Finance this, social that

Financial services? Ugh. 😩

It’s definitely not my industry of choice, but what I am interested in is how it used social media to embrace its power and adapt to consumer demand.

And that’s exactly what we’re going to talk about today. 🗣

The foundation of social media may be “to be social” (Coates & Iannelli, 2019), but that’s no longer the only function. The beauty is that it’s now used for collaboration and integration (Eldridge, 2017). Many firms are utilising online platforms to improve customer service, monetary transactions and determining your chances of getting a loan (Eldridge, 2017)! 💰

To freshen your memory, the Social Media Marketing Framework (SMMF) consists of four dimensions that are used in order to develop a digital strategy (Felix et al., 2016; Chaffey & Ellis-Chadwick, 2019). The dimensions are:

  1. Scope
  2. Culture
  3. Structure
  4. Governance (Felix et al., 2016; Chaffey & Ellis-Chadwick, 2019).


If we recall my blog post on Keeping up with Kylie Jenner, I mentioned that the scope is based on how social media platforms are used (Felix et al., 2016; Chaffey & Ellis-Chadwick, 2019). The two types of scope include being a defender or an explorer (Felix et al., 2016). 👀

Being a defender is all about your brand communicating to the audience, and shying away from the risk of consumers speaking negatively about you and/or your brand (Felix et al., 2016).

In contrast, the scope of an explorer allows the opportunity for your brand’s audience to say whatever they like, whenever they like about you – and have you respond, in return (Felix et al., 2016). #Engagement 🔛

Image 1: Banks engaging with consumer issues (Westpac, 2019)

The industry saw social media as a threat (Chaffey & Ellis-Chadwick, 2019), and as such, would have acted within the scope of a defender due to its risky nature. However, since the transition to digital, we can notice a shift in customer service.

The traditional method of word-of-mouth is stronger on social media platforms, and customers are more likely to publicise their concerns digitally (Eldridge, 2017). The use of these channels provided the opportunity for banks to engage with their customers, and enhancing their relationships (Eldridge, 2017).


When discussing the second dimension of culture, we’re talking about the different uses of social media. (Chaffey & Ellis-Chadwick, 2019). What I mean by this is that culture within the SMMF is either conservative or modern (Felix et al., 2016).

If a culture is conservative, then you recognise social media as a means of mass-marketing, with the capacity to reach a large audience (Felix et al., 2016).

If a culture is modern, then you embrace platforms as a collaborative opportunity to engage with your consumers (Felix et al., 2016; Chaffey Ellis-Chadwick, 2019).

Marketing within the financial services industry continue to use traditional media, but have adapted to the rise of online media which enforces banks to change when the social environment changes (Eldridge, 2017).

For example, American Express demonstrates social media integration by linking their consumers’ credit card with their profiles on Facebook and FourSquare (Eldridge, 2017). This allows the Amex user to have access to deals based on likes and check-ins (Eldridge, 2017). 💸

Image 2: American Express credit card (American Express, 2019)

(… surely I’m not the only one who thinks this is cool?!) 😮


This dimension refers to how social media is implemented and operated into your marketing strategy (Felix et al., 2016). A hierarchy structure is where someone has 100% control, whereas a network is more about collaborating as a team (Felix et al., 2016). 🌐

It’s quite evident that this industry operates within a network structure as:

“Lenders are now using social media to credit rate applicants, and banks are asking people to use social media for references” (Eldridge, 2017).

Additionally, DenizBank in Turkey has offered banking services through Facebook (Eldridge, 2017). Customers have access to their account and manage their expenses (Eldridge, 2017).


Governance refers to how online platforms are literally used in terms of content (Felix et al., 2016).

Autocracy is similar to a hierarchal structure. There is a procedure and a protocol that must be followed when publishing content and providing information to your audience (Felix et al., 2016).

In contrast, anarchy allows you the freedom to post whatever you please (Felix et al., 2016). 🤷🏻‍♀️

The financial services industry implemented particular policies based on social media usage (Eldridge, 2017). Often, there are situations where customers will have serious conversations with their bank. It is important to maintain a customer relationship and ensure that such conversations remain private and are not published online (Eldridge, 2017).

The Social Media Marketing Framework allowed the financial services industry to adapt and embrace the benefits of social media through the four dimensions of scope, culture, structure, and governance (Felix et al., 2016; Eldridge, 2017; Chaffey & Ellis-Chadwick, 2019).

Not only did the industry apply policies, but it integrated its regular services (e.g. online banking, transferring money, etc.) to social media platforms (Eldridge, 2017).

I know today’s blog was a bit dry, but it’s still interesting to see the powerful impact of social media, don’t ya think?! 📱

VP. ✨


American Express. (2019). The American Express Platinum Card. American Express [Online]. Retrieved from:

Chaffey, D. & Ellis-Chadwick, F. (2019). Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. United Kingdom: Pearson.

Coates, E. & Iannelli, R. (2019). Social School. Canberra: Ivy Social & Good Day PR.

Felix, R., Rauschnabel, P. A. & Hinsch, C. (2016). Elements of strategic social media marketing: A holistic framework. Journal of Business Research, 70(1), 118-126.

Eldridge, R. (2016). How Social Media Is Shaping Financial Services. Huffpost [Online]. Retrieved from:

Westpac [@Westpac]. (2019). Facebook profile. Retrieved from:

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