How do social media change customers’ perception of your bank or company?
Janette Toral, one of the pioneers of the E-Commerce Law of the Philippines, delivered a talk on this topic during the monthly BMAP General Membership Meeting held last March 25, 2011 at Merk’s Bar and Bistro, Makati City.
“A great website is judged based on four criteria: page views, unique users, technical performance and search engine visibility,” shared Toral. Page views determine how “sticky” a website is to a customer as indicated by the length of time he or she stays on a particular website. Unique users as a criterion gauges the audience reach of a site in the Philippines. Technical performance is a measure of how fast a website loads and its code optimized to perform well. Search engine visibility refers to how effective a website structure, tags and keywords are in combination with timely content and online promotion that results to a site being talked or written about and shared in various social media channels.
In a study conducted by DigitalFilipino.com, a blogging network managed by Toral, the search profile index top banking websites include those of Metrobank, PNB, HSBC, East West Bank, BDO, BPI, UnionBank, BancNet and Citibank. These top banking websites were ranked using the four criteria specified above.
Toral also shared some of the things considered by the Congressional Oversight Committee for E-Commerce, which she chaired, when the E-Commerce Law was drafted. The issues taken into consideration include: (1) the venue for immediate complaints, (2) inter-account and inter-bank fund transfer, (3) pro-active communication, (4) tools, (5) platform, and (6) account payment.
Social media, meanwhile, has changed the rules of engagement not only for banks, but also for other financial services companies. As Toral stressed, “location” and availability of services play a vital role in every form of advertising,. “What’s important is that you are being useful to your customers,” she said.
“2011 will be the year of mobile content and mobile marketing,” Toral added. With the emergence of social media, she said companies will continue to utilize different social media platforms to communicate to their audiences. “In choosing your brand ambassador, you must consider if he/she is a social alpha.”
Social alpha is a term coined by PR icon, Brad Geiser, referring to individuals who are very good in building networks with people and converting them to leads or customers.