Author: Jackie Marshall, Director of IT Regulatory Compliance, Gladiator Technology, email@example.com
As we close out the year and head into 2012, I am finding that many financial institutions (FIs) are considering a “new,” or “renewed,” approach to social media with hopes of reaping the benefits of this exciting communication channel. Competitive pressure and the desire to differentiate continue to be the top reasons why FI’s set up a Facebook Fan Page, or start tweeting.
While working with FIs to set up social media campaigns, I have found that banker’s concerns are changing in respect to social media strategy. Fear of risk and compliance were the top issues a year ago. Now the concerns are shifting to: “How do we keep the conversation going?” Many bankers are finding that social media efforts start off with great momentum, only to stall or backfire after a short period of time.
Consider this common scenario: your bank launches a Facebook Fan Page, talking about all the great new features and inviting the community to leave feedback, interact, and check in on a regular basis. You quickly engage a few hundred fans and then brag to your senior management team about the terrific decision they made to get into social media! A couple of months or even a few weeks later, the page is eerily quiet because of little to no new content or updates, and a few remaining users are left wondering why their questions and concerns are going unanswered.
Here are some common reasons why I’ve seen this happen:
• Social media accounts don’t get used consistently
• Social media accounts are used too much
• You’re not interactive with your followers and friends
• Employees aren’t encouraged to promote the social media sites
• Employees are allowed to say whatever they want on social media accounts
• There is no commitment from senior management
Before taking the plunge into social media, or as you reflect on recent experience, re-assess your strategies and address a full commitment to your social media campaign. In reality, taking a half-hearted approach to your social media campaign can do more harm than good for your Facebook Fan Page, blog, or tweets. To ensure social media efforts create an actual return on your financial institution’s time and resource investment, practice sound planning and consistent, targeted implementation.