Who Says Banking And Finance Services Can’t Be On Social Media?

Who Says Banking And Finance Services Can’t Be On Social Media?

Social Media Is Here To Stay 

Let’s admit it, we all use social media. Some use it 24/7, others simply to fill their spare time, stay connected with friends, research new products before purchase or simply for work purposes. Since social media is basically everywhere – we have to argue that social media is here to stay. Currently, there are more than 3.5 billion social media users worldwide; nevertheless, some sectors hesitate to join the world of digitalisation. This applies to the banking and finance sector, where the use of social media can be a challenge.

The Unmentioned Challenges

For those not familiar with the industry, banking and finance are all about money, transactions, credits, and investments, which make up today’s economic world; in which credibility is a major issue. Banking and finance institutions feel the pressure to build those solid, trusting relationships with their customers. Social media are now becoming increasingly powerful when it comes to building such relationships. But how can they keep their customers satisfied and happy when social media is all about transparent content? 

For the financial services, social media exposure has to do with compliance, security and privacy [as these are their primary challenges].  Imagine how people are sharing their opinions about restaurants and hotels online, the same applies to banks and financial services. People will share their real-life experiences, especially the bad ones publicly. For example, if they had a bad experience with a bank’s customer service representative, if something went wrong with their bank transfer or had an issue with a financial service provider they will post a review on a social media post either tagging the service or directly to the company’s account.

Is Social Media a Game-changer for Banks and Financial Institutions? 

In retrospect, the banking industry evidently neglected the potential of social media, and financial marketers mostly focused on traditional offline campaigns. The good news is that major platforms such as Facebook and Instagram are no longer a medium of communication and sales just for fashion experts, tourist agents, food bloggers, and car enthusiasts. 

Banks and financial services have to catch up with the latest social media trends and join a digital world full of possibilities. Whether it is used to boost brand awareness, improve customer experience, inform and educate customers about services or products, or expand customer service, social media’s effectiveness is proving to be a powerful marketing tool for the expansion of the banking and finance industry. 

During the last decade, more and more banking and financial services worldwide have been adopting social media as a marketing tool to build strong communities. According to the American Bankers Association (2019), 9 out of 10 banks are very or somewhat active on social media. But where does this change and enthusiasm come from? 

Social media users cannot be ignored 

Social media have become much more than a communication channel and an online shopping experience. The number of banking customers who also use social media is too high to be ignored, making social media an appealing marketing tool for the proposed sector. People of all ages are now using their smartphones for everything. With one click, they can access any service or product they need. So why should banks miss out? 

A way to engage the younger generation

Banking and finance language can be confusing, yet not exciting for those outside the field, particularly younger generations. Did you know that a significant percentage of youths are stressed about not repaying personal or student loans or purchasing their first home? 

Following such concerns, banking and finance companies realise that in order to inform, engage and market the millennial audience, they have to ‘’speak their language”. And since youths are using social media for basically everything, banks and financial institutions had to join the community too. Can you think of scrolling through your bank’s Instagram account? If so, then think about finding the most interesting [bank-related] content. For example, articles such as ‘5 things you should know before purchasing your first house’ or ‘tips on how to start your own business”. Wouldn’t that be a far simpler and friendlier way to attract the youth, while at the same time educating them? 

Making the difference 

As a result of the desire to engage younger generations, banks realise that they need to apply unconventional techniques in order to differentiate themselves from their competitors. They basically aim to give a reason to current or potential customers to follow them. Banks nowadays are not satisfied only with posting generic content such as basic financial definitions or formal banking trends. Instead, they started using social media more creatively, making them more appealing to current or potential customers. They are focusing on friendlier and informal yet efficient ways to respond to the queries of their customers. 

An exciting example is coming from the Toronto-Dominion Bank in North America. The proposed bank started an annual campaign called #TDThanksYou, where it gave rewards to its customers. The campaign is still on today, and it’s rewarding customers and employees who are making positive contributions to their communities. Such efforts were found to be highly successful across the social media community of the bank. Furthermore, the proposed campaign enhanced public awareness and increased the interaction between the bank and the users. 

More To Come

Clearly, the use of social media in the banking and finance industry is still evolving. However, like all sectors,  banking and finance also need to have a place in the world of social media. If you are thinking about joining the world of finance, keep in mind that digitalisation is the new norm, thus keep an eye on the latest digital marketing trends and let your banking or finance institution stand out from the rest. 

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