“Banks get in trouble for one reason: They make bad loans.”
That’s according to Carl Webb, co-managing partner at the Ford Financial Fund. The statement holds some truth, but with all due respect to Webb, I’m going to challenge it.
Banks can get in trouble for another reason: Failing to engage customers on social media.
Ten years ago, if a customer needed assistance with her bank account, she’d have to either go to her nearest branch or call a customer service line and wait for a representative. Today, she can simply open a social media app and send a message – making this process easier and more efficient than ever before.
Financial services companies just have to be ready on the other side on the screen. Otherwise, they leave customers in the dark and money on the proverbial table.
With that in mind, here are steps financial marketers can take to better engage customers on social media.
Understand the importance of social media in finance
Social media holds countless opportunities for finance brands to grow their audiences and build loyal relationships. Marketers can use digital channels to deliver personalised messages and real-time care. They can also use them to reach customers where they’re already active, comfortable, and ready to converse.
According to the U.S. Federal Reserve, over half of US adults with a smartphone and 67% of Millennials use mobile banking. Sixty per cent of UK residents use mobile banking as well – double the amount from 10 years ago. This digital dependence has caused thousands of banks to close and prompted finance companies to turn their attention to online channels.
Santander UK offers a helpful example of a company putting the customer first via social media. The bank created a holistic view of 14 million customers across the social channels they prefer, equipping the company to deliver the right messages to the right people at the right time. The effort was a big success, generating more than 1.5 million social engagements in one year.