Sunday, August 4, 2013

Go All In? Not Until You're Ready

In her recent article, "7 Things Banks & Credit Unions Don't Do In Social Channels (But Should)," Julia Verbrugge, Marketing Coordinator at Andera, makes some good recommendations for bankers and credit unioners.

Julia's "seven things" are:

  1. Go All-In
  2. Get That Strategy Ironed Out
  3. Don't Just Inform...Entertain
  4. Build Your Community Through Personal Interactions
  5. Resolve Customer Issues Publicly
  6. Get Creative
  7. Monitor and Measure
As a banking social media veteran (all of five years!) I agree with Julia with one caveat...Don't go All-In until you know what you're doing.

Julia makes a great point by stating that dabbling in social media will not produce meaningful results.  It's true, the occasional tweet or status update will not gain favor with very many people.  Julia reminds us that an effective social media program requires a dedicated effort with the commitment of human and financial resources.

While she's right, "no pain, no gain," Julia's article does not touch on the need to know what you are doing before going all-in.  With the FFIEC drawing attention to social media and regulators carefully scrutinizing social media implementations, organizations need to be prepared before going all-in.  As with poker, going all-in requires that the institution be cautious as one wrong move can cost you everything on the table.  In the case of social media this means regulatory, legal and customer issues.

So while I agree that real results will only come once an institution fully commits to social media, I also believe that each institution must take a path of testing and learning before pushing forward all the chips.  What do you think?