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Archive for the ‘social media’ Category

An ultra-luxury brand’s learning for private banks

Thursday, February 18th, 2016

In the course of our research for the forthcoming report on digital offerings for ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWI) we came across inspiring and challenging campaigns from non-financial ultra-luxury brands. In an effort to better promote their products while also inviting consumers’ feedback and suggestions, the Marc Jacobs fashion house challenged the public to send their offline form of feedback (graffiti their ads) via a Twitter photo (#StreetMarc) and get the chance to attend the fashion show staged by the luxury brand. This campaign also plays the theme of co-creation and linking the offline world with social media.

Connecting online and offline to create a multi-channel experience, luxury brands captivate elitist consumers’ attention by means of innovative ads and events followed by entertaining and less time-consuming quizzes to better understand consumer behavior, collect client suggestions and increase client retention.

There is no magic shortcut and no instantaneous Jamie Oliver recipe for success in engaging HNW/UHNW individuals but there are challenging opportunities for open-minded, passionate advisors and engaged private banks willing to make the best of the latest trends in FinTech, luxury industry or social media. From sharing a wealth of high-quality videos of successful clients’ stories/ case studies on the website or investing time in updating a Twitter stream or blog series as a high-level representative of the private bank, up to integrating indispensable features like a chat tool, digital vault, concierge-like assistance functions especially for the next generation of wealthy individuals, the pool of opportunities is unlimited.

 

Why wealth managers should consider to add Pinterest and Instagram to their digital portfolio

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016

In our latest research report “Social Media for Wealth Management – Learning from the Best”, we analyzed the social media presences and their popularity of more than 200 wealth managers from around the globe. Our intention was to find out who is the most popular wealth manager on the main networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube) and to identify major success factors that led to high numbers of likes, followers, and subscribers. Additionally, we took a closer look at Pinterest and Instagram to analyze how wealth managers handle the visual social networks’ specific features, user base, and conventions. While most wealth managers nowadays have an account on Facebook and Twitter, only very few are active on Pinterest and/or Instagram. However, there are clear benefits derived from the industry best practices, they should not ignore:

(Potential) clients see their ‘human face’. Showing the staff, vernissages, branch openings, and sport events visually brings you closer to your clients – and those users who might be clients in the future. Online users like to get the full picture and look behind the scenes and photo and video sharing networks are great platforms that allow wealth managers to offer that.

Great customer support. We’ve seen terrific examples that offered helpful infographics on their Pinterest board, containing FAQs or information on mobile and online offerings. That way, customer support is expanded and presented in an easy-to-understand and engaging way.

Company updates. Posting news and upcoming events helps to keep clients informed about what is going on and makes sure that they don’t miss anything. Especially for HNW clients in might be highly interesting to meet with peers on their wealth managers’ events. Knowledge exchange and networking are additional advantages that help to strengthen your brand and reputation.

Actually, we found few but great examples of well-performing wealth management presences on Pinterest and Instagram. While Instagram is clearly U.S. dominated, wealth managers on Pinterest show a more mixed picture. You can find the case studies for the most impressing wealth management presences on Instagram and Pinterest in our latest report.

 

Banks get more possibilities to attract clients on Facebook

Thursday, November 5th, 2015

Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, has just revealed that video views on Facebook have doubled since April with more than 500 million users watching eight billion video views daily. Responding to the exploding importance of video, Facebook added new features to its platform like live broadcast for public figures and 360° videos for creators. This way, companies get more opportunities to communicate their message to their customers.

How can banks and wealth managers take advantage of this significant trend? Here are a few suggestions:

Keeping clients up-to-date. Most people prefer to watch news and headline content via video instead of reading long, complex articles. Market developments and investment topics are a great area for video coverage. An interactive video stream covering investment topics and economic research is certainly a great idea to support clients in their investment decisions.

Education. Banks are expected to support their clients in every important life situation and educate them about important financial decisions. For instance, the purchase of a new house requires a lot of assistance. A dedicated video blog that gives tips and guidance how to calculate the costs of a house purchase and setting up a financing plan would add a lot of value to many customers.

Promotion. Many clients customarily ignore their bank’s promotional material – 90% of a bank’s promotional letters go in to the bin immediately. Adding promotional videos to social media presences in a smart way can increase the eyeballs significantly. Yet this works only when the video is only shown to users that indicate an interest in the topic area – using the particular search terms, looking at related content on social networks or showing other behavioral patterns that will spark an interest in the banks promotional videos.

 

Instagram: Even banks can save 1000 words by posting a pic

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

Social media’s disruption of communication is overwhelming financial institutions and creating confusion about which social networks they should focus on. Instagram, a mobile app based photo and video sharing platform, has skyrocketed to 300 million active users thus surpassing Twitter and making Instagram an important global media platform. But the pace of change and the mind boggling competitive dynamic in the social media industry is confusing to more conservative institutions like banks and wealth managers.

As our recent report Social Media for Banks and Wealth Managers: 2014 shows, it’s especially difficult to get banks to understand the significance of social media and the relevance of different social media platforms. 95% of the banks under evaluation have launched Facebook and Twitter presences but only 45% of them have an Instagram official photo stream.

Visual social media has become crucial in developing a good social media strategy. Unlike their more text-based siblings Facebook and Twitter, these channels give access to individual images and images are known to appeal to emotions and tell a story that is easier for consumers to connect with than informational texts. It is this emotional connection that distinguishes a brand, a service, a product, or a company from its competitors. Citi or Crédit Agricole are good examples of banking players that have well-structured Instagram presences with strong corporate images and entertaining posts.

As for those who have not yet joined the bandwagon: photo-stream us! Make us stare, meditate, laugh, frown, and get interested in your brand!

 

How Social Media can dramatically lower banks’ customer service cost

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

(by Francis Groves, Senior Analyst)

Social Media Charter, formed in August to help the UK’s financial services industry to use social media compliantly and effectively, is holding a Summit event at the House of Lords on the subject of using social media responsibly.

Interviewed on the BBC this morning, Kitty Parry, the Social Media Charter Chief Executive, highlighted the upside of social media for the banking industry, including the interesting statistic that customer service interactions provided via Twitter and Facebook costs banks (presumably UK ones) an average of 75 pence a time, compared with a cost of £4.75 for an equivalent interaction conducted over the phone. She went on to mention the empowering nature of social media for bank customers as a way of comparing customer service and products between banks.

In our recently published report on ‘Social Media for Banks and Wealth Managers: 2014′, MyPrivateBanking finds that the leading banks globally are indeed focusing heavily on customer service functions in their approach to social media. In our report we provide detailed coverage of the most effective customer service strategies that our analysts encountered and the lessons to be learned from them, as well as information on how much customer query/complaint traffic is now going to banks’ social media presences. However, we also found that very few banks are using social media effectively to showcase their products and services, even new offerings. Although fear of infringing regulations in relation to marketing and social media may be one inhibiting factor, we see a more general lack of social media vision and a pervasive defensiveness in relation to their reputations as the main drag on effective involvement with social media.

 

S-Money, A New (French) Revolution in Payments

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

(by Francis Groves, Senior Analyst)

In our most recent report on Social Media in Banking & Wealth Management, MyPrivateBanking highlighted the arrival of payment processes that use social media channels, specifically the introduction by BPCE and its S-Money subsidiary of a payment service for Twitter users. This service was launched in October and is initially focused on facilitating payments in a social context such as crowd-funding, friends clubbing together to buy a gift or charity fundraising. Go to the @SmoneyFR Twitter stream at the moment and you will find them promoting the AFM Telethon campaign to raise money for families affected by rare neuromuscular diseases (especially in children) - “@SmoneyFR #envoyer X€ @Telethon_France.”

The new service is reported to rely on standard security within the payment/credit card industry. Payments to another individual are limited to €250 and are not (yet) confidential. In the future payments by direct messaging may be available. Although some reports indicate that the service is a collaboration with Twitter, we understand that it is in fact an initiative of BPCE/S-Money on their own, using publicly available Twitter documentation.

But Twitter payments are only one part of the range of recent initiatives by S-Money. At the beginning of the year they signed up with the Visa subsidiary V.me, which will allow customers to store their card details - securely - in a single place.

Then in February, ‘Dilizi’ a new system that turns merchants’ smartphones or tablets into card payment systems, was announced. This new system is particularly attractive to traders who work away from their own premises a lot, such as plumbers. It could also be used in raising money for good causes.

One particular segment of French society that has come into S-Money’s orbit this year is the country’s student population. In July, Crous, the state-owned provider of university services (such as canteen meals) chose S-Money as its e-payment manager. So, potentially, 1.6 million young people are likely to become familiar with S-Money.

At a time when there has been talk of payment processing slipping out of the hands of traditional banks, it is interesting to see that BPCE seems to have the expertise, the financial resources and corporate courage to put the understanding that it has of its home market to work to buck that trend.

 

MyPrivateBanking Research releases first Digital Wealth Survey!

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

Don’t miss our new report on the digital behaviour of 1000 survey participants from China, UK, France, Germany, and the US. This survey paints a comprehensive picture of the attitudes and the behavior of the wealthy with regard to mobile technology.
Some key findings:

Chinese affluent and wealthy clearly win the race for most technology friendly respondents…

… BUT the rest of the world is about to catch up: particularly the UK survey participants surprise with their technology affinity

The trends apply to all wealth segments – for several criteria, the high-net-worth segment even is in clear lead

All age groups under 55 are heavy users of mobile technology for financial matters

Get ready for these and many more surprising results published in our new Wealth Survey!

 

Social networks offering payment solution: What will banks do?

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

News about the release of Snapcash surely came as no surprise to us at Myprivatebanking Research. The integration of social media and payment systems is successfully growing and clearly challenging traditional payment players like banks, credit card providers, and older online providers like PayPal. Whereas rumors have made rounds for the last months about Facebook’s plans for a mobile payments system using its Facebook Messenger iPhone app, another popular social messenger provider has stolen the thunder: Snapcash, the product of the recent collaboration between Snapchat and Square Cash (a mobile payments company headed by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey), is the latest mobile payment option that allows users to send money to friends via the app by simply typing dollar amounts into new “Snapcash” messages. For now, Snapcash is available to Snapchatters in the United States who have a debit card and are 18 or older.

Trying to keep up the pace with consumers’ increasing demand for highly innovative and convenient products, successful offers like Snapcash or Applepay challenge the banking industry to come up with similar or better solutions. It is true that banks must deal with stricter regulatory guidelines but they should also be aware that consumers have more choices than ever and won’t wait for banks to catch up. But banks – across the globe – seem not to have a strategic response. Will they get frozen out of the online payments markets like music labels have failed to conquer the online music business and traditional book stores never were able to challenge Amazon in online book selling?

Very few banks have already invested in convenient mobile payment solutions aimed at improving the customer experience. Barclays’ Pingit app is one exception. Users can send and receive money via the app without sharing bank account details and even send gifts to friends. But Barclays is the exception and not the rule in the banking industry. Will they finally give up this market to the tech players?

 

Can Banks Participate Fully in Visual Social Media?

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

(by Francis Groves, Senior Analyst)

Visual Media seems to have grown exponentially in the last few years. Instagram and Pinterest only date back to 2010 and 2011 respectively but as far back as June 2013 Pinterest has had second place - after Facebook -  as a driver of traffic on the Internet.

The power of images is often that they tell a story and, as advertisers have known a long time, pictures undoubtedly have a power to pull people’s attention. And people can process images very rapidly. For social media this has meant that all social media presences are becoming increasingly visual. Just think how rapidly images have crossed into LinkedIn and, especially, Twitter. And Facebook is now one of the Internet’s largest stores of images. Not only have images become ubiquitous in social media, the presences that specialize in images are highly effective. Buying rates (the proportion of buyers to visitors) are significantly higher for Pinterest than Facebook, as is the willingness of Pinterest visitors to affirm they are positively engaged by brands through Pins.

So where does this leave the banking industry with its somewhat abstract products and services?  Visual social media guru, Donna Moritz, lists four especially effective uses that images can be put to in social media: handy tips, how to advice, catchy quotes and checklists and a fifth, infographics, which is also effective but not in Moritz’s top 4. So, the secret of successful images could, it seems, be summed up in a word, ‘Advice’. But of these 5 tactics, banks - and then only a few of them - really only seem to be good at infographics. In the finance industry, if you want advice, you go to a YouTube channel or the blog page on the website because we all know that financial advice is complicated; it takes time to explain it and

So it seems as if banks are not yet quite getting the point of visual social media. No, you can’t say very much at a time through a picture or a graphic but the little you do say could have immense pulling power and visual social media sites like Pinterest could be used to advertise a bank’s services and expertise more directly than is currently the case. In short, banks should use their visual social media as hooks to draw people in to what they have to offer. They seem to ‘get’ this on Facebook and Twitter but not on their visual social media presences.

Congratulations to those banks that are leading the way in visual social media. Maybe now is the time to make these presences more than just pleasant places to visit for a few minutes (Pinterest visits were averaging 16 minutes in 2013) and to make them speak more directly about your service, your expertise and your messages. The good news is that some banks have a lot of original graphical material both already on social media and in their archives and the capacity to create even more. Only 20% of Pinterest content is original (as opposed to shared) so there should be plenty of scope for an institution that can use its visual image ‘capital’ effectively.

(Stay posted for our new report on Social Media in Banking which will be published later this November)

 

Social Media in Finance – Is It Time for Your Compliance Health Check?

Friday, April 4th, 2014

By Francis Groves, Senior Analyst

How far have compliance requirements for social media in finance come and exactly which are the most likely problems and the prime concerns of the regulators?

2013 saw significant strides being made towards making social media compliant in the banking and finance industry. This trend was particularly marked in the United States with the SEC signalling last spring that social media was an acceptable medium for disseminating the kind of information that could move stock prices just so long as the company’s investors were made aware that Facebook, Twitter & co. were going to be used as channels for this purpose by that company. In June the US’s Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced that it would be carrying out spot checks on institutions regarding compliance in the social media arena. In a separate development, in September FINRA fined a broker for Facebook remarks about a company in which he and a few dozen of his clients held investments but which he failed to disclose in the Facebook entry. Finally, in December the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC), which performs a policing role in relation to corporate practices of US banks and other financial institutions, produced its own final guidance on social media practice.

Just this week, the SEC issued guidance on the use of social media by financial advisors that makes clear that they are prohibited from using social media channels to advertise or promote themselves by means of client testimonials. Although customer testimonials may seem a fairly harmless form of self-promotion, under US law, as far as financial firms are concerned, testimonials are considered too selective and unrepresentative.

So, as far as the US is concerned the regulatory framework is fairly clear and, not surprisingly, expertise and resources to help the finance industry with social media compliance have become widely available. Social media compliance practitioners in the US include i-Social Smart, Actiance, Nexgate, GremLN, Gladiator Social Media Compliance Services, Smarsh and SocialComply from Temenos, the Swiss banking systems provider. Meanwhile, in Europe the regulatory picture is less clear with legislators and regulators still looking into the issues and considering their issues. Fewer social media compliance services seem to be available although some, such as Actiance and SocialComply, which are active in North America, also operate in Europe.

So what are the key demands that regulators have or may have in relation to social media channels in finance and what effect is this likely to have?

The following seem to be the main areas of concern in relation to social media in banking and finance:
- The risk of fraud / the danger to financial brands
- The danger of failing to take responsibility for social media content because the channel is deemed to be an   external third party
- Failure to train staff properly on handling social media as company representatives
- The danger of social media using customers privacy being breached (by themselves or staff)
- The problem of institutions responding to social media communications too slowly
- The danger of security breaches

Clearly these dangers are not negligible but neither should they create enormous problems for banking and finance staff who themselves are rapidly becoming more familiar with social media in ordinary life.

At MyPrivateBanking, we have consistently identified low cost advantages as being one of the attractions of social media. Effective use of social media gives financial institutions opportunities to both identify their own customers’ needs and preferences and to keep track of competitor activity in key areas. More generally and longer term, we see the banking and finance industry’s engagement with social media as empowering for customers and as an important factor in the achievement of better financial services than ever before. It would be a pity if regulation inhibits the growth of social media in finance and, to be fair, we believe that this is unlikely to happen. Many institutions will need outside help with achieving compliance in this field but the real danger may be that financial regulation of social media becomes unduly restrictive or, even worse, an excuse to stop necessary changes to the industry.

 
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