Organization: Royal Bank of Canada
Industry: Bank/Financial Institution
Believe it or not, one of my earliest childhood memories is of the Royal Bank. Every week I accompanied by mom to ‘the bank’ (there was only one in town so we didn’t have to be any more specific). As a child whose favourite pastime was playing office, ‘the bank’ was an exciting place to visit.
Fast forward 30 some odd years and RBC today is the largest financial institution in Canada, as measured by deposits, revenues, and market capitalization. The bank serves 18 million clients and has 80,100 employees worldwide.
As with the majority of financial institutions, RBC focuses its social media efforts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube as well as LinkedIn and uses these platforms to better understand what their clients’ needs and goals are. Whether you’re an individual looking to buy a home or a small business interested in expanding.
“With the majority of consumers choosing to research and shop for products and services online, businesses without a web presence are missing a significant opportunity,” shared Jim Mulligan, national director, Retail, RBC Royal Bank. “Businesses need to be visible where consumers choose to be, so investing in an online strategy is fundamental to attract new customers and stay competitive.”
Last year, RBC Direct Investing (the discount brokerage division of Royal Bank of Canada) introduced Community – an online discussion portal designed for people at various stages of life who want to manage their own investments and are looking to social channels to connect with like-minded individuals.
“We know do-it-yourself investors of all ages are increasingly engaging in social interactions online and are comfortable asking questions and sharing opinions on social media sites,” said Michael MacDonald, vice-president, Strategy for RBC Direct Investing. “We’re now seeing this comfort level play out in our online Community – members are exchanging advice, tips and encouragement and learning from each other as they invest.”
By engaging in the conversation with customers and providing them with multiple mediums to convey what they want their future to be and what they need from their investments to get them there, ultimately helps streamline the bank’s product and service offerings. The approach has also been extended to RBC’s ad campaigns.
This past summer, RBC invited customers to submit home videos that show their own “someday,” promoting the initiative on social media outlets such as Facebook and the sign-in page for its online banking service. The result, 15,000 videos were submitted and an engaging ad campaign based on real client stories was created. In return, RBC awarded $1,000 to the customer who submitted the best video of the day and a grand prize of $20,000 was also presented.
The campaign provided RBC with significant customer-insight at a highly personal level during the development phase, and is now relaying that message through its financial products and services offerings.
Lessons Learned :
- If you want your customers to provide feedback on products and/or services you won’t do it through a simple customer service email link. You need to engage and educate through social media.
- Engagement from customers is likely to be higher when met with the opportunity to earn something in return.
- With social media, the medium is the message, and how it’s received is quite often dependent on how it is presented. Facebook and Twitter may both be social media tools, but each has its own strengths and uses.
Submitted By: Tracey Pearce-Dawson, SMBP student, University of Waterloo
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