How Online Reputation Management Has Helped the Financial Industry
The reputation of the financial industry has suffered a lot during the past decade. Five years ago there was limited presence of financial services companies on social platforms. Banks, financial managers and executives always preferred to keep a low profile. The main thing online reputation management has shown is that if you don’t have information about your business activity or about you on the internet, the information provided by third parties will dominate the search results.
The financial industry has come under a lot of scrutiny, especially in America, with people losing faith in the credibility of banks. That’s when the financial industry started to amend their stance and focused on improving their reputation via two main strategies: better communication online and establishing philanthropic programs.
Fannie Mae, the largest financial services company in the U.S., is a good example of improving communication. The company built an extensive library of resources on its website to help its customers, also introducing channels of communication with company representatives. They opened a Twitter account, as well as a YouTube channel with numerous informative videos.
They recognized that if you do not connect with the customer to listen to his complaints, he will let his frustration out somewhere else on the internet. Nowadays all of the companies that have a consumer facing division do have a Twitter customer service system. Further, many have expanded their online customer support alternatives.
Fanny Mae had established philanthropic programs like the “Help the Homeless” that was distributed via Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. This provides the company with content on search results pages that puts it into a positive light. Goldman Sachs has also taken this approach having one of the most prominent philanthropic programs within the financial industry.
Financial services companies have provided customers with platforms for voicing their suggestions and complaints. As such, the company can immediately identify issues and address these without suffering major reputation damage. It has also led to companies building a strong presence in the online medium on popular social platform like Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.
While these measures do not entirely eliminate reputation threats, it did decrease companies’ vulnerability to significant damage.
Online reputation management tools are ideally used to prevent reputation damages. The key to this process is building a robust online presence. This is a process that starts with auditing the brand’s perception, studying major online sources of reputation risk and building a strategy to maintain a positive online brand image.