This post continues our week-long series detailing the impact of social media on various industries.
By Briana Campbell (@MsMatchgirl)
Thanks to the economic downturn of last year, the perpetual hot topic – for the foreseeable future – is personal finance. How can you manage your money? Why do we manage our money so poorly? Why on earth do people think it’s OK to buy a bunch of stuff that’s way too expensive for our tax bracket? And why is it that people seem so very confused about all of this?
An Australian bank has challenged themselves to teach kids about managing their personal finances by 2015 – imagine a whole country of financially literate people! Earlier this year, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia launched Coinland, “the virtual money management world 4 kids.” The goal is to teach kids about earning and spending through an interactive game. I wonder if this makes it more or less real? Or will it lead to more stories like the one about the 12 year old UK boy who spent $1,200 on the Facebook game Farmville?
Social media in banking isn’t just for kids, however. Well Fargo has several blogs where consumers can get up-to-date information, as well as a Facebook fanpage and a Twitter feed where, during regular business hours, people can tweet their questions about their checking or savings account or online banking in general and someone will answer them. And American Express recently joined forces with NBC for a multi-platform advertising campaign aimed to engage their customers/NBC viewers by encouraging them to nominate small businesses in their community to be the recipient of a “Shining Light” award. And where do they vote? They were directed to a forum on the website iVillage, and strongly encouraged to discuss the pros and cons of all the nominees using Twitter and Facebook, as well as the iVillage forum. The winning business will receive $100,000 (in the form of a grant and marketing support) from AmEx.
I wonder where else we’ll see financial businesses showing up in the world of social media!