For some time now I’ve been looking at social networking to see how its application can be applied to the savings industry. There are some spine tingling statistics surrounding social network usage such as Facebook.
Facebook has over 12.6 million users in the UK, a third of the online population. There are a further 120 million globally. The numbers are trully phenomenal. Facebook receives 15 billion page views per month, the third most visited site on the web. 50% of users, return multiple time per day.
34% are professionals, with each user having an average social networking group of 120 peers. Facebook, like many social networking sites works on the basis of shared voyeuristic activities and experiences, such as game playing and other applications. There are thousands of applications written and being written for Faceboook today.
Within this plethora of applciations there just has to be a place for encouraging savings and a new paradigm for the delivery of financial services products. For instance, RDR appears to open the door to social networking with the de-coupling of advise from sale creating the potential for web-based execution-only that link to transaction engines and to wrap platforms.
There is the potential for financial education and advisory tools that link into transaction environments, this could be massive.
There is an Opportunity to Twitter / Yammer i.e. to communicate in an active participatory way.
Social Networking continues to be an enigma to many Chief executives and managers in the financial services market, however, slowly we are seeing an awakening to the opportunity that they offer. Coupled with the deterioration of new money comming into the market, social networking may provide the platform to address an 18-30 demographic, currently alienated from saving, so as to eventually become the client base of the next thirty years.