How Financial Services can use Social Media to manage Brexit risk

Risk is an inherent element of running a business. Not properly assessing or monitoring factors that can lead to risk can leave an organisation exposed and vulnerable. These factors come in many shapes and sizes. For Financial Services, Brexit and Consumer sentiment on social media are the unnerving questions mark looming on the horizon.

Over recent years, many Financial Services organisations have experienced significant challenges due to industry failings and negative public sentiment. Nearly 2.2 Million people are employed in UK Financial Services, which despite its problems, is still regarded as a global centre of excellence. Exiting the EU would create a vacuum of uncertainty. Would the UK still be able to “passport” services into Europe? Would leading organisations upsticks and relocate to the continent? What would be the impact of having no influence over EU Financial regulations?

So, on Thursday 23rd June 2016 the Public will have its say and it will either be “Leave” or “Remain”. But one thing is for sure, by creating processes and plans, risk can be measured, mitigated and managed, lessening the potential impact on an organisation and preventing painful lessons from the past being repeated.

Here are the key takeaways from our longstanding partnerships with leading organisation such as the FCA and A Plan Insurance;

Measuring and Managing Risks

Essentially, you have two modes of action when managing risk and putting plans in processes in place for your business.

Firstly, you can monitor and measure the possibility of a crisis occurring. One way to do this is by tracking consumer sentiment around key events such as Brexit on social media – which is now the first place Consumers go to the share their views. Once you have established if sentiment is positive or negative you can then put appropriate contingency plans in place.

Of course, it may be too late for your organisation to implement this type of strategy. In this case, you are going to have to acknowledge and accept the consequences of this risk and establish the best way to handle it, maintaining your brand reputation and repairing consumer sentiment.

By adopting this kind of approach, Financial Services providers can help to negate risk as far as possible, while taking a proactive approach to managing consumer sentiment and complying with strict regulations in this volatile industry.

The Tools to Protect your Brand

The strategy of managing risk by “listening” to online conversations is now commonplace amongst disruptive new entrants to the FS sector – causing established incumbents to sit up and take notice to their business models. Not only does this give you forewarning and visibility of potentially risk-laden trends or events, but it allows you to proactively manage your brand and engage with key influencers.

By monitoring both specific mentions of your brand online, and indirect mentions of your business, you will be alerted to specific conversations that you will want to be a part of. Indeed, most risk management providers now recognise social media monitoring tools as best practice when collecting data on behalf of their clients.

This data can then be segmented by topic, source or date, categorising it and allowing multiple risk factors to be assessed. The real-time nature of online data allows for swift interventions when a crisis looks like occurring, or conversely, to capitalise on an emerging opportunity.

A social media monitoring tool can be an immediate and cost-effective method of alerting you to keywords relevant to your business. By quickly identifying the source, correcting inaccuracies or limiting the spread of information, you can significantly offset the impact of a crisis.

Proactive PR Management

By using social media monitoring, an FS organisation can track an emerging story and react accordingly. For example, on the day of the crash to Lloyd’s Banking Group’s cash machines, the bank noticed a spike in negative sentiment. But rather than putting a plan in place to reassure its customers and provide up to the minute information, they elected instead to only send a communication after the problem was fixed – this resulted in many customers feeling undervalued and a generated a loss of general confidence.

A more proactive and transparent approach would have been to send regular communications or create a specific area on their website containing all the latest information, which customer could have been directed towards.

Risk and crisis will never be removed from corporate life, particularly in Financial Services. But more importantly, it’s how these scenarios are reacted to that leave a lasting impression on both customers and general consumers. By heeding the lessons of the past and putting in place proactive measures like those discussed above, risk can be continually measured, managed and mitigated.

If you wish to discover more about how we help protect our clients from external threats, disgruntled employees or how to capitalise on positive PR opportunities, please drop us a line.

About the Writer:

social media brexit
Stuart Banbery is the Marketing Manager at SocialSignIn and has a background spanning many vertical sectors. Stuart is responsible for the strategic and tactical marketing operations at SocialSignIn, and is passionate about making corporate use of social media more human. Outside of work Stuart loves outdoor pursuits, travelling and is a keen Triathlon competitor.

If you’d like to connect on LinkedIn click here or follow him on Twitter @StuartBanbery