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Banks Need To Act Now and • Create a profile page so I can become a fanGet on the Social Media Banks need to adopt social media in some form or other in order to stay competitive inBandwagon the marketplace and remain relevant to theirRetail banks and businesses around the world customers.are working on ways and means to leverage However, banks need to take a measured yetthe power of social media to reach out and active approach to social media. Right fromconnect with their customers. the start, banks should cut away the hype ofToday’s financial services customers demand social media and look at the realan ever widening array of service and opportunities, risks and resources that wouldcommunications choices from their banks. be required to not just participate in socialIndeed, the days of visiting a local branch to networking, but to get it right.conduct most transactions are long gone. And Taking a measured approach also allowswith the growing amount of time consumers banks to identify all of the keyspend online, and with social networks and interdependencies and then carefully plansocial site features, banks are regaining an and prepare for the changes that will beopportunity to make up for the lost personal needed to enable their strategy.interactions traditionally conducted in thebranch. Culture, processes, controls, technology and governance of banks will all be affected byOutside of financial services, consumers social networking and each takes carefulalready are connecting with many of their planning to convert.preferred brands via social media, and recentForrester research shows that a sizableportion (42 percent of online adults on socialnetworking sites) are interested in engagingwith their financial providers as well.In fact, when asked the top three waysconsumers would like to interact with theirfinancial services firms via social media, theylisted the following• Alert me about upcoming promotions and specials• Offer customer service• Let me read reviews from other customers• Offer financial advice• Present relevant financial offers to me• Reward me for recommending the brand• Post educational information about personal finance• Let me post reviews, complaints, and questions• Access applications to improve my financial situation
Benefits of Social Media in the media channels, and it would be a way to create value for customers that requires onlyRetail Banking Sector a small marketing investment. Banks can share ideas and information through blogsSocial Budget Planning: Social gaming has and short videos distributed on video sharingproved to be remarkably addictive among sites like YouTube.gamers. Mobile or social apps that let peoplecompete over their personal budgetingtargets could drive more careful budgetplanning & financial prudence.If a group of friends decide to collectivelybudget towards a savings target, they couldagree to share how well they were performingagainst self-imposed goals. Personal financialdata would always remain private, butbenchmarking against targets for weekendspending, for example, could earn gamersreward points & bonuses.Social gaming is a great example of howinnovative, social financial products can beused to engage retail banking customers.Enhancing the Brand: Social media can playan important role in differentiating brands Reducing Costs: Social media can be a majorand making them more relevant to contributor to banks’ ongoing cost reductionconsumers. process in areas like marketing, sales andBanks can use open forums on social customer service. Banks can use social medianetworking sites like LinkedIn to create new as a low-cost communication channel totouch points that will drive brand attraction distribute messages, host conversations,and give the bank a chance be involved in provide customer service and discoverimportant conversations among its unhappy customers.customers. Track Market Trends: Traditional, productMarketing & Promotion: Banks that are using design and positioning is often developed andsocial media to brand themselves or to implemented from the bank’s perspective ofmarket a specific product or service have what customers want. Social media, however,found success by integrating social tools into enables the bank to capture customertheir existing campaigns or creating new ones demands and suggestions which the bank canthat capitalize on the spirit of the community. then analyze to develop customer-centric products and services. Social media alsoThere are so many cost effective ways of using allows customers to be involved in thesocial media to market a bank, for example, product development process throughbright ideas that are mentioned in meetings suggestions and feedback.could be shared with customers using social
Conclusion The implementation of a social media strategy requires involvement from all lines of businessIf I could predict the future, I will say, there and departments within a bank. Social mediawill be a full transformation of the retail strategy cannot be effectively implemented inbanking sector into a more socially integrated isolation by the social media departmentsystem. without the active participation from all the other departments in a bank. To be successful in social media strategy implementation, banks should regard all channels as integrated, relationship-focused entities; working together to improve the client experience.Although the bank branch network willprobably not be erased, there is every signalthat the rise of social media will dramaticallyalter their value. Everyday transactions will beconducted through social media applicationsthat will enable the bank to validateidentification and serve up balanceinformation and payment functionality usingthe social network’s authentication system.Complex bank transactions such as mortgagesand loans will move onto social networks asbank representatives engage with clients overvideo or chat applications like Skype ratherthan the traditional face-to-face service.To conclude, social media should be seen as anew channel to communicate with clients andstrengthen relationships. While it may not bepossible to address all banking needs of retailcustomers through social media, it isdefinitely not impossible.
About The Author About SpreadBox SpreadBox is a social media marketing consultancy which specializes in producing high definition online videos and custom built social network profile pages to enable businesses to effectively promote their services and identity across social media networks. We use high quality video recording equipment to capture the best shots possible for your web video. We assist organizations in developing a strategy on how to reach out to new customers and to communicate with their existing customer base through social media.Michael Chinwuba is a consultant at We also design and implement simple,SpreadBox Ltd. Michael has extensive engaging and social media friendly websites.experience in mainstream televisionbroadcast production and communications Website: www.spreadbox.co.uktechnology having worked for prestigiousbroadcast media giants BSKYB and VirginMedia.Michael has also worked as a consultant fortechnology consulting firm BAE SystemsDetica where he managed major projectsinvolving strategic marketing and creativesocial media implementation and delivery forleading commercial companies.Michael has a passion for providing clientswith strategic advice on how best to utilizevideo and social media marketing applicationsto boost their online presence and increaserevenue.Michael has attained a Bsc in ComputerCommunications from the University ofWestminster and an Msc in BusinessManagement from Imperial College London.