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Social Media poised to improve engagement with UK credit cardholders

Credit card issuers have been seeking new ways to drive cardholder loyalty and engagement, as their market share has been under threat from both debit cards and emerging payment types (e.g. mobile apps, mobile wallets). 

Social media represents a significant new channel to improve cardholder engagement, as 71.7% of credit cardholders already use social media, and usage is increasing daily amongst younger and higher-income cardholders.

Despite strong cardholder penetration of social media, only 13.8% of consumers are subscribed to their credit cards issuers’ Facebook page. Further, some 68% of the cardholders subscribed had not yet interacted through the channel (e.g., responded, replied, or shared a message). Issuers therefore have yet to solve how to best use social media to drive increased engagement and loyalty. 

The research showed that consumers must see clear and tangible value in order to subscribe and engage with credit card social media pages. Consumers were most interested in the ability to contact customer service through social media (34.1% incidence rate), redeem exclusive rewards/special offers (32.5% incidence rate), and sign up for cardholder subscriber events (30.1% incidence rate) These benefits would provide clear and compelling reasons for consumers to engage through social media channels.

‘Social media is a huge opportunity for issuers, given its strong cardholder penetration”, said Matt Simester, Managing Director at ACG. ‘Social media provides a way to drive increased engagement and usage amongst cardholders, and is best suited as either a mass servicing or marketing channel, as one-on-one interaction remains difficult to accomplish. To drive stronger interest and engagement with social media, exclusive and frequent offers are key, which will also serve to differentiate issuers from the competition in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Issuers need to start spending as much time on engagement through this channel as phone and branch based services.”

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