Trends in financial services: How the pandemic has accelerated change - The Social Element
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Trends in financial services: How the pandemic has accelerated change

The pandemic has super-charged changes in the way financial services brands interact with consumers. A move to modernisation, personalised services and sustainability are all major trends that we’ve spotted over the past 18 months, and they are having an impact on how brands communicate on social media. 

Here are the trends we believe will be the most impactful:

Trend 1: Digital and social customer service is at the heart of improving customer experience 

The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital for even the most traditional financial services providers. More than 50% of mobile users in the US are expected to use mobile payment services by 2025, and in the UK, 32% of the adult population are now registered to make mobile payments. 

Banks, like Santander are starting to use emerging technology – like artificial intelligence to help people plan their finances. As the sector continues to become more digital savvy, customers will expect more from their social media experience. 

Creating a unified customer service experience across all channels is a priority for this industry. Utilise the wealth of data and insights available to help your brand create campaigns, products and services that are more meaningful for your customers. 

Trend 2: Personalisation of products and marketing

Real-time personalisation is a huge trend, particularly in banking and insurance, and that’s now showing in social media. 

The insurance industry’s already using connected devices in the home to create personalised home insurance, and as the technology develops, more brands will start using AI and machine learning to process data from the various connected devices we use in our lives. 

It’s leading to a stronger emphasis on hyper-personalised services and hyper-relevant social content. Social will be at the heart of personalisation strategies, which allows your brand to engage with individuals rather than market segments, and to use social listening to really understand your customers, and their unique wants and needs.

Trend 3: A renewed focus on risk management and crisis


Compliance and risk mitigation’s need to be top of mind for every financial services brand. Risks like cyber attacks, data breaches and reputational crises could hit at any time, and organisations across the sector are looking for ways to build resilience and prepare for the next crisis. 

We know it’ll be critical to have the right tools and skills in place. Social listening can be used to spot the early signs of a potential crisis, and turn the tide before it develops. And crisis training and rehearsals help to build resilience and confidence in your teams so they’re prepared for when the worst happens. 

Trend 4: A greater focus on ESG, diversity and inclusion

Environmental, social, and governance policies will be a big focus for financial services firms in the next few years – especially diversity and inclusion, which is a big focus in the UK. When it comes to the US, there is a greater focus on social responsibility and sustainability. Recently, almost all major European banks have agreed to link executive pay to hitting diversity targets.

We’re seeing more people expecting brands to take a stand on major social and political  issues, and social media’s an important channel for communicating what your brand is doing to meet your ESG and diversity targets. People want to see brands taking action, and social’s a powerful way to show that you are.

Trend 5: Using social media to showcase the business as a great place to work

The pandemic created more demand for flexible working. KPMG found that only 20% of bank employees wanted to be back in the office full-time. Sixty percent wanted to work from home permanently, only going to the office for occasional meetings or needed face-to-face collaboration. (The other 20% wanted a mix of both.)

As recruitment’s already really competitive in some areas of the financial service sector, we’ll see social media become an increasingly vital way to give people insight into company culture – helping to attract the best talent. 

Social media’s a fantastic way for financial services brands to differentiate themselves and show their more human side. Your brand will succeed on social media by using it to engage with your customers at a deeper level to build genuine connections.

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