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Why Grumpy Cat Hates Your New Checking Account Line Up!

March 7, 2013 - in case you don’t know who/what Grumpy Cat is. If you don’t, I feel bad for you. – in case you don’t know who/what Grumpy Cat is. If you don’t, I feel bad for you.

Recently I participated in an excellent seminar by two serial entrepreneurs in Jonathan Fields and Charlie Gilkey. One of the exercises was designed to get into your customer’s head. “Everything starts from there when it comes to product creation,” they said. In their model (described below) you define your business/personal mission and then analyze your customer along five questions to create or validate your product offering.

Unfortunately, many tech companies get this wrong because they get excited about new technology without validating that this new tech/product satisfies a customer’s needs or pain points or, better yet, delights the customer. The same is true of many bankers.

The regulatory environment has many financial institutions reworking their checking account line ups in the hopes of recapturing lost revenue. Lost revenue is creating product changes, which is a lot like saying that our mission is to make lots of money so we’re going to revamp our products without regard to our customer’s needs. Actually, it’s just like saying that.

When we make product changes by only looking at lost revenue, we’re adding in obstacles that are designed solely to create fees. Or we interview vendors that are selling account packages that they say “consumers want and are willing to pay for.” Personally I’ve not seen these rewards accounts work long term, but do believe that they fall short of meeting a customer’s larger needs when your decision to employ them stems from your main desire to recoup lost revenue.

What does a customer first product revamp look like? Fields and Gilkey would argue it looks like this analysis process:

  1. What does your customer want?
  2. What are their felt needs? (what do they say they need)
  3. What are their actual needs? (what do they really need)
  4. What are their aspirations?
  5. What obstacles are in their way?

So what does Grumpy Cat have to do with this?

Think of your customers and prospects as Grumpy Cats. They know what they want. They know what they like. Grumpy Cat does not care about your lost revenue. Grumpy Cat cares about getting fed, having a warm bed, and a clean ass.

If you do not consider your end users needs, Grumpy Cat will not buy. More likely, you will also design a product that no customer wants.

I like eStatements as much as I like the dog...which is not very much.

I like eStatements as much as I like the dog…which is not very much.

Am I saying that your bank needs to bow to the whims of a customer like a cat owner? No, this is just a fun metaphor. The cat owners out there will know that it’s impossible to please a cat, even a happy one.

But, if your product redesign stemmed from anything but a customer-first needs assessment, then yes, you should fall victim to the Internet’s greatest meme.

Grumpy Cat 3

Bankers Can’t Afford to Ignore LinkedIn

January 18, 2013

Almost every time I go to follow a new bank on LinkedIn, I’m disappointed at the lack of engagement and presence of their staff, especially their business development staff and investment folks.

It may be fun to believe that business still happens primarily on the golf course and at lunch but the numbers show that business is happening online…all the time…without you.  Here’s why a lack of involvement on LinkedIn should scare a banker:


LinkedIn is still growing strong!

About 20 months ago the total number of LinkedIn users was 100 Million with 44 Million in the U.S.  Now it’s up to 200 Million Users with 74 Million in the U.S.  Despite being the largest LinkedIn user base, the U.S.’ user base continues to expand rapidly.  


LinkedIn is populated with “professional” level users!

Bankers all over American are lamenting lost revenue due to regulations.  They are also determined to recruit a more affluent new customer base.  (side note: if everyone is trying to recruit this segment, you can’t all win!).

So banks are looking for this class of customer and yet not forcing – yes, it should come to forcing your staff onto LinkedIn in my opinion – their highest profiled and, most likely, highest pay staffers to use a tool that has the following demographics:

Income: LinkedIn users on average have an income of $109,000 compared to Facebook’s $25,000 according a study by Seeking Alpha in 2012.  The average income on Twitter also towers over Facebook with more than double at $52,000 per user.  Source.

Yes by all means let’s invest more money into tweeting trivia questions about U.S. currency instead of getting deeply involved in a proven tool that houses some of the area’s senior executives and highly paid business professionals.


Bankers are not a relevant source of funds for tomorrow’s entrepreneur!

Question: What do high growth entrepreneurs think of bankers?

Answer: They don’t.

I’ve had the chance to participate in several StartUp America and StartUp Weekend events in the last few months.  Several of these events featured free advice from area CPAs, lawyers, entrepreneurs, venture capital groups, angel investors, and 1 very sad and lonely banker.  I talked to this guy for awhile and he said, “No one wants to talk about traditional funding.”  I almost took out a small line of credit for my LLC just to cheer him up.

But he’s right!  When entrepreneurs think about funding and talk about startup challenges, they think of Lean Startup Methodologies, VCs, Angel Investors, and bootstrapping.  They don’t think of a bank.  Mainly because they don’t see bankers at most of these functions.  Nor do they don’t see them online.  They don’t see them as part of their world.  And your absence on tools they may be using – like LinkedIn – will continue to reinforce this.


Social Selling and thought leadership should be the goals of any effective business development person…in any industry.  What are your business development officers engaging in to stay relevant in the changing world of sales?  Country club memberships?



2012 ABA Bank Marketing Conference Twitter List

September 19, 2012

So the conference hashtag for the American Bankers Association Bank Marketing Conference is officially here: #ABAMKTG.  A quick Twitter search shows a good amount of activity already surfacing as well as this partial list of registered attendees with their corresponding handles.  Can’t wait to reconnect or meet with many of you!  Sincerely, @BankMarketing – aka Mark Zmarzly















































If I missed you, please add your handle into a comment and I’ll get you added.  Thanks!

Everyone Likes Over-the-Top Customer Service…and Soup!

August 15, 2012

In the last two days I’ve encountered two stories that couldn’t be more different.  The first was about the uncaring staffers at United Airlines who lost a 10-year-old unaccompanied minor.  The second was about a New Hampshire Panera Bread employee who went out of her way to make soup for a customer who was passing soon from cancer.

Over-the-top customer service stories aren’t told much in the banking industry and they certainly aren’t often told publicly.  Every week I hear conversations from bankers and bank marketers about social media strategies – or more accurately put “gimmicks” – for increasing engagement – or more accurately put “likes” – and I swear I can hear the Internet weep a bit.  Giving away $1 to a charity in exchange for a like isn’t exactly at the top of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.  And where does pushing this factoid out to your 233 fans fit into the grand scheme of things?


Whatever happened to engaging people in person with extreme service and kindness instead of with random questions or contests?

Think about the last time you had an extreme customer service experience in any environment?  I have worked in the hotel, restaurant, and retail industries and used to pride myself on delivering consistently good experience most of the time and in looking for an extreme way to deliver when I could.  From the other side of the counter, it’s not as easy as it seems but it can make an amazing difference to a customer.  And, as we’ve seen, it can give someone a reason to talk about you and your brand:


If you know of any publically discussed over-the-top banking service stories, please let me know.  If you don’t, think about what your retail and branch admin departments can do to assist in making moments like these – moments that people share publicly online and in person – an everyday occurrence!

It’s Time to Change Your Social Media Story (Part Two)

April 10, 2012

In my previous post, I made a brilliant argument for the end of the Internet.  Actually, I wrote about how Facebook’s timeline changes should give all financial institutions reason to reconsider their social media strategies, but I think you could read between the lines.  The time for reinvention is here, as is the road map below.

If you have the guts (and resources) to reinvent your narrative, here are the things to think about as you redesign and redefine your story:

  • You are not the main character in your story…your story (updates, cover photos, apps, etc) needs to reflect your customers, not your bank.  People identify with those like them (more accurately: with people slightly better than themselves), not with their bank.

Who are the main characters in the stories below?  Which story would you rather read?

  • Your voice needs to be authentic.  Every time I see a scripted wall post that’s repeated over and over “Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Please contact us at so we can look into your issue and work with you to resolve it.” I want to jump right into my laptop screen onto the Information Super Highway and drive down to a town I like to call Shoot Myself. Yes, discussions about personal account level data need to be taken offline but this voice is your narrator and he/she is inauthentic and not engaging.  Amber Farley from Financial Marketing Solutions adds, “Not only does the voice of the bank need to be authentic and relevant, but it needs to be reflective of the bank’s overall brand. Banks shouldn’t jump into social media pretending to be something they aren’t.”
  • Learn from the great writers around you…not just any random writer/reader out there.  It’s good to listen to what’s being said about your brand online, but it’s not good to let your story be controlled by others.  You control your brand; your story is a part of that journey.  Listening, engagement, and moment of relevance have all become buzz words for social media justification but they are not justification for the new story.  Reader interaction is good for a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure tale but only 12-year-old boys like those.  If you choose to accept my challenge, good fortune (and sales) will come to you.  If you choose not to accept the challenge, turn here.
  • Get out of your routine to discover new stories.  I was reminded of this just yesterday by Dave Martin’s new American Banker column: Get Out of the Branch, Go Visit Local Businesses.  Characters at rest tend to stay at rest.  Similarly, your stories don’t hatch in the conference room; you need to unearth them by getting into motion.
  • Practice different forms of writing: short story, long form, anything between.  I love Embassy Suites’ new 366 days of more campaign.  It has a great voice (copy, visuals, and actor in perfect synergy), a reinforcing story (more, more, more in the pitch and at their hotels, and has a story ending in mind (Feb 28, 2013).  Readers and authors don’t want to get trapped in long, winding stories…most don’t have patience to be on either end of that equation.

I don’t expect you to scrap you current social media offerings today, but do expect those of you out there who are in control of your Financial Institution’s story to view Facebook’s new changes for the game changers that they are: storytelling is the new black…or the new 30…or something like that.

All of the elements of a good story need to be incorporated into your social media efforts: good characters, authentic voice, visual elements, plot twists, and an ending or climax of events.  Conflict is also good, but I think I just provided that to most of you.

A timeline is a great record of where you have been but it doesn’t foretell your future.  Your story can go in any direction as of today.  Tell your story wisely.

Read more about the new Facebook changes here:

Facebook, “Tell Your Story with Timeline

Social Media Examiner, “Seven New Facebook Changes Impacting Businesses, “10 Things Financial Marketers Need to Know About Facebook’s New Timeline Features Right Now

It’s Time to Change Your Social Media Story (Part One)

April 6, 2012

Here’s something most of you don’t know about me: before I entered the financial services industry, I was an English teacher and fiction writer.  Why you don’t know this about me can be chalked up to one of these reasons:

  • We have a virtual relationship only. (“What are two good-looking Gravatars like us doing on this banking discussion board? Let’s take this party over to MySpace.”)
  • You rarely call anymore just to talk.
  • This background information isn’t relevant to what I do on a daily basis.

If it’s due to the first two items, I’ll forgive you – though it wouldn’t kill you to pick up the phone once in awhile or at least post on my Facebook wall.  If you didn’t know about my storytelling past, then that’s about to change.

It’s about to change because of a game-changing move that Facebook made over the weekend in what appears NOT to be an elaborate April Fool’s Day joke.  Of course I’m referring to its change to timeline. Or simply put, the new way to “tell your story.”

Facebook’s change to timeline may seem like a simple process change at first glance.  You’re no longer allowed to decide where your new prospects will land (welcome page redirection is gone unless you use URL app redirects); you’re limited (or barred depending on how you follow the rules) in your calls to action; and you’re no longer going to have the same fan reach you used to enjoy (unless you pay for it).

I asked Ron Shevlin for his input on the changes: “The restrictions that Facebook is placing on brands — e.g., limits on apps and tabs, throttling, pinning and starring limitations — will only make it harder for brand pages to systematically support user goals for using social media. These goals include finding information about interests, interacting with groups that share my interests, and socializing with friends and family.”

He’s right, and that means this story seems to suck for financial institutions.  But, perhaps it’s an unexpected gift? I argue that these changes to Facebook have given you the perfect reason to examine (maybe for the first time), the story your Social Media efforts are telling about your bank.  Upon examination, most FIs would benefit from ditching their current social media efforts and starting a new story.

This is because most stories that are being told by financial institutions’ social media channels are boring and fail at engaging storytelling.  Facebook’s timeline change has given everyone the opportunity to start from zero.  I’d go so far as to advocate you spin your social media efforts off from normal marketing activity, give them their own P&L Statement, and 18 months to turn a significant profit.  But in this case I’ll meet you half way and say that you MUST take the following steps to evaluate how your old tactics (or brand and social media strategies if you have them clearly defined) fit into the new storytelling future.

Step 1: Examine your cast of characters.  Engaging characters are the heart of any good story.  You know who’s not a good character?  The Bank!  Other characters that may be better choices for the lead: anyone else.  Banks and bankers are not engaging characters, please realize that.  But, your customers, the stories they can tell when given the chance, when given (God forbid) a product or service you have that helps them craft their stories, can be engaging.  People want to engage with unique characters in the hopes that they will learn new things about themselves.  Ask what can your financial institution, its products, and/or its customers teach people about themselves, about savings money, about life?  Be bold with your questioning and subsequent character choices!  See a great example here (thanks for the reminder on this on Jeffry Pilcher!):

Video Note: Jeffry Pilcher, “this got them a lot of good, global exposure (e.g., name awareness). Hopefully ‘going viral’ was their goal.”

Step 2: Establish a unique voice.  If the updates on your Facebook page, blog, or Twitter stream could appear on any bank’s page, then your voice isn’t unique, engaging, or worth your effort.  People listen to stories told in voices that engage them on multiple levels. They want a guide that will pull them into a new world on an emotional level or, at a minimum, will tell them something that they’ve already seen except in a new voice, from a new point of view.  Third person omniscient is a bold choice in fiction…but can be wonderful, haunting, and will stay with you for years (The short story Merry-Go-Sorry by Cary Holladay has been with me since 2004).  Your choice of voice needs to be bold because not everyone is good at storytelling.

Step 3: Insure that your storytelling is visual.  Facebook’s new changes have given priority to visual elements over text.  Long gone are the days when “What’s everyone doing this weekend?” or another “Currency Related Trivia Tuesday Question!” will gain you much notice.  AND GOOD FOR FACEBOOK in that regard!  I follow about 100 FIs on Facebook and am tired of feeling bad about our industry…bad for the employees who are struggling to find trivia bits to toss out randomly every week to their hundreds of bored fans.

Step 4: You have to tell a crappy story sometimes…before you can get to where you need to go.  As a former participant in entry level fiction, I’ve written a story or two that ended in the tragic suicide of the main character.  This story ending is so overused by early fiction writers that many teachers now add, “Stories cannot end in a suicide” to the class syllabus.  But those stories – however tragic to read as the teacher – are necessary in your development as a writer.  You need to hit bottom, and kill someone, in order to learn.  Without naming Facebook page names here, I’ll say that the vast majority of community FIs in America have hit bottom.  The good thing is that there’s nowhere to go but up!

Step 5: Sometimes a crappy story is just a crappy story…and it needs to die.  Be prepared to kill your story.  As a writer, I’ve walked away from many a story.  Whether at page 1 or page 53, sometimes it’s best to just walk away from the entire story and let those characters live in suspended animation indefinitely.  Now, you most likely can’t walk entirely away from your current social media efforts, but you can re-invent them based on the new changing landscape.

Jeffry Pilcher of adds, “Most FIs have no clue what ‘their story’ is. And even if they thought they knew, it isn’t likely a story that is differentiated, engaging and/or credible.”

If you’re in that boat – which is admittedly a hard fact to face but would be just the revelation you need to evolve – then Facebook has given you a gift.  This gift is a revolutionary change in the main staple of social media marketing that justifies a deep reassessment of the bones of your story, its characters, and the voice of your tale.

Look for my follow up post about the process you need to go through to reinvent your story.

Finding Social Media ROI is like Hunting a Unicorn

March 8, 2012

I’ve been intentionally not posting on my blog for a good reason – O.K., that’s not entirely true but I’ll talk more about that at the end of this post – but the intersection of four interesting items all surrounding social media have caused me to violate my posting moratorium.

Here is a list of the four items in the order I encountered them:

  1. Post on The Financial Brand titled “Confessions of a Social Media Skeptic
  2. Post on Snarketing 2.0 about how “Banks and Credit Unions Can Forget Twitter for Marketing
  3. A question on a bank marketing board asking other participants for “ideas to help drive people to our Facebook page.”  URL intentionally not shared to protect the innocent and not so innocent discussion participants.
  4. An article by Dave Martin on American Banker’s Bank Think titled “Your Staff’s Time is as Valuable as the Customer’s

I’ll give you a quick bit of background on my own foray into social media and then quickly move on to some comments about these four interesting items and my thoughts on how they are all related.

First, my background on using social media within the banking industry:

  1. It all started when a man by the name of Al Gore and I invented the Internet
  2. Most of my involvement in using social media within the financial services industry would be traced back to my use of LinkedIn in 2008.  An innocent invite from a friend in the technology field introduced me to this professional networking site.  Since that time I’ve grown very fond of LinkedIn; have used it to advertise industry webinars, publications, speaking gigs, etc; and have found it to be a very valuable source of industry credibility.
  3.  In May of 2009, I started the Twitter handle @BankMarketing.  This project started from a small observation: that I read a sh*t ton of articles about banking and bank marketing, which many others in our industry don’t see.  I started the account the first night I was at the ABA School of Bank Marketing & Management after mentioning Kasasa  and nobody had heard of it yet.  (Confession: a Google alert on a competitor was how I knew about this product before they had done a large formal launch).  My tweets mainly consist of broadcasting what I’m reading within the industry.  The byproduct is that I’ve connected with a ton of people in the financial industry, increased by industry reach and credibility, and been exposed to a lot of writings that I might have missed.
  4. In late December of 2010 I started the now rarely maintained blog/website  My intentions for this site were to have a presence on the web outside of my employer – both at the time and the new one I was about to join – and to start advertising my speaking services within the industry.  The blogging portion of my site is underutilized because of the main point of this entire post: ROI (Return on Investment).  More correctly, I’d say ROSMI (Return on Social Media Investment).


What is ROSMI?  Better put: Who is ROSMI?

Pronunciation: “Rose-Me”

Definition: a mostly mythical and poorly drawn unicorn

Pictorial Definition:

I drew this picture a few months back after my 4-year-old daughter said, “please draw a unicorn.” Me to her, “does it look like a unicorn?” Her, “not very much.” It’s amazing to think that my drawing skills peaked at age 5.

O.K., so now that you know my history with social media and the definition of Rose-Me, let’s get back to the intersection of the four items I discussed up at the top.

Item 1: Hopefully you actually clicked on the link to the great read at  If you did not, allow me to recap:

A 25-year-old bank marketer named Dave – who looks quite scary in the shadowy pictorial representation – said that social media has become an irrational quest by banks.  He said that ROI needs to be the focus of all marketing decisions instead of taking off on a wild quest for a mythical purple Unicorn.

ROSMI Summary: Every bank marketer in America, “Where is that damn mythical purple Unicorn, Rose-Me?”  Dave, “She doesn’t exist. Neither does Santa or the Easter Bunny.”

Item 2: Hopefully the four of you who are reading this also subscribe to Ron Shevlin’s excellent blog .  I know at least 25% of you do as Ron is one of the four subscribers.  If you are in the other 75% – i.e. you aren’t Ron Shevlin – do yourself a favor and subscribe to his blog.

On his site you can read interesting posts like this recent one that is summarized with the following:

  • Credit Union members don’t engage with their CUs…nor will they do so with large banks.
  • One-half of one percent of all Twitter users follow a bank.
  • Twitter’s usefulness is questionable when you look at the desirable outcomes of any potential marketing banks or CUs can do.
    • Ultimately, Ron sums up the post with this line: “Bank and credit union CEOs need to start asking their CMOs: Is Twitter really the best use of your department’s time and resources?”

ROSMI Summary: Bank CEO to CMO, “If you insist on taking your staff off on a trek to find this mythical unicorn, you’d better bring it back stuffed and mounted so I can show my friends.”

Item 3: Sorry that you can’t see the board post on this third citation.  Perhaps you’re on the board and have seen it.  If not, my summary is that one person asked for “ideas to help drive people to our Facebook page.”  Many people replied with ideas that worked for them to get to 1,000 likes in X number of days.  The conversation on the board reminded me of this great email exchange I had with an industry contact of mine in regard to his questions about Facebook strategies and my follow up questions about what his goals are.  He said:

“I’m going to have to get my Senior Management Team to agree on the ‘Goal’.  I find that a lot of my friends up this way have jumped into the Social Media craze, but when I ask them what their goal is, they have no idea.  My management team has a history of introducing new products and services, and when I ask them what the goal is, they look at me like I have ten heads.  I always ask them, ‘how will you determine if this is a success or not?’ and I just get stares.”

Unfortunately, the focus of the board post became getting “likes,” which we will assume has become the unofficial currency of most bank Social Media efforts.  I did like one poster’s closing comment to “Have fun and look for a ROI!”  Unfortunately, liking unicorns and finding unicorns are not the same thing.

ROSMI Summary: CMO, “I like unicorns.”  Another CMO, “Me, too.  Hey, look, a Leprechaun! Sorry, I’m easily distracted.  Hey, look, a shiny object.”

Item 4: If you’re not reading Dave Martin on American Banker or through his site, then you’re missing out! (Subscribe to “Dave’s Instore Newsletter” on the right side of the page…even if your financial institution doesn’t have any “in-store” branches.) I’ve never met Dave but have been reading his newsletter for years now and he’s a great blend of sales and marketing…something all marketers should strive for.

You must click and read this article…come on, you’ve come this far.  Here it is again: Dave Martin on American Banker’s Bank Think titled “Your Staff’s Time is as Valuable as the Customer’s

Here is the most important statement in that article in case you missed it or didn’t click the link despite my pleadings:

“When managers express concern about employees feeling micro-managed about their time, I smile and say, “Well, that’s easy. Don’t micro-manage.” I simply suggest that we stress to folks that their talents and desire to succeed may be unlimited. But their time is not.

Employees don’t need (and, in fact, resent) being told what to do with each minute of their day. But regularly reminding them, in word and action, that their time is a valuable asset improves the chances that they (and you) will get the most out of it.”

I was speaking to a group of college English majors last week – Yes, I’m a former English major who ended up with a decent career story so I get invited back to speak occasionally – and one of the questions was whether hard work or talent was more important to get ahead.  While I could have taken that question in any manner of different directions – creativity is king, saying no to idiots is kind of valuable, brownnosing will save us all – I answered it in the most honest fashion by stating that both are important. But, that talent and hard work must meet at a supply and demand intersection of sorts.  “Hard work” as defined by looking busy all the time and answering emails at night is no substitution for leveraging your talents to achieve high level results.  Your talents should be abundant to you but also limited to the company – if there is only one of your talents, that’s not just job security but job creation!  Then the ultimate goal is to apply your talent with focus so you’re not defined as a hard worker but as a producer of results.

Simply stated:

[Your ability to utilize your limited amount of time] X [the high-payoff talents you possess] = How you will be judged by your organization

Just because you have “social media technical skills” doesn’t mean they are high-payoff activities for your organization.  And, the ability to utilize your limited amount of time means you need to have awareness of how to create results that matter…to your employer!  Where does generating “likes” fall into this equation?  It doesn’t.

ROSMI Summary: Hunting mythical unicorns isn’t something most people are well suited for and most likely won’t become a career defining endeavor.  It’s best left to the Care Bears…or whoever hunts them…(I’m not a big Sci Fi fan so may have that one wrong).

In Conclusion

Building, implementing, maintaining a social media strategy is a time-intensive endeavor, especially when the payoff isn’t there yet for most every Financial Institution.  The first two blog posts I shared have this correct.  I know of a handful of banks with consistently worthy social media efforts.  They are the true unicorns…and they are rare.

Not everyone can or should lead social media ventures…as indicated by the third item.  Technical proficiency in generating a page and “likes” isn’t what you or your institution should be shooting for.

Finally, our industry has gone so far past ROI when it comes to social media that we’ve forgotten about the limited resources we have to generate revenue for our institutions!  I rarely hear people talk about time management.  Perhaps this is because our industry has downsized so much that most people are so busy chasing unicorns that it seems as if everyone is working hard!  Have we become afraid to say, “that’s not the best use of our time” for fear of being viewed as incapable of working as hard as Sue or Bob down the hall?  Saying no to non-revenue generating activities is a valued skill.

It’s refreshing to see articles that question the validity of Social Media as a revenue generating strategy.  And, it was enough to shake me out of my non-blogging ways to reengage my four readers!

Feel free to comment.  I’m sure some will say that Social Media isn’t meant to generate revenue but to generate engagement.  Well, what is the true, main job of a great marketer?  To generate results that impact the bottom line?  Or to generate minimal engagement amongst a limited segment of your customer base?  To generate “likes”?   And, what if you only have time for one of these?  Which do you think would save your job if it were ever on the chopping block?


Footnote 1: OK, so maybe I’ve used my own social media endeavors to uncover a unicorn or two…I have booked some speaking gigs because of what someone saw on my LinkedIn profile or because of a recommendation.  More likely, these weren’t unicorns but like a Guide Horse (aka. Miniature Helper Pony for the Blind).  My social media strategies center on looking for a way to increase my visibility but in ways that wouldn’t require more resources than I had to devote…or more succinctly put, strategies that I could ignore when higher ROI activities presented themselves.  This blog is great, but can be abandoned for 160+ days when sales become so busy that you can’t devote resources to maintain regular posts.  Banks and CUs don’t have the luxury of abandoning their social media efforts for months at a time.


Footnote 2: I’ve been trying to figure out a way to toss this social media story into the “Internets” since I heard it in the fall of 2011 at a banking conference.  I didn’t figure out a seamless way to work it into the above post so here it is on its own in the footnotes area.

I saw a panel of bank social media experts talk about their experience with social media.  At the end of the panel discussion, an attendee asked the panel, “How do you address the question of ROI?”

The first participant to speak said, “How do you measure the ROI of a hug? Because that’s what we’re doing out there on twitter.”

Holy crap?  Really?  Banking may need a softer image but it’s not going to be about hugs and unicorns.


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