Consumers “want to connect” with financial institutions via social media
11% of online consumers are connected with their bank via a social site, with an additional 36% interested
Consumers are interested in connecting with financial institutions through social media, according to the results of a new survey.
The survey, from financial technology company Fiserv, showed that 11% of online consumers are currently connected with their bank or credit union through a social site, and more than one-third (36%) of those not connected are interested in doing so. Interest is highest among Gen Y consumers, at 45%.
“There is clearly a sizable segment of consumers who are interested in interacting with their financial institutions through social sites,” said Geoff Knapp, VP, online banking and consumer insights, Fiserv. “An active, engaging online social media presence is a viable way to maintain and grow valuable relationships with consumers who are visiting branches less and interacting through digital channels more.”
According to the survey, consumers who are current users of financial institution social media primarily engage in informational and relational activities. These consumers use their financial institution’s social channel to: receive information about financial services (66%), receive information about offers or promotions (32%), review other consumers’ opinions or advice or post reviews, complaints or questions (31%), and conduct customer service related activities (30%).
Barriers to connecting
Nearly a third of consumers (31%) cited a lack of awareness as one of the main reasons they had not connected with their financial institution. This was a more significant factor among Gen Y consumers, with 45% indicating they didn’t know they could. A preference for using the financial institution’s website and privacy and security concerns were also cited as barriers to connecting.
Consumers indicated they would also be more likely to connect to their bank or credit union if community-building activities, such as reading reviews from other customers, were enabled.
Connected customers more engaged
The primary reason consumers connected to any company, including financial institutions, via social media was because they were an existing customer, indicating that current social marketing tactics should focus on retention and loyalty rather than on new customer acquisition.
The Fiserv found that consumers who are connected to their financial institution via social media and consumers who are interested in connecting are already deeply engaged with their bank or credit union. Consumers who are already connected or interested in connecting use an average of 5.4 banking services as compared to 4.3 for consumers who have little or no interest in connecting. Usage of online banking and bill payment is strong among those who are connected or interested in doing so, making online banking users a key target segment for expanded relationships via social media.
The survey obtained responses from 3,000 consumers, representative of the US online population. A white paper detailing the survey results can be downloaded at http://www.fiserv.com/white-papers.htm.