Unlocking Real Value Blog

Finally Beginning To Get Social Media

Sometimes fear drives action – and maybe financial services firms are finally becoming engaged in social media because they’re afraid that if they don’t, they’ll get left behind. I’m fine with that – I don’t care why social media is finally catching on in the financial services industry – but it’s about time!

According to a recent Cerulli Associates report on trends in retail product and marketing, 79% of firms say that the main motivation for embracing social media is to increase brand recognition. Enriching communications was also sighted by more than 70% of the 50 firms interviewed as a primary driver of their increasing interest in social media.

Why are these numbers encouraging to me? First, unlike consumer products companies, for example, where increasing sales is a primary driver of social media, that goal is secondary in financial services. Being a service industry, increased sales – eventually – would be a nice by-product of social media. Of primary focus, however, should be brand awareness, client servicing and establishing credibility; social media is a great way to do this and to increase the stickiness of assets and solidify long-term client relationships.

Also encouraging from the study is that 47% of firms – up from 13% last year – are integrating their social media efforts into their overall marketing efforts and consider them to be a main component of these efforts. It’s not only enough to utilize social media – you must use it correctly. It should be integrated into other marketing efforts – not stand alone.

(As an aside, sizable increases were seen in the use of LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.)

Whatever your motivation, or whatever segment of the industry you are involved in, their are invaluable uses for social media – if utilized correctly. There’s no time like the present!

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