Live: Social Media Day

Live: Social Media Day

Finextra's second annual Social Media day was held in London on Wednesday, with a line-up of speakers from banks and technology companies examining the practical application of the likes of Twitter and Facebook. For those of you unable to attend, we liveblogged the debate here.

17.01: OK, that's it from Social Media days...until next year.

16.45: Seedcamp is a micro-seed investment fund set up to provide early-stage start-ups the small amounts of capital ($50,000) that normal VCs would not consider worthwhile. Has made 65+ investments, including TransferWise. Espinal also highlights the value of 'real-world' social networking through events such as seedhack, which brings together people with similar interests and throws them in together, building useful contacts and relationships.

16.35: The final speaker of the day is Carlos Eduardo Espinal (@ceduardo), partner at Seedcamp, which recently ran a hack-a-thon for developers creating payment applications.

16.20: First Direct has recently announced plans for a contactless card roll out. The bank decided to use the opportunity to deal with a problem - that some customers were mixing up their debit and credit cards. So, it asked lab visitors for feedback on the new card's design. This feedback was so strong that first direct stopped design plans and is now overhauling whole thing.

16.10: The 'lab' is open to everyone - they don't need to be a customer or even log in to comment on products being developed. Comments are moderated but only for profanity. There's no sentiment analysis to block negative feedback.

Since August 2011, there have been 7840 'ratings' in the lab, 12,709 comments and 4435 suggestions.

16.04: We're in the home straight here at Social Media day, with Natalie Blacker from First Direct exploring whether crowdsourcing in financial services is a useful tool or just a marketing ploy. The first direct lab is the bank's attempt to harness the 'wisdom of the crowds' in designing products.

15.19: Zopa is keen to bring online community into real world: has an annual London get-together that attracts 500 users. It invites members to come to its offices and people come in off the street to say hello.

15.07: Schoenberg moves thing along to the issue of regulation. Kelly says that eToro is working towards FSA regulatory approval which he says will be a big step in building trust in the service. Saul is fairly relaxed about what is said within his community from a regulatory perspective because it's the users' responsibility to moderate it.

14.52: Saul says that when he took over Euroinvestor last year, it had a big community but members had a fairly negative attitude towards the company. Hopes that this is turning around thanks to engagement and asking users for ideas to make the process more collaborative. If they don't trust you, they won't buy from you. Kelly says that the nature of social media means that firms can sometimes race ahead without thinking through consequences.

14.45: We're moving on to the panel discussion now. Andrews says around half of Zopa's borrowers are recruited through conventional marketing and half through word-of-mouth. For lenders, 98% come through word-of-mouth - a community of 70,000 built from nothing.

14.24: Andrews telling the story of Prosper, a US P2P lender, which targeted subprime borrowers. When things started to go wrong in 2008, it's message board was flooded with criticism. Prosper decided to shut down the board but angry customers set up their own and the company was left with no influence.

14.18: Andrews moves on to trust. Says that when setting Zopa up (pre-crash) banks were very trusted when it came to looking after money but not on having customers' best interests at heart. So, the company decided to attract people through engagement, opening up forums, relying on word-of-mouth.

Then Zopa got 'lucky' with the crash as trust in traditional lenders evaporated and it took advantage because it has an engaged community. Claims that when it e-mails 10,000 customers a survey, within two hours 4000-5000 have responded because they have strong relationships.

14.09: Zopa stands for the 'zone of possible agreement'. The site acts as a marketplace, matching lenders and borrowers. Has now lent about £200 million, with defaults of 0.8% with lenders securing a return of around six per cent.

Andrews says a central inspiration for Zopa was eBay - it's not just about the price, there's a social and collaborative aspect. By creating a community you attract new members, which then makes it better, creating a virtuous circle.

13.50: The afternoon session is almost upon us. First up will be Giles Andrews (@zopagiles), co-founder and CEO of person-to-person lending site, Zopa. After his presentation, Giles will be joined by Jeff Saul, CEO of Euroinvestor, Christopher Kelly from eToro and moderator Allan Schoenberg (@allanschoenberg) from CME Group to discuss whether social business is the new normal and ask who's made money out of it.

12.26 The quiz results are in: Joint winners are the 'anti-socials' and '4 greens and a red' both with a creditable 14 out of 18. Time for a well-earned break for lunch.

11.58 Quiz time: the room is being divided into teams based on what part of the business they work in. There's £250 in Amazon vouchers up for grabs.

11.48: Carter says that social media moves fast. During 2011, Facebook made 800 changes, anyone of which could affect a company's compliance. Explaining her company's tech, gives example of RW Baird employee who unwisely tweeted about Apple's stock on day Steve Jobs died. System held her tweet back.

11.40: Carter's colleague, David Oates (@DaveActiance) offers up a quote he heard recently: Social media in the enterprise is a bit like sex: everybody's talking about it, not many are doing it, and those that are are doing it badly.

11.30: Refreshed, the delegates file back to hear from Actiance's Sarah Carter (@SarahActiance), who will explain how companies can educate staff on social media use before testing attendees' knowledge with a 'pub' quiz. We might throw a few questions out to readers through the @Finextra account.

10.48: An interesting complaint from the floor: people who call a firm to complain are now less likely to get a satisfactory and swift response than those who complain 'publicly' through Twitter. Makes non-tweeting customers second class? On speed, Kirkman notes that a five minute wait for a response on Twitter is very different to a five minute wait on hold to a call centre.

1042: Cantarella on privacy: I would like firms to have lots of information on me so that when I call them with a problem, they know the history and have analysed previous issues. As long as it makes service better. Thinks that the squeamishness over privacy will recede. Blinder says that young people really don't care about these things - Instagram has no privacy settings at all. Kirmkman warns that banks have to be transparent about how they use data though because trust is paramount.

10.31 Audience member jokes 'I hope we won't see social media sentiment used in high-frequency trading'. Cantarella breaks the news that it's already happening. However, people aren't going to short HSBC because it's outage is trending, things are more nuanced than that.

10.17: Breadmore (@rossbreadmore) asks are customers becoming more savvy in how they use social media and privacy now? Kirkman says that yes, for Facebook which is increasingly difficult to mine for data. But people use Twitter very differently and are far more open. How will this evolve?

Hartley says that customers sometimes want the benefits of firms mining data - if a bank can tell a customer that they keep going overdrawn because they spend too much on chocolate in a specific shop, that's useful for them to know.

10.06: Neil has now been joined by Marc Binder from Adobe, John Hartley from HSBC, James Cantarella from Thomson Reuters and Ross Breadmore from Nixon Mcinnes for a panel discussion titled: Data above the fray.

Blinder (@mblinder) says easiest way to use social media is for customer service. The next stage is analysing data to improve services and marketing over time, eg. why do more people visit Facebook page on a Wednesday than Thursday? Says, recently found people visiting an e-commerce site from Facebook spent twice as much as those coming from Google - an important thing to know.

09.55 Asked about money, Kirkman says that they got the budget because of the outage, which made the bank realise the huge reputational risk of not taking a proactive approach. Says "who knows" where we'd be without that November disaster.

09.50: Kirkman now moving onto the bank's attempts to monitor and analyse social media. "Tools are only as good as people using them" - a dedicated monitoring team works 24/7. Initially the team worked only on IT services issues in the UK but this is expanding now.

09.39 Kirkman (@neilkirkman) talks about a major IT outage on a Friday in November, knocking out ATMs and online services. Previously, HSBC would have had hours before the news broke but straight away, tweets started coming in, and soon the bank was trending. There was a BBC article within 30 mins. However,, Kirkman says that Twitter was a benefit as well, helping to keep customers and the media up to date with accurate information. By analysing tweets, the bank could also gain valuable information on what was happening.

09.32: Up now is Neil Kirkman from HSBC who has been building a global social media monitoring system for the bank. That global factor means that it's not just Twitter, Facebook etc. that matter; HSBC needs to consider Chinese networks - one of its staffers has 1.2 million followers on a local microblogging site.

09.18: Liz is taking us through her early career at Sassy Magazine, which was aimed at teenage girls (can't say I'm familiar), where lonely girls would write in thinking they were on their own. Back then, it was difficult to find like-minded people and create a community, now, social media makes it easy.

09.07: We're coming to you from Thomson Reuters' offices in Canary Wharf:
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09.02: Finextra's own Liz Lumley is kicking off proceedings, examining the importance of social communication for financial services. Liz will then hand over to Neil Kirkman, global telecommunications consultant, HSBC, to talk about how firms use social data. You can see the full agenda here.

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