Online advice, but no selling?

Article

Rapid technological development constantly provides companies with new opportunities to hold an online dialogue with their stakeholders through social media such as Facebook, twitter and the like.

Online dialogue differs from conventional communications and marketing in the nature of the implicit contract between the parties. Both the sender and recipient of the information understand this. It is therefore crucial fora company to consider carefully what kind of messages it wants to convey through a virtual network.

Nevertheless, as the online community of fans or followers grows, so does the temptation to distribute commercial messages. Savvy users of social media will quickly see through any hidden agenda, however, and abandon the dialogue for good. It is therefore important for us that all communications on a social media platform are honest, open and transparent. If they aren’t, users will simply stay away.

In 2010, Danske Bank began using social media as a means of presenting our programme to increase financial literacy among the young to the public. We want to focus on dialogue and engagement instead of sales on these platforms. One way we are doing this is our new advisory forum on Facebook called Mind Your Money.

Our presence on Facebook raises some fundamental questions about the sometimes fine distinction between giving responsible advice and advertising. We are therefore always careful that we do not transform the advisory forum into a sales channel for the Bank’s products and services.

Read about another dilemma with financial literacy initiatives: branded or not.
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