When financial services organizations first began adopting social media, compliance decisions trumped technology choices and business value. As social media has matured, so too has the conversation around compliance. While compliance is still top of mind, and critically important for finserv organizations, executive teams are beginning to recognize that social media delivers tremendous value and must be an integral part of their business strategy.
And it’s no wonder. Consumers expect brands to be present on social and to be active participants. That’s especially important in financial services, which is rooted in relationships and trust. In the age of automation, staying focused on the human element and a brand’s approachability is a key factor in retaining customers and talent — whether that’s in person, over the phone or on social.
According to Gartner, 90% of companies will be using social media for customer service by 2020. It’s hard to imagine any who don’t today. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and the rest are just too valuable for engaging with customers to ignore. Now, the conversation has changed from containing the risk of social media to implementing it wisely so that it proves its value.
Beyond customer service, financial services organizations are adopting social in key areas such as marketing, sales and employee advocacy. Yet challenges remain. Social media strategies and data often are siloed by department. And skills, budget and resource gaps are barriers to success.
It’s worth taking a step back to re-evaluate your social media efforts to adopt a more holistic approach that can elevate your efforts — and success — across your organization. With that in mind, following are three main areas to consider for succeeding with social in financial services:
1. Activate employees and executives
People today want to see the human side of brands. When employees are empowered to build social media activities into their workday, an organization can drive revenue and build trust. In Massachusetts, for example, employees in Avidia Bank’s employee advocacy program — the “Avidia Smarties” — go through training to become social ambassadors, which gives them access to Avidia’s social dashboard to pull on-brand content to share on their personal channels. The “Smarties” work in various departments, are socially savvy and want to drive business results with social. The result: increased reach and brand love.