Market Usage of Social Media for Customer Engagement: A Wells Fargo Case Study
Social media is at the core of many marketing plans for corporations in the United States and world-wide. One of these companies at the forefront of social media use is Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (Wells Fargo). The ability to directly contact customers and potential customers in a real time online environment is crucial to the bank / customer conversation and reinforcing the company’s place in a customer’s mind as the entity that they want to do business with (Wells Fargo Bank, 2014). This case study will discuss the current status of Wells Fargo’s use of social media as a means to building their customer base. Additionally, historical information on the process of the marketing move to social media will be presented and the development of the roles that are involved in this marketing strategy will be discussed. The impacts to the public sphere and society at large will play into the discourse of the social media topic and finally, the underlying theories will be discussed as they pertain to Wells Fargo and social media.
Wells Fargo has developed an advanced social media strategy that is handled by the Social Media group within the Marketing Department of Wells Fargo (Wells Fargo Bank, 2014). As of 2014 this team is handling eight blogs, four Twitter accounts, two Facebook pages, two LinkedIn pages and a YouTube channel (Gustke, 2014). YouTube is a video delivery page, Facebook is a complex social media site that allows members to build up communities of ‘friends’ that share commentary, Twitter is similar to Facebook but with a limited amount of characters to each online posting it streamlines the concept of social media, and LinkedIn is a social networking site for professionals who want to leverage their online presence for possibly career advancement (Machlis, 2011). The blogs are actually owned by Wells Fargo and allow approved authors to deliver opinion pieces directly to subscribed readers and others on the Internet (Wells Fargo Bank, 2014). The social media life of Wells Fargo is engaged with their customers and allows for product development, talent acquisition and retention, customer service, and issue resolution (Brown, 2012). The presence of Wells Fargo in the public sphere allows the fourth largest financial institution in the United States to make that direct connection with the people who drive their business.
Regulation. With an expanded presence on the Internet due to social media and that fact that Wells Fargo is a Federally Regulated company, the concerns regarding this new marketing tool are well founded. However, Wells Fargo and their Strategic Solutions team have ensured that all team members who are approved for official response to online social media postings attend training classes and must follow strict guidelines to keep the bank within the regulations set forth by the Federal government (Reiker, 2013). Some of the applied...