BFSI VISION Social Media Strategy News

What Drives Your Social Media Strategy?

Source- The Financial Brand

What defines the "right social media strategy" and what questions should banks and credit unions be asking when establishing their goals and approach to social channels?

These are the foundational challenges surrounding social media that financial institutions face today. Nearly everyone has integrated social into their marketing, branding and digital strategies, but few have really come to terms with the strategic role and significance of social channels.

Before you can build the right strategy, you must first understand the fundamental distinctions between social media and "regular marketing." Keep the following differences in mind when defining your social media strategy and you'll be better equipped to find the right plan vs. just "a plan."

  • Real results take time. One social media post won't acquire a new checking relationship or home loan applicant. But 1,000 will. There must be a concerted effort to build your strategy with this in mind, otherwise your plan will be shortsighted and likely flounder. Financial institutions give up on social media too quickly, too often.
  • Emotional connections equal dollars. What does that mean? Consumers will do business with a brand they respect, and will share and interact with content they love. They will ignore content they have no connection with. If your social media content is cold, corporate and impersonal, don't be surprised if consumers give you the cold shoulder.
  • True greatness in social media takes more than one person. You need multiple skills and talents in different areas to find success. Your social media team needs to be nimble and effective. And you need the right technologies to properly increase and facilitate collaboration within your team.
Understanding these three social marketing maxims makes is much easier to create an effective strategy. Tactical questions can only be answered if/when the underlying foundational strategies have been established, since creating social media tactically without setting an initial strategy is very hard to do (and yet is what many financial institutions do anyway).

For example, asking what your bank should do on Facebook or YouTube might seem to be the logical starting point. But asking this tactical question impairs your strategy in ways that can — and will — yield unsatisfactory results in the long run. Instead, you should be asking how your consumers are using each social media platform, then adapt your content to best fit their needs —specifically in ways that support your financial institution's overarching strategic goals and priorities. So if banks and credit unions are asking the wrong questions, what are some of the right questions to ask when taking the initial steps to develop a social media strategy?

1. What type of content can we build and do so consistently to have the most powerful connection to our market?
The key to this question is figuring out what content you are capable of creating, then aligning that with will connect to your market. The answer to this question will create open discussions that help address other questions — for example, what channels help best communicate your message(s)? which channels give you enough flexibility to do what you want?

2. How will we distribute the content effectively so that enough people will see it?
Why bother building a powerful content strategy if no one is going to see that content? Banks and credit unions can only yield value from their social media strategy if they build a community of relevant readers/audience large enough to bother leveraging. But to pull this off, you have to make sure your content is being distributed correctly.

Some distribution channels will be organic, while others will be paid. For example, placing powerful content on a bank's homepage — if done correctly — can generate tons of organic traffic without additional cost. Facebook, on the other hand, has very little organic distribution nowadays, so financial institutions need to pay for targeted advertising.

3. How will we measure effectiveness?
Measuring effectiveness and establishing metrics helps you focus on what matters by eliminating all the irrelevant noise and distractions surrounding social channels. Being effective on social media requires a ton of testing and adjustments. Unless a financial institution has enough traffic to test, the amount of data will not be enough to see or understand trends. You need a statistically viable sample before you can figure out which way to pivot. To clarify this, here is a quick example of measuring effectiveness in social media.

If 16,000 people see a post on Facebook but only 100 people clicked on it, then there is a lack of engagement. Therefore, we have to improve images, topic, or headlines. Then a test needs to be performed on the hypotheses by changing variables little by little to eventually get the right mix that works.

Key Takeaways Financial marketers need to understand that social media success takes time, requires constant testing, and the agility to respond. Banks and credit unions need to ask the right questions to establish the right strategy.

There is a time and place for selling, and a right time/place to build powerful connections and relationships. Financial institutions that strike the right balance between the two will have a better chance at finding success in social channels.

Social media spend to surge by 128%, but less than a fifth of CMOs can confidently measure impact

Source- The Drum

Social media spend currently courts around nine per cent of marketing budgets, but this figure is expected to surge by 128 per cent to account for over 21 per cent of budgets within the next five years, according to a CMO Survey from Duke University.

However, the ability to measure effectiveness and prove ROI lags considerably with only 15 per cent of chief marketing officers reporting that their companies can show the impact of social media using quantitative approaches.

The study garnered responses from 348 marketing executives, the largest proportion of which describer the company they served as being in the technology sector (17 per cent). Nearly 13 per cent represented the banking/finance sector while nine per cent were retail CMOs.

Budgets varied from less than $25m pa (33.6 per cent) to $1-$2.5bn (9.2 per cent), while 34 of those surveyed controlled marketing budgets of over $10bn.

Duke University Fuqua School of Business Professor Christine Moorman, director of The CMO Survey, explained that spending patterns reflect the sizeable opportunity marketers perceive on the Internet.

"Given we see sizable spending increases together with limited growth in human capital, companies are likely spending their budgets on technology and infrastructure to support social media -- payoffs that should help companies reach customers more effectively and measure their activities with greater precision," Moorman said.

The study found that spend on marketing analytics is also expected to increase from about seven percent of marketing budgets to more than 12 per cent in the next three years.

However, it was found that marketers continue to struggle with determining what to do with all the data with the CMOs surveyed stating that on average they only use about a third of the data available or requested.

41 percent of companies use online data to help target those customers. Almost 82 per cent of CMOs say the use of such data is increasing. None say it is decreasing.

Less than nine percent of CMOs say they are worried the use of online customer data could raise questions about privacy, while 33 per cent say they are not at all worried.

"The privacy results have remained consistent since we first asked this question of marketers," Moorman said. "It is important for companies to strike a bargain with their customers. If companies can promise more value to customers in return for collection and use of their data, many customers would gladly participate in this exchange. However, this exchange needs to be transparent and based on trust."

Overall, it was found that social media strategies remain "only modestly connected" to the rest of the marketing strategy.

"If the same customer is being reached on and off the web with the same offerings and same brand, companies must ensure a high level of consistency between these efforts," she said. "If not, customers will remain unconvinced how the company can meet their needs."

Social media spend to surge by 128%, but less than a fifth of CMOs can confidently measure impact

Source- Adweek

It wasn't so long ago that social media analytics meant looking at one-off engagements—fans, followers, likes—and using this info to make major campaign decisions. That was the first generation of social marketing. Today, we're entering the third generation, and the landscape has never looked more exciting.

The realms of both digital marketing and customer care have moved beyond the Web to social media, and marketers have incredibly advanced technologies at their disposal. Business leaders are asking for ROI and getting it thanks to social data. Likewise, crises can be detected—and averted—before they spin out of control. This is why tomorrow's CMO is today's digital marketer.

Sixty-three percent of marketers plan on devoting more resources to analytics during the next year, while a paltry six percent currently consider themselves leaders in that area, according to the CMO Council's State of Marketing 2014 report. That means that marketers are still overvaluing old social metrics and have not yet mastered the technological capabilities available to them.

To successfully lead in social media—and hence in digital marketing—marketers need a strategy based on accuracy and speed using sophisticated real-time tools. Next-generation social analytics reveals not just who is engaging with your brand and what they're engaging with, but why they're engaging. The result creates a real value by measuring whether a campaign worked based on data and ROI.

Here are five examples of what next-generation social analytics can do for your brand:

  • Boost campaign performance in real-time
    Intelligent analytical tools like what we offer at Netbase raise red flags when your campaigns underperform. If you're seeing limited results from a call to action for a flash sale, for instance, next-gen data will assist in crafting a message that's more aligned with the sort of content that's demonstrably engaging your customers. If you've enjoyed a successful campaign, social analytics will help you identify the difference-making facets, such as: Did your audience respond emotionally to the content of your video ad? Did they get excited about your product? Or did they watch the whole ad just because they liked the music? Using information like this to make real-time adjustments to a campaign can have an enormous impact on the overall outcome.
  • Discover what influences your customers' purchases
    So the most companies already pay attention to customer feedback via tweets, Facebook comments and so on. That's important, but it only scratches the surface of what's available. The next step is learning what motivates customer purchases. Progressive marketers already use tools that let them use this type of customer data to influence point-of-purchase strategy, brand positioning, product development and more. For example, by using a next-gen tool to analyze chatter across social channels, one consumer packaged goods company discovered that one of its beverages was routinely perceived as a reward for a good workout. This led to product placement near the exit of health clubs.
  • Get an edge on the competition
    By monitoring your competitors and their audience, you can react to what's going on in an effort to capture market share. For example, if the competition releases a new product and customers are dissatisfied, this is an opportunity to target those users. Competitive benchmarking is easy with third-generation social technology. It's possible to know who has the highest share of voice, the happiest consumers or the biggest impact from promotions, PR or launches.
  • Fix problems before they escalate
    Financial analysts are already using next-gen social analytics to predict future brand performance. Credit Suisse partnered with NetBase to compile sentiment data on handbag designers. The bank then uses the reporting to help steer investment recommendations to clients. As the New York Times noted in its coverage, the report challenged conventional wisdom about which brands to back. So if Wall Street is already relying on next-gen data for forecasting, surely marketers should pay attention, too. And not just marketers—every department is a stakeholder in customer experience. Aggregating negative brand commentary across channels can compel immediate action and reprioritization for any number of teams.
  • Learn about customers' interests outside your brand
    Lenovo experienced a 40 percent lift in conversions after designing customized banner ads according to behavioral data. For example, "Saturday Night Live" lovers and business magazine subscribers were served different ads than country music-loving "Amazing Race" fans. If you're surprised or skeptical that those arbitrary-seeming audience segments would shop for computers in different ways, that's precisely the point. In contrast to showing funny videos because your social analysis shows they're generally popular, you can engage effectively with different customer segments by tapping into next-gen analytical data that's telling you something you didn't already know.

  Sources: Social Media Examiner Industry Report, 2014 Spredfast/Forrester 2014 State of Enterprise Social Marketing Report