What are some misconceptions about social media

Five misunderstandings when dealing with social media

The growth of social media such as Facebook and Twitter is unbroken. Nevertheless, the banks are still largely on the sidelines in a rather observant role. The reasons for this hesitant attitude are, among other things, the misunderstandings in dealing with social media described in the article.

Fundamental bank misunderstandings on social media
pixelio.de / Gerd Altmann

The growth of social media such as Facebook and Twitter is unbroken. At least since the Goldmann deal and the resulting determination of the company value of Facebook, it should (actually) have become clear to the last doubters that you can even earn money with social media. Nevertheless, the banks are still largely on the sidelines in a rather observant role. The reasons for this hesitant attitude include the five misunderstandings described below when dealing with social media.

Misunderstanding number one: Social media are used to communicate with customers

Most of those who hear the term social media associate it with communication with customers. More talking to each other, more customer contact, more business are the typical conclusions.

There is already a first but fundamental misunderstanding here: A look at the Duden shows that the word “social” is derived from the Latin “socius” and that this means “together”. It's not just about more communication with customers, it's about active customer participation.

Customers want to have a say and be involved. This can be done successfully through social media. With social media it is possible for banks to feel the pulse of the customer and to be able to (re) act on changes in customer behavior earlier than before.

Misunderstanding number two: Social media are purely a marketing tool

Social media is more: it is an independent sales channel and of course this channel needs special marketing, but first of all it needs a special strategy that has to be embedded in the overall strategy and in the bank's online strategy. This must include answers to the following questions:

  • How can a credible and relevant market positioning and value proposition be created for the use of social media?
  • Which specific measures in the area of ​​social media can help to anchor the competence of the bank from the customer's point of view?
  • How can loyalty be secured and acquisition increased via social media?
  • How can it be ensured that the market positioning that is to be supported via social media is also implemented internally?
  • Which range of services and which structures are required for the use of social media in order to achieve lasting competitiveness?

Misconception number three: Our customers don't need social media

How do bank managers then explain the strong and sustainable growth of Facebook, Twitter and Co.? If these aren't (also) their customers, the worse, because they won't have any more soon.

The user structures of social media make it clear that it is not only about schoolchildren and students, but about all age groups and also makes it clear that the users can be assigned to segments with high purchasing power, which are particularly attractive target customers for banks.

Misunderstanding number four: You can take care of social media on the side

Presence and quick (re) activity are central elements for successful social media management. Depending on the size of the company, this is a full-time task not just for one employee, at banks that are represented internationally, even a 24-hour task. A clear and unambiguous organizational assignment of responsibility is therefore essential for successful use.

Misunderstanding number five: As a board member, I don't have to worry about social media

  • Strategy is? Matter for the boss!
  • Corporate reputation is? Matter for the boss!
  • Corporate communication is? Matter for the boss!
  • Sales is? One of the most distinguished boss things! (Some bank executives even enjoy it)

Social media are therefore? A matter for the boss, what else.

It is about a strategy to secure and expand the reputation of a bank in the market. Content is not just an improvement in communication with customers, but increased interaction with them. And the goal is sales, because even for banks, social media are not an end in themselves but a way to consolidate and increase market share and profitability.

PS: Of course, these are by no means all the misunderstandings that banks are subject to when dealing with social media. Don't worry: to be continued!