Social Currency: Building Trust Through Transparency in Social Media


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A presentation delivered to AIM (Vancouver, BC) in October 2013. A series of examples on how ING DIRECT used transparency in social media to create trust with its customer base and how this can be applied across various industries.

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  • ING DIRECT is Canada’s leading direct bank with almost 2 million Clients and close to $40 billion in total assets. ING DIRECT is a bright way forward in everyday banking for Canadians, offering value added, simple products such as high interest savings accounts, including TFSAs, GICs and RSPs with no fees or service charges, low rates on mortgages and a no-fee, daily chequing account that actually pays interest. ING DIRECT has been operating in Canada since 1997, and has paid more than $5 billion in interest to Clients. ING DIRECT is open for banking 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at, on mobile devices at or by calling 1-800 ING DIRECT (1-800-464-3473). So who are we online? We go by the name of superstarsaver. SuperStarSaver was born in 2007 when we launched the first ever YouTube Canada contest looking for Superstar Savers. From that, the name and our persona stuck. Since ‘07, we’ve had a number of online initiatives designed to make banking easier for our Savers and to create a sense of community. We have launched on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Tumblr. Our efforts have been focused on creating transparency with Canadians because we believe you should never go to a bank and not feel like you’re getting the straight goods. We think social is a great place to have an open and transparent conversation about money and money matters with Canadians.
  • Transparency at ING DIRECT starts on the inside and is reflected outside the organization.
  • Transparency with employees led to a change in the dress code at ING DIRECT. We now have a ‘Style Code’ that allows employees to dress to the occasion.
  • Here are two examples of our approach to delivering ‘Wow” moments to clients. In one example, Peter Aceto, our CEO, has proactively reached out and commented on the blog post of a personal finance blogger. This action has led to praise from other members of the social media community. In the other example, a client had deposited a cheque into an ABM which got lost. She tweeted directly to CEO Peter Aceto, the corporate @SuperStarSaver handle and @OrangeHelps, which is ING DIRECT’s customer service and support handle.Receiving a response directly on Twitter, including from the CEO, with a promise to investigate the situation and provide a resolution leaves the Client feeling heard and appreciated. Part of being transparent also means admitting when you’ve made a mistake, and improving the experience in order to turn it into a positive one.
  • Peter also weighs in on Facebook to address comments, questions and concerns.
  • Our 2013 Q1 RSP campaign had the theme ‘Are You Suffering?’ We based the idea on survey data that showed that Canadians feel stress and anxiety when it comes to savings and their RSPs. The TV spot, as you can see in the photo, showed a man feeling stressed and anxious about his RSPs. Unfortunately, this commercial was perceived to be making light of mental health issues due to its similar tone to other commercials about depression that were running at the same time. This led to a strong negative responseon multiple ING DIRECT channels, but it was especially felt on social media.
  • Within a week of the commercial airing, we started receiving negative feedback on Facebook and Twitter and a snowball effect started that we needed to respond to ASAP. This post is representative of what we were seeing/hearing on Facebook.
  • These posts are representative of what we were seeing/hearing on Twitter.
  • We decided to pull the commercialand many other aspects of this campaign. We were swift in our action and apologized quickly. This included posts on Twitter and Facebook, including a message from our CEO. Our team also took the time to respond to each individual post on social media with an apology.
  • As a result of quick response on social media, the conversation turned. The focus shifted to how ING DIRECT handled the situation. We were given credit for how well and quickly we responded. It’s important to note that all of our external facing channels – social media, PR and client communications all sang from the same song sheet. The teams came together quickly to develop the right messaging and level of execution.
  • Social Currency: Building Trust Through Transparency in Social Media

    1. 1. SOCIAL CURRENCY: Building trust through transparency in social media Jaime Stein (@jaimestein)
    2. 2. We are @SuperStarSaver ING DIRECT is Canada’s leading direct bank with almost 2 million Clients. We have been operating in Canada since 1997 and in that time we have paid more than $5 billion in interest. ING DIRECT is open for banking 24/7 at
    3. 3. The Social CEO @CEO_INGDIRECT
    4. 4. Transparency: Inside & Out
    5. 5. Delivering Internally
    6. 6. Delivering the Wow
    7. 7. Delivering Accountability
    8. 8. Delivering Results • Peter received an average of 20 interactions per day on Twitter in 2013: • Peter has gained an average of 289 new followers per month in 2013 to @CEO_INGDIRECT
    9. 9. RSP Campaign Reputation & Crisis management
    10. 10. 2013 RSP Campaign
    11. 11. Feedback on Facebook
    12. 12. Feedback on Twitter
    13. 13. Our Response
    14. 14. “I have to hand it to ING DIRECT and their social media department for how they handled the backlash.” –
    15. 15. Key Takeaways
    16. 16. 3 + 1 Action Items 1. Take steps to ensure that your senior management team is engaged in social media at your organization. 2. Create a social media crisis management document so you are prepared in a crisis. 3. Empower your people on the ground so that they are able to act quickly and share information. 4. Don’t be afraid to own up to problems and apologize where necessary. Fix it and move quickly!
    17. 17. Questions? Jaime Stein @SuperStarSaver | @jaimestein