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Companies around the globe are embracing and adapting social media for many different reasons, including: customer service, marketing, internal communications, public relations, and corporate social responsibility. It is now a reality that social media is changing the way stakeholders and companies communicate daily, providing opportunities for collaboration, participation, interactivity, and engagement.
Your task is to analyse a business case study that chronicles the management of a social media strategy by First National Bank (FNB), one of South Africa's 'Big Four' banks.
A business case study 'is a description of an actual situation, commonly involving a decision, a challenge, an opportunity, a problem or an issue faced by a person (or persons) in an organization' (Erskine, J.A. and Leenders, M.R., Learning with Cases, © 1997, Richard Ivey School of Business). Cases contain relevant data about the issue available to the key person in the case, plus background information about the organisation.
To: Lana Strydon, Head Digital Marketing and Media, FNB
From: 'your name'
Subject: Analysis of social media strategy of First National Bank
Over the years, FNB has grown to one of the largest banks which is also due to its visibility among the public. But the bank operates in a highly competitive landscape and to grow further, digital marketing strategies have to be enhanced. Based on the details shared by Strydon, the bank currently has the below media communication channels:
- Blogs, micro-blogs and websites
- Advertisements (based on sponsorship)
- News channels and websites via press releases
FNB started using social media marketing in the year 2004 and since then, their focus has mostly been micro-blogging platforms with Twitter holding an important space. It is important to diversify and use various platforms to cover members of all demographics and this is the area that FNB has to focus on (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010).
In an innovative manner, FNB also gained alliances in emerging markets to gain a foothold in these markets. To comply with local regulations and Basel II norms, FNB has concentrated on growth of revenue, improving skill sets competing in the market and continuously innovating.
Leadership programs were conducted to create a conducive environment for all employees. This enables lot of investors to show greater interest in FNB.
The reduction in customers from 39% to 24% in just one year indicated by their numbers shows that employee loyalty is a major challenge for FNB. Another statistic shows that 70% of the customers switched their banks due to higher fees. It has become imperative for FNB at this juncture to increase customer loyalty and social media is an effective way to achieve this.
FNB was able to regularly communicate with its customers using social media platforms. By rolling out innovative mobile platforms, strategies and reward programs, they have been engaging customers in a positive way. They have also acquired new customers with their innovative customer acquisition strategies and have also been spending a fair amount on marketing. The key issue is only due to the fact that with growing competition, FNB has to step up its advertising spend. This has also become imperative due to reduction in customer loyalty.
Mobile Banking has been gaining greater importance among developing and under developed countries. With large number of customers coming from these countries, FNB can improve its facilities available on mobile banking platform.
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