In recent times, social media has had an impact on every business sector, transforming the way companies communicate with and attract customers. Not only has it re-defined the rules of the marketplace, but it has also established its position as a key driver for the success of most companies. The banking sector, otherwise known for its one-way, read-only provider-to-consumer interaction, too, is embracing social media to focus on relationship management.
According to a recent report by Gartner, social media will shape the future of the banking industry as the traditional models do not apply to many of their customers or markets. Goldman Sachs, a leading investment bank, on its website, recently posted a new vacancy- Social Media Strategist. The bank in the posting clearly stated that the ideal candidate would be responsible for “monitoring online conversations and participating in those conversations to build brand visibility and thought leadership.” Reportedly, almost two-thirds of UK high street banks have been able to respond to customer queries and complaints, within an hour, using Twitter.
Many banks have already started harnessing the power of social media to help them with an array of activities. Wells Fargo, an early bird in embracing social media, has built a significant presence on Twitter and uses expert blogs. NatWest was found to have the fastest Twitter response time for customer queries with an average of four minutes. American Express, through its five Facebook pages on different programs including Small Business Saturday, Members Project, OPEN Forum, and Business Travel Connexion, in addition to its main page, has been able to attract nearly six million fans.
Financial institutions are engaging in social conversations to review customer profiles, understand and analyze preferences, assess credit worthiness, and to track defaulters. Social media helpdesks to engage with customers in real-time are increasingly becoming popular among banks. In some cases, banks are reportedly seeking collection vendors with key skills in social media applications in order to trace loan defaulters, especially on mortgages.
However, though many banks have taken the leap by building a social media strategy to create a competitive edge and expand their customer base, they are facing stringent policies and regulations that govern their communication activities. In such a scenario, it will be a long time before a shift occurs and customers eventually take to these forums to articulate their banking concerns.
Banks are using Facebook to make announcements, listen and respond to their customer base.
Popular with banks and financial institutions in the customer service realm. Also being expanded to include thought leadership and banking know-how
The Finance industry is the 2nd most active industry on LinkedIn. Largely the platform is used to hire, network, and evangelize company culture.
Allows check-ins to branch locations of banks. This allows banks to give public shout-outs to returning customers.