A Community Bank Teaches Four Social Media Marketing Lessons

Four Social Media Marketing Lessons Learned From A Utah Community Bank
Four Blogging Lessons Every Social Media Marketer Can Learn From One Banker
WE’RE ALL MARKETERS. Whether you’re a blogger, advertiser, PR manager, programmer, SEO specialist, branding expert, or business owner—you’re a marketer. And if you’re reading this post, you’re likely a social media marketer as well.
Tough economic times, bailouts, loan difficulties and foreclosures have taken a devastating toll on the banking industry. Although the severity of conditions has varied from region to region, consumer trust levels have declined.
Western Community Bank (full disclaimer, Lava7 client), a three-branch community bank in Utah County, has always approached marketing with an innovative attitude. During difficult economic times, their commitment to starting a social media engagement strategy by launching a simple blog has demonstrated a proactive community mindset and a willingness to assume some thought leadership.
Lesson 1:  Think Ahead Of The Curve
Enter, Adam Weight, VP of Marketing and Technology. During the bank’s blogsite development, a number of prominent social-media-specific articles began appearing in banking publications.
(Graphic 4 HERE)
Adam was one step ahead. Are you? Ask yourself, “Am I being timid in my industry? Is there an opportunity—however small—to assume a leadership position? What’s holding me back?”
Lesson 2:  Be Human, Listen, And Participate
Western Community Bank (WCB) started with a simple premise…  Engage with customers and community members in ways that are honest and transparent, and provide clear insights and useful tools that are relevant to local audiences.
(Graphic 3 HERE)
As one of the founders of the Social Media Club Utah Valley, I’ve noticed that the majority of our initial members are people inside our industry (meaning advertising, marketing, pr, branding, seo, etc.). There are few engaged members who either own or work in businesses from other verticals. Adam is one of them—and he makes a point of attending our club’s meetings and functions.
If you’re one of those people who falls outside “this industry” ask yourself, “Am I taking advantage of every opportunity to learn the mindset and tools that surround social media marketing? Am I attending SMCSLC (or Utah Valley, Cache Valley) meetings and thinking about how to leverage this wealth of passion and expertise to build my business? Am I using a blog, and/or other basic tools to listen and participate?”
Get involved! It makes a difference! And it doesn’t need to be difficult. Take off your marketing hat and put on your audience hat to better understand their needs and perspective. Here’s a recent, actual WCB Twitter exchange:
(Twitter Graphic HERE)
Lesson 3:  Don’t Quit. Your Tenacity Will Pay Off
Afraid you’re not a great writer? Maybe that’s true. But in Seth Godin’s words, “Stick with it and you’ll get better at it.” Are you afraid nobody’s interested in what you have to say? Perhaps…  At least today. But whether anybody reads your blog or not, the metacognition that takes place in formulating how you talk about what you do is priceless. Don’t stop. This is as much for you, and the way in which you view your business, as it is for your prospective audience.
(wcb screen shot 1)
Lesson 4:  Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously
Let’s face it… Banks are, pretty much, boring. Agreed? They’re the epitome of traditional and conservative. The nature of what they do is all about regulatory requirements, privacy and safety. Not exactly a party. While remaining thoughtful and sensitive to their position and reputation, WCB isn’t afraid of having a little fun. It keeps them human—and here’s a good example.
(wcb screen shot 1)
So, dive in! Zig passionately while everyone else is zagging. Ignore the economic doom and gloom. There’s never been a better opportunity in history to take the four lessons above and turn them into a powerful blogging and social media marketing foundation for your business.
Onward!

WE’RE ALL MARKETERS. Whether you’re a blogger, advertiser, PR manager, programmer, SEO specialist, branding expert, or business owner—you’re a marketer. And if you’re reading this post, you’re likely a social media marketer as well.

Tough economic times, bailouts, loan difficulties and foreclosures have taken a devastating toll on the banking industry. Although the severity of conditions has varied from region to region, consumer trust levels have declined.

Western Community Bank (full disclaimer, Lava7 client), a three-branch community bank in Utah County, has always approached marketing with an innovative attitude. During difficult economic times, their commitment to starting a social media engagement strategy by launching a simple blog demonstrated a proactive community mindset and a willingness to assume some thought leadership.

Lesson 1:  Think Ahead Of The Curve

Enter, Adam Weight, VP of Marketing and Technology. During the bank’s blogsite development, a number of prominent social-media-specific articles began appearing in banking publications.

WCB_AmBank4

Adam was one step ahead. Are you? Ask yourself, “Am I being timid in my industry? Is there an opportunity—however small—to assume a leadership position? What’s holding me back?”

Lesson 2:  Be Human, Listen, And Participate

Western Community Bank (WCB) started with a simple premise…  Engage with customers and community members in ways that are honest and transparent, and provide clear insights and useful tools that are relevant to local audiences.

WCB_AmBank3

As one of the founders of the Social Media Club Utah Valley, I’ve noticed that the majority of our initial members are people inside our industry (meaning advertising, marketing, pr, branding, seo, etc.). There are few engaged members who either own or work in businesses from other verticals. Adam is one of them—and he makes a point of attending our club’s meetings and functions.

If you’re one of those people who falls outside “this industry” ask yourself, “Am I taking advantage of every opportunity to learn the mindset and tools that surround social media marketing? Am I attending SMCSLC (or Utah Valley, Cache Valley) meetings and thinking about how to leverage this wealth of passion and expertise to build my business? Am I using a blog, and/or other basic tools to listen and participate?”

Get involved! It makes a difference! And it doesn’t need to be difficult. Take off your marketing hat and put on your audience hat to better understand their needs and perspective. Here’s a recent, actual WCB Twitter exchange:

TwitterCapture

Lesson 3:  Don’t Quit. Your Tenacity Will Pay Off

Afraid you’re not a great writer? Maybe that’s true. But in Seth Godin’s words, “Stick with it and you’ll get better at it.” Are you afraid nobody’s interested in what you have to say? Perhaps…  At least today. But whether anybody reads your blog or not, the metacognition that takes place in formulating how you talk about what you do is priceless. Don’t stop. This is as much for you, and the way in which you view your business, as it is for your prospective audience.

WCBblogsite

Lesson 4:  Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously

Let’s face it… Banks are, pretty much, boring. Agreed? They’re the epitome of traditional and conservative. The nature of what they do is all about regulatory requirements, privacy and safety. Not exactly a party. While remaining thoughtful and sensitive to their position and reputation, WCB isn’t afraid of having a little fun. It keeps them human—and here’s a good example.

WCBblogsite_2

So, dive in! Zig passionately while everyone else is zagging. Ignore the economic doom and gloom. There’s never been a better opportunity in history to take the four lessons above and turn them into a powerful blogging and social media marketing foundation for your business.

Onward!

Jack Hadley is CEO at Lava7, a Digital Engagement Marketing Agency

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