SoMazi’s Educational Package – Social media for financial institutions – part 3

Did you know that brands with high advocate populations get 264% more earned media impressions than average brands?

It’s crystal clear that advocates are important – even decisive – for a full-rounded, successful social media campaign. But why are they so important?

Word-of-mouth and peer recommendations are the most effective form of marketing, and they have reached new heights with the advance of the internet and social media channels. Positive opinions and sentiments are fundamental to turn an average consumer into a brand advocate. Usually, advocates:

  • are frequent creators of positive information,
  • are influential on others’ opinions and views,
  • love to talk, and are probably talking about your brand,
  • making use of social media to help others,
  • want to be recognised by brands for their valuable insight,
  • have a broad reach,
  • are loyal to brands with which they have a relationship.                                                                       (source: Social Media Examiner, 2011)

 

How to build your own community of passionate advocates?
A social advocacy program gives the motivation and the means to an individual to become an informed and passionate part of your brand voice. Considering that the advocacy is deeply linked with user behaviour, it’s necessary to make use of behavioural psychology principles to best determine the most efficient ways to promote and motivate participation. With that in mind, SoMazi has developed the concept of the Social ARM (Advocacy Relationship Management)

 

Social ARM entails a pack of actions that will foment the appearance of advocates. These actions covers:

  • Creation of remarkable content, which will supply you with insights, content strategy and measurement benchmarks.
  • Engagement with the right influencers, enable advocates to share and spread word-of-mouth.
  • Driving communities to advocate, take action and provide engagement and experience, driving word-of-mouth.

 

It works by making use of a gamification-led model, which incorporates a continuous loop of triggers, actions, rewards, thereby extending brand awareness. With each cycle, the reward is harder to achieve, which stimulates competitive behaviour, involvement and consistency.

 

One of the most important issue of any social media strategy is engagement with followers. For it to be successful, it is necessary to bear in mind the following:
  • Place customers at the heart of everything you do – ask them questions on interesting topics and showcase them on your site,
  • Increase interest and engagement whilst creating brand loyalty through reward systems and competitions,
  • Show customers that you care by posting content relevant to their current situation,
  • Encourage followers to upload content and participate using gamification.

Some banks are already reaping the benefits of using social media (and advocates) in order to offer services – and make the lives of their clients easier. Check below two examples of trend-setting institutions:

ICICI Bank – was the first bank to offer a Facebook application to its customers, allowing
clients to check account details and generate mini statements. The bank also uses the page
to provide exclusive offers, helpful tips, product details and customer care services. Through
both answering and asking questions and prompting people to ‘like’ and ‘share’ posts they
help engage their users, grow their brand and strengthen their community. The results are
impressive. The number of ‘likes’ on Facebook has soared from 800,000 to over 2 million in
less than 18 months.

 

First Direct – Their ‘Little Black Book’ site allowed customers to recommend places to go and things to do, interacting with the brand without necessarily interacting with the bank. Through their social platforms they invite UK residents to share their thoughts and suggestions on various
services and products. Their Facebook page remains engaging due to a constant stream of
interesting facts, questions and videos, whilst their community is kept active through
participating in conversations and answering questions themselves.

The full list of good examples of social media in finance industry can be found here. Also, if you need further information about our services (or just want to share your views and opinions with us) contact us here!