In this article from our new ‘Customer Voices‘ series, the multi-banked Teodora talks us through the use of facebook and twitter in Bulgaria and in essence she explains why Bulgarian banks shouldn’t bother with social media… or should they?
Social media is still not an effective and popular marketing way in Bulgaria. Even though statistics show that there is already 2,386,800 facebook users in Bulgaria, most of them use this social media only for a fun and to interact with their friends rather then making a business. This fact is proven by the statistics revealed for the twitter users in Bulgaria. The report made by French researching company Semiocast reveals that about 280,000 Bulgarians use Twitter Social media, however only 22% of them use they account on a regular basis.
Almost the same is the situation with the banks in Bulgaria. Some of the most popular Bulgarian banks don’t even have particular page either in Facebook or Twitter, thus there is almost no online customer support available for their clients. Since there is no place, where clients can share their worries and to receive answers to their questions, they create such pages in Facebook themselves, where they share their negative feelings from the attitude of the bank personal or from the banks politics. One such Facebook page for example is “Let’s help Post Bank to go bankrupt”.
In addition, if for example there is such official bank page, the customers usually use it to criticize the bank and no response is found on the behalf of the bank. Maybe the only exception is The UniCredit Bank., the bank which is currently the biggest Bulgarian bank, a part of the leading European financial group UniCredit. This bank indeed keeps online contact with their clients and offers to their clients on Facebook various games to participate in. In that relation, it is difficult to find criticism and negative reactions toward UniCredit Bank in the Internet, while all of other top 5 Bulgarian Banks (DSK Bank, UBB (United Bulgarian Bank), Raiffeisen Bank and Post Bank) have a lot to be made in that area.
Q: As a customer, how do you want them to interact with you? On which topics?
Most people prefer to share their personal issues and to find solution from the though cases. They need to feel that the bank institution is not constantly looking to rob everything they have, but that they understand the problems and are flexible enough to find solutions.
Q: Do you want to do banking transactions or access your accounts on facebook?
Since people don’t have a faith in bank institutions and the Facebook reputation is not good enough, meaning that it is not a safe place to share information and details, I think most of the people would prefer to not have access to their account on Facebook, including me.
Q: Would you like to use twitter for customer support?
I am apart of those 78% of people who have Twitter but don’t use it. I think this is because of the lack of information in Bulgaria what the Twitter itself is and how to use it. Since, it is still not popular enough option in Bulgaria, Facebook is preferred method for communication and receiving a customer support.
Q: Would a good social media activity change your perception of a bank and urge you to open an account or get a credit card with them?
Communication is very important to build a trust. Banks cannot expect to receive loyal clients until they become open for communication. Maybe it is not a surprise that namely the most open and communicative bank is first in Bulgaria. People would like someone to explain their concerns and to calm down their fears. They cannot believe to someone that is hidden behind a writing desk and is open to communicate only when he has a benefit. Most of the people would be more willing to get credit card or to open account in a bank that has a good communication social media activity.
More on the Author: Teodora (Bulgaria)
Teodora is a 33-years old Bulgarian female. She banks with three financial institutions in Bulgaria. She doesn’t use online or mobile banking. She uses facebook on daily basis and she is registered -but not active- on Twitter.