Banking and Finance Industry is very competitive. Customers are becoming impatient and loyalty for brands is decreasing. Slowly brands are realizing that they can no longer appear monolithic, imposing and they need to find new ways to engage customers to retain and build relationships.
Web in its new avatar (Social Media) facilitate interactive information sharing, interoperability, user-centred design and collaboration, has given consumers the power to make or break reputations, enhance or damage brands, create winners and losers in the marketplace, and do so with lightning speed. At the same time, social media offer unparalleled access to unfiltered customer opinion, opportunity to understand the real influencers and opportunities to leverage user-generated content.
Note: There are many popular blogs, forums, and review sites around Banking and finance. But in this post I am focusing on how large banks and financial institutions are adopting social media to reach out to customers, prospectus and Influencers.
Community efforts from Banks and financial institutions.
This online community HSBC Business Network is for SMB and entrepreneurs. The focus is to empower new start-up companies to succeed by enabling them to network and form relationships with each other, as well as leveraging the expertise and support of HSBC’s business specialists
To positioned itself as a progressive and transparent financial institution with heart, Common Wealth Credit Union launched an online community for Alberta’s Generation “Y”. A lifestyle platform for youth to self express and support called Young & Free. Its a fully integrated marketing campaign combined with a spokesperson search to find the voice of Alberta’s under 25 crowd.
Common Wealth embraced the power of the social web by tapping into popular sites like YouTube, Facebook, Flickr and Twitter to create an immersive experience where compelling user-generated content takes centre stage. To position it as a democratic, transparent organisation they launched a yearly campaign to find “Young & Free Alberta Spokesperson”.
The winner from the contest became a paid employee of the credit union, working full time with the job description: talk, type and tell good stories – essentially a full time blogger for the credit union for one year.
The Open forum is a very interesting way that American Express is using to share information and start conversation with small business owners. Some of the key highlights of the OPEN Forum initiative are: building brand equity, acquiring new customers, and building loyalty of existing customers.
It’s a excellent example of how to develop a vibrant social media community around a target segment.
Charles Schwab launch a private online community “Money and More” made up of 350 25-to-40 year old Generation X non-Schwab clients. Idea was to listen to a focused group of Gen-Xers that was brought together on a community platform to better understand – how to become their investment service provider of choice 10 or 15 years down the road. What they learned was so powerful that they were able to create new products and services to meet the needs of this target group— resulting in a 56% increase in GenX customers vs. a year ago Based on insights from the community, Schwab lowered account minimums to $1,000, introduced Schwab’s high-yield Investor checking account with a high yield, and developing an online landing page specifically for the Gen X target.
The 100 Voice community is student focused community where students can share their opinions on money management and student finances. Its a marketing driven program to create visibility and conversation around the benefits of the Barclays Student account and enable students to share their experiences with others.
This Small Business Online Community includes a ‘Forums’ section, where SMEs can post questions and seek help and advice from others in the community. Registered users can also post their stories of business success and share tips for overcoming business challenges. The community-generated content will be supplemented by a range of expert articles.
Change Everything is a project of Vancity, Canada’s largest credit union. The Change Everything web site was spurred by the spirit behind Vancity’s new campaign. ChangeEverything.ca is an online community targeted (but not limited) to residents of Vancouver, Victoria and B.C.’s Lower Mainland.
Once Registered, the user start blogging about his progress toward making that change. But the real substance of the site happens when someone comes across the user blog and gets inspired; they can join it. Now both of them are blogging, discussing, and potentially collaborating on making the change happen. Its one of the best community engagement program I have come across.
I intend to update regularly this list of Banks and Financial Institutions on social media. So, if you know of any other Bank or FI with social media presence, do send me an e-mail or leave a comment below.
Cross-posted at 2020 Social: Because Business is Social.