Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pan American Bank and the Cruelty of Social Media

Okay, I have to admit that I might have contributed to the frenzy that surrounded this announcement. Yesterday morning, a press release came across my screen announcing the roll out of Pan American Bank's social media strategy including a blog, Twitter, and Facebook page. I re-tweeted that I found it interesting that they used this traditional, press release model to kick it off when social media should be, well, social and viral.
This lead some followers to go to their blog and discover that, lo and behold, their site was displaying Google ads. Certainly an unusual approach for most banks. But the real uproar was the fact that there were ads for other banks, including Bank of America, Susquehanna Bank and TD Bank, to name a few. As he noted, our @1stMarinerBank twitter account was part of the conversation as well.
To his credit, Jesse Torres, the CEO and resident blogger, quickly posted a response to the "hubbub", explaining his rationale for the Google ads and acknowledging the need to more closely restrict the types of ads to display. I don't necessarily agree with the concept of ads on a blog. However, he certainly impressed me with his transparency and honesty. Now, isn't that what social media is really all about?

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