Social media is no longer just a popular pass-time of college students and young adults sharing “check-ins” and photos. Today, social media is often one of the most effective channels used to communicate between businesses and customers.
As of this year, nearly 750 million consumers spend close to four hours each week on Facebook. Even more traditional executives, such as those purchasing mortgage technology and financial software, are using social media to research and collect information on potential vendors, partners and customers through platforms like LinkedIn.
Social media users expect different types of communications from the traditional newsletter/phone call channels. Social media users expect businesses to listen, engage, and provide personal attention through social networks.
Benefits of Social Media in Financial Services
In financial services, there are three main areas that social media can provide a powerful solution:
The first is customer acquisition. Companies can use social media to send targeted messages to younger consumers, such as first time home buyers, or share educational information that serves as a lead generation strategy.
The second primary use of social media is customer service and building relationships. People will talk about you online, even if you are not involved. Mortgage lenders can use search tools to identify conversations about their company and also to respond to complaints or questions posed online.
The third benefit of social media is customer engagement. Social media is a great way to reinforce the reputation and relationship you’ve built with existing customers. You can use social media to share best practices with current customers, push product update information out in real time or show the personalities and passion behind the company.
Understanding the Social Media Channels
Where should mortgage lenders and banks invest their time into social media?
The three largest social media communities are Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Below is a snapshot of the different purposes and audiences for these channels.
With more than 300 million users in late 2011, Twitter is a form of micro-blogging and short-burst communication. Twitter feeds are updated in real-time, which can enable lenders to identify and solve member problems quickly.
Twitter’s most beneficial use for customer management is the ability to track and analyze sentiment on everything from products, to member experience, and react appropriately.
Twitter is the perfect communication channel for sharing the kind of information that would be available in an FAQ or provide links to begin the application process.
Currently, nearly 20 percent of the pages viewed on the internet is a Facebook page. With more than 845 million users and growing, Facebook is far more than a website. More than two billion posts are “liked” and commented on each day, and the average user connects with up to 80 community pages, groups and events. Facebook is more than just a place to share photos and check into locations. Users utilize Facebook to play games, seek information on saving money, and tap their network to help them find the products and services that are right for them.
As of August 2, 2012, LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network with a reported 175 million registered users. Interestingly, the majority being business professionals, and with good reason as LinkedIn has positioned itself as the leader in professional networking. Its niche is geared toward business to business rather than social networking as Facebook currently dominates.
Contrary to popular perception, LinkedIn is not just a source to post a resume or look for employment; the landscape of LinkedIn primarily caters to business professionals (including CEO, CMO, COO and other C-Level executives) who are looking to rub shoulders with other professionals in their industry, keep abreast of the competition, and to gather information that can increase success in their respective businesses.
Interesting facts about LinkedIn:
• Two new members join LinkedIn per second.
• Of new members, business professionals join at a rate of 300 percent.
• As of June 30, 2012, LinkedIn counts executives from all 2011 Fortune 500 companies as members; its corporate hiring solutions are used by 85 of the Fortune 100 companies.
Connect with DocuTech
Remember “Content is King” in building a network on social media and the benefits of networking are worth their weight in gold. At DocuTech, we’re expanding our social media presence to better communicate with you – our valued customers, and invite you to engage us online at any of the following channels:
We look forward to chatting with you online! Find us, like us and converse with us.