Other companies are more aggressive. Last month, JPMorgan Chase & Co. wrapped up a $1 million Facebook sweepstakes giveaway encouraging customers to “like” its Chase Freedom credit card.
American Express Co., whose AmEx OPEN portal provides services for small businesses, also teamed with Google's YouTube video-sharing site to launch a contest encouraging businesses to “tell their stories.” The campaign helps promote AmEx OPEN's Small Business Saturday initiave for shoppers to patronize local businesses the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
And Bank of America is hoping an aggressive Twitter outreach will improve its poor public reputation.
Generally, however, financial services organizations are lagging in social adoption. In BtoB's “2011 Outlook: Marketing Priorities and Plans” survey released earlier this year, only 57.8% of financial services respondents said they have adopted social media marketing, versus 95.2% of advertising companies, 80% of consultancies and 71.6% of technology businesses.
The only vertical that shuns social marketing more is manufacturing, at 48.6%.
Listening to social buzz is key to finding appropriate topics, said Chad Bockius, CEO of Socialware, a social consultancy and software company for the financial services industry, who shared the webinar panel with Boyman.
“If someone is reading a lot about 529 plans for educational investments [or] 401(k) rollovers, the more content you can put out, the better,” Bockius said.
Social communicating in real time by a product specialist or deal team at an investment bank can also be viewed as more secure than email, said Jason McDermott, VP- financial services with NexJ Systems, a CRM software provider for the financial services sector.