Social media is so much more than a means of listening to customers or monitoring the brand reputation. It can generate critical business benefits and connect companies to customers in powerful ways at a time when strong customer relationships are essential for competitive differentiation.
So how can the financial services industry use social media marketing to personally engage customers and drive business benefits? It takes a data-driven, methodical approach where social media is an integral part of the overall marketing strategy—and a willingness to tweak approaches with a test-and-learn mindset that’s as flexible as social media itself.
Financial services firms can seize opportunities from social media by understanding social audiences, mapping customer needs to a meaningful social experience and ensuring that their organization has the right capabilities to deliver—every time.
Download Moving Beyond Listening and Monitoring: Social Media Marketing for Financial Services [PDF, 753KB]
Social Media Marketing for Financial Services
Today, financial services consumers have moved beyond just using the Internet as an information-gathering tool, to using both the Internet and mobile channels for an interactive, even social, experience.
Social networks are growing at pace; by 2017, the global social network audience is expected to total 2.55 billion.
Leading financial services companies are increasingly using social media marketing with strong results. Examples include:
Launching a competition to make consumer engagement more robust
Launching an innovative digital campaign allowing new customers to choose their relationship manager
Launching a stock trading application to attract the new class of retail investors
Providing customers with a wide range of products, offers, and initiatives via social media
Using “e-commerce offers” to promote the online branch
Offering personal customer alerts and customer care
Creating dedicated accounts for any customer segment or topic to enable followers joining live discussions around several areas of interest.
While most financial services firms are using social media to some extent, the vast majority is stopping short of using it to engage customers.
A successful social media must include:
Understanding the audience and the organizations goals and limits.
Mapping customer needs to organization deliverables.
Enabling the organization with the right capabilities to execute.
Driving Organic Growth
Social media offers new customer information such as personal attitudes, hobbies and needs that could help acquire customers and nurture existing relationships, both of which drive organic growth.
This new customer information can enhance customer intimacy and customer insight and move marketing toward delivering personalized sales and service experiences.
Increasing operating efficiency
Social media can be harnessed to “improve the basics” including lowering cost to sell and cost to serve and optimizing marketing spending. By seamlessly integrating current customer service workflows with social media components, financial services companies are already able to leverage the crowd effect, exploiting the potential of user-generated content such as in Q&A platforms.
A big component of the financial services business is about sizing, anticipating and managing risks. For insurance companies, risk is a core component of the value chain; for banks it is a long-term bet and for capital markets it is a driver of higher returns. Furthermore, Accenture’s consumer research showed that brand reputation and trustworthiness are key satisfaction drivers among customers.6
Roadmap of Social Media Tactics
Every financial institution has its own business priorities and unique types of customer interactions it wants to conduct.
Accenture has identified 11 fundamental social media tactics companies can consider when building personalized customer relationships. Each tactic involves detailed and customized decision-making to help achieve the targeted outcome, but the schematic figure (right) provides a high level roadmap of the tactics available.
Social media is in many respects an unstoppable cultural force - ubiquitous and powerful. For financial institutions it has vast potential beyond listening and monitoring.
A methodical, data-centered, approach to social media marketing gives financial institutions the opportunity to increase customer acquisition, improve cross selling, drive customer retention, deliver operational efficiency and reduce risk.
There is great power in social media, which can be a negative, given the speed with which issues spread on social media. But it can also be extremely positive - able to foster better relationships or create additional touchpoints in the digital marketing space.
For more information, download the full PDF. [PDF, 753KB]