While most brands have acknowledged that social media needs to be a part of their communications mix, many are still grappling with how to use it effectively beyond an extension of their customer service offering. The starting point for any brand is asking how can they use social media to add value to their audience.
At first glance this is a tough challenge for banks and financial service organisations. Banks and their mutli-gazillion dollar profits don’t naturally lend themselves to a ‘like’ or being a ‘friend’ in your social space. With so much of our banking happening via mobile and online, and no people involved, the notion of a relationship is more of a stretch than ever before. However brands can achieve social success and deliver real ROI if they offer tangible value to their customers via social media and we’ve found some great examples of just that:
User-driven interest rates
Customers of German Fidor Bank AG can directly influence the interest paid on their checking accounts. For every 2,000 Likes the interest rate paid on the balance for the entire customer base is raised by 0.1%. Thus far their customer base has amassed over 15,000 Likes and been rewarded with a 1.1% increase on their interest rate. Fidor Bank has taken social banking even further with a strategy rooter in peer-to-peer banking. They offer social payments, crowd investing, social trading, social lending, and social community banking. If you speak fluent German I recommend you look them up.
Social payments made easy
Commonwealth Bank’s Kaching for Facebook allows you tomake payments to your Facebook friends without ever knowing their bank details. Whether settling the bill for lunch or paying a friend back for concert tickets, transferring money to friends is quick and easy using your Facebook friends list. Likewise, if you need to pay in advance for that ‘Hen’s Night’ you’re going to, you can make payments to Facebook Events. Anything that takes the pain out of coordinating a group social event is a winner with me. Expect more Australian banks to roll out similar functionality soon.
Find a financial advisor via your social connections
American financial planning company Ameriprise has recognised that consumers turn to their social networks for recommendations on just about everything. They’ve added a LinkedIn widget to their own website that allows you to find an advisor who is connected to someone you know.
Integrating deals and purchases into social activity
American Express card holders can synchronise their cards with Facebook, Foursquare and Twitter to get access to special offers and savings based on your social activity, likes and shares. With just one click the discount is attached and later credited to your account. Earlier this year they made it even easier to buy and enabled payment with a hashtag.
So is it time you became friends with your bank of financial services provider?
Have you come across finance brands that are using social media to offer tangible value to their customers?