5 ways to integrate social media into financial industry

For a lot of people, social media platforms are perceived as simply tools to network with each other, have online conversations and keep up to date with the latest celebrity news. However, as more and more companies start to bring this new digital technology into their marketing strategies, people are beginning to realise that if social media can be correctly integrated into the financial industry, it can provide significant value into a business’ objectives by contributing to the revenue stream.

Financial Services Need to Embrace Social Media

James Saulez is the head of online trading at Global Trader. In a recent article for Business Day, he explains that in South Africa social media is often perceived to be a cheap alternative to conventional marketing and brand awareness, with the result that the translation of technology into business innovation is not being achieved. Saulez says –

“Although mainstream social media has taken off, the net effect for financial services providers (FSP) is currently low. Return on equity is measured by the number of followers or ‘fans’, ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ a company has rather than by solid performance and financial acumen.”

Saulez believes that if companies want to see real return from social media, it needs to form part of their high-level business objectives.

“New customer user channels are being created and managed by junior staff and are driven from a marketing perspective. However, if inconsistencies arise, it often results in customer and call centre frustration and can tarnish a brand if it serves no real purpose.”

5 Ways to Integrate Social Media

According to Saulez, the financial services industry needs to shift the way social media is approached. In his post he offers five key considerations into how FSPs can implement a dynamic online strategy

1. Get the customer’s transactional data. This can then be aggregated and used to give useful information back to them.

2. Create insightful data for your customers to start talking about.

3. Make sure the design clearly maps out how the products will feed into your revenue stream. Make sure the design is centralised around this step with a clear goal.

4. Make sure your customers are involved, reward users for engaging in the socialisation process. This is what drives revenue from your platform.

5. Your offering needs to be integrated via a CRM process. This should be the last step on how you productise your social platform.

Saulez believes that FSP’s who implement social media to their advantage will reap the rewards in the long run –

“Financial products are commodities and people want to know why a product was purchased. If people can see the benefit of sharing information, they will. Structuring online platforms in this way makes the difference.”