As social media becomes consumers’ go-to source for news, social interaction, entertainment and more, financial service companies must adapt. They must make themselves available to consumers, while actively building relationships with them. And they must harness social data to uncover new and more valuable opportunities. Ignoring social media is no longer an option.

Here are five ways that financial service companies can leverage social media to impact their brand-building, relationship-building and lead generation.

1. Identify new opportunities
Peeking behind the curtain of social activity is not just possible – it is essential. Financial service companies have access to nearly endless amounts of social data about their target market, and they can use this to identify new leads and opportunities for growth.
Building a look-a-like audience, for instance, can shine a light onto an entirely new market. By identifying traits that current customers share and matching these to similar traits in social media users in general, financial service companies can discover a new audience that is likely to be interested in their content. This new audience can be targeted and nurtured via social media content until they become fans and followers – and new customers.

2. Understand existing customers
Engendering loyalty among existing customers is another way that financial service companies can use social media.
By digging into social data, a financial service company might realize that small business customers typically struggle with managing their cash flow and financing their growth. By understanding the issues that current customers struggle with, this company can create content, social ads, and provide resources that address these issues. This deeper understanding of their customers will help keep them loyal to their brand.

3. Build profiles of customers
Social media data is also useful as part of building real-time profiles of customers. With access to customers’ likes, dislikes, connections, opinions, affinities and more, financial service companies can create robust profiles that go beyond demographics and previous customer service complaints. By including this data in their CRM software, a company will be better positioned to laser-target messages to their customers, and to move prospects down the lead funnel.

4. Engage customer base
Of course, the benefits of social media extend beyond data. Businesses of all shapes and sizes are using social media to engage their customers, and financial service companies are no exception.
Sharing financial tips and educational content, for example, can be an effective way to build closer relationships with customers. As finances are an area that many consumers have questions about, helpful information will be well received. Brands can also engage their audience by asking questions, hosting informal chats, and sharing community-generated content.

5. Build trust
Consumers are no longer swayed by traditional “marketing-speak” or brand-centric claims of superiority. They are more interested in businesses they can trust – those that are honest, transparent and that reflect their values.
To build trust using social media, financial services companies can showcase their philanthropic endeavors, tweeting or posting about supporting local causes and national campaigns. Or, they can create a customer service account that provides genuine feedback and support. The more active and genuine the interactions, the more trust will be built.

Financial services companies can use LeadSift to make sense of the vast amounts of consumer data on social media, and use it to increase brand awareness and generate leads. Find out how LeadSift can help your company by contacting us