All South Korean financial institutions use at least one social network and see the advantage of doing so. And even when they use several of them at the same time, banks and insurance companies put Twitter first. This trend is likely to grow.

South Korean Banks Enthusiastic Adopters of Social Networks

As far as South Korean financial institutions are concerned, social networks are a must. The proof of this is that they all use them. These are the findings of a study carried out by research and advisory firm Celent, which surveyed banks, investment houses and insurance companies in South Korea. The results revealed that three out of four financial institutions use several social networks simultaneously. Why? Quite simply because they all see the advantage of doing so: first of all for customer relations, 83% seeing such networks as a new point of contact with clients. As regards corporate communications, 67% of those polled think of social networks as a new Public Relations tool, while 33% view them more as a channel for sharing information. 

Twitter, preferred social network for financial institutions

South Korean banks and insurance companies agree both on the value of using social networks, and on which kind of social network to use. Four out of five financial institutions are on Twitter and three out of five are on Facebook. In addition, over half (53%) use blogs. Nevertheless these institutions differ in the way they use the social networks. Basically all of them see the networking services as a new way of communicating with their customers but while around 67% see them as a way of profiling the company brand, 50% use them mainly as a channel for sharing information.

Usage could be improved

Despite this already widespread adoption, there are many banks and insurance companies in South Korea that think they can improve on the use they make of social media. Some 75% say it would be beneficial to change their employees’ perception of these tools and open up their use more in their own companies. And a substantial number think they could improve management of their use of social media by integrating the various social networks they work with. In the coming years we should therefore see some developments: a third of all financial institutions are now drawing up plans to use blogs and 33% to use other social networks. Of course the financial sector’s enthusiasm for social networks is in line with the widespread adoption of new media by citizens. Figures show one smartphone for every 2.5 South Koreans and 90% of all smartphone owners say they have already used their device to connect to a social network.