Last week, there was an interesting article in the American Banker about the use of social media. It focused on both large and small banks and their integration of these tools into their companies.
Bank of America, for example, uses Twitter to monitor complaints and respond to customers. They have six people who are dedicated to staffing the Twitter account @BofA_Help and monitoring conversations on Twitter. A smaller, regional bank in Wisconsin, North Shore Bank, uses Facebook as a way to connect with customers, provide photos and videos, and conduct contests.
Since we began, we've used these tools in much the same way with very encouraging results. Given our size, we don't have anywhere near the same number of resources working on our Twitter accounts (@1stMarinerBank and @FMBCustServ), much less full time. The beauty of social media, and the applications available to monitor activity, is that you don't need to have a lot of resources. It provides a more level playing field where size and scale are no longer issues. In fact, I would contend that we can actually respond more quickly and in a more personal way than our larger competitors. And in this industry, like many others, the only way to differentiate ourselves is through a positive customer experience.