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Social media use in int’l financial services jumps in 2015

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Social media use among financial services companies in 26 countries jumped to 88 percent in 2015 from 61 percent the prior year, a new LIMRA survey shows.

Forty-three LIMRA member companies, representing the Europe, Middle East, Africa (EMEA) region, Latin American/Caribbean region and Asia participated in the survey. The study did not include China because the country’s social media platforms are unique.

A majority of companies say their main objective for social media is to draw attention to their brand. Objectives of “communicating brand position/personality” and “community-building” also ranked high as Latin American companies rated these two as their most important. In prior LIMRA research, U.S. companies listed these same objectives as their top three.

Among international companies, Facebook is the social media platform of choice, as 9 out of 10 EMEA companies use it, as well as all the surveyed companies in Asia and Latin America. YouTube, then Twitter followed to complete the top three. Among U.S. companies, Facebook is also the top choice, followed by LinkedIn and Twitter.

International companies give Facebook high marks for being effective in gaining referrals. YouTube is favored for its ability to easily share videos and Twitter is considered powerful when “the right conversations are occurring with the right people.”

Concerning their return on investment (ROI) 7 in 10 Latin American companies say their social media efforts meet their expectations, as do 64 percent of EMEA companies. Asian companies have the most varied responses as 38 percent say their ROI “exceeds” expectations; and another 38 percent say their return “falls short.” Only 13 percent of Asian companies believe their social media initiatives meet expectations. Half of U.S. companies say their social media initiatives meet expectations, while 30 percent say their efforts exceed expectations.

Like their counterparts in the U.S., financial services companies throughout the world use social media as an important tool to keep their brand in front of potential customers and to monitor the attitudes and preferences of today’s consumers. By having a social media presence now, companies strengthen their position for future consumer engagement.