We all remember the Collapse. When big banks went belly up, and reputations went completely out the window. In the midst of the ensuing economic turmoil many of the big banks immediately had to contend with widespread allegations of abuse and greed, labeled as largely responsible for the financial catastrophe. It was time to re-think and regulate.
Now flash forward, if only just a little bit. As America begins to crawl out from the rubble and into the just settling dust, what can banks do to drive business while encouraging trust and solidarity in such a regulated industry? Why not try a seemingly small solution with the possibility for great results? A solution as simple and increasingly ubiquitous as—wait for it—social media (you all knew it was coming). After all, everyone else is. Banks, however, may just be slower to arrive at the party.
Consider an April 2010 article featured in American Banker which looked at banks’ charitable efforts and the positive effects of social marketing strategies. Morrissey and Co. client, Berkshire Bank, created a campaign to let everyone but the bank decide where it would distribute four $5,000 grants, encouraging the public to call in or vote online. The campaign became a viral success, directing heavy traffic to Berkshire’s website and spurred a strong foundation for the creation of the Berkshire Bank Foundation’s Facebook page. The page does what most strong organizational Facebook pages should do: promote while developing conversation among an interested community capable of spreading that message to a wider audience—messages like the release of their new online grant application. It also serves as a hub in which to directly and quickly address client concerns. It’s always good when promotion, meets charity, meets dialogue.
New England’s Webster Bank is also spearheading the simple perks of social media. With a rather new, albeit active Twitter account, the bank’s current 146 tweets have reached an audience of almost 900 followers and the possibility for reaching countless more—as is the nature of the Tweet-beast. From personally addressing client concerns, to product promotions, down to updates on the latest snowstorm, Webster executes personalization while promoting itself in an increasingly vital forum. They even have a Twitter for the Webster Treats Truck. Sweet.
More than ever, banks are looking for an image makeover. What better way to let clients know you’re listening than via social media, where the interaction has the ability to be constant, genuine, mutual, and everywhere.