Social Media Monitoring for Financial Services

Last week we hosted a webinar on Social Media Monitoring for the Finance Industry. There were some fascinating debates and lots of practical examples of how banks, credit unions and insurance companies have made best use of social media monitoring. For those that weren’t able to attend, you can listen to the recording here or read on for the highlights.

Social media monitoring for the finance industry

We were fortunate enough to be joined by some of the biggest names in the industry. On the panel was:

• Frank Eliason – known as the ‘Godfather of Social Customer Service’ and perhaps the most famous Customer Service Manager in the world. Frank is now SVP of Social Media at Citi.

• Christophe Langlois – Christophe is Founder and CEO of Visible Banking, the leading independent blog focused on social media in financial services.

• Leon Chaddock – Leon is a pioneer in the social media monitoring space. Having founded Sentiment Metrics in 2005, he has worked with some of the world’s leading banks to set up effective listening processes.

• Chair:  Luke Brynley-Jones – As one of the UK’s most experienced Social Media Consultants, Luke is a recognised authority on how social media is changing the world of business.

  • What is social media monitoring?

With so much content being generated through forums, blogs and social networks, how do you handle it? A social media monitoring platform can collect this and give real-time insight into what people are saying about you and your competitors.

  • Why are so many companies failing to monitor social media?

Companies either don’t understand social media monitoring or are scared by the quantity of the data. Monitoring should be the first thing we do in social media – it’s risk free and helps you understand what is going on. There’s no excuse not to be doing it. Even if you don’t engage on social media you need to know what’s going on and what people are saying about your company and the industry.

  • What are the challenges of social media monitoring?

One challenge of social media monitoring is that it needs to be connected with traditional channels. Why do we place so much emphasis on listening on social media, but we don’t listen when people call us? Social is not a silo and needs to be seen as part of a bigger picture.

  • Are there different opportunities and challenges for different departments?

Almost every part of the business has a vested interest in social media monitoring. Social Media is not about PR, Marketing, or Customer Service, it’s about the entire organisation.

Leon noted that Sentiment Metrics used to work with a lot of individual departments focused on their own particular needs, but with each department running off and doing their own thing there were huge inconsistencies within the company. Today Enterprises are looking to implement consistent strategies across the organisation, set within a holistic framework. Within that, each team can create their own customised dashboards to make sure they are collecting the data relevant to them.

  • Are there specific challenges and opportunities for the finance industry?

One problem any organisation faces on social media is that they have to be believable. Given the recent financial crisis, credibility is a real issue for banks. They have to earn the trust of their customers by putting the customers first. Companies need to stop thinking about themselves and start thinking about their communities.

Another challenge is that the finance industry is governed by strict regulations and many banks are reluctant to get involved in social as a result. However, Frank argued that rather than fearing the regulators financial institutions need to work with them. This will help all parties better understand the landscape and how regulations are applied to social media.

  • How to produce great content

The companies that are really good at social actually do very little, instead their communities do it for them. User generated content gives your customers a voice and makes them feel included. It really helps to connect the business with the customers. CIMB Malaysia is a great example of this in action – amongst other things they asked their Facebook fans to design and vote for their latest credit card design.

  • Where companies are failing

One of the problems with social media monitoring is that so many companies that collect data never actually do anything with it. They fail to tag it or pass it on to the right people and it is lost. This data could be used to learn and transform the organisation or product – a recent case study shows how Barclays did this to great effect following the release of their PingIt app.

Barclays Pingit app

  • Be careful

Frank highlighted a recent example where a cancer patient tweeted his insurance company after he reached the cap on his policy. After a couple of days of engaging with the CEO on Twitter, his insurance company lifted the cap. This may have been a compassionate gesture, but it sets a dangerous precedent. It sends out the message that if you don’t like something, contact us via social media and we will give you special treatment.

  • The future of social media monitoring in the finance industry

One area that will continue to grow at a rapid pace is social customer service. It presents a fantastic opportunity for banks and insurance companies to show the human side of their company and encourage customer advocacy.

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