Heavily regulated industries, such as financial services, are often slow to adopt new technology. That’s why it’s no surprise that social media is a scary place to play for financial institutions. But, as with most things in business, if you don’t play, you can’t win.
Huffington Post recently shared five ways in which the financial services industry can leverage social media to win over existing customers, cultivate new ones, and simply become more efficient in their business operations.
- Customer Service: There’s often nothing more important than immediacy when it comes to addressing issues or pointing customers and prospects in the direction for more information about a product or service. The ability to integrate social media with CRM solutions can further improve customer service and provide an important record of all communications. Leveraging social media as an additional communication method can only improve one’s experience and protect a company’s brand.
- Marketing: It’s no secret that Facebook is thriving because of the advertising dollars it’s generating. Companies of all sizes and industries are flocking to various social media platforms to build their customer base and to solidify their brand in the marketplace. American Express is one good example of a company that is utilizing sites, like Facebook and Foursquare, to personalize offers based on a user’s social media activities.
- New Product/Service Development: Connecting bank accounts with social media sites is empowering customers to manage or execute banking activities, such as wire transfers. Some banks, such as Barclays, also develop and enhance products by crowdsourcing feedback from constituents. For example, users of the Barclaycard Ring can discuss financial strategies, track their financial health, and vote on product enhancements. That’s one way to increase user adoption!
- Reducing Costs and Improving Efficiencies: Websites have been enabling users to log into their apps via their social media credentials for quite some time. Financial services companies have taken note and are now doing the same. Log into your bank’s app with Facebook and send money to whomever you’d like. Talk about making things more efficient for both the bank and user!
- New Business Models: With new technology comes new business opportunities. Companies not in the financial services space are now leveraging social media tools to engage users more and create new business lines that would traditionally be designated for banks. Pay your rent with Alipay from Alibaba, bank with WeChat’s WeBank, and buy mutual funds from Baidu. Integrating users’ bank information with social media will continue to become more prevalent, as it streamlines efficiency.
Transforming the financial services industry with digital technologies and platforms, such as social media, can help solidify a company’s presence in this highly-competitive space. Financial institutions that adopt social media strategies sooner rather than later can expect to see big customer gains in the future.