The Art of Listening: TD Canada Trust and Vancity Credit Union
From working in the marketing department of a financial institution, I have discovered that customers / members of financial institutions (FI) are very vocal on social media concerning their feelings about their FI. I decided to delve deeper into this research and analyze the online sentiment directed towards two FIs: TD Canada Trust (TD) and Vancity Credit Union (Vancity). I thought that a bank and a credit union would provide for an interesting analysis of differing consumer sentiment.
In order to do my listening, I utilized Hootsuite, Google Alerts and Social Mention. These three free tools allowed me to effectively monitor what was being said about the two competitors identified above in a timely and relevant manner.
Provided in the table below is a snapshot of consumer sentiment toward the two FIs.
TD Canada Trust
Vancity Credit Union
*As at 1PM Tuesday, October, 11 2011, Retrieved from Social Mention.
As the table illustrates, much of the “talk” about both FIs is classified as neutral, this meaning there is no apparent tone in the message of the user. What is more interesting to note are both the positive and the negative consumer sentiments attributed to both FIs.
I wanted to learn more about these sentiments and to see if I could find some examples and distinguish just exactly how negative or how positive they were. Below are some interesting examples that I pulled from the Twitter results demonstrating negative consumer sentiment toward TD:
Seriously, TD Canada Trust. Step your game up. Especially for your business customers. Jesus.
@sammysgrrl hang on now fighting with TD Canada Trust. I’m gonna be so happy to close everything out of this frickin’ bank.
I also found positive consumer sentiment results including:
love when td canada trust saves my life! #neverbeensohappy. @mcdonald_laura
@MLSSTRNG do you know what else works? Good banking at TD Canada Trust!
The majority of TD’s social media interaction came through Twitter. This strengthens the fact that consumers like to vent instantly when things are irritating them. It also demonstrates the importance of good customer relations as well as good listening skills to manage what is being said about the brand.
As opposed to TD, Vancity’s consumer sentiments were coming through Digg. This is most likely due to the fact that Vancity is a credit union and thus a part of a larger network which is consistently focused on providing education to individuals regarding the difference between banks and credit unions. There is thus a lot of articles and news that can be related back to Vancity.
There was not as much consumer activity with Vancity as there was with TD however I did come across the following tweet linking to an article:
#Scam victim upset over inattention by credit union http://t.co/zTnDMD2I via @AddThis #fraud #Vancity #CBC
Again, Vancity would be wise to address mentions such as the above and manage what is being said about its brand and the negativity that is being associated with it.
Hootsuite was a great listening tool. You can easily set up streams to have search terms directly fed to your dashboard. I set up two streams, one for TD as simply “#tdcanadatrust” and another for Vancity as “#vancitycreditunion”. Of course there are a wide variety of search terms that are applicable to each and every brand for marketers to choose from. Determining the best search term can be done through the next tool that I utilized, Social Mention.
Social Mention allowed me to get a real-time update of the sentiment and all mentions of the brand on a variety of social media platforms. I enjoyed being able to see not only Twitter results, as in Hootsuite, but also blogs, Digg results and search engine results. I also believe that the dashboard allows users to get a quick glimpse of a certain topic’s performance. Below I’ve included the dashboards retrieved for both TD and Vancity.
As one can see, both brands have a favourable sentiment score. Vancity has a better passion score than TD which implies that its members (customers) and others that talk online about it, do so repeatedly and are not one-offs.
I’ve always liked using Google Alerts as relevant content that I want is delivered straight to my inbox. The analysis of TD and Vancity was no exception. Google Alerts typically sends subscribers articles and press releases about their chosen topic, however it can send anything and everything that the search engine picks up during the day. It’s a great tool for businesses to use to listen to what is being said about them in the online environment.
The three tools described above can easily be used by companies to fully understand what is being said about their brand. Further, with all of the other free tools including ones such as Klout, there is no need for companies to invest money in listening in the online environment. The paid tools just package the information nicer, but if a company is okay with doing a little analysis, then free tools are a great choice.
Insight as a Competitor
Understanding how competitors react to both positive and negative consumer sentiment is very enlightening. If companies ignore negative consumer sentiment, then a competitor could easily join the conversation and try to offer a solution to the distressed consumer. On the other hand, understanding how a company addresses positive sentiment could provide ideas for a competitor in addressing its own positive consumer sentiment.
Setting up Hootsuite streams with standard industry lingo would also enable companies to find out what is happening in the industry and who the major players are.
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