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October 24, 2016updated 04 Apr 2017 3:56pm

Brazilian banks embracing social media

Brazil is a huge market with a large amount of potential. With a population of over 200 million people, there are still a startling 65 million people over the age of 15 that are unbanked. One of the ways Brazilian banks are looking to attract this market is through social media. Patrick Brusnahan writes

By Patrick Brusnahan

Brazil is a huge market with a large amount of potential. With a population of over 200 million people, there are still a startling 65 million people over the age of 15 that are unbanked. One of the ways Brazilian banks are looking to attract this market is through social media. Patrick Brusnahan writes

The internet is huge in Brazil. According to We Are Social, Brazilians spend the most time of all countries on the internet on average, 5.2 hours per day. In addition, Brazilians top the list for the amount of time spent using mobile internet per day, registering an average of 3.9 hours per day. The country has an impressive national internet penetration rate of 58%.

In terms of active social media accounts, Brazil ranked with 49%, higher than the global average of 31%. In fact, Brazilian social media users spend on average 3.3 hours a day on social media, second only to the Philippines, where users spend 3.7 hours a day on social media.

On mobile devices, 42% of Brazil’s population actually look at social media through their devices actively as well as on computers. To put that into context, the global average is 27%. The country has 103 million active social media users, close to half of the entire population of the country and a 7% rise from 2015, and 88 million active mobile social media users, which rose 13% from 2015.

According to Electronic Payments International’s research, Brazilian banks have seen their market’s attraction to social media and focused on it heavily. In EPI’s YouTube Top 40, three Brazilian banks were in the top five. Brazilian banks were also rated highly in EPII’s Facebook Top 100 and Twitter Top 60.

Itau and YouTube

Brazil-based Itaú came first in EPI’s YouTube ranking of views attained with close to 220 million views, over double the second-placed figure.

An Itaú spokesperson tells EPI: “YouTube initially proved to be a hub for our content created for TV. Then we understood that digital was one of the most important ways to spread videos. I know this is a quote but no harm in adjusting so it makes grammatical sense

“This trend in digital consolidated and created an area dedicated to creating language-specific videos made for digital. “Today, we create content of very different natures, such as tutorials that explain our products, financial education, and editorial content. All this helps us, and we can delight our audiences with the beliefs of the brand.

“The #issomudaomundo series, for example, brings a playful manner to the views of the brand. We have also launched two short films, one to support the strategy of the 2014 Fifa World Cup and, more recently, the short, DAD.”

What prompted the use of a wide berth of content?

“We gave less prominence to the logic of advertising and we thought more of the entertainment industry, in most cases, utilising the documentary style.

“Having seen this opportunity before, all other brands assured us to make mistakes and learn from others, which helped us actually enrich our creative online videos on the internet,” Itaú says.

Bradesco

Bradesco takes social media very seriously, no matter which form it takes ‘all of them are important’.

Speaking to EPI, Luca Cavalcanti, Bradesco’s digital channels director, says: “We believe that social networks make connections between people. Therefore, any action on these platforms seeks to expand and retain these connections, delivering an experience that makes sense to people’s lives.

“One of Bradesco’s missions is to be where people are generating conversations in the most appropriate speech for that channel and that particular person.”

The way Bradesco attempts to do this is through three pillars:

  • Relationship: Interacting with customers and non-customers, 24/7, with answers in about five minutes. There are more than 50,000 interactions each month though this;
  • Content: To generate engagement and promote the natural connection between people and Bradesco, and
  • Digital PR: Approach and involvement of a creators’ ecosystem, such as bloggers, vloggers and web-celebrities, with Bradesco.

With a diverse array of options on social media, it is hard to get any attention from the public. Bradesco realises that and offers as much as it can through its three pillars.

“On average, our engagement rate is 5%. The engagement depends on the post’s goal. There is no magic formula,” Cavalcanti explains.

“What we must always put at the centre are the people’s conversations. Much more important than selling a product or service is to generate a relevant conversation around some subject. If this is not the main goal, the chances of not achieving a good result around engagement are very high.”

But why does Brazil in general have such a love for social media?

Cavalcanti concludes: “Brazilians’ behaviour on social networks is a cultural reflection. Culturally, the Brazilian is warmer. We are a very open and receptive people. We embrace people more warmly, talk informally with those who we do not know and, in some cases, call someone we just met a friend.

“The behaviour is transported to the digital.”

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