With the proliferation of social media and customer connectivity, there is now a global competition for financial customers. Potential customers research a prospective financial institution (FI), speak with friends and families about their experiences, and examine social media posts to determine which FI is the best fit for their financial aspirations and goals.


There is an enormous opportunity for a FI to create new value by pursuing emotional connections with customers. The Harvard Business Review (HBR) states, “it’s possible to rigorously measure and strategically target the feelings that drive customers’ behavior.” They call these feelings “emotional motivators” and they are an excellent predictor of a customer’s future value to a company.


Motista, a leader in predictive intelligence for emotional connection, maintains that institutions that understand emotional connections with their customers are more likely to experience sustainable growth. Motista asserts that there are four stages of emotional connection a customer could feel about a FI:


  1. Unconnected
  2. Highly satisfied
  3. Perceiving brand differentiation
  4. Emotionally connected (EC)

How Do You Measure Emotional Connectivity

The Temkin Group developed the “Five A’s of an Emotional Response” which customers experience every time they interact with your FI:


  • Angry
  • Agitated
  • Ambivalent
  • Appreciative
  • Adoring


The Temkin Group surveyed over 10,000 customers, and more than 100,000 interactions, to illustrate the loyalty of “Adoring” customers.


Motista’s white paper, “Making the Emotional Connection. How Financial Companies Are Harnessing Customer Emotions to Generate Growth,” ranked the top FI’s to determine their Emotional Connection Scores.


Motista1Source: Motista


Adoreboard describes itself as an emotional analysis platform helping brands transform their customer experience using emotionally intelligent insights. They use mathematical algorithms to detect emotions such as Joy, Trust, Rage, and Anger expressed by people posting online. They used their emotional analysis tool on 67,000 tweets by (FI) customers with accounts at 22 (United Kingdom) banks over a six-month period. They found that M&S Bank had the highest levels of trust and TS Bank and Metro Bank inspired the most joy amongst its customers. FIs with fast and efficient service, as well as charitable efforts, generated the highest levels of joy and trust.

Connect With Customers via Social Media


  • Facebook has 1.86 billion monthly active users (MAU) and a robust range of advertising capabilities to inform customers about new products, redirect them to your website, or respond to queries.
  • Instagram is a mobile photo site with an average of 400 million MAU. Here, banks can connect with their customers to humanize the banking experience.
  • LinkedIn is a professional social network with 100 million MAU and can provide customers with professional advice.
  • Twitter has 313 million MAU and is a real-time snapshot of current events. Twitter-based customer service provides instant access to your customers.
  • Snapchat is popular among millennials with over 100 million daily active users (MAU not available), and is a portal to new customers opening their first accounts.
  • Pinterest has 100 million MAU and calls itself the catalog of ideas. A heavily skewed female base continues to grow in the United States and abroad.

FI Social Media Wins


While some FIs have engaged in limited social media campaigns for years, many are just entering the social media arena. Social media is a necessity and any FI not using, or incorrectly using, social media will be left behind.


TD Bank has engaged very successfully with social media. In 2015, they rolled out a campaign called “Make Today Matter.” They gave 24 customers money to initiate projects that would benefit the local community. The projects were posted on a microsite and later developed into a YouTube mini-documentary, which garnered more than five million views.


TD Bank’s video campaign, “TD Thanks You,” chronicled customer reactions to unexpected gifts they received from the bank.  The video was viewed more than 20 million times and was the most successful YouTube ad in 2014. TD Bank received positive results from the ad such as global media buzz and a 26 percent increase in brand affinity.


Golden 1 Credit Union has the fifth-largest presence on Facebook. They have 57,000 Facebook likes and more than 17,600 Twitter followers. Golden 1 launched a #MemoriesAreGolden contest at the California State Fair which received approximately 3,200 entries and 14,000 Facebook views.


Bethpage Federal Credit Union uses Snapchat to reach younger members who have turned away from Facebook. They paid Snapchat to create a special filter for the two-day Bethpage Air Show. Nearly 5,000 people used the filter to create images seen by nearly 200,000 people.

Heartland Credit Union utilizes Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. Over the past five years, Heartland reallocated its marketing budget from 70 percent spent on traditional media to 80 percent on social media. Membership increased, and they started attracting younger members.

Emotional Impact with Social Media


The Power 100 rankings were produced by The Financial Brand and Social Media Examiner. The Power 100 lists the top 100 banks and credit unions on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Rankings are based on the accounts with the most likes, followers, engagement rates, tweets sent, videos viewed, and subscribers.

Power 100 Ranks – Top 5 Banks Q4 2016

# Bank Area Facebook Likes Twitter Followers YouTube Views
1 State Bank of India IN 8,479,878 1,298,039 30,970,151
2 Capital One USA 4,208,870 151,116 54,566,207
3 BofA USA 2,626,308 470,247 42,894,283
4 Yes IN 5,124,687 1,500,248 143,985
5 Citi USA 1,117,406 882,945 40,088,736


Power 100 Ranks – Top 5 Credit Unions Q4 2016

# Credit Union Facebook Likes Twitter Followers YouTube Views
1 Nationwide Building Society 54,350 41,449 14,010,597
2 Navy 1,096,629 74,866 4,256,507
3 Mountain America 262,737 21,718 783,714
4 Meridian 17,089 4,224 2,143,651
5 America First (UT) 176,014 11,036 16,921

Source: The Financial Brand and Social Media Examiner



When you understand the emotions that drive customer behavior, you can increase drastically profits and yields. Promote emotional connections with customers to yield loyalty and sustainable growth with your customers for years to come.