­vest­ments.

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