• 07Jul

    bad-twitter-300x212 I have been working on a social media strategy for a client whose target market is the banking industry – not consumers but professional bankers. So the question arises, do bankers use social media? The answer, of course, is yes and no. There certainly are LinkedIn forums that specialize in bank marketing and bank-related issues. But are Facebook and Twitter a logical extension of a social media campaign aimed at a narrow professional audience?

    I recently read about a new study from Edison Research that debunks a lot of the conventional wisdom from other marketing experts about the power of Twitter. According to the article posted on Marketing Charts, while there is a high recognition level for Twitter, recognition does not necessarily turn into action:

    “The Edison study doesn’t discount the popularity of Twitter – in fact it reports that 87% of respondents have heard of Twitter, compared to 88% who had heard of Facebook. The findings also suggest that Twitter users are hyper-aware of brands on Twitter. The study found that 42% learn about products and services via Twitter and 41% provide opinions about products/services. An additional 19% seek customer support. A grand total of 49% follow brands or companies….
    “Here is the rub: the data also suggests that Twitter users do not necessarily convert brand awareness to usage, Social Media Today says. Although 87% of Americans have heard of Twitter – only 7% actually use it. Compare that to Facebook, where 88% have heard of it, and 41% have a profile, which is a conversion rate approaching 50%, Social Media Today notes.Clearly some companies belong on Twitter – namely brands that are seeking to shape consumers’ opinions and possibly engage them in a conversation.”

    So Twitter is not a marketing panacea (but what is?). The study reveals that there are some companies that probably won’t benefit from a Twitter campaign, including:

    • Companies that don’t have a mobile strategy or presence. There is a strong correlation between Twitter and handheld devices (63 percent of Twitter users access the network from a mobile device, and 73 percent send SMS text messages).
    • Mass-market brands with well-known products will probably not benefit from a Twitter program. These consumers already have a well-formed opinion about such brands, and a Twitter discussion may create more opportunities to denigrate the brand rather than support it.
    • Small businesses that don’t have a strong online or social media presence. This seems like a no-brainer. If you haven’t created an online marketing foundation, then Twitter can’t help you build an online presence. As a micro-blogging tool, Twitter is an ideal extension of other promotional programs, giving y9ou another opportunity to drop online bread crumbs that lead back to home base. It doesn’t function well on its own, without a foundation.

    I also have to wonder about the value of Twitter for targeted marketing programs aimed at a niche group, like bankers. My own research shows that bankers are using Twitter as part of their own programs to attract new depositors, which makers perfect sense. Banks and credit unions want to leverage social media to communicate directly with customers, but are bankers turning to Twitter to learn about banking trends and rates? It’s hard to say. However, if you can find a way to offer insightful, valuable information in 140 characters or less,  then you can build a strong Twitter following, or at least include Twitter as part of your strategy to get prospects to find the path to your online doorstep.

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    Posted by Tom Woolf @ 11:25 pm

5 Responses

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  • Is Twitter Really Right for Your Marketing Strategy? | The PRagmatist | My Internet Marketing Says:

    […] the original post: Is Twitter Really Right for Your Marketing Strategy? | The PRagmatist Share and […]

  • Jeffry Pilcher | TheFinancialBrand.com Says:

    You ask, “Are bankers turning to Twitter to learn about banking trends and rates?” I’ve accumulated over 2,500 followers on Twitter — almost all bank and credit union marketing executives — by tweeting nothing but trends and articles of interest. (Please note: This isn’t as easy as it might sound. As a professional editor and publisher in the financial B2B space, I spend no less than 2-3 hours daily going through headlines and stories to find stories to write about and things to tweet.) From my perspective, learning about banking trends is pretty much the only thing of value most of them get from Twitter.

    I have consistently questioned the B2C value of Twitter and Facebook (and MySpace and every other social media site). The so-called experts talk about the value of “dialogue” and “engagement,” but until they find a way to deposit consumer engagement in a checking account, I’ll remain on the fence.

    But the B2B power of social media is indisputable. If most white collar professionals were honest, they’d tell you Twitter is first and foremost a peer networking tool (e.g., “social media,” its original purpose and intent).

  • Susan Breidenbach Says:

    I think a lot of the social media disappointments/failures stem from people applying a B2C model to a B2B business. But ultimately, as Jeffrey points out, B2B (which is more about building and maintaining relationships) is more a natural for social media than B2C (which is more about numbers). You can conceivably have a relationship with everyone in a particular B2B universe, but that isn’t possible in a B2C business where your universe of potential customers is in the millions. There are people using Twitter successfully in B2B mode, where it’s about quality rather than quantity of followers, and reciprocity rather than a one-to-many Pied Piper model.

  • Kevin Lynch Says:

    I agree 100% with Jeffrey, whom I follow on Tiwtter. Twitter is a terrific way to stay plugged in to the trends in the financial services arena, especially in the credit union space. As he also notes, it really is a great way to network with peers around the world anf get to “know” them in a virtual way.

  • Cameron King Says:

    Jeffrey hits the nail on the head with his comment. It’s about the discovering and successful implementation of the B2B model that banks need to focus their social media efforts on. And I also follow his tweets, thanks Jeffrey

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