social customer acquisition strategy

In an interview conducted with Social Media Leadership Awards speaker Brian Mook, AVP of Social Media at Barclaycard US, we discuss how customer acquisition is not only possible but also measurable through social campaigns.

Brian is responsible for growing brand awareness through social media for Barclaycard US, a top 10 issuer of credit cards in the US. Marketing financial services has traditionally been facilitated and measured through direct response strategy. Social media is mostly considered a “Brand Awareness” channel for financial services, but Brian has a plan to show returns that rival search acquisition.

Considering their tremendous growth in the past a year, we thought he might have a few things figured out.

“Card acquisition in social is doable and cost effective,” Brian says. “At Barclaycard we have over 60 partnerships with best-in-class companies and brands. We use social to educate, engage and build brand awareness for each partnership.”

But there is not a one-size-fits all approach to content strategy. Marketers launching their social brand can learn a few things from the Barclaycard US strategy.

Make the brand story personal to the consumer

“Humanizing a financial service brand is tough," but instead of exclusively publishing bank-speak rates and facts that bore consumers, “we take ownership of the rewards to tell the story of each of our card partnerships.”

Barclaycard Arrival is a card that builds miles for future family vacations, and #BarclaycardTravel is the curated conversation that connects consumers who love to explore with a card built to help them escape to their next exotic vacation. 

Educate consumer in layman’s terms

“Certain features of a credit card can be lost in financial translation,” so Barclaycard keeps education simple by providing a weekly #FinancialTip in 500 characters or so. A recent FICO Credit meter promotion offered a free tool to cardholders to understand what a FICO score actually does for them.

Engage through mobile and social

“You can’t have one without the other.” Barclaycard recently launched a mobile app and used social to lead app downloads to over 1 million.  To further align their products with their customers' psychographic interests and connect with mobile social users, Barclaycard launched a “Like to Love.”

Like to Love allowed customers to enter a sweepstakes by uploading mobile and Instagram photos of what they “like to love” to a Barclaycard Facebook app. Contests like this not only engage fans, but increase organic sharing of the brand on Facebook and collect a segment of mobile social Facebook users for future campaigns.

Again, there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to designing a customer acquisition strategy. But Brian’s work with Barclaycard US helps regulated marketers outline a few things to consider before launching a campaign.

Things to think about when designing a Social Customer Acquisition Strategy:

1)   Ad Targeting: Social provides a wealth of data through tags and targeting info, and it’s better than most ad networks as it's based on actual interests and connections.

2)   Crafting the Offer: Is it a sweeps? Is it a transactional offer? What historical data from previous successes do you have on customer preferences?

3)   Creative: Social networks allow you to A/B test your ad creative, so plan to be flexible and try to find a mix that works.

Social media leaders like Brian Mook from Barclaycard US and presenting brands like Adobe, Chase, American Airlines, Campbell Soup Company, and Prudential will be sharing Social Selling, Social Customer Service, and Content Strategy during the Social Media Leadership Awards this December 9-10 in Philadelphia, PA.