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2 posts categorized "September 2011"

September 27, 2011

Not Measuring Results -- Some Jaw-Dropping Insights into Credit Union Social Media

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by Ron Daly 

Recently, to gauge our clients' level of interest in our new social media "getting started (or not)" course, we decided to send out a survey and see where our clients were (or weren't) with social media. 

The course that Jimmy Marks, our Creative Media Director, spent the summer building focuses on: 

  1. Deciding whether or not to get into social media and the information you'll need to gather first
  2. What it takes to make good content
  3. Getting fans and followers that match your goals
  4. Safeguarding yourself against compliance and security issues
  5. Monitoring your results

...and we wanted to see how useful that advice would be to current clients who were interested in social networking. 

We sent out a simple survey. The results we got back were shocking. 

First, some table setting:

Average size of credit union surveyed: ~400 million

Average year-over-year share growth: 5.04%

Average number of members: 35,216

Now, the numbers worth noting:

  • 63% of CUs surveyed are involved with and using social media in some form. 
  • 54% of those are using Facebook, the winner by far. Second place was a tie between YouTube and LinkedIn
  • Of the CUs that said they are using social media, 51% had been using social media for less than two years.

Interesting thusfar, but here's the number that made my jaw hit the floor: 

  • Of the CUs surveyed, 76% DO NOT MEASURE THEIR SUCCESS OR THE RESULTS OF SOCIAL MEDIA AT THEIR CREDIT UNION. 

What??? 76%??? It's true, according to our results. 

Now, I'm not one to just hear numbers and completely ignore how they got there. As I looked at a later question, where we asked respondants what information they would want to hear in a social media workshop, many people said they needed measurements and better metrics. As a result, part of me wonders how much the lack of measurement has to do with not understanding what these CUs are measuring or how to measure it.

Some of the results were actually very helpful - many CUs are measuring their results in feedback and next-steps in the marketing/sales funnel, not just numbers of "likes" or followers. I worry, though, that much of the problem with social media is how people think it's a solution to something. If you don't have a clear message and a clear understanding of how people make buying and borrowing decisions, what difference could YouTube or Twitter possibly make? 

At DigitalMailer, we have lots of followers and friends and likes and so-on and so-on and so-on. But make no mistake, we don't call any of those "leads". Not until we've been contacted by that person via email or phone. It's great to promote the brand and talk about what you're up to, but that's not where our scope is focused. Twitter and Facebook help us keep in touch with partners, clients and some very interesting people - but pleasing clients and making products and services that save people money is the thing that keeps the lights on. 

In our workshop, we've got a lot of helpful information and some good actionable steps. More importantly, we encourage the kind of forethought it takes to talk yourself (or your superiors) OUT of doing social media if it's NOT the right way to spend your time, money, or creative energies. 

The workshop is $500 and includes a 90-minute presentation and a downloadable workbook. To sign up for our next session, click here

September 21, 2011

Taking the "Bank" out of "Banking": How the Steve Jobs Decade Has Changed Finance

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by Ron Daly

Brett King over at Bank 2.0 posted an article titled "How Steve Jobs Killed the Branch". There's been a lot of talk recently about Steve Jobs stepping down as the CEO of Apple and moving into a more private role in the company. Tim Cook has taken Jobs' place as CEO and the black-turtlenecked dynamo has quietly stepped aside, due to his health concerns. The news of this change sent a shockwave through the Internet as Apple fans and tech fans alike shared their shock and their appreciation for a man that has many times over beaten the odds (go read about Steve Jobs' impact and listen to his 2005 commencement speech here. Very good stuff.)

Brett's article focuses on one important aspect of Jobs' legacy. From the post

This is not the sole legacy of Steve Jobs and the team at Apple, but when we look back on banking in 10-20 years time when branches have disappeared, we will attribute the destruction of the traditional value chain of banking to the death of the ‘store’. Not all stores are destroyed, of course, but where you have goods or services that can be easily digitized or where distribution does not absolutely require physicality, then the value chain is disrupted. The two big upsets in this evolution of the store were really Amazon’s destruction of the book store, and iTunes destruction of video and music stores.

I think Brett has a point there. The Kindle really did a number on bookstores and paper books alike (the Borders down the street from us is going, going...). The iPod destroyed all the Tower Records and Sam Goody's of the world because, finally, you didn't need a twenty-disc CD changer in your car - you just needed a little rectangle with a wheel. And why? 

Because paperbacks and hardcovers were just a means of distributing the words in a book. CDs and Casettes were just a way to store the music until it hit your ears. The medium wasn't more than the message. In some cases, it was much, MUCH less. 

As technology has advanced, our dependence on cash and checks has diminished. Debit and credit are pushing out cash and NFC is threatening cards - we'll keep making strides away from the physical aspects of money management until branches are almost obsolete. Why? Because money's not a physical thing anymore. At least, it doesn't have to be. And you don't need a bank to do all your banking.

When you can:

  • Open an account online
  • Deposit remotely online
  • Apply for a loan AND get approved online
  • Resolve NSFs and low-fund situations online
  • Transfer money between accounts online 
  • Budget online
  • Buy online

...why go to a branch to get things done? 

Steve Jobs didn't exactly kill the branch. But he certainly didn't stop the bleeding.