From the Bat Cave; batty bans on Social Media

sm fear

This month we are blogging from the Bat Cave, unfortunately the Bat Mobile is not included although we do have an array of diggers and wood chippers outside. The Mitchell Moneypenny office building is being treated to a little facelift which means the entire building has been covered with scaffolding and men in high vis jackets. So far they have been lucky with the weather, but I do feel for them working outside in what is supposed to be our summer, especially the few days when it’s pouring with freezing rain.

With all the recent social media press attention, both positive and negative, we have been looking at the role that social media plays within financial networks. Many networks had previously been nervous about using and allowing the use of social media due to the risk of being non-compliant. In certain cases a complete blanket ban on use of sites like twitter was implemented by the more nervous networks. This is a stance that both recent headlines and our statistics suggest seems to be changing. The results are extremely interesting and can be found in the Money Marketing article by our MD Nicola Mitchell containing the first ‘Moneypenny Social Media Index’ published on the 30th May.

It demonstrates how important it is to implement a solid social media strategy and why just being ‘present’ on social media is not enough. Whilst a slightly cautious attitude to use is sensible, the refusal by networks to allow members to tap in to this amazing resource is frankly batty! Creating and maintaining social profiles is not about sales or financial promotions and those unsure of compliance risks should certainly steer clear of using it for this purpose. It is a way to create an all important personality for your brand and interact on a more personal level. It gives the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge and share industry topics with like minded people.

The use of social media may also drive back good customer service; something I feel has been declining over recent years, with sites like twitter allowing you to tweet at businesses publicly and directly the pressure is on to keep the consumer happy. I personally make sure I seek out and thank companies that provide excellent service and also provide feedback on products and services I have received. Businesses that respond promptly and positively to offer further assistance or advice will always retain my custom.

The demand for more information about social media use in financial services is definitely out there. We have once again been invited to do a seminar on the subject for another client conference. It will be interesting to see if we get the same level of enthusiasm as we had at the last one.

We will continue to closely monitor the networks and will be keeping you abreast of the changes as they slowly awaken to the importance of having a social presence and finally find their social media feet.

Budget, Eggs and the Iron lady

easter blog

It’s spring time (but not as we know it) in the Mitchell Moneypenny offices and after a very unseasonal freezing cold March we are very pleased to hear that sunshine is finally on its way. March is supposed to be a time of daffodils and Easter chicks, not sheep being pulled out of snow drifts! Perhaps Mother Nature got distracted trying to work full time, keep a house and family in order and find time to make Easter bonnets for the school parade? There was no bonnet making for my kids school this year but had they done so I think they would have been knitted.

The big event of March was the much anticipated Budget announcement. We nervously watched George Osborne deliver it to see if we could actually afford to buy any Easter eggs this year.  In a time of austerity the budget was never going to delight everybody, but it wasn’t all doom and gloom, the help to buy and mortgage guarantee schemes will hopefully give a much needed boost to the economy and if that doesn’t work out at least we get 1p off beer!

There has been a lot going on in the office with some great new clients to look after. It has been fantastic to work on such a variety of projects and face new challenges. Nic has been particularly in demand for her knowledge and expertise lately. She attended the Money Marketing awards on the 21st March for her regular role as judge, a very good night by all accounts. She is also a judge for the Headline Money Awards coming up in May (and yes, before you ask, it is too late for bribery!). This month also marks my six month anniversary working for Mitchell Moneypenny. It has flown by so quickly, and I can’t believe how much I have learned.  Some of the day to day tasks that I now do without thinking were a terrifying prospect just six short months ago.

In other news, (you may have heard) Margaret Thatcher passed away this week causing a ‘Thatcher post’ overload on my twitter feed. She certainly had the marmite effect on people, and whilst I was never a ‘lover’ myself I do have a begrudging admiration for the lady that became the first woman ever to take command at number 10 and kept her post the longest.  Her funeral will be a huge state affair next week and I can’t help worrying in a country so divided over their feelings for her whether this will stir up a whole hornet’s nest of problems.

Tanith Harding