Are Banks Putting the Social in Media?

Does social media have a place in banking and the financial services industry? We think so despite all the risks that may be involved. Are we moving one step closer to helping these organizations make a successful transition into the conversation arena? The FFIEC recently released some proposed guidance on the role and practice of social media.

Financial Regulators Propose Guidance on Social Media

The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) today released proposed guidance on the applicability of consumer protection and compliance laws, regulations, and policies to activities conducted via social media by banks, savings associations, and credit unions, as well as nonbank entities supervised by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and state regulators.

The FFIEC is responding to requests for guidance in this area from various industry and consumer interests. The guidance is intended to help financial institutions understand potential consumer compliance, legal, reputation, and operational risks associated with the use of social media, along with expectations for managing those risks. Although the guidance does not impose additional obligations on financial institutions, the FFIEC expects financial institutions to take steps to manage potential risks associated with social media, as they would with any new process or product channel.

Significant Risk

The use of social media by a financial institution to attract and interact with customers can impact a financial institution’s risk profile. The increased risks can include the risk of harm to consumers, compliance and legal risk, operational risk, and reputation risk. Increased risk can arise from a variety of directions, including poor due diligence, oversight, or control on the part of the financial institution. The proposed guidance is meant to help financial institutions identify potential risk areas to appropriately address, as well as to ensure institutions are aware of their responsibilities to oversee and control these risks within their overall risk management program.

Grab the proposed guidance here.

Hub 81 is a digital marketing agency based in Santa Maria, California helping clients activate awesome brand experiences. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help with your marketing and communications needs.

5 Key Trends Impacting Your Business in 2013

As we move toward closing the curtain on 2012, a few ideas and important trends remain top of mind and play a critical role in making sure your brand is fully primed for success in 2013. How many predictive posts and articles have you read lately? They’re sprouting up all over the place. So, without further ado, here’s our list of 5 trends to be on top of in 2013:

Integration

Targeting customers is becoming increasingly difficult thanks to a growing number of technologies and communication channels. If you’re not working on an integrated approach that unifies your brand communications across all of these touchpoints you’re on a direct path to irrelevance. Customers demand meaningful experiences at every point of interaction with your brand.

Content

Everyone from newspapers to brick and mortar shops are now being described as media companies. Gone are the days where marketing is just about offering information and making a pitch. Enter the all important area of content development. Marketers are now required to create unique content that is inspiring, entertaining, and informative.

Responsive Design

Device agnostic experiences is a fancy term for making sure that your website looks beautiful across multiple platforms such as desktops, tablets, and smartphones. How, when, where, and when users interact with your content is super important to making sure your brand stays relevant in today’s changing new media and technology environment.

Entrepreneurship

New players arise everyday and are changing the makeup of almost every industry. Think open education models and crowdfunding. These two areas alone are responsible for billions of dollars in new industry. Crowdfunding (a term that’s not even in the dictionary yet) is now a $2.8 billion dollar industry and is on pace to hit $6B plus in 2013. Open education startups such as Coursera, Udacity, and edX are new players that are sure to continue to make headlines. Smart marketers are aware of these trends and are seeking ways to create their own innovations that answer the call of progress, purpose, and social impact.

The Hispanic Market

Latinos are the fastest-growing and youngest demographic in the United States. They are trendsetters, increasingly mobile, and early to adopt new technologies. If your brand isn’t looking for ways to engage this audience you’re missing out on a $1.2 trillion dollar opportunity for impact and business growth.

At Hub 81, we are excited about what the future holds and are looking forward to continuing our work in activating awesome brand experiences.

Cheers!

What Executives Should Know About Social Media

New research conducted by Stanford University’s Rock Center for Corporate Governance, the Center for Leadership Development and Research at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and The Conference Board details the results of a survey of more than 180 senior executives and corporate directors of North American public and private companies. The findings reveal a disconnect between companies’ understanding of social media and the actions they are taking to apply it to their business. The report demonstrates significant room for growth in the area of practicing social media.

“Companies appreciate the potential that social media can have to transform all aspects of their business: branding, reputation, communication, outreach, and identifying strategic risks,” says Professor David F. Larcker of the Stanford Graduate School of Business and lead author of the study. “They also realize the serious threats that it can pose. They’re just not doing very much about it.”

The study provides several important steps that executives can follow to implement a winning social media strategy:

  • Assess their current capabilities with social media
  • Determine how social media fits with their strategy and business model
  • Map their companies’ key performance indicators and risk factors to information available through social media
  • Implement a “listening” system to capture social media data and transform it into metrics
  • Develop formal policies and guidelines for employees, executives, and directors
  • Consider the legal and behavioral ramifications that could be involved if the company’s board receives summary data about social media

An appreciation for social media is one thing; putting best practices in place and making full use of social is another.

 

How to Thrive in a Saturated Social Media Marketing Environment

The Association of National Advertisers recently released data shows that the percentage of marketers who are using social media edged up just 1% over the last year, from 89% in 2011 to 90% this year.

Slow growth but significant nonetheless as this data confirms that more and more people are grasping the concept of social media and running full speed ahead. But therein lies the problem. Success in social media and digital marketing is not based on speed but rather quality engagement.

Brands must realize that this isn’t a race.

We’ve witnessed several accounts on sites like Twitter where brands seem to have given up on the opportunity of social. The new media arena might offer cost effective opportunities but the trade offs come in the amount of time and effort required. You have to be present to have a presence.

How do brands succeed when everyone is using or at least giving social media a shot?

Here are three tips for standing out from the crowd:

Have Fun

It’s okay to be polished and sophisticated but let go! People are online because of the fact to connect with interesting people and engaging content not the boardroom.

Experiment

Sometimes it’s great to be first. The brands who are playing around with the new kids on the block like Pinterest are finding great returns in the form of awareness and publicity. Take those who are moving their websites to Pinterest for example.

Know Thyself

Look in the mirror. It’s the best thing a brand can do and opens the window of opportunity for some deep self analysis in the form of questions about purpose, passion, and focus. Consumers have a knack for pointing out a brand’s flaws which means marketers better be ready to respond. Oh…and when you do respond please be swift.

As more and more brands jump on the social bandwagon, we’ll find countless examples of how not to engage in social media marketing. However, there will be champions of engagement and it’s up to us to thrive.

By the way…we can help your brand move the needle of appreciation into new arenas of visibility and consumer engagement. Just drop us a line.