By Kanika Mittal
Social media isn’t just for selfies and connecting with your college friends and distant cousins anymore — it can also be a wonderful space to learn more about managing and investing your money, and even find a financial guru.
In the last decade, traditional industries have changed in how they connect and engage with consumers. The relationship between FinTech institutions and popular social media was a conservative one in the past, beset by privacy concerns and flow of personal information. While that threat still exists to some degree, today, fintech companies in particular are searching for newer ways to safely integrate social media into their strategy. Online fintech conversations have grown leaps and bounds in the last few years, and people have turned to fintech for lending, financial services, personal finance, equity finance, etc.
A recent Twitter Trends India 2022 Report revealed a 62% increase in finance-related discussions in the last two years. Evidently, India’s financial landscape is undergoing fundamental shifts, and it is no surprise that people are coming together to discuss, learn, and dive deeper into the nuances of finance and fintech. Earlier this year, the MeitY reported a 33% year-on-year increase in digital transactions by Indians in FY 2021-22. These figures indicate a clear infusion of money matters into the cultural layers of India, and brands must lean in by tapping into the power of these conversations. Twitter research reveals a 10% increase in conversation can drive a 3% increase in sales. By having a deeper understanding of what people are talking about and which way the sentiment is going, brands can win with supremacy and agility.
While India is still at a nascent stage in investing, an increasing number of people are joining the discussion everyday. A look into the conversation revealed that most of India’s investors can be classified as newbies (33%) – those who have just started investing, hobbyists (27%) – those who invest casually and have been doing so for a while, or professionals (39%) – those who invest for a living and are in it for the longer haul. No matter what stage they are at in their investment journeys, people have thoughts, opinions, and expectations from the market, and from brands. Brands must listen to the conversation, identify what it is that the audience are seeking across stages, and approach them with an educative and informative mindset – giving them a reason to listen in.
To participate in the conversation and meet audiences where they are, an understanding of the sub-trends within the finance talk merits attention. Our research suggests that the finance conversation portfolio is a mix of business & finance (91.2 million+ Tweets in a year), personal finance (43.8 million+ Tweets in a year), and cryptocurrencies (85 million+ Tweets in a year). This diverse mix is an opportunity for brands, especially those in the BFSI segment, who can lean in by educating audiences about mutual funds and investments, and connecting around cultural moments to encourage independence and security while managing personal finances. As Indian consumers learn to take charge of their monies, there is no better time for BFSI brands to establish connect, relevance, and loyalty among audiences.
India’s finance audiences believe that cryptocurrencies are the future of online financial transactions. Web 3.0, blockchain, decentralised finance – these words are becoming commonplace, and people are looking at experts, businesses, and brands to help them understand this new order in the world of finance. Popular voices from entertainment and pop culture are joining the conversation around digital assets and NFTs, pushing it further into the mainstream. This growth in conversations is an open call for brands to engage with audiences – breaking down the nuances of web 3.0, learning the dos and don’ts of transacting on the blockchain, and helping them feel safe and assured while they catch-up with the rules of this new game.
The finance and fintech community is tied together by the exchange of knowledge. Thanks to digitisation and alternate currencies, the conversation is crawling with new concepts. Audiences are constantly on the lookout to learn and understand better. The answer? People who know the industry. The Twitter Trends India 2022 report points out a 185% increase in discussions around financial literacy, and suggests that these are spearheaded by finfluencers – experts who are educating the public on investments, markets, and helping pave their path to financial freedom. Since these experts enjoy a share of voice in the conversation, brands can leverage their reach by marrying the brand’s message with the expert’s influence.
Creative optimisation of tools such as video, social audio, and experimenting with new conversational formats have been proving effective in encouraging audience engagement, especially when the brand lets audiences’ needs and expectations take centre stage. Moreover, leaning into cultural moments and joining conversations that are happening right now can help brands drive relevance, which in turn increases brand salience.
When thinking about how to make the most of India’s interest in finance or fintech, the answer lies in understanding the nature of the conversation and the community. Brands must listen in, rely on insights into the audience and the conversation, and talk to them about what truly matters while communicating with honesty, sensitivity, and purpose.
The author is country lead – large client solutions, Twitter India. Views expressed are personal.
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