10-Step Strategy to Sail Through a Crisis Thanks to Social Media

Last week I was in Hong Kong to contribute to my fourth event in Asia, ‘Reputational Risk Management in the Financial Sector‘ (Hong Kong, 19-21 Jan 2011).

VB-LieToMeI delivered an interactive half-day workshop and a 45mn presentation, and I contributed to a lively discussion panel. The audience has proved to be extremely interested in the topic of social media and online reputation and I was pleasantly surprised by the high volume of questions.

I’d like to thank all the delegates and the workshop participants again for the excellent feedback.

The situation improved dramatically in the last couple of years, and even though the Asian Finance industry (banking, financial services, insurance) still has quite a bit of catch up to do compared to North America or Western Europe, the appetite for social media is definitely there and I’m confident we’ll see some traction in the region this year.

Key Goals and Challenges of e-Reputation
During the event I shared my vision and my thoughts on the fashionable e-reputation phenomenon.

Please find below some of my key messages:
* yes, it is important to know what’s being said about your brand online.
* but your challenge is not to flag all the mentions of your brand, your products and services, or your competitors…
* your real challenge is to assess the authenticity of the comments and the level of authority and expertise of those vocal people.
* you have to identify your key influencers (detractors and advocates), then design and implement a response strategy and find the best way to build relationships with them.
* you must start building your social presence asap to be able to reach out to your customers whenever appropriate and be perceived as authentic and genuine.
* you want to give a voice to your customers and turn them into your best champions. They’ll defend you when you need it most.

Even if every single comment was relevant and visible, you usually don’t have the time or the resources to respond to everything. Hence the importance of knowing where to focus your attention and prioritize your response effort.

Challenge the Online Monitoring Solution Providers
There are hundreds of solution providers knocking at your door and claiming to provide the best online reputation monitoring solution.

I invite you to challenge them not on the platform itself but on:
* their listening capabilities on close networks such as linkedin or facebook,
* their moderation process, including their language skills,
* their methodology for sentiment analysis,
* how they can help you identify your key influencers and assess accurately the level of influence of the contributors.

10-Step Strategy to Leverage Social Media
Please find below the slides I used last week in Hong Kong, as well as the links to the initiatives mentioned.

Slide 2 – Evangelizing SM in Financial Services Since 07
– the Visible Banking blogfacebook pagetwitter account
– Bazaarvoice: helping you capture the voice of your customers (Customer Generated Content) and leverage it internally and externally to impact your business

Slide 3 – What was Your Compelling Event?
– Wells Fargo: the ‘Wells Fargo is AWFUL!!!‘ post with its 500+ comments
– HSBC: the ‘Stop the Great HSBC Graduate Rip-Off!!! ‘ group on facebook
– Bank of America: the YouTube videos ‘DEBTORS REVOLT BEGINS NOW!‘ and ‘Why Bank Of America Fired Me‘ with respectively 528k+ and 343k+ views.

Slide 4 – And What Was Your Response?
– Wells Fargo: Wells Fargo Celebrates its 4 Years of Blogging by Launching its 6th Blog, The Environmental ForumWells Fargo 2.0
– HSBC: UK Banks Leverage Social Media to Target Students (1/2): HSBC’s Bursary Facebook Contest (video)
– Bank of America: @BofA_Help@BofA_Careers

Slide 7 – 1. Learn from the Best & Worst Practices in FS
– the Visible Banking Facebook Watch Series: 720+ pages, apps tracked in 69 countries
– the Visible Banking Twitter Watch Series: 1,350+ accounts tracked in 71 countries
– @MasterCardNews
– Interview with Jim Issokson, VP Reputation Management at MasterCard Worldwide (video)

Slide 8 – 2. Listen to Online Conversations (e-Reputation)
– Google: Alerts and Blog Search,
– Another Angry Customer Using Social Media: PeoplesPops’ Blog Post & Tweets Against Chase Bank (Video)

Slide 9 – 3. Build Relationships with your Influencers
– Volume vs Value on twitter and facebook: the Chase Community Givingpage with 2.5 million fans and the BNP Paribas Net page with 115k+ fans.

Slide 10 – 4. Build a Presence Where Your Customers Are
– @bank_of_america
– GEICO’s social media presence: Connect with GEICO
– ABSA Bank’s facebook page with open wall
– Lloyds TSB Supports its Customers on Twitter! Fine, but Now the UK Bank Should Learn from the Best (video)
– Wells Fargo blogs

Slide 11 – 5. Create a Platform for Swift & Engaging Comms
– South Carolina Federal Credit Union’s Simple Cents blog (even the COO,Troy Hall, contributes on regular basis)
– Germany’s most innovative online community bank Fidor AG’s YouTube channel and their videos with their dynamic CEO (Matthias Kroener)

Slide 12 – 6. Make Your Comms Action/Share/Search-able
– first direct’s social media newsroom

Slide 13 – 7. Protect Yourself & Minimize Your Risk
– open wall on facebook: CIMB Group Malaysia and Progressive Insurancewith respectively 114k+ and 21k+ fans
– Wells Fargo’s community guidelines and US Bank’s code of ethics

Slide 14 – 8. Urge Your Customers to Express Themselves
– American Express’ customer reviews
– Standard Chartered UAE Launches ‘Go The Distance’ to Capture Emotional Stories
– USAA’s customer reviews and questions and answers
– Credit Agricole Pyrenees Gascogne’s customer feedback on homepage

Slide 15 – Twitter is (not only) for Celebs
– List of Banking – Financial Services – Insurance Senior Executives on Twitter

Slide 16 – 9. Be Transparent & Authentic
– Peter Aceto, President & CEO of ING Direct Canada, on twitter@CEO_INGDIRECT
– The Wells Fargo – Wachovia Blog: social media can also support a banking merger
– ANZ staff set up fake Facebook sting

Slide 17 – 10. Your Company Must Adapt: Live & Learn!
– first direct Twitter spam: an apology

I am keen to talk to you about social media, twitterfacebook, customer reviews & social commerce in banking, financial services, and insurance.

Don’t hesitate to call me (0044 7736 446 357), send me an email (, or DM me (@Visible_Banking).

What do you think?

Written by Christophe Langlois

Based in London for almost a decade, Christophe is an entertaining fintech marketing keynote speaker and a trusted advisor to the global financial services industry on the topics of digital marketing, innovation and B2B social media.

Christophe has contributed to over 140 events in 18 countries.

Currently, Christophe is advising a number of fintech startups on marketing and growth hacking and he is the Chief Marketing Officer of The Fintech Power 50, an exclusive annual programme helping fintech scale-ups to accelerate their growth globally.

Christophe's views on are his own.

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