Financial services firms have gotten a bad name when it comes to their social media efforts. I did a quick search on “social media and financial services.” While my query generated 61 million results in less than a tenth of a second, the top-ranked perspective articles would have you (mistakenly) believe that financial services (FS) companies are failing at social customer relationship management.
I’d like to present an alternative view based on a recent study we ran here at Compete. In fact, we see that many financial firms are doing a stellar job with social media. In fact, a few are leading the way across industries.
Successful Use of Facebook Real Estate in Financial Services
We took a look at traffic to Facebook pages as a way to illuminate how businesses across five industries use their Facebook “real estate.” And valuable real estate it is, since Facebook provides brands a free channel where they can build community and gain market intelligence through direct contact with consumers.
To measure engagement on Facebook pages, we looked at unique visitors to brand pages rather than “likes,” which are cumulative and actual visitation to Facebook may be more representative of current interest. We compared Facebook traffic of over 40 brands from financial services, automotive, retail, telecom, and travel industries using data from February 2011.
Take a peek first at visitation to Facebook pages below. Financial services companies make an impressive showing with State Farm taking the #2 spot behind WalMart, and Capital One and Progessive beating out both iTunes and Ford, both recognized leaders in the social sphere.
What Fans Value on Facebook: The Latest News, and Free Stuff, Of Course
In a recent study by Millward Brown and Dynamic Logic, Facebook fans reported they most valued new information about a brand (62%) and contests and offers (58%). As it turns out, we see that the top-trafficked financial services companies on Facebook – State Farm and Capital One – are both using sweepstakes to generate interest. State Farm is currently giving away a Ford Fusion Hybrid, while Capital One recently gave away 1 billion travel miles to promote their credit card.
A popular meme in the online space is that consumers don’t want to “friend” their FS companies, but based on what we’re seeing, consumers are certainly open to “like”-ing them.
Jennifer Johnston Canfield is a Senior Associate in Financial Services at Compete. Jennifer is responsible for providing competitive analysis to financial services clients. Before Jennifer joined the Compete team she was a social media marketing consultant. Connect with Jennifer on Twitter (@jbjcanfield) or LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com/in/jenniferjohnstoncanfield).