Monthly Archives: March 2014

Social Media Command Centers

Social media is becoming such a large part of the financial industry that Wells Fargo felt it needed to produce entire command centers to monitor social media content. A “Social Media Command Center” a center where a company’s social media team can monitor and engage in social conversation around their brand and market. Wells Fargo currently has a main location in San Francisco and back up centers in Charlotte and the Philippines.

Forbes magazine, however, advises firms to be careful about jumping on this social media command center bandwagon. Similar to other social media stunts, they advice a company first access their tactics and strategies.

The first bank to experiment with the idea was NAB Australia in 2012, according to The Financial Brand. To follow were Master Card (which calls it a convenience center), Wells Fargo, and ChaseScreen Shot 2014-03-25 at 10.40.17 AM.

Chase took the idea up a notch, however, by having ultra transparency. Their command center in Columbus, Ohio, is literally transparent. The entire building is made of glass. One employee jokes about how they certainty cannot have casual Friday anymore.

This tactic is great because people walking by not only get to see whats going on and take an interest in Chase, they get to recognize that Chase is on twitter are motivated to engage with them.

Promotions and Marketing

Banks have begun to do more on social media than provide customer service or be start conversations. photo copyMore and more, banks are promoting and marketing their brand. One way banks can do this is by tapping into the conversations of potential customers. For example, Bank of America researched what economic-savvy people were talking about in Davos, Switzerland. They learned that #davoswomen was trending and proceeded to use that hashtag. They tweeted about the rising influence of women in the world of economics.

Linda Boff, the social media representative for General Electric, explains that tapping into the conversation is worth it. She claims that if a company fails to receive any responses, they have not waisted much time.

Navy Federal Credit Union started a marketing campaign called “Four Million Members, Four Million Stories” that involved giving away Credit Deposits to winners of their video contest on Facebook. After this promotion turned out so well, they decided to actually sell products on Facebook. They ended up developing 300,000 followers.

Jennifer Sadler, Navy FCU ‘s social media strategy manager, noted when you’re invited into a fans personal space, you have to be careful to not get yourself uninvited. It’s hard to gain interest and trust, but easy to lose that in an online presence.

The picture below shows Navy FCU’s Facebook cover that included some of the pictures people shared during the “four million members, four million stories” campaign.

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Loan Pricing

Banks and loan agencies can not put down social media as a reason why they are denying someone a loan. However, many banks are using social media sites such as Facebook as a way to double-check customers before making credit decisions. The Fair Credit Reporting Act regulates these processes to make sure customers are getting equal treatment.Collection agencies are even beginning to use social media as a way to track people down when they have not made credit card payments etc. This idea is not new, and is actually similar to how eBay allows its customers to rank each other. The American Banker claims that Prosper Marketplace Inc. is the eBay of peer-peer lending. The simplest aspect of this is how Lenders, banks, etc. just take the information on you that they already have (your name for example), and type it into social media sites, including Monster and LinkedIn, to verify contact information. They also check sites such as Twitter to make sure you aren’t lying about important factual information, like your employment. Some companies such as PersonalLoanOffers conversely “condemn” the new use of social media to pry into people’s lives for the sake of loans and pricing according to this article by Tim Grant. However, major credit scoring companies such as Fair Isaac are discussing the possibility of beginning to use social media while businesses like Moverncorp Inc. are offering customers a chance to check their financial-behavior based on their own social media activity. Since social media is new for many businesses, especially in the banking industry, it is hard for these companies to get on board with this trend. Many worry about violating regulations.