|Social media is often touted as an unparalleled marketing tool that can strengthen a brand and more efficiently address customer complaints and problems. But when it comes to their bank accounts, customers see it a different way.
A new study from Carlisle & Gallagher Consulting Group found that 87 percent of consumers viewed banks’ use of social media as “annoying, boring or unhelpful.” Only one-third of respondents would use social media to complain should they encounter a problem with their bank’s service.
With Bank Accounts, Consumers Want Privacy
It’s no big deal to air a grievance with your cable company over Twitter. But a full 90 percent of consumers said they would “prefer to discuss their problems in private with their bank” rather than over social media, the survey found.
When it comes to their bank accounts, consumers place a premium on privacy. A recent survey from Wells Fargo found that Americans rate personal finances as the most challenging topic to discuss with others, over death, politics, religion and taxes.
Considering this discomfort with discussing finances, it’s understandable that the vast majority of customers would rather discuss a problem with their financial provider in private, rather than over a public medium.
What Banks Can Do to Improve Their Social Media Presence?
According to one report, 90 percent of financial institutions are funneling resources into their social media presences. But, apparently, their efforts are ineffective — the majority of consumers think so, with 52 percent saying “banks’ use of social media is ineffective,” according to the study.
Overall, there is obviously some room for banks to improve their social media. But, already, GOBankingRates sees some banks and credit unions with great social media campaigns. Here’s what they have in common.
1. Listen First
Social media efforts become annoying when consumers see them as nothing but a nonstop ad campaign blasting across their social media feeds. Financial institutions that engage their consumers and invite them to express their views will have a better idea of what customers need and how to best deliver it.
2. Set up a Private Channel for Complaints And Concerns
To temper consumers’ concerns about privacy, banks should have a secure, private online venue – such as a live chat — for customers to quickly and easily get in touch with the institution when problems arise with their accounts. Promoting this often on social media will remind customers of the service and demonstrate a respect for customers’ privacy.
3. Make it Fun And Interesting!
Break up the lists of bank products and services with some interesting content. Giveaways can be a great way to give back to customers and empower a social media campaign. Financial institutions that highlight interest information or fun content will offer their followers more value and will be less likely to be seen as annoying.