This is the third in our series of publications on the Social Media Mix of Banks, with the first one published in the Monday, 16th January, 2023 edition of this column. The key social media accounts we identified are Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube – which we coined as TILFY. While the first article focusses on Twitter, the second one brings to the fore the dynamics of Instagram for business. Today’s publication focusses on LinkedIn as a strategic platform for a niche market.
LinkedIn is a business and employment-focused social media platform that works through websites and mobile applications. As a business and employment-focused platform, C-Suite executives and business leaders tend to prefer LinkedIn to other social media platforms. In the USA, a media monitoring Barometer in 2022 by pressrelations – a cross-media monitoring and media analysis firm – analysed the social media presence of Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of Dow Jones companies and concluded that 70 percent of them prefer LinkedIn to other social media platforms. The reason behind the 70 percent preference, according to the Barometer, is that LinkedIn “attracts more in-depth comments based on the post’s content and context, which is why this platform is ideal for small-scale yet insightful communication with employees, investors and the public.”
In a related case, marketing communications firm Weber Shandwick conducted a survey of 1,700 global executives. Eighty-seven percent (87%) of the respondents confirmed that Chief Executive Officers’(CEOs’) media presence has a direct and profound impact on their organisations’ marketability, valuation, and attractiveness for investors. Based on these findings, we can say that LinkedIn serves as a strategic partner in the media mix since CEOs who are the key drivers of strategic decisions consider it their first preference.
Considering the fact that the LinkedIn platform is the hub for many business executives, employees and others with related commonalities, it can be considered as an “Ideas Bank” of its kind to solicit ideas for further research and product development. In that regard, one of the key products of LinkedIn worth unearthing for product development is the premium account. The premium account helps get detailed business insights for decision-making. The business insights are based on such in-depth comments by other users on the contents (posts) shared on the platform by businesses and individuals. We cannot establish whether or not banks in Ghana use the LinkedIn platform to solicit ideas and use same to develop new or tailor-made products. We recommend they explore it further for business development and sales.
Indeed, LinkedIn also helps drive sales. LinkedIn Sales Navigator helps businesses to generate leads and build portfolio of new customers. LinkedIn Sales Solutions show Sales Navigator is trusted by more than 80 percent of the Forbes Cloud 100. The platform also revealed that there is +17 percent higher win rates when saving leads on Sales Navigator, +42 percent larger deals when using Sales Navigator to connect with decision makers, and 15 percent more pipeline when using Sales Navigator to find customers.
ACTIVE TILFY ACCOUNTS IN GHANA AS @ DEC 2022
The Statcounter Global Stats data confirms that there are six million, six hundred and one thousand, one hundred (6,601,100) active social media accounts in respect of Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube with Others (839,576), including Pinterest, Tumblr, Reddit and VKontakte in Ghana. The table entitled: “Active TILFY Accounts in Ghana as at December 2022” re-emphasises the statistical updates of the active social media accounts.
The top on the list of banks is the GCB Bank, which is also the biggest bank in terms of assets in the country. It has 70,658 followers on the LinkedIn platform. Fidelity Bank placed second, with 49,602 followers. Stanbic Bank (Ghana) placed third on the rankings. Other banks follow in that order in the rankings. Standard Chartered Bank(Ghana), at the time of this work does not have its Ghana LinkedIn Account even though it has a global(group) account with closed to two million followers. One of the key observations we have made is that LinkedIn has monthly activity average rate of 0.47 percent in the country. Twitter on the other hand, has a monthly activity average rate of 14.68 percent while Instagram has 6.3 percent. LinkedIn has the lowest average rate, and the trend confirms that it is, in fact, a business and employment-focused social media platform. Therefore, the interest of this segment can best be served with business, employment and related interactive contents.
Banks and other businesses maintain social media accounts to engage the public regularly. While our studies at J.S Morlu reveal that the banks with major followers engage their followers on the LinkedIn platform with flyers of product promotions, short videos of events – such as new branch openings, corporate social responsibilities – much has not been seen regarding live streaming of interactive events. Indeed, regular and interactive public engagements help build trust and confidence, which is the foundation for the survival of the banking business. Considering the fact that the LinkedIn community is an intellectual one, we encourage banks to incorporate thought leadership programmes on emerging issues. Live streaming of interactive events will serve a long way to improve and stimulate engagements with the public as far as the social media mix is concerned.
Bernard is a Chartered Accountant with over 14 years of professional and industry experience in Financial Services Sector and Management Consultancy. He is the Managing Partner of J.S Morlu (Ghana) – an international consulting firm providing Accounting, Tax, Auditing, IT Solutions and Business Advisory Services to both private businesses and government.
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