Data from social media is an increasingly valuable source of information for all companies. From influential industry experts tweeting market moving news, to disgruntled customers venting their anger on corporate Facebook pages, the variety and quantity of data produced every second on social media can provide important insights for every business. Basic social media monitoring and data collection allowed companies and organisations to see how often their brand, product or campaign was being mentioned or get a broad view of the topics of online conversation. But social data intelligence allows companies to take their analysis to a higher level. As well as being able to use social data to improve products and services and tailor them to customer needs, the increasing relevance of social networks and the information shared on them allows companies to predict future developments. Predictive analyses can prove especially useful for banks. From monitoring general public sentiment about the economy to predicting fluctuations in the housing market, social data intelligence is a field that banks can no longer ignore.
Here are 5 ways banks can leverage from social data intelligence to improve their overall strategies.
The overall economic climate has a large impact on all areas of the financial industry as well as people’s everyday lives. From the banks that lend and borrow money to the people looking to invest or make larger purchases (e.g. buying a house) everyone in the industry is affected by changes in the economy. An analysis of overall public sentiment can tell banks early on if people are optimistic about economic development and want to spend money or if they feel insecure and are therefore more likely to save their income. By following these conversations, banks can adapt and refine their business strategy according to these trends.
Social data intelligence offers real-time insights that can be delivered at the right time to the right departments of a bank. By monitoring different key phrases and terms, for example unemployment-related mentions or discussions about home loans and mortgages, banks can easily see where the economy may be heading. Using these insights gives banks, especially specialists focused on economic development, a great advantage over using “official” statistics and records. The collection of data for records often takes a long time, making the data almost outdated by the time it gets to banks and financial institutions. In contrast, social data intelligence can be collected quickly and reflects current developments in real-time.
Since the beginning of the year, mentions of buying a home have been at almost double the number of those related to selling a house or apartment. Low interest rates on mortgages are making the investment into a house or apartment a much-discussed topic.
For banks, monitoring these conversations is an opportunity to target their marketing and communications specifically on these topics. For example, in areas where many people are looking to purchase a home, it makes sense for banks to focus marketing on low-interest mortgages.
Before taking out a loan or mortgage or investing money, people will always research their options and compare different offers. Finance review sites or advice blogs are just as valuable sources for this as friends and family – so banks should be aware of the how their products are perceived online.
Monitoring the conversation about their products as well as their competitors’ allows banks to see what matters most to their customers and how their products are perceived in comparison with others. Social data intelligence then allows banks to make well-founded decisions on which aspects of their products need improvement and which entirely new products ideas could be worth further development.
In the graph above, online bank Ally receives the highest share of positive mentions (46%) for their checking and savings account offers. Many of the positive mentions were related to the comparatively high interest rate Ally customers receive on the money in their accounts, showing the bank its position in the market as well as the competitive advantages it has over other institutions. In contrast, Citi receives a lot of negative mentions – a result of their recent deal with New York’s Attorney General about their screening process for applicants trying to open a checking account.
Since banks rely heavily on their customer’s trust, they need to be aware of the overall conversation about them as well as product-related discussions. Deeper analysis of product-related discussions gives banks detailed insights into potential issues. It also enables them to see how much of an impact a certain topic could have on their online reputation. Looking at the conversation allows them to see what people like and why – and then adapt their offers as well as their marketing and communications strategy accordingly.
The emotion theme cloud above show the most-mentioned keywords in relation to Ally Bank’s offers. While saving money is generally considered an important issue, another frequently mentioned term is “popular”, an indication that customers are generally happy with the service and offers they receive.
For product development departments of banks, this kind of information is also useful in creating entirely new products based on what their customers are looking for or are likely to need, e.g. investment opportunities or loans for specific purposes like education.