Bank Marketers Be Warned: Your Bank is Already Behind in the Social Media Age

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There is no disputing the fact that social media has evolved from its original purpose as a social communications medium into a tool businesses leverage to sharpen and refine their messages, helping them succeed in their industry. Here at Gregory FCA, where we help financial services companies integrate their communications strategies and articulate their corporate narrative, we see businesses old and new adapt and change in how they leverage social media week in, week out.

Even outside the social savvy walls of a PR agency, the evidence is there. A recent McKinsey Global Institute study on the “Social Economy” found that there are more than 1.5 billion social networking users globally, and 90 percent of companies using social technologies report positive outcomes as a result. Thus, there is an untapped potential for banks. Social media is here to stay, and there is a digital imperative to incorporate it into your business model before facing competitive obsolescence.

The banking industry has been slower than others in financial services to implement social media. However, given the fact that the majority of adults require a bank account, the demand for banks to engage on social media already exists. As mentioned in a recent Hootsuite webinar titled, “Profiting in Social: Banking in the Social Era,” social media offers the opportunity for banks to engage in two-way dialogue, as opposed to a one-person monologue.

Here are three ways banks can benefit from implementing social media into their already existing business objectives:

  1. Improved customer service, satisfaction and retention—Social media offers the opportunity to deepen already existing relationships and better understand clients’ wants and needs. It also serves as a platform built with the ability to quickly respond to clients’ questions and concerns. In a time where patience is no longer appreciated, being quick to the draw is vital.
  2. Customer acquisition and lead generation—The aforementioned McKinsey Global Institute study found that 40 percent of financial advisors acquired new clients through Facebook, 25 percent through LinkedIn and 21 percent through Twitter. If you aren’t taking advantage of the competitive opportunities that exist through these social platforms, you are missing out on the opportunity to galvanize your growth and bring in new, affluent clients.
  3. Employee engagement—Opportunities do not only lie with clients, but also in internal communications. Your employees are your biggest champions on the campaign for success. Implementing a company blog offers the opportunity for workflow and collaboration to take place in one space while also promoting thought leadership within your firm.

In order for banks to implement a social media strategy successfully and securely, it is necessary to have a clear vision from the start. This strategy should be supported by a cross functional team working towards the same goal. By eliminating the misperception that social media does not have a place in the banking industry you have the chance to get ahead of the curve and engage with an audience that has been waiting for you to take the leap. Otherwise, your competition will likely beat you to the punch.