How Top FinServ Brands Are Staying On Top – and How You Can, Too
The finserv category isn't an easy one for inspiring consumer passions — but it's not impossible. The brands at the top of the list have figured out just what their audiences want, and there's a lot you can learn from their examples.
In our last post we looked at where the top 40 brands in the banking, credit card, insurance, investment banking and payment services categories ranked according to the NetBase "Social Media Industry Report 2016: Financial Services." Each category has its challenges, but there are still brands rising to the top — as well as strategies brands can apply to make that happen for themselves. Here are best practices to follow, and the brands to beat.
Give Consumers a Place to Share
Payment services is a finserv category consumers like more than most, even if they're not dripping with passion over it — earning 59 percent Net Sentiment, or positive/negative emotions, on a scale from -100 to 100 percent.
What payment-services brands have over some others is a more organic opportunity for social sharing. Consumers may not tweet about their interest rates or IRAs, but they will share the activities they're enjoying — and paying for with their mobile wallets. Brands are tasked with understanding what those activities are, and smartly applying that intelligence.
For example, PayPal's users talk a lot about friends, food and booking/ticketing. With 75 percent share of voice in their category, it's clear PayPal knows their audience well and delivers what they want. But holding onto that lead is not guaranteed. PayPal should continue to listen and build partnerships with companies their customers love before another brand swoops in and displaces them.
Case in point: Even without owned channels or any owned impressions/reach, Apple Pay's passionate users — though smaller in volume — make this brand a threat to any complacent competitors. Apple Pay is only two years old, but they've already created enough change in the world of payments that they're definitely worth keeping an eye on.
But don't discount Samsung Pay, whose owned Facebook fan page brings in more conversation than Apple Pay does on the same platform. Because Apple Pay doesn't have an owned page, it's missing an opportunity to incentivize social sharing by its fans — leaving an opening for other brands to gain an edge.
Make Light of Heavier Topics
Insurance is a tricky category. No one wants to think about it — as the only time it comes into play is when something bad happens — but everyone needs it. What makes the topic more palatable? As it turns out, a little humor and a relatable mascot/brand ambassador can work wonders.
Aflac not only takes the prize for most-loved insurance mascot, they also got high Net Sentiment scores for all insurance-related topics, like claims, co-pay and deductible. They're getting a lot of things right with their customers. Add in a worthy cause like battling childhood cancer and you end up with a lot of consumer love, even if their share of voice isn't the highest. But a few more campaigns like #Duckprints could increase that share of voice.
Both Geico's Gecko and Progressive's Flo are also consumer favorites, so insurance brands should take notice. A little levity — and a recognizable face — could be the key to endearing yourself to your audience. Plus it gives them something fun to talk about — the opposite of what they'd expect when thinking of insurance.