“LinkedIn is just about finding a job or selling something.” I’ve heard this from financial institutions before and they don’t truly understand the value of social media. Yes, it’s true that there are lots of people on LinkedIn looking for jobs and there are lots of people selling on Twitter. But there is a lot more to it than meets the eye. In fact, it takes some patience and persistence to realize that you can not only elevate your own professional standing (whether that is sales or not) but more importantly, elevate your entire organization.
- Social Media Team of One
Most financial institutions put the “young” person or the marketing guy in the office in charge of managing social media. This works for creating a brand and attracting people with fun, creative posts, but the organization is missing out on the bigger picture: YOU. The collective You of the organization. Not one Generation Y guy or marketing gal. When all the employees are enabled to engage with their contacts, customers, potential customers and each other, this all filters up to a dynamic chorus of interaction between customers and FI. Some bankers fear the worst: a disgruntled customer in a public forum. When a customer complains, they are giving you an opportunity to fix it. Amen! If someone is very upset, chances are they are complaining online anyway. The difference here is you become aware of it and can fix it.
- An Eye on Innovation
How do you go about keeping your community bank or credit union on pace with innovation? Do you wait until your current vendors approach you with an upgrade? Perhaps you attend trade shows and receive newsletters to keep you up to date. Those are a couple of the tools that should be in your arsenal, but here is another. There should be someone on your staff who is dedicated to innovation. All of the socially engaged employees can help feed him or her new and exciting products they think could be useful for the organization. Taking a proactive approach to innovation is key. Don’t wait for this stuff to find you — you go get it. It’s out there and social channels are your telescope to find the good stuff.
- The Millenials
This up and coming generation does things totally different from the rest of us. They do not remember a time when a cell phone was not within reach. My 18 month old nephew runs his iPad better than I do. This is going to cause a huge shift in the banking world. Keeping your account holders and corporate customers engaged is more important than ever. Millenials aren’t loyal to a particular brand or bank that previous generations were. They want comfort, convenience and connections. Make it easy. Your mobile social program should be preparing now for this shift away from the loyal mindset and toward ease.
The relationship between financial institution and customer is slipping. Finding products and services that put the relationship back at the heart of your strategy should be a priority. Social innovation could be the glue to keep those relationships in tact for future generations. Are you ready? What is your financial institution doing to prepare for this shift?