I recently attended the Financial Communications Society’s social panel on the roof of the National Geographic offices. Against a beautiful NYC summer sunset, Pepper Evans of American Express, Michael Ma from Vanguard and Percolate’s own James Gross discussed the marketing importance of social media, with an appropriate emphasis on financial services.
Each panelist shared a wealth of insights, but what struck me the most was that above all else, brands need to be alert, authentic and adaptable to succeed in social media.
Both Pepper and Michael revealed how their respective brands approached social planning with a thoughtfulness that allows them to incorporate the above requirements. For American Express, an alert social media strategy is part customer service and part customer engagement, where ultimately the customers become brand advocates. ‘Will customers care, and will they share’ is the motto for the @Amex social approach.
Michael Ma stressed that social media is a business strategy and the content on these channels should inform customer’s days and change their lives. By Ma’s reckoning, most brands are over-thinking social and not focusing on the importance of authenticity and “being on message.”
The necessity to take a proactive approach and avoid being reactive was raised a number of times during the panel. Additionally, what works today in social media isn’t necessarily going to work tomorrow. Despite frequently shifting challenges, brands must adapt accordingly, always remembering what defines them while keeping consumers at the core of their social strategies.
Of course, no panel on social media (especially one with a financial focus) is complete without the question – “What is the ROI on social?” Both American Express and Vanguard shared that Net Promoter Score was the key measurement for ROI, but they emphasized that ultimately, if fans are engaged, social media has been a success.
Social marketing needs to be an integral part of corporate strategy. Two of the largest financial services companies in the world are focused on engaging with their consumers as a socially centric business objective. By being alert as a brand, authentic with what you proactively share, and adaptable to a shifting environment, you can develop an engaging relationship with your.
Below are some short clips from the panel. Thanks again to FCS, National Geographic and Y INTERACT for throwing a great event.
Photo Credit - Y Interact Flickr