Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Social Media

With apologies to Clint Eastwood, I recently experienced all three. Actually, it began the same day I posted my last blog entry. Our bank had an offer that provided a bonus if you opened a checking account and met certain criteria. The promotion began in July and most of the accounts were opened locally, through our branch system. Everything changed when, on October 7th, a blogger on the site found the offer and posted on his site. Within minutes, we began receiving phone calls, online chats, and applications from all over the country asking about the offer. In a little over two weeks, we processed as many applications as we had for the first six months of the year. It was insane.

The Ugly- As Murphy's Law states, anything that could go wrong, did. We declined many of these accounts because they didn't meet our approval criteria. Unfortunately, we had issues refunding their money in a timely way. We received some pretty nasty feedback from these folks.

The Bad- Our intent was never to run this as a nationwide campaign. It was designed to help us grow our local customer base and build relationships. It is unlikely that many of the accounts we opened from outside our footprint are going to be long term customers.

The Good- As these prospects visited our site, they found our promotional CD offering a very competitive rate. We generated a good number of these accounts that will help our core deposit base. Let's face it, CD's are far less risky than a checking account.

We learned a very powerful (and sometimes painful) lesson about the impact of these social media groups. This will certainly change the way we position our promotions on the web. Hopefully,we can figure out how to more effectively manage these groups in the future.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Bank's among Top 3 of Most Social Industries

NetProspex, a sales and marketing leads generation company, recently released their Fall, 2010 Social Business Report. It uses the NetProspex Social Index (NPSI) to score and rank social networking activity by mining their large database of contacts. It's a fascinating report.
In the report, they rank the top 50 most social industries and, to my surprise, Banking ranked 3rd, behind Search Engines-Portals and Advertising & Marketing. Why was I surprised? Because, in the numerous banking conferences I attend, there seems to be few of them who are actively using social media, either personally or as a company. Recently, for example, I was a presenter at the Fiserv PIP Conference on Social Media in Banking. This was a followup to the morning session when Fiserv CMO Don MacDonald spent an hour talking about this very subject. When I asked how many of the 30 or so people who attended my session used Twitter, for example, only 2 attendees raised their hand. And yet, according to this report, Banking also ranks number 3 in the use of Twitter.
So why the disconnect? Perhaps it's because the people who attend these sessions at conferences are looking for help and the active users are back at the office, tweeting away like madmen. Anyone else have a theory on this? I'd love to hear from you.