6 Steps For Financial Services to Use Social Media Effectively

Few industries have relationships with their customers like financial services.

Financial questions surround nearly every life decision. Many of these decisions and plans play out over the very long term. Unfortunately, this means that customers have ample time and opportunity to switch services when they are motivated by a better offer, or worse, turned off by poor service. Financial services need to develop trust. Trust comes from credibility that you consider your customers as people with needs, not numbers or sources of revenue. Luckily for those of us working in financial services, social media has given us a powerful new tool to develop credibility and deepen relationships with customers.

1. Think of the customer experience as a journey

Developing a relationship with a potential customer can take years in the financial world. Even though customers have an abundance of choice, decision-making can be paralyzing. In order for a customer to have the confidence to select a financial partner, a lot of credibility needs to already be established. For a customer to remain with a financial partner, they must continue to derive value from a strong relationship.

2. Create strong relationships through a quality experience

For your existing customers, your financial service prides itself on its customer service. Social media is an extension of customer service that gives you insight into your customer’s habits and needs. Being responsive is critical. Facebook has been rolling out a responsive score for the admins of Pages, as a way to boost responsiveness and hold Pages and brands accountable to their customers. This is the perfect opportunity for a financial service to shine.

Being responsive is only part of it. Social media lets you see what people are saying about your service. You can study this information to anticipate your customers needs.

3. Make it a member-focused

Quality begins with understanding who you’re dealing with. Social media provides a portal into who your potential customers are. What do they like? What other products have they talked about? Have they ever mentioned you? Keeping your ears to the ground will help you identify moments to further connect with your customers. Can youdiffuse a situation by immediately providing support? What about a personalized message to your top customers? These above-and-beyond customer service moments are made possible when an organization embraces social media.

“Above-and-beyond customer service moments are made possible when an organization embraces social media.Tweet This

4. Deliver valuable content

The backbone of effective social media strategy is providing customers with high-quality financial literacy content, like savings tips, retirement whitepapers, or tax calculators. You can create helpful, well-produced video content that not only educates but can also entertain. This content lives on social media and is shared between new potential customers, making it often their first impression of your company.

Since it’s often the first impression, it’s a great opportunity to gain credibility. You can easily create content thataddresses things like common mortgage questions which will calm fears. You can produce infographics that explain different savings options, the type of content that people will want to store away for later reference. You can even inspire, by profiling local businesses who have benefitted from your know-how. The key is to be consistent and reliable.

The key to using social media for financial services brands is to be consistent and reliable.Tweet This

5. Establish credibility

When people see valuable, useful content on social media, they reciprocate by giving you their time. They either connect with you by liking your page, or they might even share your content. Most importantly, they give you their respect, and will be more likely to engage positively with your other promotional efforts.


6. Lead the way

Once you have established credibility and your customers are following you, you can lead them through the best possible journey. You can define this journey by listening to them on social media. You can refine this journey by having conversations with your customers instantly and on services they feel comfortable. But most importantly, you will begin to see real returns on your investment, as your social media strategy reaches your reputation further and further across the web.

 

Mike Toner

Based in Alexandria, Virginia Michael is the Manager of Social Media at Navy Federal Credit Union. By evening, he's a husband, dog owner and runner. Toner writes about social media strategy, tools, training and best practices for social and digital marketing programs.

 

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