Description of how social media is used for business performance:
TD is among the five largest banks in Canada, offering anywhere, anytime banking solutions through branch, telephone and internet banking. It has been the recipient, eight years in a row, of the J.D. Power award for “Highest in Customer Satisfaction among the Big Five Retail Banks.” TD has always encouraged their employees to reach out to their customers and make a unique and personal connection.
“Our Focus is both connecting with employees inside TD and connecting with customers and the community outside TD.” – Wendy Arnott
This quote came from Arnott, VP Social Media and Digital Communication, of TD Bank in 2012. TD had just started gaining recognition for their twitter efforts. From 6am – 11pm, seven days a week, TD offered connections with real people without stepping inside the bank. A dedicated staff monitors and responds to customers’ positive and negative comments in real time. TD had also launched an internal tool, very similar to the capabilities of facebook – ‘Connections’ allows employees the chance to connect, share and get to know one another as well. There are some guidelines for content in place but energy and enthusiasm is encouraged.
Now, only a couple years later, TD is taking their social media marketing efforts a step further. It is currently in a testing phase, but select TD employees have been given the green light to use their own personal facebook and twitter accounts to reach out to the public while representing the TD brand. This is not going to be a large-scale campaign but by making use of its employees, they will gain the reach of their existing audiences. Because of concerns about brand representation, employees were previously unable to represent themselves on behalf of the bank through unofficial channels. There are many governing bodies that need to be adhered to, which can be seen in TD’s Codes of Conduct and Public Commitments. These restrictions never really caused any problems but with social media continuing to grow it definitely wasn’t offering solutions.
Mathieu Nesbitt, a mortgage broker from TD’s mobile mortgage force, is one of the few selected for the test run. Although affiliated with TD, the mortgage force operates as its own entity and a lot of networking takes place to connect with clients. “We are excited to have another avenue to build relationships and business.” Nesbitt said about the trial test. I was able to talk with Nesbitt briefly about his thoughts on why TD is expanding its social media and what it could mean for his business.
The trial is expected to have great results, as many TD customers are already online and very open to learning more about the people they do business with. And as Vinoo Vijay, Chief of Marketing at TD Bank in a recent interview with Ric Dragon, has observed “TD Bank employees wear their badge when they leave the office. When I go to lunch, I don’t take it off; it’s a part of who I am, and it’s a part of the way I represent myself and my company when I’m engaging with consumers and non-consumers with my life.”
If you’d like to hear more about TD’s strategy, the following video features Wendy Arnott as she explains how and why the company chose to become a social business.
Lessons for Others: The initiative that TD is taking is not really spectacular but it is innovated. Most companies are finding more ways to keep their communication messages uniform and often originating from one source. This is a great idea from a company recognizing a need for specific areas of their business. With different roles, this kind of representation would not be an interest to the customer or the employee. I’m impressed that TD appears to be looking at their business in both a big picture and real people kind of way.
Submitted By: Shannon Leak
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