Social Media and Banking? An Interesting Match!
Posted by heatherribelin
Although many people may not automatically associate something usually considered “cool and hip,” like social media, with something oftentimes considered “stuffy and boring,” like banking – the truth of the matter is these two things can, and do, quite successfully go hand-in-hand. In fact, with the ever-increasing rise in online and mobile banking, much of the industry’s customer base is already actively online. Thus, social media provides an excellent avenue to reach out to customers and build truly unique relationships often not possible with traditional forms of marketing and communication. Like it or not, social media plays a large role in many, if not most, aspects of our lives – and banking is no exception.
Although some banks and credit unions have been a bit slower on the adoption of social media, it may be surprising that a vast majority is jumping on the bandwagon – and some are even taking social media by the horns and creating a completely integrated online presence amongst the many platforms.
You may be wondering what banks have to offer customers in regards to social media. I mean, they already have online banking, right? What more could customers need?
Well, the three most utilized social media platforms currently in use by banks are (1) Facebook, (2) Twitter, and (3) YouTube – with each offering their own benefits to customers.
Setting up a Facebook presence is probably one of the first things banks, or businesses in general, do when they first engage in social media. Facebook is a great platform for banks to provide information on, market, and promote various banking products – much as they would traditionally. But probably more important, Facebook is an excellent way to engage in community building and providing top notch and almost instantaneous customer service and support. In addition, Facebook provides the convenience of connecting to different segments of the population, so that information is relevant to the end user. Furthermore, an online presence, such as Facebook, really adds to the transparency of the bank which may help to instill trust within the community and the bank.
While Twitter can offer many of the same benefits as Facebook, it is done in a much faster pace and within 140 characters. Twitter is most often used to provide corporate information, financial tips, and customer service in the form of Tweets. It’s a great way to reach a large amount of people in a short amount of time.
The great thing about Facebook and Twitter is that they can be used together to form a solid social media presence. Also, be on the lookout for future capabilities with both platforms such as conducting day-to-day banking activities via social media. For instance, JP Morgan Chase already has a Facebook page where college students can apply for credit cards, and Fiserv has a Facebook-based application, known as MyMoney, in which users can access and monitor their bank accounts. Although many people are still skeptical when it comes to actual banking via social media platforms due to security issues, this may be something that becomes more commonplace in the future as social media advances.
YouTube is an excellent way for banks to inform customers about various products or financial tips. For instance, U.S. Bank offers a handful of humorous videos to connect with customers and provide useful information pertaining to online and personal security. By using humor, U.S. Bank was able to provide important information that may otherwise be ignored due to the boring manner in which it is presented – such as disclosure booklets. The videos went viral and were a huge hit, and hopefully made customers think twice before sharing important banking information. Online videos also provide banks a way to showcase their traditional marketing commercials, as well as videos created specifically for the internet.
These are just three of the many social media platforms available today. As always, it is important for banks to first research their customer base to determine which platforms their market is currently utilizing, and then establish a presence on those particular platforms.
So, does your bank currently engage in social media? And if so, how do they stack up against the competition?
Well, luckily for you, Social Media Explorer recently teamed up with The Financial Brand and created an algorithm to determine the top 100 banks and credit unions on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. The resulting list, called the Retail Banking Power 100, is an amazing testimony that social media really does add value to the banking industry.
See, now who says banking and social media don’t mix? There’s a list of 100 successful banking institutions who would probably beg to differ!