My take on... Social media in the financial sector

David Prior's picture
by David Prior

This week Anthony Wong, marketing director of comparison site MoneyGuru.com, on why financial service brands should use social media to make themselves more human.

Social media has long been at the forefront of any marketing strategy but for the finance industry it has been a far from smooth journey. This is largely down to legislative restrictions in terms of compliance, data protection and privacy, which has meant that many in the finance sector have chosen to give social media a wide berth. This legislation means that all messages must be clear, fair and not misleading.

Currently, in the comparison market in which we operate, there are obviously some big players but in my opinion they don’t always appear to prioritise social media.

Here at MoneyGuru.com, due to our smaller size (for now!) we are able to be more flexible and daring with our social media strategy putting it top of the list when it comes to communicating with our customers. Through our brand character - the Money Guru himself – and our content strategy we are able to have real fun with the quirky brand that we have created.

When creating the brand we made a conscious decision to make him human rather than fictional to enhance our presence on social media and promote communication and engagement with our customers.

The finance sector has a reputation for being quite dry but it doesn’t have to be! Brands need to do more to make finance more human and accessible to consumers. Legislation states that all messages must be clear, fair and not misleading but there is no reason why brands can’t be a lot more engaging with the content that they put out on social media. An important part of this is the tone of voice – of course we need to be knowledgeable and helpful but also conversational to connect with consumers on a subject that they might not normally engage within the social space.

Financial brands also need to understand that it’s not all about selling. Instead their strategy should be to promote their brand through discussion about how their company can help consumers, as well as demonstrating their expertise through useful content. We have a dedicated channel on our website which is focused on wisdom and insights for everyone.

A Week In My Life: Oonagh Barrington, PR & Media Manager, intu Trafford CentreOf course, there is also a customer services element which can be a big challenge. Consumers will no longer pick up the phone to complain, they will head straight to social media. Here is where the core business values need to shine through, having the resource to resolve things promptly and effectively can have a positive impact beyond one happy customer. Social media customer service is visible and one happy customer can result in positive brand awareness – who doesn’t want that?

With better understanding of legislation and the realisation that both younger and ageing generations now expect to engage with brands through social media, the industry is beginning to switch on to the benefits of social media. We are still lagging behind other industries but hopefully, as the Money Guru would say, we are on the path to enlightenment...

To give your take on a particular issue or subject, contact david@prolificnorth.co.uk