It's been a couple years since Lon S. Cohen wrote his "5 Ways Banks Are Using Social Media" article for Mashable.com. But two years later, the five ways remain. So here they are again.
1. Community Building
Foster community rather than appear monolithic and imposing. Focus on customer service and adopt the personality of the people served.
2. Product Research
Whether you’re crowdsourcing to find out what customers think of your services or using social media as one tool in your arsenal to enlist customers to help develop new products, a social network is an undeniably powerful research and development resource.
3. Customer Service
Real-time search can be helpful in addressing problems with customers. In other cases, a visible Twitter account can be a quick and easy first step in the customer service chain when people want to get specific information.
4. Marketing and Promotion
Use social media to brand and market a specific product or service by integrating social tools into existing campaigns or creating new ones that capitalize on the spirit of the community.
The current financial crisis has led many customers to distrust banks, which is one reason why many banks are now turning to social media as a way to become more transparent to customers and build trust.