Desjardins Group is a network of financial service cooperatives – savings and credit unions. Its diversity is a distinction that is seen through its use of social networks.
The banking sector and social networks are often not compatible; however, some banks are active with a Twitter account and Facebook page.
In the case of Desjardins, one can find several Facebook pages for the financial institution. Many of the cooperatives have their own Facebook Pages in the provinces of Quebec (i.e., Caisse Desjardins du Plateau Montcalm and Caisse Desjardins du Sud de la Chaudière) and Ontario (i.e., Caisse populaire Rideau d’Ottawa – Desjardins and Caisses populaires Desjardins du Grand Sudbury).
This different approach may have disadvantages in terms of a cohesion communication strategy, but also has its advantages. Without a clear editorial policy for Facebook, conflicting messages could come from the different cooperatives and the Desjardins Group. However, it allows the cooperatives to target different clientele.
To draw a parallel with traditional media, we often distinguish between large circulation newspapers and local newspapers.
The strength of the first is its readership; allowing for greater financial resources and the presence of an expanded team of journalists to write special reports and cover stories regarding the arts, sports and politics.
The strength of the latter is to be focused on news stories where the reader resides. Decisions that impact municipalities or school boards, news about neighborhood activities, local shops, etc.
For a reader, the ideal newspaper would respond to these realities to inform what is happening all over the planet and events going next door. Several models of these newspapers are trying to meet this need, but none has yet been able to stand out.
Desjardins uses similar approaches with social media. Via its YouTube Channel (in French), the Desjardins Group has video clips for its human resources recruitment campaign in which they are targeting individuals nationally.
Desjardins Group has established initiatives on social networks such as chats to answer questions from people about the RRSP and TFSA. In addition, it is an avenue to monitor the social mentions of “Desjardins Group” on Twitter in English and French, enabling the group to respond quickly to feedback from users of Twitter.
From a local perspective, Facebook pages are geared towards providing information from the area, local contests or news about an athlete from the area (which maybe the friend or neighbour or a familiar face in the aisles of the grocery store). It is a strength that is not seen by other banks, even if they have much to benefit from such an approach.
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Please read our past posts (in French)
As guest blogger, Gaël Le Corre-Laliberté will contribute a new series of posts regarding best practices of the use of social networks in the banking sector. In the series, that will be published every two weeks, Gaël will provide concrete examples of initiatives from financial institutions. For seven years, he has been a business journalist in Quebec and Switzerland. Interested in social media, he has been a blogger for Intelegia and has been assisting small and medium-sized businesses setting up and managing social media tools.