Social Media for Financial Institutions
In our last post, we highlighted social media as a leading marketing trend for banks and credit unions. It is clear to see why. A McKinsey Global Institute study estimates that social technologies could contribute up to $423 billion in value annually in consumer financial services.
Social media was initially adopted by financial institutions for its compliance capabilities, it is now more important than ever. Applications span the organization with opportunities to increase employee and customer experience and engagement, recruit top talent, and drive sales and more.
While North America leads other geographic regions in implementing social media programs, there remains a significant opportunity to get and stay ahead in this fast-moving environment.
Here are three areas for financial institutions to consider for social media:
Top-down leadership works on social media
Social executive programs illustrate your financial institution recognizes the shift happening in how customers, employees and investors want to consume corporate communications.
Social executive outreach programs on LinkedIn have proven to reach a large and captive audience. For example, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon has reached influencer status with over 920,00 LinkedIn followers with only 19 published articles.
Twitter and other platforms offer an alternative or supplement to press releases during crisis events. Their speed of reach, combined with the weight of an executive voice respond to customers more quickly and in a more personalized approach.
There are corporate benefits. Hootsuite has found that CEO and executive engagement on social increases employee engagement by 40%. They also found sales teams engaged on social media are 50% more likely to achieve their sales quota.
Use social to overcome declining organic reach
Social advertising and video are two areas financial institutions are using to overcome declining organic reach. Across all mediums, the focus should be on quality content vs. quantity of content.
From YouTube to Facebook Watch, video is entering all forms of social. Unmetric analyzed interactions with the content created by 23 banks in America for the first half of 2017. Of 27.6 million user interactions across 304,818 pieces of brand content, video content accounted for 16% of all social media content published. The trend is accelerating quickly. Some progressive brands are posting over 50% of their platform content in video. Video content is twice as likely to be shared by users than other content types.
Facebook advertising is a good match for financial institutions with a rich source of customer data. Lookalike Audience modeling in Facebook is a tool to help organizations reach more people who look like their current customers and website visitors. Other strategies growing in popularity include retargeting prospects on other platforms to reach the same audience at lower costs.
Social doesn’t come without risks
While most social innovations bring positive outcomes, there are risks. With the increase of social media in the workplace, comes an increased risk for cyber attacks. Cybersecurity firm ZeroFOX found social media far more effective for phishing than email. They found that 66 percent of spear phishing messages, fraudulent messages targeting specific individuals to gain access to confidential information, sent via social media were opened by their targets. This is nearly double that of spear phishing emails.
Financial organizations need to include employee training as part of any social program. For workplace social systems, such as Workplace by Facebook, it is imperative to secure accounts and monitor for irregularities.
With the speed of social moving faster each day, financial institutions face a challenge in keeping up. A delicate balance is required to address real-time interactions while ensuring regulatory adherence. Many organizations are taking advantage of social media tools that integrate workflow and approvals with automation to help them keep up.