Social Media Fitness: Financial Services

an interview with
Kris Gates AVP, Customer Experience Marketing, MassMutual Financial Group

Among the many contributors of insightful content for the Social Media Fitness Study was Kris Gates, AVP, Participant and Interactive Marketing, Mass Mutual Retirement Services Division.  If you haven’t tried to do social media in Financial Services then you have no idea the regulatory barriers these folks face everyday.   I think you will find what Kris has to say about these challenges and others quite interesting.  Thanks again Kris.

DN: Besides regulatory risks, do you think there is anything else holding Financial Services firms back from committing more time/money to social media?
Beyond regulatory concerns, I think the inability for marketers to provide the business with a social media ROI the way we do other mediums continues to play a role in firms commitments. This seems to be the item that most of the naysayers point to.

DN: Can you shed some light on why your organization developed a disaster plan? Did you by chance have a disaster first?
No disasters. Due to the nature of our work, our company takes disaster planning very seriously. Our communications and mediums to distribute those are all included in our planning.

DN: How have you dealt with customer service related SM issues and / or recruiting via social?
For now we continue to manage social out of our marketing area. When customer service related items come up, they are assigned and resolved through members of our customer service team (call center).

DN: What are the barriers to creating highly engaging content?
It’s not that the content is not engaging so much as the topic. We’ve noticed a consistently steady rate of view, clicks, etc but not less comments. So a lot of people are consuming our content without responding/commenting. While we continue to create more compelling content, I believe consumers personal financial issues/questions/thoughts are something they are not entirely comfortable sharing with their Facebook friends. Funny that people will share details about their personal life via social channels, but are hesitant to let others see they struggle with financial literacy…

DN: Can you speak to the expected benefits of coordinating the customer experience across all communication channels?
We look to provide the same value, support, education for our consumers no matter which channel they prefer to engage us in. From a content creation standpoint, I challenge my team to the three channel test. If a piece of content is not compelling enough to be utilized in some form in at least three consumer channels, then it’s probably not worth creating.

DN: What if anything is holding you back from being in more channels?
If this is referring to social media channels, the answer is resources. (for content management, response, and compliance/regulatory review). Although. I believe this as an area we will expand upon in the future.

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