The financial services industry has been pretty slow to get moving with their presence on social media mostly because of all the different regulations they face on how they can communicate with the public. The SEC (Securities Exchange Commission) has recently loosened their tight grip and lifted some of those restrictions so we can start seeing more of a face from our financial friends on social media platforms.
With billions of people flocking to their favorite social media sites, one can easily get bewildered in this huge arena. Although there are obstacles and challenges to be faced, there are also tremendous opportunities and advantages to using social networking. Obstacles can be turned into opportunities if they are dealt with correctly.
Here are some tips when facing challenges that financial services firms have addressing, creating and sharing content with their online audience.
ADDRESSING: Customer urgency on social media
The number one thing consumers are looking for in online customer service is a quick response even if it isn’t an effective one. As ironic as that may seem, more people are happier with a quick ineffective solution, over a slower, more effective one. In other words, people are more interested in a timely response than they are in a complete solution to their problem.
The vast majority of Facebook and Twitter users are seeking contact within the same day of posting, 71% and 83% respectively. It is important to monitor these sites and respond quickly to consumer’s needs, questions, comments or complaints. Larger institutions will often hire a third party or staff member to do nothing more than be their social media experts and communicators.
CREATING: Customer needs on networking sites
Almost all financial institutions allow their customers the ability to do their banking online and consumers are not looking to social media for this service, but rather for news, information and answers to their financial-related questions and concerns in real time.
People want to see more than the obvious information most companies post, branch locations and operating hours, they are looking for education and guidance. You can’t simply tell the online universe that you’re the best, you have to show them that you are.
Offer helpful financial information like the importance of early retirement planning, how to grow their savings and share useful tax tips. Here you will appear more like a friendly advisor rather than a faceless corporation.
SHARING: Customer engagement and interaction
Now that you are monitoring and assisting your social audience, it’s time to get them engaged with your brand, interacting with your company and sharing content with their friends.
Giveaways, contests, polls, voting, quizzes and picture posts are popular methods of getting things moving and shaking on social media sites. While many banks offer a monetary reward for switching to their institution, there are other ways of getting people looking into your business:
- Pose questions and get valuable answers. Ask whether or not people are still going into bank branches, using ATM’s or prefer mobile usage.
- Offer a likeable prize. Give away a $100 debit card to users who get the most “likes” through the sharing of your content.
- Get photos posted and shared. Ask for photos of people at one of your locations, their favorite place to bank and why.
These are some of the many ways that the financial sector can fit in on the social networking scene. Get going on these platforms today — your customer base and brand awareness will grow in popularity and recognition moving forward.