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April 09, 2009



Hey, thanks for the shout out! I was cracking up because I was getting updates from Matt and Alix when Paul Stull was tweeting about the event. It was a very curious combination, and I suddenly realized that the webinar was going out to more people than I realized.

I also made sure to thank my friends at DM and CCC.

Jimmy and I have talked before about having a Web 2.0 person at your CU/business. Here's the great thing about that: your Web 2.0 person can serve so many roles! They will interact and help service your existing members, cross sell, bring in new members, find out what people think of you, turn your members into brand advocates.

And here's the best part. If you find someone who loves their job, they'll keep doing it when they get home. They'll Facebook potential members, they'll tweet with new members and welcome them to the credit union, they'll answer questions, even at night because they're online and someone has a question. Sounds like a pretty good investment to me.

Ron Shevlin

Believe it or not...Jimmy actually alludes to one of the key issues out there regarding the deployment of social media. (C'mon, stop laughing)

Jimmy says: "Vet your online content managers/web specialists with the same jaundiced eye you'd use in selecting an accountant."

Problem is, you can't. There's something called GAAP, and people, with certifications, that we refer to as CPAs. Would you hire an accountant who wasn't CPA? Didn't think so.

But what qualifications do the hordes of social media consultants have? Typically, their own 9-12 months of experience on social networks.

The change in mindset that's needed here -- in my opinion, of course -- isn't about the acceptance of social media. It's a change in mindset from marketing as a customer persuasion discipline to marketing as an customer engagement discipline.

Social media is just one tool to help make that change. But as long as there are "social media experts" out there claiming that we need to use social media networks as marketing channels because "that's where people are" the underlying mindset will never change.

I think that's what Jimmy was trying to say. :)

Jimmy Marks

@Ron -


That is, sort of, where I was going. My point was that you wouldn't hire an accountant who'd never done anything, and you wouldn't hire one that had no clue what he/she was talking about. Trouble being, most people you talk to who are higher-up at a CU or a business don't know what THEY'RE talking about either. So, it all comes down to price - who can get what done for the least money?

But with an accountant, you DO have certification. And you can ask where he/she has worked prior. And you can ask for references. And you can ask those references about whether or not who you'd like to hire has ever defrauded a company or a government organization or has embezzled millions of dollars. Because you're trusting them with something IMPORTANT. AND ONLINE INTERACTION IS IMPORTANT, PEOPLE. Your website, e-mails, and even your rinky-dink facebook pages all need upkeep. If you want to engage to deepen your relationship (rather than, as Ron said, just to advertise), you have to make time.

Which is why businesses talk themselves into taking short cuts - because who cares about online stuff when you have a whole BRANCH to worry about, right?

The people who care about whether or not your website works, and whether or not they can get their info on the go, are the ones who aren't coming into those branches. Elliott's talk showed that the younger generations are opening accounts online between 20 and 30% of the time. They don't care that you got new teller mats, they care that you send them the wrong e-mails and that they can't access their online banking when they want.

What I was trying to say is these decisions aren't just throw-away. If you think it's something someone can do in their spare time and it's not worth worry, you should quit trying to get there right now. Evaluate your website, your online presence, and the people who manage both.

Credit Union Warrior

@Ron You are exactly right when you say social media for business being is all about customer engagement. Honestly, though, how many businesses have been able to pull it off? Success with this channel can be tremendously powerful...but it's an amazingly rare accomplishment. Too many executives decide to jump in to Facebook, Twitter, etc. because "that's where everyone spends their online time" or "everyone else is doing it". Too few are honestly evaluating their value proposition to customers.

@Jimmy "Spare time" commitments are not commitments. So true.

@Elliott Fun times...I think the webinar went well. Thanks for having me.

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