Brands in the financial and travel sectors are missing out on valuable marketing techniques by failing to take advantage of social networking websites.

The 2008 Social Media Sectors report from Tamar reveals that companies in the finance and travel industries are not capitalising on opportunities to create customer support groups on social networking websites.

Only 30 per cent of the top ten financial services firms have an official presence on social networking websites.

This compares to 80 per cent who have unofficial groups set up by consumers.

Interestingly, the report revealed that two of the top finance firms have over 70 groups set up where customers swap negative experiences.

“With financial organisations aiming to persuade consumers about the security of online transactions, it is hardly a time to neglect online brand reputation,” commented Tamar’s head of social media Henry Elliss. “Failure to counter mounting criticism will result in a loss of consumer faith for financial brands.”

The report also found that 30 per cent of travel firms have official social networking groups.

Those that did have official online groups were the subject of a further 59 per cent more unofficial consumer groups than brands without any presence at all.
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