Goldman Sachs Leads the Way for Big Financials to Tackle Social Media, What They Need to Do Now

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Social media has crept into every facet of life - that is the simple truth. It is now cross-generational as the both the younger and older age-groups are finding reasons to connect on social platforms. All of the social sites allow for immediate communication among individuals and with businesses that they are following or fans of. This can be both a positive and a negative for companies, but with some strategy and a healthy lean towards two-way transparent communication, it should be a positive and an excellent opportunity to grow the brand.

In the wake of the financial collapse and the bitter finger-pointing that ensued, financial institutions have largely kept themselves out of the online conversation by disengaging from the social media landscape. This strategy has been clear avoidance both with internal use of social media in restricting its use by employees and what can be posted if anything at all, but additionally, the lack of official company accounts and activity. 

Now, Goldman Sachs is breaking the silence and looking to enter the online social space moving to develop a positive online presence essentially in a reputation management and positive branding campaign. They are taking this step by advertising a position for a Community Manager/Social Media Strategist as part of their Brand Management Group. This step represents the reality of the potential positive return of engaging with people on the platform across industries. For Goldman, this means to start to change the perception, brand, and image of the company, as well as the audience experience with the brand.

It is only a matter of time before the rest of the financial giants that have, like Goldman Sachs, stayed out of social media take strategic steps to repair their brand through this medium. It is not going to be easy though, as one can see the tide of bad sentiment that they will run into as evidenced by the negative comments on the company's Facebook page.

Social Strategy
SEO companies can work with these financial institutions to ensure they are taking the right steps once they enter the social space to engage with their audiences. These three considerations can guide their work:

Reframing- The financial institutions will receive significant pushback from users on the social space, and to turn the tide, they will need to address any direct charges/negative comments to the best of their abilities, but it is essential to reframe the conversation on their walls and trending @mentions in a positive direction and towards their rep. management core messaging. This will avoid a snowballing trend of negative comments and @mentions piggy-backing each other.

Consistency/Core Message- In this process, the institutions and the social media strategists of the SEO vendors they are partnering with need to have an underlying rep management message and accompanying theme that guides additional thoughts and messages, but all centers on that which the company is trying to communicate and engage with their audience about.

Purposeful Engagement-The institutions need to be very careful to be genuine in their communication and must offer worth-wile content and meaningful posts and comments that offer true value.

It is a delicate circumstance that these financial firms find themselves in, but with the right guidance, they can utilize social media for positive reputation and brand gain. For more information on how such firms can do this or to be connected with a leading WebiMax social media strategist, reach out to me directly at rbuddenhagen@webimax.com or @ryanwbudd.

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