Social media has transformed the way industries reach customers, and organizations are doubling down on digital technologies. With over 2 billion social media users globally, it’s impossible to ignore. In America alone, 70% of people use some form of social media. We know the importance of social media, but how is this impacting regulated industries like financial services?
Social has disrupted the banking experience in three key areas:
1. Information Gathering
Today, consumers are accustomed to finding any information they need instantly online. Currently, 7 in 10 Americans use social media to connect with people or find information, with platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter being the main channels. As a result, more banks are using social media to shape their brand’s perceptions through content such as financial advice, product promotions, and contests. Company social media pages are quickly replacing the main website as the go-to source for the latest product offerings and information.
2. Customer Service
Social media also provides a channel for customer service as consumers expect companies to provide fast, reliable, and friendly service. With the increasing demand for real-time responses, banks have to dedicate enough resources to meet these requests. Facebook Messenger, for example, is an increasingly important channel for customer service. With Facebook now displaying response rates and times, customers can choose the best channel for reaching a customer service rep at their leisure.
3. Product/Service Development
In addition to promotions on social media, banks are also using it to improve or develop offerings for consumers through reviewing comments, survey data, and company mentions. This data is critical in delivering a memorable customer experience.
Challenges for Banks
With stringent regulations and compliance policies, banks are slower to adapt to new technologies. Moreover, with the rise of fintech startups (financial technology), banks face increased competition as these incumbents are faster to innovate and go-to-market. Furthermore, credibility and trust amongst consumers are top priorities for banks, so producing the appropriate type of content is integral to social media success. With fintech startups winning in the social media space, how can banks differentiate themselves?
Employees can be a key part of a successful social strategy that sets you apart from the competition. Many banks might immediately think of improper disclosure on social media and see employees as a threat rather than an opportunity, but there are safe and compliant ways to involve them. It starts with clear guidelines and communication. When you set clear social media policy that allows employees to share company content, that’s called employee advocacy.
Employee Advocacy programs encourage employees to participate in the communication efforts of the company. When culture, content, and sharing fall into place, your organization achieves advocacy.
The key to success for banks is providing employees with pre-approved content that they can share on their social networks. This will not only help staff tell the brand story, but will ensure compliance on social media. It’s a winning strategy for banks looking to up their game on social media. For more info on this, check out our Beginner’s Guide to Employee Advocacy and Compliance.
How an Employee Advocacy Program Can Benefit Banks
An employee advocacy program benefits all parties involved. Consumers have a better impression of a company through employee posts, with studies showing that:
- 84% of people trust recommendations from people they know (vs. 15% trusting company messages)
- 31% of consumers also say that reading content helps them “better understand the company”, which is a top priority for 47% of brands to achieve
- Employees feel improved engagement through a shared sense of purpose with the company’s vision
- 65% of firms with an employee advocacy program have seen increased brand visibility (messages shared by employees reaching 561% further than if shared by the company)
- Companies have seen over 20% revenue growth and decreased marketing costs
The benefits for the company and the firm are real. Employee advocacy allows employees to share their work experience with the world, and can deepen client relationships by adding a human touch to an online experience. If your organization is looking for a way to break through the noise on social media, employee advocacy is the way to go.
If you’d like to learn more, get in touch with us on LinkedIn, or leave your thoughts in the comments.