MADISON, Wis. (12/14/10)--Consumers are interested in connecting with financial institutions through social media, according to recently announced results of a survey by Fiserv Inc., a global provider of financial services technology solutions. The survey indicated that 11% of online consumers are connected with their bank or credit union through a social site, and more than one-third (36 %) of those not connected are interested in doing so. Interest is highest among Gen Y consumers, at 45% (BusinessWire
Dec. 7). “There is clearly a sizable segment of consumers who are interested in interacting with their financial institutions through social sites,” said Geoff Knapp, vice president, online banking and consumer insights, Fiserv. “An active, engaging online social media presence is a viable way to maintain and grow valuable relationships with consumers who are visiting branches less and interacting through digital channels more.” The survey, conducted by Fiserv Consumer Insights in conjunction with The Marketing Workshop in August 2010, obtained responses from 3,000 consumers, representative of the U.S. online population. To participate, respondents had to have a checking account and some responsibility for paying bills. Major findings included:
* Social media is about building relationships: The primary motivations for consumers to connect with a brand are personal and relational, not transactional; * Financial institutions have a significant opportunity to connect with customers: 84% of online consumers actively participate in social media, but only 11% have connected with a financial institution; * Consumers lack awareness: 71% of respondents who want to connect with their bank or credit union via social channels did not know they could; * Consumers don’t understand the value of connecting with financial institutions: Consumers are not entirely clear about why they should connect with their bank or credit union via social channels; and * Consumers have privacy and security concerns: Consumers of all generations are concerned about mixing their social and financial lives.
For financial institutions to maximize the opportunity social websites provide, Fiserv has several recommendations:
* Embrace the opportunity to form and enhance digital relationships through social media. * Increase awareness. To overcome this barrier, banks and credit unions should incorporate social media messaging into existing marketing efforts in other channels. This can be as simple as incorporating Facebook or Twitter icons into print or digital marketing communications. * Differentiate social media from the transaction-driven website. Financial institutions must differentiate the social media channel from the transactional channel and offer members/customers community-building activities, such as access to fellow member recommendations, they cannot get from the traditional website. * Communicate a clear value proposition. Banks and credit unions must clearly communicate and educate members/customers on the additional value of connecting through social media. Emphasizing the unique benefits of the channel such as the ability to interact with other members, receive special offers, and contact member service will help members better understand why they should connect. Social media is still relatively uncharted territory for financial institutions, providing the opportunity for banks and credit unions to customize what they deliver through social media based on what is most important to their member/customers and the institution. * Dispel security and privacy issues. Financial institutions need to clarify and communicate security and privacy expectations within social media to eliminate barriers to adoption.
To read the white paper, use the link.