Banks, payment and insurance companies need to appeal to all types of customers. Part of this implies having a failproof digital marketing strategy, especially on social media. Like it or not, social media isn’t just for chatting with friends anymore. People use it to talk with the brands and companies they use.
For instance, 80% of Instagram active users say they follow brands on the platform. Social media has become a double-edged sword. For brands, it’s a premium channel to reach out and share valuable information. On the other hand, it opens a new public complaints channel.
Eventually, this means that claiming a “social media presence” through a Facebook page doesn’t cut it. Instead, financial services companies need to be aware of all key conversations, be available to answer customers and stay connected round-the-clock, no matter what They cannot afford to make compromises when it comes to customer experience and satisfaction levels. They need to earn and keep the trust customers place in their brand and services. This is where social listening comes in pretty handy.
What is social listening and why is it crucial for the financial services industry?
Social listening shows you what’s being said about your brand, competition, and market on major social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, as it happens, without you having to go and look for it.
In short, it lets you:
- Know what’s said about your brand and services as soon as it’s live.
- Track social media mentions on key social networks.
- Identify key market trends before they go mainstream.
- Identify and solve crises before they happen.
- Analyze the metrics that are of value to you and your company.
- Share personalized performance reports with clients and stakeholders.
At the end of the day, a social listening tool can help demystify the noise generated every day on the internet for marketing and communication professionals. After all, there are billions of conversations happening each day online, and there’s no way humans can keep up. Not without the help of technology.
All in all, listening lets you track all these messages to find the ones that matter to you and your institution.
1. Track all relevant conversations, from one tool
Whether you’re a global institution, a small business, or a pure player – listening is essential – for all financial institutions. Now, it’s true that you could go from platform to platform looking for mentions of your institution’s name and services.
But there are two big flaws to this strategy.
- It’s a huge timesuck: If you get mentioned in hundreds, or even thousands of times a day – you’ll need to find time to filter the noise to see conversations that really matter.
- You will miss important things: It’s impossible to know everything that is being said about your brand. You can’t know all that’s said about your brand. Not without help. There are too many sources, too many customers, and simply too many voices out there. And some of the mentions you’d miss could end up being complaints from valued customers, or even endorsements from powerful influencers. Too bad.
2. Identify your market’s trends and innovations
Financial institutions are driving innovation.
This means that they often invest heavily in innovative projects and technology.
This is the visible part of the iceberg. What financial institutions need to do, at first, is to identify key innovations to integrate to their ecosystem, to inspire the market, build and maintain trust. Well, nowadays, inspiration often starts with the ability to deliver a pain-free customer experience. For financial institutions, this also means mastering the latest technologies to guarantee a safe service. This is a challenge that brick and mortar institutions face today when younger, innovative pure players completely disrupt the established industry. Using a listening tool, you could stay on top of trends and topics that matter to you and your target audience. Here’s an example of an alert you could set up to keep an eye on the latest cybersecurity and data breach trends. To some extent, this could give you a significant advantage over your competition.
3. Identify (and measure) brand awareness opportunities before your competition does
Sponsoring events is one of the best ways to generate awareness around a brand, especially for FinTech brands. Now, you need to make sure that you’re investing your money in the right events, targeting the right audiences. One way to do it is to target those that your competitors have already sponsored in the past. Another way to do it is to measure the impact of events that could be of interest to you and analyze their online impact. Do they resonate with your values? Are they targeted at your core audience? With a listening tool, you’ll also be able to identify key events before your competition does, giving you a heads up to reach out and establish a relationship with the organizers
4. Keep your customers happy during an unstable time for banks
Over the last couple of years, we’ve noticed an important market shift within the banking industry. Loyalty towards institutions is not as strong as it used to be and banks are losing millions of clients. What’s more, a Bain & Company global survey (of 137,034 consumers in 21 countries) says that 29% of consumers would change their bank if it were easy to do so. Having an established listening strategy could help most institutions to identify pain points and iterate on them before they turn into a reason to churn. Ultimately, your clients and users want to know that you listen to them and are available as soon as a problem arises.
The good news is that advanced tools will alert you immediately when new messages populate your inbox. “With Mention, Pulse alerts tell you when there’s a sudden spike in mentions so that you can react as soon as you possibly can.” –Delphine Le Person, Customer Success, Mention. It’s a no-brainer, but you need to care about what buyers think of your products and services. And you’ve probably noticed that people tend to share their thoughts about everything on social media. While this can be frustrating, social media is a great place to get honest feedback about your services. Here’s an example of this with @WellsFargo.
It’s not positive, but it’s constructive feedback, telling WF they need to invest in customer service. It will be tough at times, but you’ll learn a lot about your own business.
5. Provide a premium customer service
When it comes to social media for financial services, customer support is vital. Now, it’s far from being easy. In fact, a challenge that brands of all types currently face is the digitization of customer service. Here are some ways social listening can help:
1. Your brand is directly @mentioned online.
2. Your brand is not directly mentioned.
Chances are that, just like Bank of America, there are whole conversations taking place on social media about your brand, with nobody tagging you directly. Are you able to identify posts like these today? In some situations, people will talk about you in conversations that have little value for your brand. In other cases, they will talk about you and need help with something. By identifying these messages and acting quickly on it you will turn angry customers into loyal customers and therefore increase your retention rate. Not only this will keep your customers happy, but it will also humanize your brand and build trust between you and your target audience.
6. Prevent crises before they happen
Social media is a fast-moving, high-intensity space. It’s where things “go viral”. For this reason, financial institutions need to watch carefully for negative press. In theory, rogue employees or unhappy clients can post anything they like online to try and hurt your brand. And if their messages gain traction, you’ve gone from one person saying bad things, to thousands. What’s more, a brand crisis will always sneak up on you when you least expect it. And if it does, you’ll be glad — if you’re given the chance — that you caught it early and had a chance to limit the damage. That’s why social listening needs to be part of any crisis management plan.
Do you want to get more insight to strengthen your social media marketing strategy? 🧐
In this comprehensive guide, you’ll learn:
- What to do once you’re on social media
- What type of social media content to publish
- How to use social media for crisis management
- How to benefit from influencer marketing
- How to deal with customers reviews
- How to leverage social media for competitive analysis
- How to boost your employer branding using social media.
- As well as how successful financial brands manage their social media accounts.