How Finance Firms Can Make the Most of Social Media

How financial companies can make the most of social media

from Adam

No industry can benefit more from social media than financial services. Around a third of people worldwide have no bank account. Getting more people into the financial system starts with public relations.

Although banks and nontraditional financial institutions are initially shy of pursuing social strategies due to regulatory concerns, they are realizing the value of these platforms. Here’s how they use social media to build relationships, add value, and attract new customers:

Give expert advice

Not so long ago, professional financial advice meant making an appointment with a financial advisor. Nowadays, it’s as easy as logging into Facebook or Twitter.

Financial advice can be divided into many forms. Brokers like Vanguard regularly publish long-form market analyzes, while start-up financial services often tend to offer bite-sized savings tips. Life insurer Penn Mutual frequently conducts interviews with corporate executives to make financial professionals more accessible.

The good news is that there is no such thing as a “wrong” answer when it comes to deciding which advice to share. Start with a few quotes from a leader in your company to build customer trust. From there, develop a content strategy that should create added value with market insights. Once that trust is built, expect customers to seek more personal advice.

Hosting Q&A sessions

If you are a bank or an online lender, how do you decide who will get a loan? What is the right investment strategy for a new college graduate if you are in the investment space? And how much sense does it make to invest your savings in precious metals?

Finance is an area that many people want to learn more about. By opening up to users’ questions, you humanize your brand and help educate your customers. And the more customers know about financial services, the more likely they are to use them.

One example is CoinMetro, a cryptocurrency exchange company. On its LinkedIn account, CoinMetro regularly hosts AMAs (Ask Me Anything) where users ask about everything, how bitcoins are mined, up to which cryptocurrency will be the next big winner.

Once you’ve identified the topics to cover, find experts in your company who can talk to anyone and give your account to them. Twitter is often the best place for these chats because conversations can be grouped under specific hashtags. That way, customers who may not have followed the chat live can still read content that may be of value to them.

Offer exclusive offers

You want to entice your customers to follow you on social media. One way to do this is to offer offers that you can’t find anywhere else.

The good news is, you don’t have to break the bank for this. Something as small as a fee exemption can go a long way in getting people to click. You can also go the American Express route, which allows customers to securely link their cards to their social media accounts. Then these customers can get discounts based on their online activity.

Another good option is to use partnerships. Let’s say your company has invested in a new chain of restaurants. Perhaps anyone who “likes” the restaurant’s Facebook page is eligible for a free ice cream.

It is fun

Pretty or not, financial services companies aren’t known as the most exciting companies on the block. Show the fun side of your business on social media.

For this approach, reach out to your membership base and run a competition that encourages interaction. Take Chime’s #MyChimeCard challenge, for example. Members were asked to customize their debit card and share a photo on Instagram. The winners were selected based on originality, creativity, composition and quality.

Here, too, content contributed by guests plays the greatest role. Greet members by sharing fun and interesting posts. While you should definitely be active on your own social media pages, nobody wants to listen to a brand conversation about yourself all the time.

With this strategy it is important to be positive and inclusive. Make sure that shared content represents a group of different backgrounds, races, and genders. Use light-hearted, G-rated humor that everyone can appreciate.

Perform customer service

Almost half of consumers say social media is one of the first places they look for customer support. Expect your customers, whether you request them or not, to contact us with questions and service requests.

Ask customers to use direct messages instead of public posts when making inquiries to avoid disclosing sensitive financial information. Point to frequently asked questions (such as your business hours or types of accounts available) on your FAQ page. Immediately post notifications about things like website maintenance to alleviate customer frustrations.

To ensure fast service, dedicate some of your customer service staff to your social media channels. Connect the service staff with one person playing the customer and the other person doing customer service to train them in appropriate communication.
These days, social media isn’t just about cat memes and political abuse. Financial services companies are finding new ways to connect with their customers, from sharing heartfelt stories to getting advice from experts. What better way to build trust with current and future customers than to meet them online?

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