Banks Utilise Social Media In The Wake Of New Zealand Earthquake

Nowadays if asked how social media can benefit you on a daily basis, many of you may be stumped with giving an answer. Although 2 of the biggest social networking sites Twitter and Facebook are used for some to stay in contact with their friends and loved ones, they can also act as a way of companies advertising their brands or even used as a communication tool in times of trouble.

The recent earthquake that took place in Christchurch New Zealand, the second in recent times, brought both sites as well as Google together for a place for people to share and find out information. But news that has come through is of how banks particularly that of the Bank of New Zealand turned to Twitter in its hour of need!

The site was used as www.stuff.co.nz reported, as a way for the bank to find all of its 487 members of staff, to give guidance as to what cash machines and branches were working and using Twitter to promote fundraising via tweets. Consequently since BNZ’s earthquake involvement and the easy accessibility for customers to find out important information, many have suggested that they may even change their banking methods in the future.

Interestingly enough here at OSM, we reported just a few weeks back, on the small number of banks happy to partake in using social media. This has been backed up by recent research by Ovum that have said at least 60% of retail banks globally have no plans set up to use social media with 1% planning to use it within 2 years.

Statistical information suggests that 6% of banks use social media to deal with customer queries, 14% use it for advertising and marketing purposes and 12% plan to use it by the end of 2011. Findings showed that as well as banks using Twitter, sites such as Facebook and Yammer have been experimented with by companies such as Kiwibank and ASB internet banking.

Digital Marketing Manager for Kiwibank “Sara Blake” stated that the 2 big sites Facebook and Twitter have been used to promote campaigns, update customers and to help with customers queries, but as she said, their social media presence was “not huge,” and would have to be reviewed from time to time.

On the other hand, ASB’s acting General Manager “Michael Ramsay,” said, “Presently they have more than 2300 Twitter users with another 14,000 on Facebook. He also went on to say that as well as using social media to deal with customer enquiries and so on, he could see an increase in mobile social media with the use of smartphones and tablet devices.

What do you think about banks taking up the idea of using social media?