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Being Human on Social Media to drive real ROI

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Being Human on Social Media to drive real ROI

By Rob Coyne, General Manager EMEA, Hootsuite 

‘Being different’ and ‘taking risks’ are not phrases you would normally associate with established financial services companies. Social media networks like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter were traditionally held at arm’s length by companies in banking and insurance, due in part to the bureaucracy across the sector. However, in an online world and as social channels have exploded in popularity, this has meant that many financial services organisations have been slow to embrace the benefits that come with being socially mature. And the associated impact this has had on customer experience and lead generation cannot be ignored.

For financial services companies wishing to harness the advantages that successful social media management can bring, it means going back to basics and recreating a strategy that works with other existing channels that currently drive revenue for the business. Investing in technology can help with this, as well as assist how the organisation digitally adapts the way it reaches customers at every touchpoint to advance its digital evolution.

Content with a purpose

In our latest Social Media Trends for Financial Services and Insurance report, we found that 53 percent of financial services marketers found posts promoting brand awareness performed the best as a content type on social. However, when asked their top measurement challenge, 58 percent struggle to prove that content “drives revenue.” An organisation’s approach to measurement and tracking results needs to be far more strategic. It’s not about seeing what has worked well, and then proving the return-on-investment (ROI) with ad-hoc data gathering of vanity metrics such as likes and shares. It’s crucial to start with desired business outcomes first, and then decide on the tactics of how the organisation will achieve them.

Doing social well means aligning the strategy with other high-performing revenue channels such as email, paid media and website optimisation. These channels are often measured well and the results are clear, but organisations can often struggle seeing the ROI of social media. Other objectives such as lowering recruitment costs, mitigating risks and improving overall brand health are some easier ways to prove the value of social for the business.

Demonstrating the value of social

Accurately measuring ROI is an important step to demonstrating the value of social, as well as gaining the buy-in from the executive team, especially those who have been traditionally reluctant to embrace social media. To maximise on the opportunity that social provides, means looking at ways to bring in other aspects of the business to strengthen its value.

From content management and analytics, to compliance and CRM platforms, many organisations overlook the potential to integrate these with social media data. Treating the platforms separate to social limits how much the organisation can truly understand and know their customers. Integrating social data with existing analytics platforms such as Adobe Analytics, or a CRM system such as Salesforce, or even a customer experience platform like Adobe Experience Manager gives teams the detailed insights needed to improve each touchpoint of the customer journey. This approach will not only help demonstrate the real ROI of social, but help consolidate costs when the organisation is trying to get more value from existing platforms.

However, combining platforms and departments can create concerns among the compliance teams. With too many teams and departments involved in any one process can mean mistakes are missed or overlooked, and with social media so public, it opens the organisation to more risks than ever. The issue here is that it’s equally risky to not be on social media. No presence online means there’s very little control over what’s being said. Twitter accounts may impersonate the company’s executives, or non-compliant content could be shared by advisors. By joining together teams, platforms and social media, the organisation is in a greater position to manage the risks of being online and ensure that content that is shared, and how it’s posted, and engaged with by the customer is relevant, compliant and accurate.

Getting personal

With team buy-in and cross-collaboration, what’s being said online and across social media to customers is critical to an organisation’s customer journey being seamless and relevant. Social networks are designed to be spaces where people can be themselves and have natural conversations with one another. For a financial services organisation to fill this space with legacy compliance talk and marketing jargon will kill the entire premise of why social media exists in the first place. In fact, early last year Facebook updated its algorithm to prioritise content from friends and family over that of businesses and brands. Continuing to share corporate, and unengaging content in light of this, will only alienate customers further from connecting with the organisation. Winning over the hearts and minds of customers on social media calls for more creative and human messaging which will only be made easier with the data and insights from an organisation that doesn’t work in silos.

Whilst social media has often been tiptoed around by financial service organisations, it’s clear that in recent years many are warming up to the idea. However, many organisations are clearly lacking in social maturity and often approach it as an afterthought, rather than a core strategic driver for revenue. By integrating existing platforms like CRM systems and analytics, the customer journey can be refined and adjusted to help bring financial services closer to their goal of a digital ecosystem, and social media is a key player in this.

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Australia says no further Facebook, Google amendments as final vote nears

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Australia says no further Facebook, Google amendments as final vote nears 1

By Colin Packham

CANBERRA (Reuters) – Australia will not alter legislation that would make Facebook and Alphabet Inc’s Google pay news outlets for content, a senior lawmaker said on Monday, as Canberra neared a final vote on whether to pass the bill into law.

Australia and the tech giants have been in a stand-off over the legislation widely seen as setting a global precedent.

Other countries including Canada and Britain have already expressed interest in taking some sort of similar action.

Facebook has protested the laws. Last week it blocked all news content and several state government and emergency department accounts, in a jolt to the global news industry, which has already seen its business model upended by the titans of the technological revolution.

Talks between Australia and Facebook over the weekend yielded no breakthrough.

As Australia’s senate began debating the legislation, the country’s most senior lawmaker in the upper house said there would be no further amendments.

“The bill as it stands … meets the right balance,” Simon Birmingham, Australia’s Minister for Finance, told Australian Broadcasting Corp Radio.

The bill in its present form ensures “Australian-generated news content by Australian-generated news organisations can and should be paid for and done so in a fair and legitimate way”.

The laws would give the government the right to appoint an arbitrator to set content licencing fees if private negotiations fail.

While both Google and Facebook have campaigned against the laws, Google last week inked deals with top Australian outlets, including a global deal with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.

“There’s no reason Facebook can’t do and achieve what Google already has,” Birmingham added.

A Facebook representative declined to comment on Monday on the legislation, which passed the lower house last week and has majority support in the Senate.

A final vote after the so-called third reading of the bill is expected on Tuesday.

Lobby group DIGI, which represents Facebook, Google and other online platforms like Twitter Inc, meanwhile said on Monday that its members had agreed to adopt an industry-wide code of practice to reduce the spread of misinformation online.

Under the voluntary code, they commit to identifying and stopping unidentified accounts, or “bots”, disseminating content; informing users of the origins of content; and publishing an annual transparency report, among other measures.

(Reporting by Byron Kaye and Colin Packham; Editing by Sam Holmes and Hugh Lawson)

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GSK and Sanofi start with new COVID-19 vaccine study after setback

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GSK and Sanofi start with new COVID-19 vaccine study after setback 2

By Pushkala Aripaka and Matthias Blamont

(Reuters) – GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi on Monday said they had started a new clinical trial of their protein-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate, reviving their efforts against the pandemic after a setback in December delayed the shot’s launch.

The British and French drugmakers aim to reach final testing in the second quarter, and if the results are conclusive, hope to see the vaccine approved by the fourth quarter after having initially targeted the first half of this year.

In December, the two groups stunned investors when they said their vaccine would be delayed towards the end of 2021 after clinical trials showed an insufficient immune response in older people.

Disappointing results were probably caused by an inadequate concentration of the antigen used in the vaccine, Sanofi and GSK said, adding that Sanofi has also started work against new coronavirus variants to help plan their next steps.

Global coronavirus infections have exceeded 110 million as highly transmissible variants of the virus are prompting vaccine developers and governments to tweak their testing and immunisation strategies.

GSK and Sanofi’s vaccine candidate uses the same recombinant protein-based technology as one of Sanofi’s seasonal influenza vaccines. It will be coupled with an adjuvant, a substance that acts as a booster to the shot, made by GSK.

“Over the past few weeks, our teams have worked to refine the antigen formulation of our recombinant-protein vaccine,” Thomas Triomphe, executive vice president and head of Sanofi Pasteur, said in a statement.

The new mid-stage trial will evaluate the safety, tolerability and immune response of the vaccine in 720 healthy adults across the United States, Honduras and Panama and test two injections given 21 days apart.

Sanofi and GSK have secured deals to supply their vaccine to the European Union, Britain, Canada and the United States. It also plans to provide shots to the World Health Organization’s COVAX programme.

To appease critics after the delay, Sanofi said earlier this year it had agreed to fill and pack millions of doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine from July.

Sanofi is also working with Translate Bio on another COVID-19 vaccine candidate based on mRNA technology.

(Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru and Matthias Blamont in Paris; editing by Jason Neely and Barbara Lewis)

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Don’t ignore “lockdown fatigue”, UK watchdog tells finance bosses

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Don't ignore "lockdown fatigue", UK watchdog tells finance bosses 3

By Huw Jones

LONDON (Reuters) – Staff at financial firms in Britain are suffering from “lockdown fatigue” and their bosses are not always making sure all employees can speak up freely about their problems, the Financial Conduct Authority said on Monday.

Many staff at financial companies have been working from home since Britain went into its first lockdown in March last year to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

One year on, the challenges have evolved from adapting to working remotely to dealing with mental health issues, said David Blunt, the FCA’s head of conduct specialists.

“During this third lockdown, there has been a greater impact on mental well-being, with many people struggling with job security, caring responsibilities, home schooling, bereavements and lockdown fatigue.”

Bosses should continually revisit how they lead remote teams, he said.

“The impact of COVID-19 is creating a huge workload for those considered to be high performers, while the remote environment potentially makes it much more challenging for those who were previously considered low performers to change that perception,” Blunt told a City & Financial online event.

Companies should consider “psychological safety” or ensuring that all employees feel confident about speaking out and challenging opinions.

“We’ve heard varying reports of how successful this has been,” Blunt said.

Pressures in the financial sector were highlighted this month when accountants KPMG said its UK chairman Bill Michael had stepped aside during a probe into comments he made to staff.

The Financial Times said Michael, who later apologised for his comments, had told staff to “stop moaning” about the impact of the pandemic on their work lives.

Blunt was speaking as the FCA next month completes the full rollout of rules that force senior managers at financial firms to be personally accountable for their decisions to improve conduct standards.

There have only been a “modest” number of breaches reported to regulators so far as firms worry about being “tainted” but more cases will become public as sanctions are revealed, Blunt said.

“Regulators won’t be impressed by lowballing the figures.”

(Reporting by Huw Jones; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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