Most banks and financial institutions have a Twitter feed and a Facebook page, but not every bank is employing those social media options in the most effective way. Customers won’t pay attention to a Twitter feed just because “it’s there,” and they won’t befriend a Facebook page simply because an advertisement compels them to do so. Even a staid business like a bank needs some creativity in the realm of social media.
Here are some tips to make social media work for your financial institution.
1. Use Social Media for Research
Social media is not a one-way street, and banks can learn from what their customers say to and about the financial institution on Facebook pages. 1st Mariner Bank, a small bank in Baltimore, Maryland, decided that it would use social media to query its customers about bank features and needs.
Instead of conducting sessions with focus groups, 1st Mariner asked the entire internet what it could do better. Through questions posted on social media pages, the bank was able to determine that it needed to provide a better banking experience to teenagers and parents.
2. Expand Customer Service Options
Social media is all about the engagement and responsiveness of the bank with its customers, and the immediacy of social media like Twitter offers customers the satisfaction of quick answers to problems.
Although the information shared on social media by a bank must be controlled in such a way to ensure security and privacy, the medium remains a reliable option for communicating with customers about their problems. Bank of America recently set up an active Twitter account that took some time to develop, but which eventually turned into a valuable outlet for customer service queries. Other merchant and review sites are also using Twitter as the go-to source for customer interaction.
3. Partner with a Popular Entity
United Kingdom-based Barclays Bank took note of the popularity of football (that’s soccer to Americans) in the country and decided to buy into title sponsorship of the country’s Premier League. Out of this sponsorship came an incredibly popular Twitter feed where the bank started to offer timely updates on what was happening with the professional football league.The feed swiftly gained over a hundred thousand followers, and Barclays was able to fortify brand recognition through Twitter. Each time a fan would see a Twitter update on the football feed from Barclays, he would see the Barclays Bank logo.
There is no doubt that social media propels advertising today, but it may also help a bank to improve customer service and create personalized relationships with its depositors and customers. Today’s customers are on the internet, and it is essential for banks to be inventive and resourceful with their social media campaigns.
A bank shouldn’t see social media as a simple advertising machine but rather a conduit for the exchange of ideas with customers.