Barclays Bank’s Social Media Initiative for Students: 100 Voices… in 5mn? Or 100 days?

More and more financial institutions have realised that leveraging social media is a great way to engage with students and young professionals and reach the attractive Gen Y. Nowadays financial Institutions have to be seen as innovative to attact talent and recruit tomorrow’s leaders.

But Gen Y’s expectations are different from the older bank customers: they are not afraid to express themselves and voice their concerns, and they expect companies to listen to them and show they care.
The good news it that they are also happy to participate to a social media contest or join a new online community as long as they find the initiative exciting, innovative, useful, and fun.

100 Voices by Barclays Bank
I invite you to watch my video comments on, an initiative launched earlier this year in the UK by Barclays Bank.

My key comments
* the Interface looks very static, very “web 1.0”
* there is limited activity and content
* just text, no user generated videos
* it is not easy to search the Voices or find the right content
* what is the reward? Why would the participants post on regular basis?
* limited marketing on Barclays Bank’s own assets
* no presence on facebook, twitter, youtube, myspace, 12seconds?
* virtually no coverage neither on the blogosphere nor on twitter

Two years ago, with very few social media initiatives by Fis targeting students, it would have been understandable to launch such a close “micro-site”, but now…

It is important to embrace social media and keep trying to engage with people online, and I salute the Barclays team for their effort, but this example demonstrates once again the need for subject matter expertise not only at Financial Institutions but also at Web Agencies.

Please do not hesitate to call me on +44 7736 446 357 to talk about social media in finance.

The Visible Banking Social Media Directory
Other social media initiatives targeting students: WF’s the Student LoanDown blog, the RBC P-2-P blog, Severus Credit Union’s Young & Free Alberta blog, facebook: the TD Money Lounge page, the Abbey Students page and application, the Chase +1 page…

I invite you to check a more comprehensive list of social media initiatives from the Finance industry targeting the Gen Y with the relevant links. Please do not hesitate to flag any missing initiatives!

I believe you will also find some useful insights in my Social Media Watch Series.

Social Media Success
Success in Social Media lies in your ability to convince people there is a value of taking part in your initiative and REWARD them for the time they spend visiting, contributing, sharing and promoting it.

VB-RewardFocus on Engaging with your members, and don’t spend too much money on the interface upfront!
Don’t reinvent the wheel, white label a popular blogging or online community platform, make it as simple as possible to contribute and spread the word.

Then you need to find the best way to urge your members to participate. It is all about REWARD, just REWARD, nothing but REWARD.

And make your content as easy to search and as easy to share on popular social media sites as possible!

The Man of 100 Voices in 5mn
I had to embed this video too…

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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