Financial Institutions Emulate the Popular Habbo Hotel Look to Attract the 13-24s

The focus on social media in financial services is essentially on the almighty facebook and its incredibly active user base, even though most financial institutions have yet to successfully turn their community into customers and drive business.

Of course, the level of appetite for twitter increased tremendously in the last 12 months, especially for customer support.  But the popular microblogging service is not a destination and very few banking and insurance accounts have a proper content strategy and the vast majority of accounts tweets less than twice a day.

I’m glad that nowadays pretty much every financial institution appreciate that social media is not a way to connect with the Gen Y exclusively (and Gen C to that matter), but a way to demonstrate their willingness to be transparent and better engage with their whole customer base, including the mass affluents.

But let me focus on the 13-24s for a moment.  Over the years, I covered many social media initiatives targetting this market segment such as the following facebook initiatives: the ‘I love Santander UK’ contestthe HSBC bursary contest or more recently the highly successful CIMB YOUth application.

But facebook is not the only online community gathering an active audience of young people.  Remember the Habbo Hotel?
HABBOHotelAs a matter of fact, it was one of first online communities / virtual game to achieve worldwide fame back in early 2000s.  Did you know that the Sulake game celebrated its 10 years anniversary in 2010?

Please find below a few recent stats on Habbo.
199 million registered users
*  42.5 million unique active player characters (habbos) in 2010
500k monthly users on facebook
400 million hours played in 2010
1.4 billion virtual items exchanged in 2010
* over 22 euros average revenue per paying user
75% recurring virtual good buyers
* payment options range from SMS to monthly credit card subscription

Surely some partnership opportunities to explore, to provide for instance virtual home and travel insurance ‘a la’ Farmers Insurance on Farmville (in October 2010).

So, you are wondering why I came up with this blog now and what’s my plug to the banking and the insurance industries?  Check out those pictures.

Assu 2000 (Insurance, France)
I shot those pictures while I was visiting my home town in France at the end of August.  You notice the look and feel based on a mix of Habbo Hotel andFacebook.

PSB Bank (Banking, Russia)
Last week, my good friend from Russia Daniel Gusev talked me through Promsvyazbank (PSB, the 10th largest bank in Russia)’s facebook presence.  The design looks familiar, isn’t it? 😉

Working Together
We at Visible Banking would be delighted to help you and your team better UNDERSTAND and LEVERAGE social media in a strategic yet pragmatic way. So please don’t hesitate to call me, send me an email or DM me (@Visible_Banking) to book a meeting and talk about twitterfacebook,crowdsourcingcustomer reviews, social media & social commerce in banking, financial services and insurance.

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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