Discuss about the Social Media Presence and Strategy.
Social media are one of the most powerful tools of communication in the 21st century connecting people within a country and across the globe. More than 2.3 billion people are active social media users with the young people holding more than two social media accounts; Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram e.tc. Business organizations have signed up for social media accounts to have an online presence and market the products. The paper seeks to analyses and evaluates the Common Wealth Bank of Australia (CBA) social media presence and strategy. The focus will be on the bank availability on social media platforms, how the institution markets its services and the target audience. Additionally, the study will evaluate the ethical usage of the social media platforms by the organization and adoption of technology to enhance social media activities for the benefit of the institution and offer recommendations.
Social Media Presence
Social media presence is the active utilization of social media platforms to inform and engage the customers. A firm with a strong presence in social media involves frequently engaging the customers and potential customers on the brand's information, upgrade and new products in a clear and attractive manner (Tuten & Solomon, 2014). Companies use social networks platforms to post contents on products and respond to customer queries. Organizations should evaluate the effective social media platforms to sign up for and the objectives of being online to create a significant presence (Stelzner, 2012). Business institutions must build credibility through regular updates of profile photos, cover images and latest information and maintain the brand image. The regular updates of information to customers will instill a feeling of concern for consumers’ needs and win new customers (Brown, 2010). Thus, Social media presence involves creating an online community and building personal and human conversations.
The Common Wealth Bank of Australia has maintained a high social media presence using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube channels. The bank has two Facebook accounts, three Twitter channels and two YouTube channels (Senadheera, Warren & Leitch, 2011). The CBA launched its Facebook pages in 2011 and, has attracted close to 400,000 fans to date. The Twitter accounts command more thousands of followers than Facebook and engage active users in continuous conversations daily. The bank started its corporate YouTube channel in 2009 and, has witnessed more than 1.6 million views to date. The Common Wealth Bank of Australia initiated the 24-hour monitoring process to attend to the rising number of customers using social media to seek for services.
Social Media Strategy
Before venturing into social media and creating profiles, Organizations must have clear goals on what they want to gain by being active online. Understanding the organization's objectives and potential benefits of using social media actively will help the company create and maintain a social media presence and know how to use it (Mangold & Faulds, 2009). Organizations should draft an outline of objectives for social media usage to help maintain online relevance. Hence, firms must have a clear plan of social media actions and how to achieve the goals.
The Common Wealth Bank of Australia social media goals is customer engagement through providing support, communication of relevant information and offering customer care services. The bank social media presence aims at building bridges between the organization and clients to enable service delivery in new and faster ways (Elsworth, 2012). The CBA social media strategy is to create an engaging community of customers and to interact with them on a broad range of issues affecting them and offer support. The company has set a 24-hour monitoring site on all its social media platforms to provide help to the customers. The customer care teams provide instantaneous response to banking queries from customers on every platform; this has reduced frequent branch visits and traditional phone calls to seek for help (Asian-Pacific Banking & Finance, 2016). The bank social media team has ensured regular information updates on all platforms on the company services, workers and community involvement. The quest of for organization information by customers is satisfied through visiting of the bank's different social media accounts (Swan, 2012). Additionally, the bank has iPhone application to enable members of the bank to pay each other using Facebook. The initiatives enabled real-time banking for customers ensuring timely transactions and eliminating inconveniences for members. Thus, the bank 24/7 customer service team and CommBank iPhone application detail the social media plan for the organization to achieve customer support and engagement.
Social Media Audience
Social media audience is the targeted recipient of the organization's messages on social platforms. The successful communication on social media starts with defining the group's audience (Paquette, 2013). Understanding the target consumers for the online information guides the choice of social network, type of content to share and the tone that connects the customers. Determining the organization social media target audience ranges from evaluating the age range of the public, the profession and the income levels (Baym, 2013). Furthermore, the organizations should look at the educational attainment, location, and hobbies of their followers.
The Common Wealth Bank of Australia targets the young adults with its social media campaigns. The CBA provides a broad range of services for teens, higher education students and young parents (Lee, 2011). Young adults in the range of 18-40 years form the largest membership of the bank customers, and most social media communication is designed to suit their needs. The young generation has topped the list of the active social media users with teens holding more than one social media account. The bank offers information on saving and spending accounts on social media targeting existing and potential to young adults (Swan, 2012). Additionally, the bank regularly updates the young parents on personal loans and credit cards aimed are luring them to the services offered by the bank. The young adults’ quest for information on house purchase and other assets, traveling overseas and getting the dream job is made available on the bank different social media accounts. The banks provide discounts information for learners, advice on how to make extra money when on internship and the survival tactics through savings and budgeting. The CBA targets young adults who are the social media enthusiast and offer a broad range of services.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is the utilization of social networking sites by organizations to promote their products and services to social media users. Social media marketing is the persuasion of prospective consumers that the company's goods and services are worth consuming through the use of social media (Neti, 2011). Products and service marketing through social networks involve sharing of information, images, and online videos. Thus, social media marketing is the deployment of marketing knowledge, techniques and strategies to establish brand awareness and influence the existing and potential customers. Through social media marketing, organizations marketers create a chance to present the products to consumers while listening to their feedback (Baghaturia & Johnson, 2014). Organizations save a lot of amount of money by reducing the advertising expenditure. Moreover, through social media organizations can pick different groups influencers who act as online ambassadors for the organization products and impact positively on the buying behaviors of consumers (Rico, Bradley & Kiefer, 2010). Hence, social media marketing helps to raise organization's revenues through advertising to a large population at no cost and expose the company in the industry.
The Common Wealth Bank of Australia has employed social media marketing and has helped in increasing patronage. The CBA has a social media charitable campaign dubbed the ‘community seeds’ that involves fans voting for community organizations on Facebook and the bank donates money to them (Walen, 2011).The program helps the bank in the actualization of the objectives of community engagement towards a noble course while engaging the member on social media. The community seeds program utilize the Facebook capabilities and launch interactions with members through incentives for sharing the information with the circles of friends. Consequently, the campaign is an efficient and innovative marketing campaign that sees people visits the program Facebook page in large numbers and shares the vision of the bank.
Furthermore, the bank partnered with Facebook and initiated a campaign to open savings for Australians and reward the new accounts with free movies passes in a whole year (Lee, 2011). The deal was highly embraced and led to massive accounts opening at the bank, thus, benefiting the institution with more members. The CBA engages the fans on Facebook in an entertaining and rewarding program known as Centenary Time Vault, where followers are tasked to find an answer to the bank history questions and receive $2000 a day. The initiative drives the members to learn more about the organization and supports the bank's goals as well as marketing its products to other social media users. Additionally, the bank engages social media users on Facebook and YouTube channels in a program dubbed the ‘Hussy’s Lunchtime Legends’ where the fans answer the questions on the legend past life and win daily prizes. The program draws traffic on the bank's social media platforms and spurs conversation about the bank. Thus, the bank has employed content strategy on social media to keep the fans entertained and winning prizes as well as instilling the feeling of a concerned organization. The initiatives draw supports from members and gain more non-members to follow the social media accounts and eventually consume the bank's services.
Ethics, Privacy, and Security
The social media platforms contain personal and confidential information of users that can be accessible to the other parties on the networks. Moreover, Organizations holds the member's personal data and can use the information to identify the user and access crucial private information. Business organizations are supposed to conduct themselves in an ethical manner to maintain a healthy relationship with the customers (Leitch & Warren, 2011). The team should not use online customer information to access users’ personal data.
The Common Wealth Bank of Australia conducts its social media business in a morally acceptable manner and respects the client's privacy. The CBA does not disclose customers’ personal information on social media (Common Wealth Bank of Australia, 2013).The bank protects individual and financial data by the Australian privacy acts and principles and ensures the member’s information is secure. Additionally, the bank uses ethical means of collecting customer’s information and use the information according to the law to prevent any harm that may result from an authorized access of personal and financial information. The organization seeks the customer's consent to access, upgrade and correct personal information (Common Wealth Bank of Australia, 2015). Thus, the organization protects customer information collected through social media and advice the members on how to improve the security of their data.
The CBA does not secretly access customers’ personal data from social media sites or harass the members into revealing their financial position. The Common Wealth Bank does not send messages on social media asking members to reveal or confirm confidential financial information (Common Wealth Bank of Australia, 2015). The bank does not make unauthorized searches of personal information or make unauthorized disclosure of information to other institutions or people. The bank's social media policy prohibits employees from posting on organization social media channels and private social networks account about customers dealings (Common Wealth Bank of Australia, 2010). Additionally, the bank values the independence of clients and does not sieve negative comments of social media platforms and instead, uses the comments to tailor services to customer’s needs. Thus, the company conducts social media business ethically; prioritizing the privacy and the security of customer’s data.
Social Media Technologies
The Common Wealth Bank of Australia has a massive following on Facebook, Twitter, and the YouTube channels. The Google Analytics web indicates the CBA as one leading bank in social media presence with a lot of conversations going on in its Facebook and Twitter account (Senadheera, Warren & Leitch, 2011). The bank has used the technology to improve the activities on the social media platforms through the establishment of CommBank Kaching iPhone application that enables members of the bank to share payment with Facebook friends directly. Additionally, the organization launched the property guide app giving consumers insightful information of resources. The group runs a community engagement program known as community seeds through Facebook fan page allowing the customers to vote on their preferred organizations that receive funding from the bank. The interaction enhances the social media presence and activities of the bank.
Summary and Conclusion
The Common Wealth Bank of Australia has created and maintained an active social media presence by utilizing Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube platforms among others. The organization plan is to build an engaging community and offer customer support. The bank strategy involves a 24-hour clock and instantaneous customer service team to respond to the social network users. The institution bridged a gap between the company and its members and enabled delivery of services in a new and faster way. The bank online presence and strategies have yielded positive results in delivering satisfactory customer services and creating an interactive community. The institution has social media challenges where the winners’ bag rewards and this has launched conversation between the members and with the organization. The community seed program is one of the interactive session where members talk and share with friends as they vote for an organization. The Kaching iPhone application has enabled members to interact and pay each other on Facebook. Thus, the social media usage has attained a high percentage of the social media plan. Nevertheless, the organization ought to embrace the idea of rewarding active social media members without competition. Additionally, the organization should actively participate in discussions and invest heavily in analytics to enable coming up with content that meets the followers’ needs.
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