As the financial industry continues to evolve in the digital marketplace, financial companies must be constantly monitoring the landscape for new ideas and methods to make themselves invaluable to their clients.
Just today, I learned that it was possible to take a picture of a physical check on my smartphone and deposit it by using the new app from my bank. Sure, I had to pay 75 cents to do it, but it beats a trip down to the nearest ATM (gas money and time spent), so it was a no-brainer.
And to be honest, discovering this option on the updated app was fortuitous because I'd been thinking it might be time to switch banks lately. Now I'm sure I'll stick with mine because this restored a little faith that they are keeping up with the marketplace.
Social Media Can Foster Trust and Loyalty
More than ever now, financial companies need to find ways to build relationships and trust with their customers. Luckily for financial institutions, there's never been a better way to do that than through the use of social media. With mobile adoption going through the roof, and a younger and younger tech-savvy clientele, the opportunities to start building trust through social engagement are bigger than ever.
A recent study from Cogent Research shows that 87% of financial advisors in the business for five years or less are engaging online using social media, compared to only 35% of advisors who have been practicing for more than 20 years.
Financial companies need to have a solid social media strategy in place - one that educates employees in all areas of the firm, involves a thorough social media policy, and is archived and measured for compliance regulations and constant improvement. The free whitepaper Social Media for Financial Institutions in 5 Steps outlines this process and provides a helpful roadmap for thinking about how social media can relate to overall business goals.
We understand the growing role that social is playing in the lives of our customers and the influence that it has on our markets. As such, we are constantly monitoring social media channels to identify new trends, capture shifting customer preferences and respond to feedback (regardless of whether it comes from our customers or not). And, as a result, we have become much more proactive in the way we communicate with our customers and much more responsive when issues do arise.
All conversation surrounding the bank and it various campaigns are monitored through social channels, and when one campaign wetn awry, CEO Peter Aceto tweeted about it, and it was canceled not long after the uproar began. Aceto responds to customers directly through @CEO_INGDIRECT, Nicholson believes that buy-in from INGs leadership is one of the main reasons the company has been able to build communities.
At the conclusion of his essay, Nicholson talks about how social media has opened the door to innovation, saying: "Followers and clients can expect to see a range of new products and services come to market based on social platforms."
Has your financial company used social media to listen online? What have you learned? Are you ready to innovate?