Social media platforms today essentially play a variety of roles in today’s world, like a marketplace, a research database or a user’s journal where someone can share their experiences. 74% of consumers use social media to make their purchase decisions. Sadly, many brands within the Financial services industry are quite reluctant to engage with social media and exploit the benefits of doing business using them. But those who adopted it are reaping the benefits. In our post today, we try to break down how financial services companies can leverage social listening tools to serve their social media strategy.
Understanding Market Needs within the Financial Services Industry
Understanding the needs of the audience is a must for any business and the financial services brands are no exception to the need to perform thorough research. Brands have been using traditional methods like focus groups, surveys, and questionnaires to derive valuable insights into customer expectations. Financial services can deviate from this traditional methodology and use social listening to critically analyze what people say or think when they say words like “bank”, “loans”, “credit cards” etc online.
Social listening can be surprisingly helpful in studying economic trends with the social data available online. European Central Bank’s study says Twitter can be an economically significant predictor of the international stock market sentiment.
People often compare rival brands when discussing financial instruments online, where people talk about which plan has better returns, lower interest rates et cetera. Social listening helps you compare one brand to another by monitoring what people think and through sentiment analysis. Newer startups like FinTech are becoming a threat to the traditional financial services companies, social listening keeps a constant eye on any development, FinTech trends and what exactly customers prefer about FinTech.
Improved Customer Service
How do your customers or potential customers remember you? Do they prefer to return to you for more business? We know that customers do remember you when your service was exceptional or extremely poor. In any case, improving customer experience is a constant journey. Most people get confused with banking terms, banking apps, investment plans – their clauses et cetera. By being impersonal, banks can’t help their own case or wow their customers. Social listening can always guide you through the friendly social media platforms to access and engage with your customers without them or you getting frustrated. Many customers post about their confusion on Twitter and other places. By monitoring these posts, and engaging with them to giving tips even if they are not your current customers can help your company gain more visibility, a better online image, and more marketing qualified leads.
Successful Marketing Campaigns
The general perception is that serious brands such as the ones in the financial services industry can’t be fun on social media, they can’t advertise in a fun manner or post memes. Not true, some brands have aced engaging with their audience. Some others have tried and failed. BNP Paribas created a community online for tennis lovers called We Are Tennis, and they do sponsor many sports events. However, their audience started discussing only tennis more often and unfortunately BNP Paribas is not in the business of selling things related to tennis.
In a similar attempt to engage with their audience, JP Morgan had tried to hold a Q&A session back in 2013. The hashtag they went for was #AskJPM. They wanted this Q&A to be related to “What career advice would you ask a leading executive at a global firm?”. However, the campaign went wrong and people started attacking the company about the then-recent court case where JPM was fined $920M.
It is difficult for financial companies to come up with creative campaigns to attract new clients, at least more difficult than it is for other industries. However, carefully listening to your customers and engaging in appropriate research can be of help here. For example, Bank of America employed ample research before releasing boards on Pinterest to attract new clients and promote their “Better Money Habits” site. These boards would have lifestyle moments like someone buying a house or a car, and these were linked to the brand’s site which had educational content.
It is important to be available when someone has a serious need for money and does not understand how to go about seeking a loan. The same goes for people who are looking for investment avenues or saving schemes. Catching them at the cusp of their need is possible only with social listening. Social listening for the financial services industry can be useful at a corporate and local level.