Friday, January 29, 2010

Big week for Social Media

Well, It's been a pretty interesting week around here. This morning, an article about our use of Twitter was released in the Baltimore Business Journal. A small excerpt can be seen here. We were pretty excited to be recognized for these efforts.

Later in the afternoon, we participated in Digital Insight's 2nd Twitter Town Hall with the topic of "Financial Fitness for Financial Institutions". The discussion (which can be see at #ditownhall) focused on FI's 2010 plans to address the financial needs of the consumer. It was a very interesting dialogue with a lot of participation from individuals and institutions around the country. We really appreciated the opportunity to participate.

One interesting point. There appear to be few of our peers in the banking industry who actively participate in this channel. The Journal article specifically mentions other, local FI's who aren't even exploring social media. In the Town Hall, many of the participants were from credit unions or the credit union industry. They really get it. We were really the "token" bank involved in the discussion. Seems like many other banks are missing a huge opportunity to connect with their communities via these other channels.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Some takeaways from the GBTC Digital Media event

I just participated in a Greater Baltimore Technology Council event entitled "Digital Media in Action: Engaging, Implementing & Creating Tangible Outcomes". My associate, Steve Kruskamp, and I shared with the group the evolution of social media in our organization.
I also had the chance to attend a couple of other sessions as well. Here are some takeaways.

Todd Marks and Vince Buscemi of Mindgrub Technologies talked specifically about a recent project for Voice of America in China and the ROI of that effort. What I really liked, and want to explore in 2010, is the use of widgets to engage our customers. We are rolling out a new PFM application this year and a widget that could logically make a connection with the new service could be a good fit. We'll have to look into it.

Will Davis and Mike Sweeney of RightSource Marketing talked about the blog as the hub of your social media efforts. From their perspective, it is especially critical in the B2B space. It can replace the "first meeting" and provide an opportunity for prospects to see how you think, not just visit your website to see what you do. I think that is some great advice.

Friday, January 15, 2010

A Friendly Wager With Geezeo

So Sunday I'm getting ready for the Ravens-Patriots playoff game, picking up some steamed shrimp, when I get a tweet from @pglyman from Geezeo. He and @shawnward are Pats fans and they want to place a friendly wager on the game. Sounds good. To hear (and see) the rest of the story, check out this video we made about the outcome. Hope you enjoy it!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Snow?! In Baltimore?! This weekend?!

On December 4th, we posted the following on Twitter: "1stMarinerBank: Snow?! In Baltimore?! This weekend?!"
In less than 5 minutes, we received the following message back: "@1stMarinerBank Snow in Baltimore? Not ready for that yet. Heading there next week and would love to meet you."
It was from a company called Geezeo, a provider of an online Personal Financial Management (PFM) product that they sell to financial institutions. Unbeknown to them (I think), we were ready to commit to this service with another, well established vendor in a matter of days. In fact, the contract was in our Legal area for review. The offering is considered to be the "Best in Class" in the industry, but it wasn't exactly what we wanted. So, while it didn't seem necessary, as a courtesy we agreed to meet since they had reached out to us through Twitter.

We met in our offices on December 10th. We were blown away. It was like they had designed exactly what we wanted- at a pricing model that made sense for us. By December 14th we received a proposal, negotiated a few terms, and had the final agreement from them on December 17th. Wow! Now that is the speed and power of social media.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

What not to say on Twitter

The Financial Brand, one of my favorite banking sites, recently published it's top ten most popular stories during the year. One, in particular, caught my attention: "10 tweets you shouldn't send (and why)" from June, 2009. For the details, I suggest that you check out the actual post. Here, though, are the primary lessons I took from it.

  • Focus on quality not quantity. People can tell the difference.

  • If you have an offer, make it compelling. If you are sharing information, make it relevant and interesting.

  • If it seems boring and mundane to you, it probably is. Don't send it.