As digital technology is constantly evolving, there are countless ways to create a social presence for any brand. As social media has increasingly become a part of our everyday lives over the past few years, brands are struggling to figure out their brand health as it’s no longer about the volume of their online presence, rather it’s about understanding how that presence impacts their business metrics. For financial service companies on social media, it’s about how they educate their audience, increase their brand awareness and express their thought leadership. This presents endless opportunities for banks, credit unions, insurance companies and financial institutions.
As stated in the McKinsey Global Institute‘s report, “[l]everaging social technologies in these ways to improve marketing activities amounts to value creation of up to 20 percent of the cost of a marketing campaign.” Many customers follow their financial service company on social media to not only stay up-to-date on information from the company but to also create a relationship and a sense of trust.
So once you have your online presence in place, what should your strategy be? Measure, understand, track and analyze how you can make the most out of the intricate data:
- Measure the sentiment around your financial brand to see if the online comments about your brand are positive or negative, and use the information you find to change the negative narratives, and increase the positive. In order to do this, you must find a Social Listening tool that offers you an extensive sentiment analysis for your brand. For example, we worked with BNP Paribas Fortis, and through analyzing their mentions and acting on what they found, BNP Paribas Fortis increased their brand visibility by 5000% (from 5,000 to 250,000 brand mentions).
- Understand where your following is coming from and how exactly they are discovering your brand’s services. Most importantly, who are these users and why are they following your financial service brand online? One of the best ways to make sure your digital marketing strategy is effective is to understand your audience and segment it, helping you better understand what certain members of your audience want to see and hear, and what they don’t. As stated in an interview with Craig Donaldson, CEO of Metro Bank, “…customers want answers when they want them and, for many, social media is where they expect to get answers these days so you’ve got to be there. Then it is the choice so that, if they want to be able to get a new card instantly, they can walk into a store and get it. Some may want to be able to check something out on their phone and use the app, others want to make a call.” Targeted and more personalized customer service marketing efforts are the most strategic and effective marketing campaigns that your brand can push out.
- Track the overall brand health on audience awareness, acquisition, activation, and satisfaction. Test the momentum of data metrics and look into where it’s coming from. Make sure that you are on top of the information and are constantly aware of what is being said about your brand. In a recent Social Media Forum interview, Simone Veaney, Director of Social Communications at American Express stated “The convergence of social, display and programmatic approaches to media throws up some interesting questions around content delivery and frequency. With increasing media options, it is being left to brands themselves to ensure they are not clouded by the opportunities to bombard consumers, but instead remain authentic to the social spirit of these channels. The art of social storytelling is not dead, but to stay healthy will need to evolve to remain relevant in a rapidly changing digital environment.”
- Analyze who in your audience is an influencer and if they are a brand ambassador or brand detractor using a proper Social Listening tool. Use the data you find to help you neutralize or turn over the brand detractor, and amplify the brand ambassador. This will help you reach a broader audience and create new customers using an “unbiased” 3rd-party. According to Lloyds Bank’s Digital know-how guide, “Small to medium-sized organizations that use the Internet frequently are much more likely to see an increase in turnover than those that used it less often.” The higher the online influence and presence your brand have, the higher the potential for an increase in turnover rate.
Looking to learn everything you can know about ensuring an effective social standpoint as a financial services brand? Check out these 6 Steps to Effective Social Listening for Financial Services.