Data Driven Social Media for Financial Services Institutions

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Few things in life cause such universal public interest as money, and no medium has ever captured that better than social media. So we at the Salesforce Marketing Cloud wanted to have a look at what …

Few things in life cause such universal public interest as money, and no medium has ever captured that better than social media. So we at the Salesforce Marketing Cloud wanted to have a look at what it means to be a high street bank in the 21st century. Our team has carried out a comprehensive analysis of 2.5 Million social media conversations around nine Financial Services Institutions from June 1st to August 20th 2012.

This report shows the key conclusions of this in-depth analysis and offers advice on how Financial Services Institutions such as HSBC, American Express, Barclays or Deutsche Bank can use these insights to shape their marketing campaigns and activities.

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  • 1. Data Driven Social Media: the shortest distance to a rational conversation An in-depth Salesforce Radian6 analysis of 9 Financial Services Institutions Data Driven Social Media: the shortest distance to a rational conversation An in-depth Salesforce Radian6 analysis of 9 Financial Services Institutions Author Marian Cramers / Social Media Analystwww.radian6.com +44 (0)203 468 3939 © 2012Copyright © 2012 Salesforce Radian6 Salesforce Radian6 [1]
  • 2. Data Driven Social Media: the shortest distance to a rational conversation An in-depth Salesforce Radian6 analysis of 9 Financial Services Institutions Introduction Social media for Financial Services Institutions As the economic crisis carries on relentlessly, the Financial Services Industry has faced more public exposure than any other sector in the UK economy. The various news items often sent shockwaves through the political and economic landscape of the United Kingdom, and the mainstream media have been particularly trigger-happy in pointing them out to the general public. However, this has also been a time of new initiatives and product innovations finding a fertile soil in the ever-increasing globalisation, digitalisation and rapid social changes. As the operations of the Financial Services Industry touch on so many aspects of British communities and individual lives in profound ways, it is hardly surprising that the public is eager to sit up and take notice – and discuss the issues at hand with others in their personal networks. The various social media channels provide an exceptionally agile and widespread platform for these conversations, ensuring that both the hourly updates and the enduring zeitgeist are communicated faster, more to the point and with more impulsive honesty than ever before. These social media conversations are to a large extent publicly available and grant organisations access to a wealth of consumer insight and low threshold PR opportunities. Social media allows for large established institutions to pick up the scent of the new era in retail banking, and for new players to establish a market presence in which budget does not compromise the reach of their message. Few things in life cause such universal public interest as money, and no medium has ever captured that commotion better than social media. Whether it relates to real estate mortgages, futures investments, City jobs or interbank lending rates, Financial Services Institutions are being mentioned for an unprecedented number of people to see. And the value of listening in on those conversations is only exceeded by the potential that lies in getting involved. Intention of this report This report provides an in-depth analysis of the consequences of being a high street name in the 21st century banking, and it offers advice on how to turn a series of 140-character comments into a focussed and valuable two-way conversation. It intends to deliver a tangible insight into the social media resonance of real-world events.www.radian6.com +44 (0)203 468 3939 © 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [2]
  • 3. Data Driven Social Media: the shortest distance to a rational conversation An in-depth Salesforce Radian6 analysis of 9 Financial Services Institutions It does so by analysing a representative selection of British banking institutions, and aspires to add genuine value to ongoing strategic marketing and customer service discussions within these organisations. The following Financial Services Institutions will be reviewed in the report, using publicly available, unrestricted social media data: 1. American Express 2. Barclays 3. Citigroup 4. Deutsche Bank 5. HSBC 6. Lloyds TSB 7. Royal Bank of Scotland, including NatWest and Ulster bank 8. M&S Bank 9. Sainsbury’s Bank Methodology of this report This report was compiled using Radian6 Insights Dashboard and Excel Add-in. In order to achieve a representative share of the conversations regarding the various Financial Services Institutions, the date range is set from June 1st, 2012 to August 20th, 2012. The Radian6 data is collected worldwide, from 150 million sources and in all 17 languages supported by our system. Where appropriate, the analysis focused on UK-only conversations. As this report aspires to be concise and operative, meeting the practical demands of the Financial Services Industry, each brand will be reviewed with the most relevant analysis for its particular context.www.radian6.com +44 (0)203 468 3939 © 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [3]
  • 4. Data Driven Social Media: the shortest distance to a rational conversation An in-depth Salesforce Radian6 analysis of 9 Financial Services Institutions Analysis The top-level overview for all selected Financial Services Institutions for June 1st, 2012 to August 20th, 2012 reveals a turbulent set of trendlines. In particular NatWest (Royal Bank of Scotland), Barclays and HSBC have been caught in the eye of their respective social media storms. Sainsbury’s Bank NatWest RBS M&S Money Lloyds HSBC Deutsche Bank Citigroup Barclay’s American Express 70,000 60,000 50,000 40,000 Posts 30,000 20,000 10,000 0 Jun 01 Jun 05 Jun 09 JUN 13 Jun 17 Jun 21 Jun 25 Jun 29 Jul 03 Jul 07 Jul 11 Jul 15 Jul 19 Jul 23 Jul 27 jul 31 Aug 04 Aug 08 aug 12 Aug 16 Aug 20 Combined, these nine large and small banking institutions accumulated 2.5 million social media conversations over the monitored period. The three main peaks relate to prominent news items during this time frame, and are a testament to the suitability of social media to monitor the impact of these events. The first was NatWest’s IT failure, which peaked on June 22nd with 42,331 posts and continued to cause increased conversation levels across the following days. Shortly afterward, on July 4th, Barclays made the headlines with its interbank lending controversy, and soared to 60,688 comments shared about the bank, its activities and CEO on various online platforms. The last major surge in the period monitored here is focussed on HSBC and the investigations into its financial sanctions compliance. This resulted in an extended spike in the data around July 17-18 and 62,494 posts a day at its peak point.www.radian6.com +44 (0)203 468 3939 © 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [4]
  • 5. Data Driven Social Media: the shortest distance to a rational conversation An in-depth Salesforce Radian6 analysis of 9 Financial Services Institutions A first striking conclusion from this comparison would be the massive difference between these towering conversation peak figures and the general averages which rarely exceed 10,000 posts on any given day. Sainsbury’s Bank NatWest RBS M&S Money Lloyds HSBC Deutsche Bank Citigroup Barclay’s American Express 70,000 60,000 50,000 40,000 Posts 30,000 20,000 10,000 0 Jun 01 Jun 05 Jun 09 JUN 13 Jun 17 Jun 21 Jun 25 Jun 29 Jul 03 Jul 07 Jul 11 Jul 15 Jul 19 Jul 23 Jul 27 jul 31 Aug 04 Aug 08 aug 12 Aug 16 Aug 20 This would suggest that large scale social media mentions of Financial Services Institutions largely relate to news items and real-world events rather than personal concerns or individual customer cases. The general economic and banking crisis of recent years has certainly increased public scrutiny – and therefore conversation levels. However, it is interesting to see that even in occurrences of a more technical, base-level nature such as the NatWest IT issue, the event is keenly discussed as soon as people realise that there is a nationwide concern. As these specific banking institutions vary significantly in size and circumstance, it is worth looking into each case individually.www.radian6.com +44 (0)203 468 3939 © 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [5]
  • 6. Data Driven Social Media: the shortest distance to a rational conversation An in-depth Salesforce Radian6 analysis of 9 Financial Services Institutions American Express American Express is a household name across various communities, in particular the United States. One of the consequences of this established reputation is a fairly regular trendline in the social media conversations. 12,000 11,000 10,000 9,000 8,000 7,000 6,000 5,000 4,000 3,000 Jun 01 Jun 08 Jun 13 Jun 22 Jun 29 Jul 06 Jul 13 Jul 20 Jul 27 Aug 03 Aug 10 Aug 17 The low points in the trendline coincide consistently with the weekends, indicating that the AMEX audience in social media predominantly refer to the iconic cards in a professional context. In addition to this, various initiatives and campaigns of American Express also resonated clearly in the topics discussed in social media. The #Makemyday Twitter initiative is just one of these examples, added to the conversations of June 19th and engaged with a relatively large number of social media users in a quick and easy way. A second interesting point is the media type analysis for American Express. Twitter takes the lion’s share of the 56.2% 3.4% Twitter 297,543 conversations here, which is unsurprising considering 4 Other 18,129 its popularity in the United States and its suitability 10.1% for quick remarks on various AMEX uses. However, it Blogs 53,179 is clear that blogs and forums need to be taken into 11.0% Forum Replies 57,982 consideration as an important platforms on which 9.6% 3.5% relevant exchanges take place. Aggregator 50,691 Facebook 18,774 3.0% 3.2% Mainstream News 15,701 Forums 17,118www.radian6.com +44 (0)203 468 3939 © 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [6]
  • 7. Data Driven Social Media: the shortest distance to a rational conversation An in-depth Salesforce Radian6 analysis of 9 Financial Services Institutions This clearly indicates that a media strategy needs to be substantiated by brand-specific data and aimed at the relevant platforms rather than the usual suspects. This also caters for the trend of declining outbound marketing and emerging inbound marketing. In the case of American Express, it would be highly valuable to identify the most important blogs and forums as well as key influencers in order to ensure the brand can negotiate and sustain its reputation online. Barclays The recent LIBOR issue engulfed Barclays and its presence in various media outlets. As the trendline below displays, the news and subsequent events dominate the general Barclays social media conversations just as much. Bob Diamond Libor Barclays 120,000 100,000 80,000 Posts 60,000 40,000 20,000 Jun 01 Jun 11 Jun 21 Jul 01 Jul 11 Jul 21 Jul 31 Aug 10 Aug 20 www.radian6.com +44 (0)203 468 3939 © 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [7]
  • 8. Data Driven Social Media: the shortest distance to a rational conversation An in-depth Salesforce Radian6 analysis of 9 Financial Services Institutions Also remarkable is that the bank’s Chief Executive, Bob Diamond, is mentioned in nearly all of these posts. This emphasises how closely entwined the position of such a protagonist is with that of the institution as a whole. In cases where the matter at hand is of a highly technical or complex nature, people may be inclined to base their judgement on the person their perceive to be in charge instead. Any social media strategy would need to factor this in, and fine-tune the public image of the organisation’s proximity and coordination towards the actions of that individual. Unsurprisingly, the conversations relating to the interbank lending issue are largely negative or neutral. However, this does not lead to conversations about Barclays being solely detrimental. Radian6 uses the Social Net Promoter Score (SNPS) as a benchmark for social media sentiment, effectively indicating what the net number of promoters is that actively defend the brand online. The LIBOR scandal led to a Social Net Promoter Score of -56.7%, clearly attesting for a low point in the Barclays public relations. However, Barclaycard and its Wireless Festival featuring Rihanna achieved to a far less dramatic figure of -1.5%. The 875,850 social media posts referring to Barclays in general add up to a Social Net Promoter Score of -32.7%. The Radian6 Insights packages also provide demographic data, which can be particularly useful in determining the target group for social media strategies. As Financial Services are still largely a Male 66,087: 66.1% male-dominated industry, it is perhaps to be expected that also its audience online are predominantly men. Female 33,852: 33.9% The age distribution however may appear younger than expected. This could be explained by the fact that in general, the average age of social media users is significantly younger than the general population. In fact, at this moment the notion that nearly 30% of Barclays posts are written by individuals over 45 would be considered noteworthy in social media terms. For future reference, a Comscore study indicates that users 55 and older represent the fastest growing segment in social networking usage. These figures do not necessarily follow the demographic distribution of a bank’s client base, and they will change significantly over time as the social media landscape evolves. It is therefore imperative to keep this data current and ensure that any communication strategy is dynamically adjusted to its audience.www.radian6.com +44 (0)203 468 3939 © 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [8]
  • 9. Data Driven Social Media: the shortest distance to a rational conversation An in-depth Salesforce Radian6 analysis of 9 Financial Services Institutions 35-44 1,966: 23.5% 45-54 Barclays bank has endured a considerable crisis, 1,222: 14.6% and in legal and financial terms there may still be consequences ahead. However, in social media the peak in conversation has passed and a lot of damage 21-24 could be repaired if the organisation listens and reaches 25-34 1,048: 12.5% 2,659: 31.7% out to the public, rebuilding its reputation with genuine 55-64 two-way conversations. 753: 9.0% 18-20 65+ 343: 4.1% 386: 4.6% Citigroup Citigroup inspired a total of 591,470 social media posts across the period between June 1st and August 20th. Citigroup 18,000 16,000 14,000 12,000 Posts 10,000 8,000 6,000 4,000 2,000 Jun 01 Jun 09 Jun 17 Jun 25 Jul 03 Jul 11 Jul 19 Jul 27 Aug 04 Aug 12 Aug 20 Several clear peaks could be noted in an otherwise fairly regular trendline. The first took place on June 22nd and raised the line to 13,608 posts. No doubt the degradation of Citigroup along with 14 other banks by Moody’s had much to do with that. An even higher spike, however, was caused by the announcement on July 16th that Citigroup’s earnings were bolstered markedly. 15,957 posts made that a memorable day for the bank on social media. Lastly, on July 25th and 26th, another Grexit episode of the European currency crisis was played out, and Citigroup was one of the actors mentioned frequently. At its hight, 15,310 posts were registered before a sharp decline restored the conversation level back to normal.www.radian6.com +44 (0)203 468 3939 © 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [9]
  • 10. Data Driven Social Media: the shortest distance to a rational conversation An in-depth Salesforce Radian6 analysis of 9 Financial Services Institutions As the conversation peaks for Citigroup clearly coincide with press releases made by the group or outsiders, it is of course advisable to coordinate such statements with any outgoing social media posts. Less obvious, but equally important, would be to monitor the social media response when these events occur, and ensure that there is a clear learning process within the organisation to make the most of the data coming back. Every Financial Service Institution will attempt to stay in control of its reputation and communication with the outside world. However, unexpected media storms do occur, and being able to act based on solid experience and impact assessments makes all the difference on a day like that. Citigroup is one of the many financial institutions that also tied its name to the 2012 London Olympics with a charitable marketing campaign. ‘Citi Every Step’ allowed customers to determine which Olympian’s personal cause should receive a donation from Citigroup. Remarkably, the media type analysis reveals that is was mainly Facebook which hosted these conversations, despite the traditional numerical dominance of Twitter in such instances. There was a dedicated Twitter account, yet the campaign decided to focus on a microsite and a Facebook app, which diverted part of the conversations that way. This resulted in 37,535 ‘likes’ on Facebook and clear engagement. On Twitter, the campaign was far less successful, with only 624 followers and a very inconsistent use of hashtags. During the design phase of a campaign – of any kind – the choice of the social media platform should be central in the discussions. It determines to a large extent what type content can be shared and passed on, how much 61.3% 24.9% Facebook 219 Twitter 89 public engagement can be expected and what the longevity of the public relations effect will be. The social media platform also decides how much visibility you will 8.1% Videos 29 have in the personal data of the individuals who connect 0.3% 3.6% to the campaign, and whether this will be a lasting Images 1 Aggregator 13 connection. Lastly, choosing a platform is choosing an 0.6% 1.1% Mainstream News 2 Blogs 4 audience, and each comes with an entrenched online communication culture that needs to be respected.www.radian6.com +44 (0)203 468 3939 © 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [ 10 ]
  • 11. Data Driven Social Media: the shortest distance to a rational conversation An in-depth Salesforce Radian6 analysis of 9 Financial Services Institutions Citigroup has the globe’s largest financial services network, and this showed clearly in the social media data retrieved by Radian6. When looking into the self-indicated location of the individuals commenting on Citigroup, they will find the whole world looking back at them. United States Brazil United Kingdom Indonesia Germany Canada Italy Singapore India Mexico 0 50,000 100,000 150,000 200,000 250,000 300,000 350,000 400,000 450,000 The top position was taken by the United States, both the home base of Citigroup and the most avid social media user in general. Further down the line, the prominent positions of the BRIC-countries Brazil, Russia, India and China were noteworthy, as well as other fast-growing economies such as Mexico and Indonesia. Also various developing countries came out with substantial numbers in this analysis. When performing a regional analysis, it is always important to keep any general or technical distortions in mind. Social media has no geographical boundaries, is far more widespread in some countries than others, social platforms might have their IP addresses registered in specific countries and are thereby unclear about their user’s location, and certain governments might impose partial or total social media censorship on their populations. Despite these limitations, it remains a very valid exercise to compare a company’s global market share in real terms with its regional distribution on social media. If certain regions are consistently flooded with references to a specific brand, and others are starved of them, it will almost certainly have a long-term impact on the more traditional Key Performance Indicators.www.radian6.com +44 (0)203 468 3939 © 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [ 11 ]
  • 12. Data Driven Social Media: the shortest distance to a rational conversation An in-depth Salesforce Radian6 analysis of 9 Financial Services Institutions Deutsche Bank Deutsche Bank (DB) is an established institution that has largely steered clear of the crisis-ridden City atmosphere of recent years. On social media, the bank is often mentioned in relation to LIBOR or the Iranian financial sanctions controversy. However, considering the relatively moderate figure of 155,815 posts across the monitored period and the tone of these posts, Deutsche Bank seems to be given the benefit of the doubt on online networks. It did register a very low Social Net Promoter Score of -59.9%, but this is largely due to DB very often being the bearer of bad news when it comes to the Eurozone crisis. Deutsche Bank 10,000 8,000 6,000 Posts 4,000 2,000 0 Jun 01 Jun 11 Jun 21 Jul 01 Jul 11 Jul 21 Jul 31 Aug 10 Aug 20 With regards to social media statistics such as trendlines, it is imperative to have dedicated resources which have the use of a system that allows for data analysis to go down to the level of individual post content. Ideally, this would be dealt with internally and in close cooperation with the organisation’s other strategic, marketing and consumer insight departments. The trendline for Deutsche Bank reveals three peaks, respectively caused by Moody’s, LIBOR and Iran’ financial sanction investigations. These are also some of the recurring themes in the word cloud on the next page.www.radian6.com +44 (0)203 468 3939 © 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [ 12 ]
  • 13. Data Driven Social Media: the shortest distance to a rational conversation An in-depth Salesforce Radian6 analysis of 9 Financial Services Institutions deutsche international Deutsche Bank has been particularly successful in usa london ensuring its brand is discussed in relation to financial stocks services topical matters, rather than focussing on world shares month work financial morgan specific individuals within its organisation. The bank firm bank global buy time news presents itself as a solid block and thereby creates banks stock an image of reliability. best As this is a quintessentially German bank, operating markets group in an integrated European market and globalized trading euro market high trade context, it is interesting to review the languages in iran york 000 credit 100 business price investors which it is discussed online. The analysis below still billion times confirmed the dominant position of the lingua franca company hsbc european of this age – English – but also displays a healthy presence of other European languages on the forefront. Given the position of Deutsche Bank in the Eurocrisis debate, this would suggest that its social English media reach reflects its offline influence very well. 81,229: 52.1% Other (20+) 11,306: 7.3% Spanish A social media strategy towards different language 12,240: 7.9% communities does not solely involve translating German outgoing messages. In the case of Boolean-based 32,215: 20.7% monitoring, it is vital to include multilingual keywords, to have an understanding of cultural and social Italian Russian 6,367: 4.1% 5,490: 3.5% variations and to allow for sufficient time to become French Portuguese acquainted with the local landscape of influencers 3,418: 2.2% 3,551: 2.3% and social media platforms. Any decent-sized global organisation would do good to invest in native community managers, as always drawing from a clear top-down agreement on what the social media playbook contains. Social media requires a radically different strategy from an instrumental point of view, but the chain of command within the company structure is most likely the same as with any other PR message. The digital age requires speed, agility and diversification; an established social media playbook can make this possible without reducing the internal liability and clarity. More information on how to build a playbook can be found in our Radian6 library.www.radian6.com +44 (0)203 468 3939 © 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [ 13 ]
  • 14. Data Driven Social Media: the shortest distance to a rational conversation An in-depth Salesforce Radian6 analysis of 9 Financial Services Institutions HSBC The tidings of the summer came with a money laundering controversy for HSBC, and its impact on the social media conversation levels was significant. During the monitored period from June 1st until August 20th, HSBC was mentioned 576,063 times across various online networks. Of these, 127,338 referred directly to the money laundering allegations. Many refer to involvement in Mexican drug cartels, and therefore that specific region was also keen to take part in the discussions. Money Laundering HSBC 70,000 60,000 50,000 Posts 40,000 30,000 20,000 10,000 0 Jun 01 Jun 10 Jun 19 JUN 28 Jul 07 Jul 16 Jul 25 Aug 03 Aug 12 Due to the large share of voice of the money laundering posts in the general HSBC conversations, but also due to the relatively neutral tone of other banking news items, the Social Net Promoter Score for HSBC is nearly identical across various topics. For the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation in general, the SNPS amounted to -49.4%. When taking a detailed look at the compliance issue, the sentiment score -47.3% emerges. Approximately 17% of the money laundering conversations originated in Mexico, as well as some from Spain, India and Brazil. Canada and the United Kingdom are also prominent countries in this conversation. The United States is nearly always the top dog in this analysis for numerous reasons, but in this case it also has a clear vested interest in debates on money laundering, terrorism funding and drug cartels.www.radian6.com +44 (0)203 468 3939 © 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [ 14 ]
  • 15. Data Driven Social Media: the shortest distance to a rational conversation An in-depth Salesforce Radian6 analysis of 9 Financial Services Institutions Considering the severe legal impact of a breach United in money laundering compliance, as well as States Other (149 more) 71,799: 56.4% the high emotions running amongst the public 14,090: 11.1% opinion regarding cases of organised crime, terrorism and drug trafficking, it is vital for a United Kingdom 10,616: 8.3% banking institution such as HSBC to deal with Mexico the issue swiftly and professionally. One way to 21,618: 17.0% contain and research the social media impact in Canada Spain these cases, would be to look into the ways in 4,465: 3.5% 1,886: 1.5% which the news was distributed. The trendline Brazil India above already clearly shows the exact point in 1,420: 1.1% 1,449: 1.1% time at which the conversation levels soared and the crisis escalated. It is important to see which social media messages acted as the snowballs, causing an avalanche by the combined effect of retweets and personal credibility. Radian6 can approach this issue from many angles, one of which is to look at the consistently retweeted user names. @aristeguionline @anonopshispano @sinembargomx @revistaproceso @reporte_indigo @cnnexpansion @susanaoropeza @pajaropolitico @jenarovillamil @lord_sugarline Other (40 more) 0 2,000 4,000 6,000 8,000 10,000 The most interesting observation here is that the top three in this list are a local Mexican news station, followed by Anonymous Hispano a.k.a. the ‘Fighters for Internet Freedom’, and a citizen journalism blog. The acclaimed, global news outlets such as CNN, BBC, The Guardian and Al Jazeera do appear in this analysis, but well below a wide range of small initiatives and private individuals that includes even Lord Sugar. If HSBC – or any other stakeholder for that matter – would have wished to intervene and negotiate the message with the outlets that broadcast it, it would have been very inadequate to focus on the usual mainstream media suspects.www.radian6.com +44 (0)203 468 3939 © 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [ 15 ]
  • 16. Data Driven Social Media: the shortest distance to a rational conversation An in-depth Salesforce Radian6 analysis of 9 Financial Services Institutions In social media, effective actions and research often comes down to knowing your audience, and knowing their audience. Nearly always, the relevant influencers on social media will vary drastically from the traditional sources of information and publicity. In the longer term, building mutually enforcing relationships with these individuals and platform is ideal; accept their input as constructive and legitimate feedback to the services on offer, and work alongside them in providing clear communication to the public. Lloyds TSB Lloyds TSB stood out with a single announcement on July 19th regarding the acquisition of 632 Lloyds TSB branches by Co-Operative Group. The overall total conversation volume for Lloyds Banking Group amounted to 55,564 post, of which 7,273 related to the Co-op news item. However, in the trendline, it is clear that the story was dominant in the steady flow of more neutral posts. Co-op Lloyds 5,000 4,000 Posts 3,000 2,000 1,000 0 Jun 01 Jun 17 Jul 03 Jul 19 Aug 04 Aug 20 www.radian6.com +44 (0)203 468 3939 © 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [ 16 ]
  • 17. Data Driven Social Media: the shortest distance to a rational conversation An in-depth Salesforce Radian6 analysis of 9 Financial Services Institutions In essence, this means that in a long summer of various City scandal controversies, the leading Lloyds TSB impression on social major looking companies investment bank additional media was a positive and a controlled one. When pulling a agreed months sell barclays word cloud on this specific agreement and the news following loss deal banks services on it, the phrases emerging make it clear that the message banking tsb million lloyds 000 632 has come across. claims sale financial retail industry There were some negative posts, commenting on the set potential detrimental effect on consumer banking, but overall money chief co-operative Lloyds TSB (and Co-Operative Group) have managed to branches co-op business communicate exactly what was intended. No doubt there executive group products was some careful planning and timing involved in this, as well government insurance recent mis-selling as a great deal of institutional knowledge and experience in these matters. Both of these go a long way in ensuring the information that is sent out lives up to its full potential. Also, as this decision will have a tangible impact on the way consumers encounter their high-street branch, it is imperative to lower the threshold of the statements and keep communication channels open to the public. Specifically in this context, social media can be an effective tool for customer service, answering any emerging questions individual users may have about the matter and providing a second point of contact should they ever encounter a closed door at their local branch. As this news release appeared in a nearly ceteris paribus situation, it could be very useful to look into the lifecycle of such a trend. Below is the trendline for July 19th broken down by the hour, all timestamps referring to GMT. Co-op Lloyds As is clear from the graph, the news 1,200 was released at 6 AM and took off to its highest point immediately. This sharp, and quite unnatural rise, is most likely due to the automated acceleration 1,000 through various news sites, aggregator 800 media as well as the communication channels owned by the parties involved. 600 This way, once the news peaked, it will have reached nearly all of its Posts intended audience straight away. The 400 remainder of the day can then be used for various comments and opinion 200 pieces, connecting the dots with a wider context. A minor increase is registered 0 around lunchtime, with the trend finally 12 am 3 am 6 am 9 am 12 pm 3 pm 6 PM 9 PM dying out at the end of that day. July 19www.radian6.com +44 (0)203 468 3939 © 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [ 17 ]
  • 18. Data Driven Social Media: the shortest distance to a rational conversation An in-depth Salesforce Radian6 analysis of 9 Financial Services Institutions This type of short, intense peak is a clear indication that this was an issue that concerned Financial Services professionals who were pre-registered to receive it through various platforms and processed it with seasoned efficiency. If there is a response from the wider public, it will most likely follow once there is a noticeable impact to the high street and their customer service experience. Royal Bank of Scotland – NatWest The IT infrastructure of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group experienced technical difficulties on June 22nd and the following days, severely affecting customers and transactions of NatWest and Ulster Bank in particular. As the social media platforms were still drumming on smoothly, private individuals turned to their network to vent some of their frustration. The effect is clear in the statistics below. During the 2.5 months of the monitored period, a total of 406,953 social media posts were recorded for the various banks and news items involving the Royal Bank of Scotland. For NatWest on the day of the first IT difficulties, the share of voice peaked at 42,331 comments, with more to follow in later days. As this issue had a widespread impact on private individual’s ability to access their assets or even to view them correctly, there was an instant sense of unrest and anger. Inevitably, the Social Net Promoter Score for references to this particular problem were at a critical low, reaching -77.8%. The sentimentwww.radian6.com +44 (0)203 468 3939 © 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [ 18 ]
  • 19. Data Driven Social Media: the shortest distance to a rational conversation An in-depth Salesforce Radian6 analysis of 9 Financial Services Institutions surrounding the actual banks involved, varied noticeably depending on the time it took them to provide a full service to their customers again. NatWest’s SNPS score was -52.4% as a result and RBS -74.7%. Ulster Bank, which still experienced severe problems and a backlog in early July, and scored -85.1% on the Social Net Promoters scale. Ulster Bank IT Meltdown NatWest RBS 50,000 40,000 Posts 30,000 20,000 10,000 0 Jun 01 Jun 07 Jun 13 JUN 19 Jun 25 Jul 01 Jul 07 Jul 13 Jul 19 Jul 25 Jul 31 Aug 06 Aug 12 aug 19 Given that this was an unexpected crisis, in first instance having practical rather than legal or economic implications and could not be resolved right away, the focus of a social media strategy would ideally be on front line customer service and instant responses to any questions or concerns raised. In fact, no medium is better suited to achieve this in a context of limited time and resources than social media. Twitter, but also Facebook and other fast platforms, can provide short personal responses that might not completely resolve the issue, but could at least provide a concrete reassurance that the problem is being dealt with. If done on an individual basis – even if the message is largely standard – it confirms that there is a human, functioning point of contact and it will make people far less likely to complain elsewhere. Doing this on a public platform such as Twitter will also reduce the strain on the system as customers will already see the answers to questions they might have, and (re)build credibility for the organisation by clearly positioning the official approach as steadfast and transparent. Lastly, as a sign of the times, be aware that over half of all social media engagement now takes place via various smartphones and mobile devices. This increases the value of any customer service provided via social media, as the complaint is most likely to be made on the spot while the individual is still in the relevant context, and any resolution (or even just information) would be all the more appreciated. It does mean however that any messages or documents sent over must be easily accessible on a mobile device.www.radian6.com +44 (0)203 468 3939 © 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [ 19 ]
  • 20. Data Driven Social Media: the shortest distance to a rational conversation An in-depth Salesforce Radian6 analysis of 9 Financial Services Institutions In the case of an unforeseen crisis such as the Royal Bank of Scotland’s ordeal, is it also important to be able to make a fast assessment of the impact across the digital world. Trendslines and sentiment scores offer part of the story here. One way to specifically look into the various topics individuals talk about is to tap into the culture of hashtags established on Twitter and rapidly spreading to other platforms. Radian6 provides the option to see a comprehensive breakdown of the hashtags used at any given time. The Hashtag analysis for NatWest across the entire reviewed period is displayed below. As this graph indicates, many of these hashtags #natwest simply refer to specific banks or banking in 1,357: 40.3% general. Also the search for jobs is featured multiple times here, which is a sign of the current economic climate. The IT meltdown Other (43 more) 994: 29.5% clearly inspired some hashtags of its own, some most likely containing valuable feedback (such as #unhelpfulbanking), others more #rbs #england 113: 3.4% crude and focussed on emotions of frustration. 244: 7.2% #cricket #natwestlegends Lastly, as it is not all negative for NatWest, the 262: 7.8% 98: 2.9% NatWest cricket competition tapped into a #southafrica #nationwide base of enthusiastic fans and eager tweeters, 217: 6.4% 84: 2.5% mentioning the bank in a context of genuine excitement.www.radian6.com +44 (0)203 468 3939 © 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [ 20 ]
  • 21. Data Driven Social Media: the shortest distance to a rational conversation An in-depth Salesforce Radian6 analysis of 9 Financial Services Institutions M&S Bank – Sainsbury’s Bank In contrast to the pervious chapters where predominantly large established banking institutions were reviewed, the Radian6 analysis looked at some relatively new and smaller players on the market as well. Sainsbury’s Bank and M&S Bank both fall into this category in their own right, the former having been around as a smaller Financial Service outlet since 1997, the latter due to be launched in Autumn this year. When examining the social media conversations for both these initiatives, there is a noticable difference. Sainsbury’s M&S 2,000 1,500 Posts 1,000 500 0 Jun 01 Jun 08 Jun 15 JUN 22 Jun 29 Jul 06 Jul 13 Jul 20 Jul 27 Aug 03 Aug 10 Aug 17 As Sainsbury’s Bank has maintained a steady niche position over the years, also their social media share of voice is limited and inactive, amounting to 314 posts between June 1st and August 20th. M&S Bank on the other hand, is an exciting newcomer and is only just making its most basic announcements. There is a clear peak in the data on June 8th as the launch of the bank is being made public, with the plan to open 50 initial branches. A second, much more humble peak took place on July 18th, revealing the details of the M&S current account scheme. In total, M&S Bank established itself with 4,333 social media posts in the first month after its conception. As these two banking institutions each go their own way in conversation volumes and trends, so does their content. Where M&S Bank scores easy mentions with various press releases, Sainsbury’s Bank has already constituted a client base which prefers to discuss the details of the customer service and benefits of the bank as it has been experienced in real terms.www.radian6.com +44 (0)203 468 3939 © 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [ 21 ]
  • 22. Data Driven Social Media: the shortest distance to a rational conversation An in-depth Salesforce Radian6 analysis of 9 Financial Services Institutions One way to detect that difference is to examine the media types used in the conversations about each Bank. M&S bank: Sainsbury’s Bank: 4.5% 67.4% 3 Other Twitter: 2,922 15.0% 29.0% Forum Replies: 47 Blogs: 91 0.7% 4 Other: 30 24.5% 7.6% Twitter: 77 Comments: 328 7.6% 8.0% Blogs: 329 4.8% 10.5% Mainstream News: 25 7.3% Aggregator: 208 Aggregator: 33 Mainstream News: 316 3.9% 5.7% Forum Replies: 169 2.9% Forums: 18 0.7% Facebook: 9 Forums: 31 As the data displayed above suggests, M&S Bank is far more frequently mentioned on Twitter, the medium of choice for the quick sharing of news without elaborate personal comments. Sainsbury’s bank, on the other hand, finds over half of all its mentions on various blogs and forums, i.e. the places where more profound discussions over a longer period of time are likely to take place. This difference is no indication of quality or success, but rather of maturity. As organisations take further steps down the line, their relationship with the public evolves as well, and this can often be registered clearly in the data analysis such as the one above. Those changes ought to be expected, and with careful research of owned and competitor data, they can also be predicted quite accurately. Any social media strategy – whether it concerns PR, customer services or sales – should take this into consideration and shape its message for the correct audience and platforms.www.radian6.com +44 (0)203 468 3939 © 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [ 22 ]
  • 23. Data Driven Social Media: the shortest distance to a rational conversation An in-depth Salesforce Radian6 analysis of 9 Financial Services Institutions Conclusion, by Darshan Chandarana, Sr. Director, Industry Solutions, Financial Services at Salesforce.com Today banks & Financial Services Institutions are operating in an increasingly complex and uncertain environment, more so than ever before. Increasing regulation, challenging trust issues and new entrants to the market are all piling on the pressure, success depends on the ability to transform the way banks listen and engage with their customers, adapting their business processes – making them better, smarter and more efficient. Doing so will require the use of new and emerging technologies in the social media arena. Financial Services Institutions are behind the curve and are playing catch up with customers on social media. This lag in adopting social media is potentially resulting in missed opportunities to drive loyalty, to restore trust, and to generate valuable customer insights. Most vitally it prevents Financial Service Institutions from complementing their customers’ use of social media. Customers spend more than 20 percent of their online time on social platforms, yet few Financial Services Institutions have made any real progress in using social media to create better relationships with their customers. Banks are generally uncertain about how to extend themselves into the social media world. It is likely that they will need to create a social media policy that matches their business goals, aligning the right type of media with the right activity e.g. blogs for customer service, and social networks, like Facebook, for marketing. Monitoring tools like Radian6 are highly versatile and multifunctional, aimed at tackling the challenges of brand building, marketing campaigns, crisis management and customer service alike. Combining the social media strategy with listening tools will be vital in ensuring that what a Financial Services Institution learns about their customers is utilized in the most effective way. It bodes well to remember that social media is at all times an instrument, not a result in itself. This innovation carries much of the hopes for 21st century growth and customer integration, and the potential of this is especially important for an industry which depends entirely on the trust and relationship of the client. It is imperative for the Financial Services Industry to gain knowledge about the behavioural patterns of its audience on social media, and to find an approach that clearly establishes the institutions as solid and interactive partners in the digital age. Social media offers many opportunities, extending how Financial Services Institutions offer their services, release a new product, or understand a segment or demographic. More than simply an additional channel for communication, social media is changing the way that customers behave and want to carry out a whole range of activities. That means Financial Services Institutions will need to integrate their sales and services with social media platforms, offering customers direct access without having to use proprietary sites. In today’s market, the customer has become an equal partner in negotiating the reputation of a brand and their terms of service. Social media conversations offer an unprecedented insight into the mechanics of the process, and in the profile of the individuals involved. The value of listening to these conversations is only exceeded by the potential that lies in joining them. With Salesforce.com & Radian6 Financial Services Institutions can leverage social media to connect with customers and employees like never before.www.radian6.com +44 (0)203 468 3939 © 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [ 23 ]
  • 24. Data Driven Social Media: the shortest distance to a rational conversation An in-depth Salesforce Radian6 analysis of 9 Financial Services Institutions United Kingdom Office Salesforce Radian6 506 Centennial Ave Centennial Park Elstree, WD6 3FG United Kingdom +44 (0)203 468 3939 www.radian6.comwww.radian6.com +44 (0)203 468 3939 Copyright © 2012 Salesforce Radian6 ] © 2012 Salesforce Radian6 [ 24