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HSBC arm is serious about social media

First Direct has launched a social media newsroom to enable customers and the bank to share information.

HSBC's online banking arm already uses Twitter but wanted to create its own site for customers to meet as a community and be served as a group.

The bank said it has added functions similar to those found on sites such as Flickr and YouTube to allow users to share text, images and video across blogs and social networks.

"Increasingly, people are turning to online methods of media consumption and as a brand we have to go where the audience is. With the social media newsroom we wanted to create one central hub for all our communications online and we wanted to make those communications as portable and shareable online as possible," said a First Direct spokeswoman.

"We create a lot of content that could add value to the conversations already going on online. The newsroom is a step on the way to engaging in that dialogue."

The newsroom was created in collaboration with the social media specialist public relations consultancy Wolfstar.

Banks are currently monitoring the social media movement. According to a meeting of bankers, technologists and social media experts in London last week, banks are weighing up their options in social media.

"Websites such as Twitter and Facebook are the tip of the iceberg," said one meeting attendee. "It is what comes after them that matters to banks."


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