Well congratulations. You’ve been successful with setting up the Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and YouTube accounts for your financial institution. You’ve also set up a blog that has more than 100 daily readers. You’ve even run a few Foursquare and Facebook contests. Your Twitter account is actually used to communicate with customers, not just blast marketing messages. I’ll bet you’re even looking into get your own special badge on Gowalla.
Looking at your website, you have all your social media icons listed on your home and contact us pages. They can even be found on the footer of all your pages. And the best part? Upper management bought in after you proved the business case for why social media is important.
But are you really all in yet? The next time you’re watching those shows on DVR, watch some commercials instead of skipping them. Did you notice that some companies mention their Twitter and Facebook pages in their commercials? Open a few non-industry magazines and look at the ads. Notice Twitter and Facebook icons there also?
Now look at the marketing material you send out. I’m willing to bet that you don’t promote your social media sites on anything other than your website. If you go into your branches, you won’t see any icons listed on your displays either. But you know what you will find? The link for your website.
The adoption of social media reminds me of when online banking came onto the scene. It seems like it took forever for banks and credit unions to promote their website in their marketing materials. Online banking was the driving force for getting websites promoted by marketing.
I’ve seen some discussion about low numbers of Facebook fans and Twitter followers. Because these numbers are so low, people question the validity of social media in financial services. This same argument was used when online banking first became available. If you build it, people won’t necessarily come.
Yes, most of your online banking customers probably know you’re on Facebook and Twitter. But that’s just because they noticed it on the homepage when they were logging into online banking. Besides, that’s only about 25-35% of your customers. We all know the online banking login screen is the #1 hit page on your website.
You have other marketing channels that you need to use to promote your social media presence. There is absolutely no excuse for you to not list your links on direct mail, email messages, commercials, and branch displays. I’m sure they will fit right beside or below your website link. And if you’re really social media savvy, you’ll create and display a special #hashtag for your customers to use.
Comic from Dilbert