Integration Of Social Media With CRM In Banking And Financial Services

Luisa Ruppert

Many businesses across industries have integrated social media into their CRM systems early on; some better than others.

It’s not only about the adaptation but knowing how to leverage social media to get the best results and accelerate business growth.

It is common knowledge that the financial sector was highly affected by the global economic crises. Most banks and other financial services providers sustained a substantial loss in customer trust and loyalty. Integrating social media into their CRM systems and putting a considerable amount of effort into social media strategies is one of the ways to rebuild that trust.


One of the unique challenges for the entire financial industry is the vast variety of international and national laws and regulations that restrict the integration of social media in a few different ways:

  • Internationally operating banks face various laws that restrict them in one or more countries in actually integrating any type of social media with their CRM system.
  • Industry-specific regulations limit financial institutions in giving financial advice online due to privacy concerns of their customers.
  • All of the available social networks have their own terms and conditions that contain regulations on companies’ communication with customers and prospects.

Due to these limitations, banks are reluctant to adopt any kind of social media as part of their communications strategy. Here are a few examples of what financial institutions might be worried about:

  • Degradation or loss of brand image. Negative feedback and controversial discussions on social media sites can damage the image of financial institutions. This is why it is crucial to have the right resources, expertise and a strategy in place when employing any type of external social media.
  • Waste of energy and resources. Most banks make most of their profit through corporate banking and there is still a predominant opinion amongst the financial industry that social media is more for the individual than for corporations and therefore considered not to be valuable for revenue.


In making use of social media and tying their CRM system to social media networks, banks and financial service providers can get closer to their customers, corporate and retail, and find out how to improve services and products. This will positively impact their revenue if the right strategy is in place. Here are a few selected benefits:

  • New opportunities of designing customer-specific offers will emerge through the gathering and analyzing of big data via social CRM system
  • Increased customer satisfaction through engaging with clients on social media platforms and easier management; For example: using social complaints management solutions integrated in CRM systems
  • Encourage P2P (peer-to-peer) Support by establishing discussion forums and communities for customers and interested parties to exchange knowledge and profit from each other. A good suggestion might be to open forums for existing customers via a secure log-in to ensure a higher level of security – This can be an issue when it comes to sensitive financial issues

6 Examples of banks successfully using social CRM

Even though the bank and financial industry are still reluctant to integrate social networks into their CRM, there are a few early adopters and best practice cases in most regions. Below is a brief selection:

In the US American Express has recently delivered a very unique campaign enabled via social CRM. The program the bank developed with Twitter allows AmEx customers to link their bank accounts with Twitter, and by using specific hash tags, customers earn savings from designated partners. This long-term social and brand campaign is focused on rewarding existing customers and since its foundation is social CRM it has a high ROI on media and sales. Another example is Bank of America which uses their Twitter account to track customer relationships and reduce response time to inquiries.

In the EMEA region the Spanish bank Caja Navarra provides customer support via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Skype and leverages communities to better understand their customers’ needs. The Jyske Bank in Denmark offers its clients interactive Q&A sessions via a social TV channel. The third European best practice case is First Direct, a UK subsidiary of the global HSBC bank, that leverages Facebook, after experimenting with their own platform, as a place for their customers to exchange advice and receive feedback from peers as well as from the bank itself. The German Deutsche Bank ended up with 27 new customer product ideas after asking their customers to vote on features they are missing in their portfolio.

In APJ the CIMB Bank sees the integration of social media into their communication strategy less as a risk but rather as opportunity to engage their customers with competitions or by letting them decide what their next credit card layout will be.

Considering the mentioned challenges above (and only a few were mentioned), the banking industry is still very reluctant towards any social media and it is unfamiliar territory, for most, as on-site customer service was always first priority. Since the evolution of the internet, however, and the rise of online banks (e.g. ING DiBa in Germany and ING Direct in the USA, now owned by Capital One) without physical locations connecting with customers and prospects in a cost-effective way, online becomes even more crucial. In addition to that it is the changed customer, ‘the social customer’ that banks need to react to.

‘Generation Y’, born early 1980s to the early 2000s, is growing-up to be the key market segment. This generation is doing business mobile on tablets and phones, tweeting the news and sharing customer reviews on the Internet. According to a recent study “more than 40 percent of high-net-worth individuals younger than 50 viewed social media as an important channel for communicating with their banks.” Young people today do not want to take the time to go to a physical location or wait hours on the phone to get service from their banks; if banks do not adapt to the fast-paced world of their customers they will not have a a lot of customers in the future.


Recommended for you:

Without Big Data Life As We Know It Would Be Impossible

Irfan Khan

Imagine your life today without big data. It’s not conceivable.

 Life As We Know It Would Be Impossible Without Big Data

Try booking an international flight without big data. For a boarding pass to be generated, your itinerary must pass through a few massive databases—from ticketing to no-fly lists—before you get confirmation from whatever online booking system you use. You won’t make it to the departure gate without the help of big data.

Before you leave for the airport from chilly, drizzly London in November for a week of business meetings in Hong Kong, it’s wise to check one of the many online weather services. Sometimes it can be 10-15 degrees (Celsius) warmer than London in that part of China during the fall, so it’s best to know how to pack. It’s likely that whatever online booking service you used already supplied this information to you. Without those big data-rich online weather services you might bring an uncomfortable ensemble of clothes and spoil your trip, which would reflect poorly on the booking service.

Maybe you like to use your cell phone for international calls when you land in another geography. It’s only by applying advanced data management techniques to big data that wireless carriers are able to determine whether your device can use other networks in different regions. No big data would mean being dependent on public landlines while on your trip.

After you reach your destination, you may want to check-in to your hotel. When you hand over your credit card for the first time at this destination, behind the scenes across the globe big data analytics are being run against your profile to determine the chance that this transaction is fraudulent. Once your card is approved, the hotel chain may automatically update its customer loyalty database with your latest visit’s data.

During your journey it’s possible you learned something that could affect one of your personal stock investments. While in your hotel room you log in to your brokerage account, use its huge research database to help you refine your buy or sell decision, then act accordingly.

You could do all of these things before our current era of big data. Booking flights, checking weather in distant locations, making phone calls, using a credit card, even selling stock were all tasks that were possible. But they required you to interact with travel agents and brokers, to research international newspaper weather sections and chat with telephone operators to help you make long-distant calls. No one, except a proud Luddite, would want to return to such times.

Big data has simplified complexities in so many business processes we hardly notice any longer. It permits our rapidly emerging self-service economy. It’s not just our future. It’s our present.


Recommended for you:

When It Comes To Social Media, Some CEOs Are Clear Winners [Infographic]

Steve Olenski

There are many – myself included, who believe in the adage “it starts from the top down” when it comes to leadership in a company or business. I don’t care if it’s a professional sports team or a business that has just a few employees. How the leader of that company acts, thinks and carries his or herself on a daily basis goes a long way to ensuring the overall success or failure of that company. And when it comes to the use of social media – or lack thereof,  it appears one group of CEOs is not doing their part or carrying their load or whatever catch phrase you happen to media

As a follow up to their report done earlier this year on CEOs and social media, Domo and just released the findings of another report or study. However, unlike their earlier report which focused squarely on the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, this one was “designed to compare and contrast social media habits among leaders of America’s largest companies (Fortune 500) and America’s fastest-growing companies (Inc. 500).”

They call it the 2012 Social CEO Showdown. Sounds like a great name for a weekly reality show or perhaps an ABC After School Special. Ok, showing my age now.

As to which group of CEOs came out “the winner” as per my title:

  • 79% of Inc. 500 CEOs have a social presence on at least one network
  • 30% of Fortune 500 CEOs have a social media presence

Now before you social media non-believers come out, you know who you are, consider the following results of survey done by BRANDfog which revealed:

  • More than 82% of respondents are likely or muc
  • 77% of respondents are likely or much more willing to buy from a company if a leader is involved in social media

So you can you see why I apply the “winner” tag to one group over others. It’s clear to me why social media is so important when it comes to CEOs. And I am not alone for people like Josh James the CEO of Domo who, in writing about the findings of his initial report in an article for Forbes entitled CEOs Afraid Of Going Social Are Doing Shareholders A Massive Disservice, said “CEOs who shun social media risk losing touch with some of their most lucrative customers, prospects and influencers.”

To build upon what Josh said I refer you to a Forbes piece done earlier this year by Mark Fidelman, who in his article IBM Study: If You Don’t Have a Social CEO, You’re Going to be Less Competitive wrote about (you’ll never guess) the results of a study of CEO’s – over 1,700 to be exact.

The key takeaway?

“… using social technologies to engage with customers, suppliers and employees will enable the organization to be more adaptive and agile.”

Mark also said something that ties very nicely back into my opening remarks “CEOs and their executives set the cultural tone for an organization. Through participation, they implicitly promote the use of social technologies.”

Then there’s David K. Williams, who, in his piece Why CEOs Should Care: How Social Media Drives Business,  echoed the same sentiments of both James and Fidelman.

Below is the obligatory infographic – and I don’t use the “obligatory” in a negative way by any means, I merely mean infographics are now the norm and I happen to love them – about the findings of the Domo and report which spell out in detail across the specific social media networks the differences between Fortune 500 CEOs and Inc. 500 CEOs.

When it comes to social media, Inc. 500 CEO’s in comparison to Fortune 500 CEOs are:

  • 7.6 times more likely to be on Twitter — and 12.9 times more likely to be active on Twitter
  • 5.3 times more likely to be on Facebook
  • 3 times more likely to be on LinkedIn
  • 15 times more likely to be on Google+
  • 4.8 times more likely to blog.

And as previously mentioned, 79% of Inc. 500 CEOs have a social presence on at least one network compared to only 30% of Fortune 500 CEOs who have a social media presence.

which CEOs are on social media more

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is, well the bottom line. Obviously every CEO, CMO, and every employee in every company wants to increase revenue, move products… make money for the company. At least they should.

And in today’s completely transparent world, where no pile of sand is big enough to bury one’s head in and where consumers are completely in charge, CEOs need to realize the importance of “being out there” among those who ultimately control their fate. They need to take full advantage of this golden opportunity that social media affords them that their counterparts of years past did not have.


Recommended for you:

5 Powerful Career Drivers For The Future of Work

Meghan M. Biro

5 Powerful Career Drivers For The Future of WorkHave you come up with any worthy New Years’ resolutions yet? Are they already broken? If not, or if so, relax and stay positive. It’s never too late to make a few career focused resolutions.

I’ll be bold and propose that 2013 be the year to resolve to take charge of your career, your destiny and your life story. If it sounds like a real stretch, it is. I’m encouraging everyone to take action.

Take heart, though – like all resolutions it’s a process, a combination of problem identification, ideas/ideation, search for solutions, and actions. Resolutions aren’t absolutely binding, so it’s not a mental trap; it’s an opportunity to allow yourself to consider what’s been holding you back, what you’re really interested in doing/being, and how to move in the right direction.

Why is this important? Why now? Because the world of work is changing, and changing fast. If you want to have a career, not just a job, you’ll need to be prepared to change as well. We’re not talking who-moved-my-cheese here: we’re talking being the maker of cheese. It’s a weird analogy, perhaps, but it gets at the central challenge we all face as we work to stay ahead in our careers.

When I began my career, the most important things were mastery (education and experience), talent, work ethic, character, intelligence and flexibility. Today it’s different. Those factors are still critical, but they’ve been disrupted by the forces of social connectedness, communication, and collaboration.

Here are five ways to innovate in your career – think of this as part 1 for formulating career resolutions to put you back in control of your most passionate destiny. Why wait?

1) Become a social connector of people, ideas and intent. People who are connectors have immense power in their social networks. They’re the glue. Connectors are the new Oracles (Delphi-style, not Redwood Shores style), the passionate influencers who create trends, create links and create relationships.  Becoming a connector is the best way to manage the forces of connectedness in our hyperconnected world. Live the brand.

2) Master effective communications. Even connectors aren’t necessarily good communicators. Among the skills you’ll need are empathy, self-awareness, curiosity, patience, the ability to really listen, and self-control. Superb communicators often say the least; they draw out others and create an environment which allows the exchange of ideas. And don’t forget to apply your skills via social media, which can be tricky indeed – we’ve all sent emails we regretted or posted something awkward or too personal on social sites. Live the brand.

3) Collaborate. It sounds odd but collaboration skills are a competitive differentiator. We’re used to thinking people who are fierce competitors have the advantage; my take is collaborators now have the edge. Being a collaborator doesn’t mean you opt out of being competitive; it means you understand the limits of competition. It can be hard to be intensely competitive while being productive in most organizations. Live the brand.

4) Create and manage your personal brand. I know a lot of people who’ve resisted this step, or found themselves blocked somehow. Don’t wait any longer. People with brands (as others have pointed out) simplify what they represent; they weed out the irrelevant bits of their lives or skill sets and focus in on a few key, career-value-based attributes. Some people would even argue that brand now trumps intelligence, experience and talent, which is a scary thought for some people I’ve talked to about careers. Live the brand.

5) Curate everything. Relationships, acquaintances, work product, books, tech tools, clothes, skills; anything that touches your work life or career space. Be a relentless editor of your skills and experiences. Curation is an expression of good judgment, not evidence of controlling behavior. Curating the right career experiences will help you push forward in your career without compromising yourself. Live the brand.

I will be digging deeper into connectedness, communication and collaboration in the next few months. When you’ve thought about what they mean to you, and how they’ll help you innovate and create career resolutions, please let me know. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Image credit:


Recommended for you:

Skills Necessary for Cloud Success

Lindsey Nelson

In 2012 cloud computing really came into its own. It has revolutionized how things are done in business. The marketing department is using budget not for the new ad campaign, but for the third party service provider who can make their job easier. All this is happening without IT’s expert

Even when it does happen the traditional way, with IT as the lead, there are a few things you need to be aware of with cloud.

It’s pervasive and not only changing the way we collaborate with our colleagues. It’s changing the skills essential to internally manage the transformation.

Here are five skills your organization’s cloud employees must have to keep everything running smoothly.

Business & Finance Acumen

Once you make the decision to switch over, there’s going to be at least one major project and a few little ones in conjunction. These cloud connoisseurs need to know which new initiatives won’t pay off, and which ones will grow the ROI.

They need to understand the business needs and which projects will actually meet these needs. This requires them to not only have the acumen, but they also should have comprehensive knowledge on both business and IT language to be an effective liaison between the two.

Project Management

Cloud opens all the windows of opportunities. Many want to add new projects, requests for service, and think just because cloud can cut costs doesn’t mean it meets the project budget. As for all the projects, these people need to be skilled project managers. They need to have the ability to mediate between sale’s demands and IT’s limits. They need to be able to manage all project resources and eventually create a plan.

Technical Skills

This one’s simple, they have to understand what they’re working with while working with it. This is of course dependent on which path you decide to take, public, private, or hybrid. They should be knowledgeable on Internet capabilities, APIs, and possibly a tech language or two.


If anything, the new need for mobility is in high demand. Cloud computing makes it easier to build and deploy apps. These new hires must understand the basics of mobile app development and management. Why? So they can create applications that can be hosted in the cloud and reach their target audience anytime, anywhere.

Security & Compliance

No matter the type of cloud being deployed, your new cloud expert must understand all the laws and regulations around the technology. Here are some to help you get the conversation started.

Negotiating & Contracts

If you’re going with a third party cloud provider, negotiation skills are a must for your cloud guru to have. They need to understand what the vendor is saying, how to counter, and actually read and understand the fine print.

Did I forget a skill you think is a must have? Let me know on Twitter, @LindseyNNelson or by emailing me at


Recommended for you: