New Rules (with Old Problems) In Social Media

In many ways, Peach State FCU symbolizes the essence of the credit union industry: Created in 1961 with a specific goal of serving local educators in a few Georgia counties, it now has more than 41,000 members, while employees of all sponsor Boards of Education and select groups and associations are also eligible to join.

Like all good businesses, Peach State likes to stay current, and that’s why, earlier this fall, it launched social media initiatives through promoted posts on Twitter and Facebook. It was working—the institution says it had soon doubled the number of followers. In November, however, Twitter instituted new rules that “restrict the promotion of financial services and related content.”

For the record, this is not an absolute ban. Financial services providers can indeed use promoted posts, but there’s an approval process that must be followed, and some products, such as short-term mortgages, still can’t be publicized.

If Peach State represents one end of the financial services spectrum—a small, focused institution serving a very specific purpose—then JP Morgan Chase surely represents the other. So what can the two have in common?

On December 6, the Wall Street behemoth sent out an innocuous Tweet from its corporate account promoting an upcoming Twitter Q&A about leadership and careers and featuring the hashtag #AskJPM. It was totally innocuous and uncontroversial. . .except for the fact that just a few minutes earlier, Twitter had gone public with underwriting help from Chase. That first Tweet didn’t get much attention, but a second one a week later certainly did. The #AskJPM hashtag soon became a minefield of nasty messages, most flailing the company for its supposed lack of ethics.

Social Media Tablet

While Chase has had its share of PR nightmares in the recent past, from bribery scandals to the Bernie Madoff fiasco, it surely wasn’t expecting this one. The company hastily scrambled to fix the damage, dropping the Q&A as a bad idea and promising to “back to the drawing board.”

Of course, it’s way too late for that. ‘Social business’ isn’t just coming, it’s been here for a while. The lines between personal and corporate communications, previously blurred by a plethora of mobile apps, have been essentially obliterated by the ubiquity of social media. And the problem isn’t that the rules have changed, it’s that they keep changing on a regular basis.

Just this month, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) released its long-awaited guidelines for this process. Officially intended for financial marketers, “Social Media: Consumer Compliance Risk Management Guidance” actually deserves a broader audience in that it provides a clear overview of this rapidly evolving field, covering both the promise and the potential pitfalls. It doesn’t outline new laws per se, but plays an invaluable role in examining common practices and helping to negotiate current regulations.

Case in point: Twitter itself, which experienced a major snafu in this same timeframe. In mid-December, the company sparked howls of protest when it instituted a rule that enabled blocked Twitter users to anonymously view or Tweet the very users who blocked them. It was done with the best of intentions—Twitter wanted to protect those who sought to filter out abusive messages but feared retaliation—but the change had the opposite effect, and the company almost immediately had to reverse course.It’s important to remember that even a document like this, comprehensive as it is, offers little more than a snapshot in time. Regulations in the traditional sense, like Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank, take years to create and implement. Rules around Twitter and LinkedIn, meanwhile, can turn on a dime, evolving as fast as the technologies that enable them.

The simple truth is that new technologies will keep emerging, and the rules will keep changing. In the long run, this is a good thing—each advance fosters better communication and greater competition. But in the meantime, it’s imperative that we monitor new tools as they emerge, stay abreast of changes in user behavior and expectations, and adapt our own practices to stay both current and compliant. It’s a tall order to be sure, but vital nonetheless.

*Image courtesy of  samuiblue - FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What We’re Reading: Unbanked, Twitter, BYOD

Below are interesting stories the Banking.com staff has been reading over the past week. What have you been reading? Let us know in the comments section below or Tweet @bankingdotcom.

 

  • Gruenberg: Cell Phones May Hold Key to Access for Unbanked

American Banker

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. plans to issue a report next year exploring whether cell phones could help draw consumers not served by a bank into the mainstream financial system, the agency’s chief said Thursday. “We want to take a hard look at this issue from the perspective of economic inclusion to try to assess what the potential is here in a careful way of using this technology to expand access,” FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg said at a conference hosted by the Consumer Federation of America.

Read more 

 

  • New Twitter Rules Stymie Credit Unions From Promoting Themselves

Credit Union Journal

New rules from Twitter have thrown a wrench in the social media works for some credit unions that want to use promoted posts to break through the clutter and highlight their offerings on the popular social networking site. Peach State FCU entered the social media realm in October with Facebook and Twitter profiles, using promoted posts on each site. (A promoted post pays the site to expose the tweet or post to a larger number of users.) But a recent change to Twitter’s rules sometime in November has shut out some credit unions from using this common business marketing practice. “We had some luck with Twitter in October doing promoted tweets and promoting the account as a whole,” said Meredith Olmstead, founder and social media marketing consultant at Social Stairway, who is serving as a social media consultant for Peach State.

Read more 

 

  • Mobile Wallet Collaboration Crucial for CU Success

Credit Union Times

A mobile wallet will only be successful if members adopt and consistently use the app to conduct daily transactions. Ultimately, merchants will play a critical role in the success or demise of each mobile wallet solution. Forging mutually beneficial relationships with merchants, navigating the various merchant requirements including point-of-sale technology preferences and negotiating pricing agreements can be a daunting, if not impossible,  feat for an individual credit union to accomplish, regardless of its size or resources.

Read more 

 

  • NAFCU – Strategic Growth Conference

The Financial Brand

According to data from FindABetterBank, consumers who are specifically interested in mobile banking services are very likely to believe they’ll bank 100% virtually in the future. While fewer banking “traditionalists” (those using checks, for instance) see an all-digital future, it’s still a healthy percentage — nearly two-thirds.

Read more

 

  • Security and BYOD policy management key barriers to corporate mobile banking

Finextra

Corporate treasurers cite security challenges and bring-your-own-device business policies as the key obstacles to wider uptake of mobile banking platforms for treasury activities. Of 135 finance and treasury professionals collared by Capital One at the annual Association for Finance Professionals (AFP) gathering, barely one-in-three used a corporate mobile banking platform. Security challenges with sensitive corporate data was cited as the primary barrier to widespread adoption (66%), followed by obstacles for companies figuring out their BYOD policies (24%).

Read more

 

  • Banks Face Losing To Google And Amazon, While Shortchanging Corporate Clients

Forbes.com

Two strong critiques of banking in the Financial Times today. Francisco Gonzalez, CEO of BBVA bank, writes that banks can expect competition from Amazon, Google and Facebook. BBVA is based in Spain but owns BBVA Compass in the U.S. Goonzalez writes that technology has transformed many businesses — next in line is banking. That may come as something of a shock to bankers who think they are on the cutting edge, but Gonzalez points to competitors in providing financial services including PayPal, Square iZettle, SumUp and Dwolla.

Read more 

 

  • Email Design: Discover Card’s “Statement Available” Message

Net Banker

Most statement alerts are simple one liners asking the user to do all the work: login, find the right tab, click on the correct button, and so on. Discover, on the other hand, positions key summary information right within the body of the email: statement end date, statement balance, credit available, minimum payment due, and due date. The company includes a button to view the statement at the top, but somewhat buries the payment link near the bottom. Analysis: This is one of the better (maybe best) statement-available message I get from the major brands. But it could still be improved

Read more 

 

What All Financial Institutions Should Do on Social: Q&A with Sprinklr CEO

Reports claim that financial institutions are struggling on social. But why? Many brands in other industries have found creative ways to use social media to solve customer service woes, create deeper touch-points with users and keep members apprised of important information. To gain more insight on ways banks and credit unions can ramp up their social cred, we recently spoke with Ragy Thomas, founder and CEO of Sprinklr, a social relationship infrastructure company. Ragy shares his insight with us on what FIs are doing wrong, how they fix some of their biggest problems and banks and credit unions to look up to.

Ragy Thomas Sprinklr CEO

Banking.com: According to CEB TowerGroup, 65% of banks have plans to replace or adopt social networking management technology. Why do you think there is such a need to change services or adopt new ones?

Previous generations of social management technologies and solutions were designed to achieve single-issue “point” solutions, fulfilling one or two social needs such as social publishing or social analytics.

Unfortunately, their inability to work together, or solve for the many other needs mature social management requires (e.g., social engagement, compliance, workflow, listening, governance, etc.) now renders point solutions insufficient.

As in the case of other cross-department infrastructures such as CRM or knowledge management, brands need a true social infrastructure. Financial institutions are realizing they need a single, interconnected infrastructure to effectively manage conversations, campaigns, content and community at scale. They need to be able to collaborate as a team to create a unified customer experience across all channels.

What do you think the biggest challenges are for financial institutions on social?

Compliance, security and privacy are still big challenges for financial institutions when it comes to social.  To go into more depth though, people now expect every brand to know who they are, regardless of which “division” within the brand they connect with. This paradigm is particularly stressful for financial institutions, perhaps more than any other industry, who typically suffer from “business inertia” — internal departmental, divisional, and locational business groups that typically don’t work together smoothly.

Inter-departmental friction flies in the face of arguably the sharpest disruption social has created — the expectation among consumers for a “unified experience.” Regardless of whether they are talking to a teller at the branch, on the phone with customer service, or tweeting out their frustrations, people want to be recognized and cared for as individuals in a personal manner. This comes into play especially when it comes to the extreme sensitivities associated with financial matters. When internal systems are not aligned and don’t “talk” to each other, and internal divisions are not encouraged or rewarded for collaboration to meet customer expectations, customer satisfaction is likely a difficult goal to achieve.

To truly support the “omni channel customer and journey,” banks have to collaborate across teams, departments and divisions. They need to create new processes, and define “ownership” across the breadth and depth of a person’s entire brand journey. This is unfamiliar territory for most banks, with lots of land mines along the way. Given that the volume and pace of social conversations is only likely to increase in the future, the pressure to quickly put together a solution is acute.

Social can be a powerful lever for nurturing unified relationships and generating long-term, meaningful engagement. Every meaningful social conversation can be nurtured into a real relationship that can, over time, become a direct revenue opportunity, positive word-of-mouth, or direct referral. Used effectively, social can become a cost-effective lead generation and activation channel for banks. To start, banks need to build a contextually unified profile for every prospect and customer, the foundation of which is a comprehensive conversation history — combining interactions from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, etc. With these individual histories, banks will know exactly what has been discussed with each prospect or customer, and will have clear indicators for how to nurture relationships through social interaction.

What would you suggest as the best tactic for financial institutions when responding to negative banking experiences online?

Financial institutions need to be able to admit when something has been handled poorly and rectify it immediately. Additionally, banks must be empathetic and be willing to listen to and trust their customers. As an industry that previously championed process-based decision making, this is a radical change.

If financial institutions were to change one thing today about how they use social networks, what would it be?

Create a cross business unit team that can be an advocate for optimizing client experience across channels, teams, departments, divisions and locations. This can be headed by the chief client experience (social) officer who can champion the transformation to being a social business.

Is there an example or a few examples of banks and credit unions that are really nailing it on social?

Navy Federal Credit Union provides a great example of a financial services company that has employed a mature, holistic approach to social engagement. They intently listen to their social communities, and know which customers spend more and more time on social. As a result, NFCU today provides 24/7 customer service and have an SLA response time of less than one hour. Since 60% of their members log on to social through mobile, they also now make sure new apps work seamlessly on any mobile device.

Another example is Citibank, which serves more than 100 million customers in 40 countries. With more than a million of those customers following their social channels, there were a lot of conversations happening around the brand and it was hard to keep track of them. Citi adopted a social relationship infrastructure approach to help them provide better customer service through social. As a result, the banking giant was able to save roughly 20% of their community manager’s time that was previously devoted to customer service issues. They are now able to optimize resources to social engagement, where they are committed to creating meaningful conversations and escalating customer issues to the right people.

What these two brands have in common is that they use social to enhance the customer experience and make their lives easier. That’s what all brands should aim to do through social.

 

Infographic: Top National Banks on Social Media

The financial services sector may have been slower to adopt social media, but in the past few years, many of the top banks have not only embraced social, but amassed a large following. ViralHeat compiled data on large national banks using social media to see who has the strongest social presence. The breakdown is highlighted in the infographic below.

Top National Banks on Social Media

by Viralheat.
Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

 

Getting Started with Twitter: Tips & Tricks

AllTwitter.com, a blog run by Mediabistro, is running a ten-part series on getting started with Twitter. If your financial institution has recently started a Twitter handle, or you are planning on starting one in the near future, these lessons and tips are helpful resources to “get Twitter.” Below are links to the first seven parts of the series; we will update the list as they add the remaining three.

  1. The Newcomers Guide To Twitter Part 1: Getting Started
  2. The Newcomers Guide to Twitter Part 2: Choosing The Right Username
  3. The Newcomers Guide to Twitter Part 3: Setting Up Your Profile
  4. The Newcomers Guide to Twitter Part 4: Finding Cool People, Brands and Accounts to Follow
  5. The Newcomers Guide to Twitter Part 5: How To Get More Followers
  6. The Newcomers Guide to Twitter Part 6: How To Write Great Tweets
  7. The Newcomers Guide to Twitter Part 7: Twitter Etiquette

And, here is an infographic with tips on how to get more followers on Twitter.

Social Media Statistics: By-the-Numbers, May 2013

Below are some interesting statistics on social media usage. Feel free to share your favorite social media statistics in the comments section or Tweet @bankingdotcom.

  • 500,000,000: The number of photos uploaded and shared per day in 2013. (Source: KPCB)
  • 442,000,000: The number of views per month generated by the top 500 brands on YouTube. (Source: Outrigger Media)
  • 50,000,000: The number of unique visitors per month to the Foursquare website. (Source: Foursquare)
  • 6,000,000,000: Hours of YouTube video watched per month. (Source: YouTube)
  • 5: The number of Vine videos shared every second on Twitter. (Source: Unruly)
  • 24: The percentage of online teens that use Twitter, up from 16 percent in 2011. (Source: Pew Internet)
  • 150: The number of times the typical smart phone user checks their phone per day. (Source: KPCB)
  • 645,000,000: Views of local business Facebook Pages during an average week. (Source: Facebook)

Does your financial institution use Pinterest? Here are three creative ways brands are utilizing the site from Social Media Examiner.

Social Media Chatter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image courtesy of nattavut / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Social Media Statistics: By-the-Numbers, March 2013

Below are some interesting statistics on social media usage. Feel free to share your favorite social media statistics in the comments section or Tweet @bankingdotcom.

  • 100,000,000: The number of active monthly users for photo-sharing service Instagram as of February 2013. (Source: Instagram)
  • 8,900,000: The number of Tweets sent on Sunday, February 24th about the 85th Academy Awards. (Source: Twitter)
  • 64: The percentage of US advertisers that plan to increase their social media ad spend in 2013. (Source: Digiday)
  • 200,000,000: Dollars in new funding for social scrapbooking site Pinterest. (Source: AllThingsD)
  • 180,000,000: The number of U.S. Internet users that watched online content videos in January 2013. (Source: comScore)
  • 36.2: Billion online content videos watched by U.S. Internet users in January 2013. (Source: comScore)
  • 191,400,000: The number of unique US visitors for Google in December 2012, making it the most visited site in the US during the month. (Source: comScore)
  • 200,000: Dollars per day to purchase a Promoted Trend on Twitter according to recent reports. (Source: AllThingsD)

Worried about having your Twitter account hacked? Here are five reminders for brands from Social Media Today.

Social Media World

Image courtesy of bplanet / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Anti-Social Media Hacks

Burger King and Jeep have nothing to do with financial services. But both banking professionals and the customers they serve would be wise to keep a close eye on the fast-food retailer and the automaker as they seek to recover from high-profile hacks this week. It could just be a sign of things to come.

As has been widely reported, both companies this week had their Twitter accounts hacked and, in different ways, defaced. There’s already been wide speculation regarding the perpetrators, but at this point that’s almost less important than the fact that the hacks occurred at all. The primary motive seems to have been to cause mischief, but most such intrusions have a more malevolent intent.

The news of these high-profile Twitter hacks comes shortly after the granddaddy of social media, Facebook, revealed that it was the victim of a “a sophisticated attack. . .that occurred when a handful of employees visited a mobile developer website that was compromised.” Facebook didn’t identify the developer site in question, though it has been identified named elsewhere.

So what does all this have to do with banking?

The reality is that this where many aspects of the financial services industry are headed. And unlike fast food or even cars, this is a practice fundamentally built around private information that needs to be kept secure. The most recent data breaches make it clear that we’re far from that level of security.

Most institutions are already active in the social media sphere, but the current initiatives mainly revolve around marketing and messaging. It seems only a matter of time before at least a few brave organizations make the leap into trying to develop Facebook into a transaction platform and transmit private information via channels such as Twitter.

In some ways, it’s a throwback to the early days of the Internet. The Credit Union National Association reports that a third of all credit unions now offer mobile banking, and all of the rest will have joined the fray within the next two years. That’s nearly twice the adoption rate for online banking when it arrived, which means that we’re already entering the second generation of mobile banking capabilities.

When social media is thrown into the mix, as seems almost inevitable, the growth rate will likely be even more accelerated—there’s an entire generation primed to enter the workforce that has a problem remembering a time before these technologies were fully integrated into every aspect of daily life.

The question is not whether social media channels need to become more secure; the focus should be on how to make them more secure, and who should lead the effort. We already have best practices in place for consumers, but it’s fair to think few will heed the advice. It’s up to us.

There’s no single constituency that can do everything related to security. The banks, the social media providers, the government, commercial and technology vendors—everyone must be involved. We need expert working groups, industry standards and new technologies. And we need them now.

Social Media Statistics: By-the-Numbers, January 2013

Below are some interesting statistics on social media usage. Feel free to share your favorite social media statistics in the comments section or Tweet @bankingdotcom.

  • 200,000,000 – The number of members for professional social network LinkedIn, an increase of 13 million since November 1, 2012. (Source: LinkedIn)
  • 181,000 – The number of Twitter users with “social media” as part of their bio as of January 2013, up from just 16,000 in 2009. (Source: AdAge)
  • 2 – The number of people that join LinkedIn every second, which equates to more than 172,000 new members per day. (Source: LinkedIn)
  • 92 – The percentage of people who share mobile video they have watched on their phone with others. (Source: IAB)
  • 200,000,000 – The number of monthly active Twitter users. (Source: Twitter)
  • 87 – The percentage of US magazine and newspaper publishers that have an iPad app. (Source: Alliance for Audited Media)
  • 33 – The percentage of US Internet users who said they ended a connection with a brand on social media due to the brand sharing too many updates. (Source: eMarketer)
  • 1 Million – The number of websites that have integrated with Facebook (Source: iStrategyLabs)

Did you catch the analysis of the most loved and most hated brands of 2012? Social Media Explorer has the breakdown.

Social Media BandwagonPhoto credit: Matt Hamm / Foter.com / CC BY-NC

Intuit Financial Services’ Innovation Conference: Mobile Trends, Technology Transformation, and Personal & Small Business Finances

In early October, Intuit Financial Services hosted its annual user conference, the Intuit Innovation Conference, in Nashville, Tenn. The conference brought together industry leaders from banks and credit unions across the country, and discussed key topics affecting the financial services industry. To provide a broad spectrum on issues, Intuit hosted an array of esteemed keynote speakers included Steve Forbes, Chairman, CEO, and Editor in Chief at Forbes Media; Tom Kelley, General Manager of IDEO; and, Dan Ariely, behavioral economist and author.

The Banking.com staff got a chance to pull key tidbits from the event, which focused on mobile trends, technology transformation, and personal and small business finances. Below are some top tweets and highlights from the conference:

Mobile:

  • Tablet users touch their financial institution (FI) 30 times per month across multiple devices (tablet, phone and PC) not including text banking touches.
  • Smart phone remote deposit users deposit approximately 2+ checks per month at an average of more than $420 per deposit. Cost savings to FI – $3 each deposit over using a branch.
  • 30% of customers now factor mobile solutions into why they choose their primary FI.
  • Average mobile phone user now spends 12 minutes/day on the actual “phone,” two hours/day doing other things.
  • Mobile is the primary way people interact with their FIs today and growing; mobile banking up 63% to 57 million in 2011.
  • 10% of online banking users are now using their tablet.

Technology Transformation:

  • Web and mobile is eliminating intermediaries like traditional editorial process. Media model of last 150 years has been blasted away.
  • Mobile is changing the media model again. Everything in marketing must be customized to the individual. There are more specialized segments than ever before.
  • Contingent workforce will be 40% in few years (following passions, seeking work/life balance). This offers a new set of financial complexities that financial institutions will need to consider.
  • Digital trends shaping future behavior:
    • World without borders
    • Participatory networks
    • Mobile first & only
    • Humanizing the data
    • Reputation rules
  • “The Digital channel has increased engagement 3x to 32 times/month” – Intuit Financial Services General Manager, CeCe Morken

Personal & Small Business:

  • 2/3 of personal businesses don’t track their mileage for tax time or they track it incorrectly.
  • 50% of small businesses use manual methods (pen paper) to manage finances.
  • Average value of personal business to an FI is $5,000 in revenue per year. Consumer value is $500.
  • Personal small business market segment is growing. Forecast is 32 million by 2018.
  • Personal businesses take longer to make buying decisions than consumers and larger businesses.
  • “74% of #smallbiz owners aren’t wowed by their FI”-Christine Barry of @AiteGroup

A recurring theme of the conference was mobile in the banking industry; how important is a mobile presence to you? Does your FI meet your needs with its mobile solutions? What do you expect from your FI’s when dealing with mobile? Leave us a comment below.