Bridging the Trust Gap Between Millennials & Retail Banks

In an interview with Business Insider, Rick Yang of New Enterprise Associates says “there’s a massive shift in consumer behavior and consumer trust. I think coming out of the financial crisis, millennials have a massive distrust of existing financial services. They tend to trust technology more than the recognized brands, like a JPMorgan Chase or a Wells Fargo.”

In my experience (as both a millennial and a former employee at a large bank), this is 100% true. Banks don’t hold the same prestige they did 30 years ago, and in fact, millennials are actually wary of big banks. They want full control of their finances, and they want the convenience of a branch in their pocket. Fintech and startups have made financial literacy easier than ever for this crowd, and banks are rapidly losing their trust. And with over 75.4 million members, millennials are a demographic you can’t afford to ignore.

But if you’re a big bank, you might be thinking “we have the financial education millennials want, and we have the tech too. What gives?”

Well, the answer to that is how you’re reaching them.

Social media holds one of the keys to this generations heart, mind, and wallets. They use social media to share their happiest and crappiest moments in life. They turn to it for comfort, for laughter, and for advice, and if you know how to engage at the right moment and with the right content, you’re in business.

To give you an idea of the millennial buyers’ mindset, consider these stats:

  • 44% of millennials are more likely to trust an expert than an advertisement (Source)
  • 247% are more likely to be influenced by social media and blogs
  • 43% of millennials rank authenticity over the content itself
  • 67% are interested in financial management tools from banks (Source)

And if you could only become their friend, there’s an 89% chance they will listen to you, as that is how many of them trust recommendations from friends and family.

If you think you can ignore the entire group and focus on the baby boomers instead, think again. After all, millennials are set to inherit $30 trillion in the next 30 to 40 years.

So how should financial services companies behave on social media? Authentically. 

The benefits of having an authentic brand presence are clear, and one way to do this is to encourage the people who know your brand best – employees – to share information about your bank on social media.

I know what you might be thinking: there’s a huge risk factor in asking employees to share content on social media. They might put the brand at risk, or disclose sensitive information. But employees sharing on social media doesn’t have to jeopardize compliance! With the right tools and guidelines, you can encourage employees to share content using their own authentic voice. A good place to start is offering pre-approved content (like a photo from an event with your official brand hashtags) and suggesting the appropriate channels to share on. The key to successful brand advocacy is clear guidelines and authenticity.

FREE EBOOK: The Beginner’s Guide to Employee Advocacy & Compliance

By empowering employees to get active on social media and share information about the great things your bank is doing, you’ll reach a wider millennial audience. And remember: this isn’t about the hard sell. Telling your employees to share a post with the headline “OPEN A FREE CHECKING ACCOUNT” isn’t going to jive with millennials. The idea is to share authentic and informative content so that when someone is looking for a new financial service, your bank will be top of mind.

And if you want to know more about the ROI of employee advocacy in FinServ, I recommend checking out our eBook “What’s the Value of Employee Advocacy in Financial Services?” This guide will show you the measurable impact employees sharing on social media can have for your bank.

What strategies have you employed to reach millennial clients? Is this a focus for your bank? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment, or better yet – connect with me on LinkedIn. Always happy to chat!

Max Grubyy

Author: Max Grubyy

Max Grubyy is part of the Enterprise Account Development team at PostBeyond. He made his transition into the tech world after spending a better half of his 20's working in wealth management and at a standards-setting organization for financial planners. On the weekends, you can often find him tanning on the beaches of Muskoka or exploring the latest in the Toronto food scene.

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