Finance Brands & Social Media: Consumers Expect More

Finance indus­try is miss­ing out on moments to cre­ate aware­ness, build loy­al­ty, and man­age con­sumer rela­tion­ships.

Pat Hong By Pat Hong from Linkdex. Join the discussion » 0 comments

Most con­sumer-fac­ing brands and busi­ness­es rec­og­nize the val­ue of social media in 2015. While many appre­ci­ate the intrin­sic val­ue that the chan­nel can pro­vide across con­sumer pur­chase jour­neys – from rais­ing brand aware­ness, to build­ing loy­al­ty and man­ag­ing con­sumer rela­tion­ships and com­plaints – there are still sig­nif­i­cant indus­tries in which social media is under­uti­lized. A sig­nif­i­cant gap exists between what finance brands are deliv­er­ing on social media, and what con­sumers demand and expect of them, accord­ing to new research from ShareThis.

The under­stand­ing that social media can empow­er both “val­ue and pro­duc­tiv­i­ty” has been a point of dis­cus­sion among mar­ket­ing aca­d­e­mics and con­sul­tan­cies for many years. Cer­tain­ly among con­sumer-fac­ing brands, there have been sig­nif­i­cant efforts to under­stand and engage con­sumers via social media, as well as impres­sive exam­ples of brands using the chan­nel to effec­tive­ly man­age their rep­u­ta­tions, address­ing con­sumer com­plaints and con­cerns.

ShareThis, a social media ana­lyt­ics and insights tech­nol­o­gy plat­form, have released new research, High Finance and the Shar­ing Econ­o­my, detail­ing the extent to which social media is under­uti­lized by the finance indus­try, and the oppor­tu­ni­ty for brands oper­at­ing in the space.

An analy­sis of 3.1 mil­lion sites and apps found that finance is both a high­ly social top­ic, and one with unique and fas­ci­nat­ing nuances that can inform brands about con­sumer jour­neys as they eval­u­ate and poten­tial­ly pur­chase a prod­uct. Social media is large­ly an untapped oppor­tu­ni­ty for finance brands to inter­act with con­sumers, accord­ing to Kurt Abra­ham­son, CEO of ShareThis:

With over 32 mil­lion users shar­ing finance-relat­ed con­tent to their social net­works every month, the impact of social media and the shar­ing econ­o­my on con­sumer behav­ior is unde­ni­able. Our find­ings revealed not only that finance is, in fact, a high­ly social top­ic (with no less than 68 mil­lion month­ly social sig­nals), but one with fas­ci­nat­ing behav­ioral nuances, clear sea­son­al trends, and favor­able life stage align­ment.”

Accord­ing to the report:

  • As many are 68 mil­lion social actions take place in the finance ver­ti­cal every month.


  • Cred­it & Lend­ing is the most social sec­tor in finance, with 20.9 mil­lion social actions.
  • Insur­ance is the sec­ond most social, with 12.8 mil­lion social actions every month.
  • Tablets users are dou­ble as like­ly to engage with finance con­tent (and many use their devices to man­age the port­fo­lios and invest­ments).
  • Con­ver­sa­tions about finance are sea­son­al. Both the tax sea­son and quar­ter­ly earn­ings expe­ri­ence a spike in social media usage.
  • In terms of demo­graph­ics, mil­len­ni­als are most like­ly to share finance con­tent via social media.


Social Opportunities For Finance Brands

While con­sumer demand for finan­cial brands to be present on social media clear­ly isn’t being met, some finance brands have man­aged to estab­lish a pos­i­tive pres­ence on the chan­nel. Let’s look at a few.

1. ING Groups Real-Time Personalized Marketing

Dutch Bank ING Group has estab­lished a com­mend­able pres­ence on Twit­ter. It has embraced a reac­tive mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy, one that lets the brand offer per­son­al­ized real-time offers on the plat­form.

ING adopt­ed mul­ti-chan­nel tac­tics that allowed the brand to adver­tise prod­ucts at the most rel­e­vant moments, and not after a pro­mo­tion is already begin­ning to lose its val­ue propo­si­tion. The result: cam­paign response rates increased and the bank expect­ed to reduce direct mar­ket­ing costs by 35 per­cent per year.


2. GTBank’s Pioneering “Likeability”

Social media also enables banks in emerg­ing mar­kets to dis­tin­guish them­selves. As report­ed by Koozai Niger­ian bank GTBank were able to estab­lish them­selves as Africa’s most “liked” bank, with the brand using Face­book to build trust and its rep­u­ta­tion with con­sumers.

The brand has attract­ed almost 2.4 mil­lion Face­book likes as of this writ­ing, thanks to the con­sis­tent, infor­ma­tive, and rel­e­vant con­tent GTBank pro­motes on the social net­work.


Hav­ing so many fol­low­ers will allow the brand to devel­op a sophis­ti­cat­ed method­ol­o­gy for lis­ten­ing to needs and griev­ances of con­sumers, pro­vid­ing the brand with valu­able feed­back.

3. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney’s Empowering Connectivity

Social media isn’t nec­es­sar­i­ly restrict­ed by plat­form either.

Finan­cial advi­sors Mor­gan Stan­ley Smith Bar­ney, rec­og­niz­ing the val­ue that social media as a com­mu­ni­ca­tions chan­nel, con­nec­tor, and enabler, devel­oped an inter­nal net­work that had the abil­i­ty to pair senior finan­cial advi­sors with cus­tomers who were seek­ing their help and exper­tise.

Mor­gan Stan­ley Smith Bar­ney was award­ed the acco­lade of being one of the “Most Con­nect­ed Com­pa­nies” in finan­cial ser­vices, with the net­work encom­pass­ing and con­nect­ed 17,000 finan­cial advi­sors.

It Pays To Be Social

The above exam­ples are just a few ways finance brands are lever­ag­ing the pow­er of social media to improve cus­tomer jour­neys and expe­ri­ences, and man­age their own rep­u­ta­tion. After all, con­sumers expect finance brands to pro­vide excel­lent cus­tomer ser­vice and demon­strate the val­ues of cus­tomer-cen­tric­i­ty.

Smart finance brands are already begin­ning to meet the expec­ta­tions of dig­i­tal con­sumers. UK Build­ing Soci­ety Nation­wide, and HSBC sub­sidiary First Direct, were recent­ly rec­og­nized for pro­vid­ing excep­tion­al cus­tomer ser­vice, while con­sumer action and finance “guru” was recent­ly named as one of the UK’s top brands.

Social media pro­vides finance brands with a pow­er­ful and authen­tic way to con­nect with cus­tomers. Brands should approach the chan­nel in cre­ative, empow­er­ing ways that enhance the cus­tomer expe­ri­ence.

You can see the full ShareThis report here.

Are finance brands miss­ing an oppor­tu­ni­ty to reach and engage cus­tomers on social media?

Pat Hong

Written by Pat Hong

Editor at Linkdex/Inked, Linkdex

Pat covers the SEO industry, digital marketing trends, and anything and everything around Linkdex. He also authors Linkdex's data analysis and reports, analysing the state of search in various industries.

Inked is published by Linkdex, the SEO platform of choice for professional marketers.

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