Over the last twenty years, we’ve seen a dramatic shift in personal banking with a move away from the High Street to online. LinkedIn’s Henry Clifford Jones discusses how banks can harness digital technologies to attract a new generation of wealthy young customers

This is most pronounced among today’s generation of young adults – the Millennials – many of whom have rarely visited their local bank branch. And as the wealthiest of today’s young adults prefer to bank online, financial brands need to transform the way they engage with this important group of new customers.

We conducted a study to better understand how ‘Affluent Millennials’ – an emerging group of 18-34 year-old LinkedIn members with investable assets of over £75,000 – view banks, how they manage their finances and what factors influence their choice of provider.

The young, the rich and the socially-savvy

Affluent Millennials are tech savvy, social media experts who are actively engaged online and use a variety of digital channels. Banks that want to target this group must have a strong social media offering as a third of those surveyed said it was a ‘must have’. In fact, they are five times more likely than any other age group to expect social networks to be their source of future financial information.

Interested and invested

Affluent Millennials are hungry for information and actively seek content that educates and empowers. They want peer reviews, expert commentary, published thought leadership, product and service information provided in a timely and relevant way. Can’t deliver? No problem, they already know a brand that can even – if they’re new entrants to the financial industry.

Prudent, confident and loyal

Millennials have been strongly affected by the financial downturn and are the group that most expects there to be another financial crisis in the future (39 per cent). Yet they have confidence in their future finances and are financially prudent, saving more than the previous generation.

The good news for retail banks is that this wealthy group see greater value in financial advisers and seek more involvement in financial decisions than their Gen X counterparts. And once they select a provider, they’re 50% more likely to remain loyal.

Developing a social strategy

There are four key strategies that banks should consider when targeting the Affluent Millennial.

  • The power of the peer

With 70% of Affluent Millennials seeking opinions from their peers (compared to 50% of Affluent Gen Xers) a key strategy should be the building of sharable content to encourage this valuable endorsement.

  • Inform and influence

This group devours Thought Leadership – it was one of the most sought out pieces of content on social networks. Financial brands should share insights packaged into bite-sized accessible pieces of insight.

  • Share your personality

People like personalities and Affluent Millennials are no different. By actively engaging through social media financial brands can demonstrate empathy and project your personality and a clear point of difference.

  • Fish where the fishes are

Social networks are destinations for Affluent Millennials – in fact they’re five times’ more likely to agree that they’re the hub for future financial information than Gen X respondents. Identify which are most prominent and use smart segmentation to engage the right audience at the right time.

Ultimately, companies that can that align their social engagement strategies with the demands of young wealthy professionals will enjoy greater levels of trust and influence over a key demographic.