Interview Danske Bank – Thomas Heilskov, Head of Social Media

In the last couple of years, Scandinavian banks such as Denmark’s Jyske Bank and Saxo Bank have invested quite a lot of time and money to create credible online video channels in order to compete against the leading financial news sites. Since 2007 Nykredit, from Denmark too, has consistently been one of the most innovative financial institutions online in the region.

A couple of years ago SEB in Sweden decided to launch their own online community in the B2B space, the Benche, which targets the trade finance and cash management professionals. I invite you to check my video interview with Hakan Aldrin,’s Managing Director.

Norway’s DNB NOR has launched a couple of blogs and twitter accounts over the years.

As part of our Visible Banking Social Media Watch Series, we are currently tracking 30+ twitter accounts, 9 facebook pages, 5 blogs and 4 youtubechannels in Scandinavia. Please note that we are usually searching for social media assets with an English title, and not the local language.

So if Danish financial institutions have been so active in the social media space recently, you might wonder if and how Danske Bank, Denmark’s largest bank, is leveraging social media? Let’s find out!

Interview with Thomas Heilskov, Head of Social Media
On 17th November, I met with Thomas Heilskov, Danske Bank’s Head of Social Media, at the Corporate Social Media Summit in London. Thomas was one of the key speakers, and he delivered a presentation entitled ‘How to create the right environment for social media in your company’.

Basically Thomas is heading up a 2-member strong team sitting in Corporate Communications. Thomas’ Team focus mainly on monitoring online conversations and participating. They built an internal group of spokepersons who address specific comments or questions depending on their area of expertise.

One of Thomas’ key goal is to find out the best way to move beyond campaigns and really integrate social media to build an engaging presence online.

Two initiatives caught my attention: last year’s ‘Your Opinion’ campaign and the ongoing ‘Mind Your Money’ initiative.

Your Opinion: Gathering Feedback to Become a Better Bank
Basically, during the crisis the bank invited its clients to share their comments and their suggestions (text or video). To do so, a blog was available on the bank homepage during a 2-3 month period.

They collected 3,000 comments and based on the user-generated content, the bank identified the most common complaints and articulated their 24-action plan to become a better bank. Danske Bank also has a dedicated twitter account named @Bedrebank (better bank in Danish).

Mind Your Money: Connecting with the Young Danish to Drive Financial Literacy
The bank launched the facebook page ‘Mind Your Money‘ as part of a CSR initiative to improve financial literacy among young people.

They identified and trained 4 young advisorsfrom the branch network (Kristian, Iben, Benjamin and Luise) to produce content about finance and money with the right tone of voice and respond to their fan questions.

Please note that the page now counts over 1,300 fans and its wall is currently open.

Video Interview
I recorded my conversation with Thomas about social media at Danske Bank. We covered the follow topics:
* Introduction
* Intensive use of social media during the crisis (starts at 00:23)
* How many of your 24 actions have you implemented? (starts at 02:05)
* What is the scope of the social media team? (starts at 02:50)
* Customer support? (starts at 04:29)
* How much internal education / training and evangelization? (starts at 04:59)
* What are your KPIs? (starts at 06:02)
* Where is the opportunity with social media in Scandinavia? (starts at 06:45)
* Focus on financial literacy: the mind your money project (starts at 07:15)

Please find below our 9mn video which is hosted on my Dailymotion channel.

I invite you to connect with Thomas on linkedin and follow him on twitter.

I am keen to talk to you about twitterfacebook, customer reviews, social media & 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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