Social Media is Even More Important for Banks in 2012 – and Elusive as Ever

Outside-in view on social media: near impossible on whats shown as social and what stays behind curtains at banks

I am very much grateful to Christophe for allowing me to occasionally ramble about social media tactics that are used (and sometimes misused) by Russian banks. The notion of social media, apart from banks, was hardly known or taken seriously even 4 years ago, but now there are hundreds of self-profesized experts (including yours truly), who try to unravel the mystery behind the social movements of the crowd apart many platforms and services – and unwrap the tactics that can be used by banks to engage with the crowd.

The posts that, I hope, Christophe will allow to appear on Visible Banking pages are not free from bias on one things, personal attachment to others, but I hope it will be seen as free from dogma that castigates all trendy things.

Talking about banksocial media achivements is smart, as there are a growing number of social media teams springing up from many banks – they seem to share knowledge through a titghly interlocked social networking platforms (thus, pointing to good professionals that populate the teams) – thus constantly bringing good news for media outlets reporting them.

Im no academic to do anything different, and most posts will be about such things from Russia and (hopefully), CIS regions, yet I want to begin with two posts on the concept and framework that can enable these social media achivements in the first place.

The inside story on social media at banks is that banks did not want to be social, they did not ever think they should be that open about their communications with customers. Despite the pressure that the technology is doing, for most parts of the bank that modus operandi stays untouched. Banks were pulled to the social fore by unhappy customers and simple shuffling of one bank’s PR mechanism was not going to silence those. On the other hand, positive off-shoots of banks PR did create positive vibrations in the social world and led banks to wonder if such free marketing could be sustained.

The two departments whims collided and led to one big question on where should the social media expertise reside: shall it be housed in marketing, where free and unlimited capacity of a social network can create a barrage of messages about APR changes and new products, or some random news generated by a bank, or should it be guided by a customer service department, where a new social channel would be managed just as another hose with customers having an issue.

What do you think?

Written by Daniel Gusev

Innovation Mgr in respect of remote channels strategy & emerging payments platforms. Honed knowledge & skills on mobile & proximity payments payments schemes, offering advice on traditional (ATM, Internet) & new ways of offering transaction services to top-10 banks in Russia.

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