When you consider the furor about the monthly debit card fee in the U.S. or the Bank Transfer Day campaign, it is easy to understand why banks are wary of social media. However, they cannot afford to stay away much longer.
Social networks happen to be the favorite hangout of online users… and there are a billion of the latter, and growing. Banks simply have to go where the customers are.
Any discussion on the ideal social media strategy usually ends up as a tribute to retailing companies and large consumer brands. So, should banks simply adopt their best practices and move full steam ahead?
In my view, not yet. However, listening to and analyzing customer conversations is a good place to start. But where?
Social analytics provides the answers. It enables banks to listen to conversations in different channels of social media, identify key trends and sentiments, assess the influence of various community members, and distil all this unstructured information
into actionable insight. Importantly, social analytics also identifies the key hubs of conversation, so the banks know where to go.
Using social analytics, a bank can, for instance understand the dominant sentiment of its customers – are they pleased with its services, unhappy about interest rates, or simply neutral? It can pick up on an emerging trend, such as the rising popularity
of mobile remittances among migrant workers. The bank can also identify the people who are doing most of the talking and the influence they exert on other community members.
Once the bank is armed with these insights, it can take further steps to engage customers in social media. But until then, the motto should be to simply “listen and learn”.