In Mary Meeker’s now famous yearly “State of the Internet” presentation a chart (page 28) shows how strongly Internet users in different countries share their life via social media. Surprisingly, it is the population of Saudi Arabia who lead the ranking (60% “share most or everything online”), followed by India, Indonesia, South Korea and Turkey. The US are - surprisingly - way down the list with only 15% and Germany almost last with under 10%.
Apart from the interesting question why emerging markets are so much more into social sharing compared to Europe and the US, the main point is that social sharing is BIG. It’s important. It’s probably the most important trend from a marketing perspective in the next ten years. So, we are wondering why this trend is largely ignored by banks around the globe. In our latest research on Mobile Apps for Banking and Wealth Management Websites we found that only a minority of banks of about 40% allows (some) sharing of their content via social networks mostly in a very basic version.
Social sharing comes in many different flavors. It’s simple to put a Facebook or Twitter icon below or above every article. But that’s not very likely to generate the kind of user excitement one would like to see in social networks. A bank should think pro-actively about its “sharing strategy” which contains a number of important steps:
1. Ask the right questions: What should be shared? Who should be encouraged to share? Which sharing channels are most effective - given the segment one wants to reach? Plus a few more questions of which the sharing strategists should think about.
2. Generate sharable content: Once the strategy is clear, sharable content needs to be put in the right place. It could be a host of new, engaging client tools on the website - for instance to encourage the clients to think about their financial future in completely new ways. It could be a new mobile game inside our outside the standard banking app. It could be an outrageous video campaign, targeted at a much focused client segment like wine collectors, going viral.
3. Opt for a/multiple sharing channel(s) that fit(s) the target segment: YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest and/or a host of other platforms. It all depends on the user segment.
4. Test: But beware, there is always the risk that instead of benign recommendations and sharing on social networks you may get a veritable shit storm ridiculing a marketing campaign gone very wrong. To avoid this, some testing and tweaking with real users before you go live is essential.
5. Follow: Make sure you are not missing a success or a shit storm (well, you ain’t gonna miss a real shit storm). So, track your campaigns closely, track the shares/likes/pins, track the comments you get…whatever.
By the way, social sharing is closely related to another concept which will have a major impact in the coming years: “On-demand marketing”. We will talk about this in one of the upcoming blogs…