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@askpermanenttsb Social Media Strategy

On 29, Jul 2013 | No Comments | In | By Phil Murphy

@askpermanenttsb Social Media Strategy

@askpermanenttsb is permanent tsb’s Twitter account that serves the banks 1.2 million customers in Ireland. The account is largely customer service focused but it is also used as a promotional channel if the content is appropriate.

When proposed as a communications medium, there was an initial ‘fear of the unknown’ regarding social media adoption, its relevancy within financial services and the benefits permanent tsb could derive from its use.

What was my role?
I had previously worked on several successful social media projects and  could envisage how it could positively impact customer sentiment, support the new brand re-positioning campaign to be launched – ‘Back to Basics’  and assist the online commercial strategy. I compiled and presented a detailed business case for the Executive of the bank detailing the case for social media adoption. Accordingly a number number of objections arose, similar to those highlighted above. Each objection and concern was addressed and successfully worked through until unanimous approval for social media adoption was granted.

permanent tsb is a large organisation and for ‘social’  to work and deliver real customer centric benefits, we needed to be able to respond immediately and consistently with accurate helpful information.  To make this happen, I utilised the ‘Hub & Spoke’ model of communication – with the social media and other cross functional teams being the ‘Hub’ and each department in the orgainsation having a nominated ‘Spoke’ who could help us respond to questions promptly and represent their department’s social media needs.

It was important to the quality of the engagement correct and we achieved this through the purposeful recruitment of an social media executive with financial services product knowledge and an interest in social media. As a team we managed the monitoring, engagement and reporting of all social media activity in the bank.

How did it go?
The quality of the engagement with customers to date has been excellent and Twitter has proven to be an invaluable tool in assisting the brands re-positioning and development of a positive brand sentiment. Testament to this success was @askpermanenttsb’s nomination for  ‘Best Business Twitter Account’ at the 2013 Social Media Awards!

Sockies Finalist 2013


What have I learned from the experience?
When putting forward a business case for a new proposition, personalisation is critical. Each business unit within a large organisation, such as permanent tsb, have their own specific goals, objections or concerns regarding new propositions and as such development of personalised relevant business cases are key to achieving buy-in and continued support.  When you believe in an idea, have seen its success in the past and have literature/case studies to support this – don’t give up when you are met with initial objections. It is essential that each concern or objection is listened to and where possible, supportive literature and action research  used to alleviate these.

Social media implementation and its continued success, particularly within large organisations can be complex. Implementing the ‘Hub and Spoke’ model of communication and establishment of an SLA for departmental responses, where the answer was unknown by he the social media team, was critical  in ensuring its success.

Furthermore, I believe a key to the success of @askpermanenttsb was the quality and relevancy of each customer response.  Key to this having a team of people who did not have a background in social media alone, but one in customer service and specific product knowledge.


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