Monday, July 15, 2013

Social Media and Retail Banking, are they compatible?

What do you mean by retail banking? The banking services which you and me use, that is depositing money, withdrawing money, using ATM, fixed deposits, credit/ debit cards, etc.

I initially through what would a bank do on social media?!, Bank can not use broadcast media like social media to do any of the above mentioned jobs, right?

But there is more to retail banking then just above mentioned tasks, here are some of the things which retail banks like HSBC, Barclays, Citi Bank are doing on Social Media

  1. Level 0 Customer Service : Banks have established country specific accounts / pages on social media and are providing first level of customer service on these, this level of service does not include any personal or financial information, some very good examples are @BarclaysOnline, @citibankau
  2. Recruitment / HR tasks : Since Social Media is one of the best ways to connect to individuals, banks are using social media to connect and recruit work force., some of the best examples are @BarclaysRoles@BofA_Careers
  3. Marketing and Sales : Banks are also using social media as every other industry to do the ususal sales/ marketing online
So basically apart from three pillars of CRM, i.e. Marketing , Sales, and Service, Banks are also using social media as a platform for finding talent. And why not? after all "Social" in Social Media is nothing bit the human element and that's what is required here. :)

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Outsourcing Social Media presence - myth or reality?

Before you start reading this post, I want you to Google following "social media presence maintenance"

The result you see is a proof that it is possible to outsource social media presence or at least this is how it appears.

Before jumping to any conclusions, lets first understand what is meant by outsourcing social media presence for a business. Lets take an example of a small business as they are easier to understand and visualize. Say I own a coffee shop, I sell gourmet coffee, cakes etc. I do most of my operations on my own and this do not get time to ensure that my brand is actively present on various social media or may be I do not know how to handle my brands presence on social media.

One day some one comes to my shop and asks me if I would like some help on making sure that my brand is actively present on social media, he/ she also tells me that by doing so I would be able to do the following things which would help my brand

1. Marketing of new / existing products
2. Sales and promotions
3. Maintain relatinship with my clients and gain feedback on my products

I say yes (obviously :D ), he/ she then tells me what all he can do for my brand and what would be the price of the same.

I agree and get into a contract, now this person makes sure that my brand is actively posting on Twitter, Facebook, etc. by making accounts on these websites and representing my brand on these sites. He/ She actually logs into FB as administrator of the Pages and posts latest about my brand. How does He/ She comes to know about what happening in my coffee shop? He calls me daily and asks me about what’s happening in the coffee shop? what are the cakes we are selling today? which products are on discount etc.

After some time as the number of followers for my brand increase and they start interacting with my brand it becomes difficult for this person to make sure that he is answering all the questions and thus he has to hire more people to do so and so he increases the price of hi services to me.

After some time i realize that i can do it inhouse if my wife learns to handle social media presence and does it for my coffee shop and thus my wife takes a training on social media presence and starts doing it for my coffee shop. I no longer take service from this person. My wife act as the page administrator now.

After some time I realize that it would be better if my wife helps me in preparing coffee, making cake etc. as we have no loads of customer in our shop so I call up this person and ask for his services again.

End of story...

So what I could understand from this example is that answer is "Yes" and "No"

it depends on what you want to do with your brands social media presence. Please share your views in comments below!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

CRM, Social Media and Social CRM L0

What is CRM?

In three words : Marketing,Sales and Support

All the big names involved in developing CRM software, implementing CRM systems and using CRM systems play around these three words. Each activity, task, functionality in a CRM system touches one or more of these three aspects i.e. Marketing,Sales and Support

What is Social Media?

If your are reading this then probably you know this, so I am not wasting time on this one.

What is social CRM?

The integration pf a traditional CRM system with social media platforms is called Social CRM (Duhh.....)

So why do we need it? again the three magical words(Marketing,Sales and Support)  Brands can integrate CRM and Social Media to ensure better sales, marketing and support opportunities. How?

Customers are active on social media, companies can gain knowledge about them using social media sites and thus can offer them related products, offers, etc : Say a 19 year old would be interested in knowing venues for parties where as a 30 year old would be interested in knowing more about how can he reduce is car insurance cost. Targeted action can be taken using social media to focus marketing and sales efforts towards these individuals or demographics.

All brands need to provide customer support, no matter is you are a technology giant or a small coffee shop. Social CRM provides one of the quickest and engaging channels for customer support.

So again going back to the basics, social CRM stands on same three pillars : Marketing, Sales and Support