Posts Tagged ‘social networking’

Outsourcing social media is a lot like outsourcing your face

May 19, 2010

I had the privilege of being a guest, along with Day Air Credit Union’s Design Manager, Monica Ginder, on Carla Day’s CU Chat Up BlogTalkRadio show today. The show was centered around credit union’s use of social media, and a question raised was, “Should CU’s ever outsource their social media efforts?” I replied on air, and I also typed into the chat box, “Outsourcing social media is a lot like outsourcing your face.”

Also in the show, Monica made a wonderful point; that as the Design Manager, she doesn’t get to interact with members in-person on a daily basis the way tellers, MSRs, and loan officers do. So social media is her window into her members’ world, and her opportunity to interact with them directly.

Thanks for having me on the show Carla, and thank you to all the listeners! If you want to listen, the show is located here.

Look mom, I’m an Author!

April 5, 2010

Props to Brent Dixon, aka @itsjustbrent, for alerting me to the Age of Conversation when the creators, Gavin Heaton and Drew McLellan, were working on their second volume. It was too late for me to throw my hat into the ring for that edition, but I placed myself on the waiting list, and was thrilled to be asked if I’d like to contribute to the third volume, which is now going to print.

My own contribution to this collaborative effort is on the subject of Twitter going mainstream in the Spring of last year (2009). Many decried this development, saying Twitter had jumped the shark, and the experience would no longer be the same due to the influx of newcomers. I point out that in all social media, not just Twitter, there is a different popularity dynamic at play than in the arenas that preceded it. It matters not a whit whether the cool kids or the hoi polloi are using the media; what matters is if YOUR friends, family, and colleagues are there. You control who you interact with. People are only brought into your zone of ambient awareness if you choose to have them there.

In volume two, authors in addition to Brent Dixon included William Azaroff and Ron Shevlin.

This year’s role call includes my sweetheart, Lesley Lambert, fellow PodCamp WesternMass goer, Jeff Cutler, and Christopher Morris (no relation).

The complete list of AOC 3 authors:

Adam Joseph Priyanka Sachar Mark Earls
Cory Coley-Christakos Stefan Erschwendner Paul Hebert
Jeff De Cagna Thomas Clifford Phil Gerbyshak
Jon Burg Toby Bloomberg Shambhu Neil Vineberg
Joseph Jaffe Uwe Hook Steve Roesler
Michael E. Rubin anibal casso Steve Woodruff
Steve Sponder Becky Carroll Tim Tyler
Chris Wilson Beth Harte Tinu Abayomi-Paul
Dan Schawbel Carol Bodensteiner Trey Pennington
David Weinfeld Dan Sitter Vanessa DiMauro
Ed Brenegar David Zinger Brett T. T. Macfarlane
Efrain Mendicuti Deb Brown Brian Reich
Gaurav Mishra Dennis Deery C.B. Whittemore
Gordon Whitehead Heather Rast Cam Beck
Hajj E. Flemings Joan Endicott Cathryn Hrudicka
Jeroen Verkroost Karen D. Swim Christopher Morris
Joe Pulizzi Leah Otto Corentin Monot
Karalee Evans Leigh Durst David Berkowitz
Kevin Jessop Lesley Lambert Duane Brown
Peter Korchnak Mark Price Dustin Jacobsen
Piet Wulleman Mike Maddaloni Ernie Mosteller
Scott Townsend Nick Burcher Frank Stiefler
Steve Olenski Rich Nadworny John Rosen
Tim Jackson Suzanne Hull Len Kendall
Amber Naslund Wayne Buckhanan Mark McGuinness
Caroline Melberg Andy Drish Oleksandr Skorokhod
Claire Grinton Angela Maiers Paul Williams
Gary Cohen Armando Alves Sam Ismail
Gautam Ramdurai B.J. Smith Tamera Kremer
Eaon Pritchard Brendan Tripp Adelino de Almeida
Jacob Morgan Casey Hibbard Andy Hunter
Julian Cole Debra Helwig Anjali Ramachandran
Jye Smith Drew McLellan Craig Wilson
Karin Hermans Emily Reed David Petherick
Katie Harris Gavin Heaton Dennis Price
Mark Levy George Jenkins Doug Mitchell
Mark W. Schaefer Helge Tenno Douglas Hanna
Marshall Sponder James Stevens Ian Lurie
Ryan Hanser Jenny Meade Jeff Larche
Sacha Tueni and Katherine Maher David Svet Jessica Hagy
Simon Payn Joanne Austin-Olsen Mark Avnet
Stanley Johnson Marilyn Pratt Mark Hancock
Steve Kellogg Michelle Beckham-Corbin Michelle Chmielewski
Amy Mengel Veronique Rabuteau Peter Komendowski
Andrea Vascellari Timothy L Johnson Phil Osborne
Beth Wampler Amy Jussel Rick Liebling
Eric Brody Arun Rajagopal Dr Letitia Wright
Hugh de Winton David Koopmans Aki Spicer
Jeff Wallace Don Frederiksen Charles Sipe
Katie McIntyre James G Lindberg & Sandra Renshaw David Reich
Lynae Johnson Jasmin Tragas Deborah Chaddock Brown
Mike O’Toole Jeanne Dininni Iqbal Mohammed
Morriss M. Partee Katie Chatfield Jeff Cutler
Pete Jones Riku Vassinen Jeff Garrison
Kevin Dugan Tiphereth Gloria Mike Sansone
Lori Magno Valerie Simon Nettie Hartsock
Mark Goren Peter Salvitti

(Hat tip: Fellow AOC 3 contributor Andy Hunter for the headline idea.)

A plea for help

January 22, 2010

A credit union professional, who prefers to remain anonymous, has put out a plea for help on EverythingCU.com. Our colleague asks what to do about his/her management team being dead-set against the CU getting involved in social media in any form.

Since social media is in my blood, having been involved in the online networking world for ten years or so, this question is beyond my reckoning. To me it’s akin to saying, “I’m dead-set against oxygen.”

But I’m hoping that more rational thought can be employed here.

Please feel free to answer our colleague on EverythingCU.com here. If you are not a CU employee, but would like to help state the case, comment here, and I will re-post your message on EverythingCU.com with attribution.

I’m going to PodCamp WesternMass!

January 15, 2010

I thoroughly enjoyed my experience yesterday, getting to present Twitter: Where’s the ROI? at Online Impact at STCC’s Technology Park yesterday. It was an excellent event, and a huge thank you to John Garvey, Dave Sweeney, and Gordon Snyder for putting on the event and inviting me.

It was also great to reconnect with so many great folks who attended the inaugural PodCamp WesternMass, people like Christine Pilch, Jason Turcotte, Kelly Galanis, and Tom Galanis.

So I’m excited to announce that PodCamp WesternMass is happening again this year at Westfield State College on Saturday, February 6, 2010! It was so fantastic last year. We had about 60 people show up, and I hope even more attend this year. For those of you thinking about coming, check out the blogs, photos, and videos that came out of last year’s event. Here are a couple to give you a flavor for why people get excited about this special event:

Jaclyn Stevenson: We Came. We Saw. We Blogged About It.

Shawn Toohey: PodCamp WesternMass 2009

You can read all of them on the PodCamp WM’s wiki page.

Reserve your spot by registering on Eventbrite!

Then mark down that you are coming on both the Facebook event page and LinkedIn event page, and let all your friends and colleagues know about it! I can’t wait!

If you are going to PodCamp WesternMass, please post a blog about your past experience, or what you are looking forward to about attending this year. Use the social media tools to spread the word!

To tweet or not to tweet: Is it even a question?

November 18, 2009

To tweet or not to tweet?

Is it still even a question?

Like everyone else, I only reluctantly joined the twitterverse initially. Nearly universally, people hearing about Twitter for the first time think it’s a dumb idea, one that has zero business use, and only marginal personal use. I think this reaction happens nearly for nearly everyone because you can’t see or understand Twitter until you get inside it.

Recently, the business case for twitter was poo-poo’ed by a real estate blogger, and it drew a strong reaction from realtors that successfully use twitter in their business. One of the commenters in favor of twitter stated that twitter users are in the top 2 percentile of intelligence. While clearly this is an overstatement, not based on facts, it IS possible to have a twitter experience of only very smart people. What sets social media apart from the broadcast model that preceded it is that EVERYONE gets to control who is or is not in their very own network. If you want to only follow brilliant people, then you are free to do so.

Because I’ve been in the twitterverse for so long (more than two years), it’s hard for me to remember that many people haven’t been exposed to it, nor have the time to develop a quality group of people to tweet with. Twitter advocate and consultant Laura Fitton (@Pistachio) continues to make arguments for twitter for businesses. I applaud that she is bridging the gap. But for many people, they will simply have to experience Twitter, or at least see it in action, to understand its usefulness.

I was recently witness to a new use of Twitter that leaves me chuckling and shaking my head…. and that is as extension of one’s own brain. Shari Storm, VP of Marketing at Verity CU in Seattle, and author of Motherhood is the New MBA, recently tweeted that she had written a note to herself, “Evaluate MOH”, and couldn’t remember what it meant. Lo and behold, several of her twitter followers chimed in with possible meanings of MOH. Many replies were funny, and the correct answer, Messages On Hold, was mentioned by several people.

Think about that for a second… Shari wrote a note to herself, designed for her eyes only, forgot what it meant, and then asked friends and strangers for help deciphering it. And they did! What better case for Twitter could be made than as extension of one’s own brain?

By the way, what got me hooked on Twitter, back in 2007, after the typical false start phase that everyone goes through, was a tweet sent by Brent Dixon relaying something that Shari said in a presentation that was occurring 1000 miles away from me at the time. Brent tweeted that Shari said “of new members joining Verity CU, three times more cite their blog as the reason than direct mail.” It was an important bit of information that I would have never known had it not been for Brent, Shari, and twitter. And I was hooked.

If you are interested in hearing Shari talk about her book, Motherhood is the New MBA, you can hear her interviewed, 30 minutes into this 60 minute TQ Radio show, recorded Monday Nov 16, 2009.

Describing a credit union

August 20, 2009

Last week, some great conversation kicked up on EverythingCU about how to describe a credit union in 30 seconds. (Thanks, Butch!)

My own opinion is that describing a credit union is much like the fable of the six blind men and the elephant. Each of the blind men touches a different part of the elephant and comes away with a different idea of what the thing is.

Credit unions are like the elephant in this story. What a credit union is to you is different depending on what matters to you. Some love the low rates on loans. Others love the great rates on savings vehicles. Others don’t care about the rate on their loan, and are just thrilled that they CAN get a loan. Others love the personal service. Others don’t give a darn about personal service. Some love the convenience. Others love the INCONVENIENCE. (seriously, I have had more than one person tell me this conducting focus groups for credit unions. The “don’t tell my spouse I have this fund” account.) Some love the electronic services. Others love coming into a branch. Others love both. And believe it or not, some people love it because it’s a cooperative. Others love it because the money stays local, and makes the community better. Many could care less that it’s a cooperative, because “ownership” means nothing to them. Some love the no- or low-fees. Others love that the CU does what’s in THEIR financial best interest, even when it’s not in the CU’s best interest.

And that’s just off the top of my head.

WARNING: The rest of this message is a blatant sales pitch for EverythingCU’s new PlumWall product. BUT I only say it because I 1000% know it to be true, and I would be remiss in my duties to further the CU movement if I *didn’t* put this out there:

All of the above statement is exactly why we created PlumWall for your CU to utilize. It’s been one hundred years, and we haven’t come up with a universally agreed upon explanation for a credit union, nor a single brand statement – BECAUSE THERE ISN’T JUST ONE.

So let’s STOP looking for the “one right answer” and let our members tell everyone how THEY see it… because people relate to other people like them, and trust other people like them by a factor of 100-to-1 over any marketing that an institution puts out (especially a big scary financial institution). This is why single-SEG CUs are so successful and why no one comes running in the door when a CU goes to a community charter.

PlumWall lets your members tell others, online, why they love the CU. I can’t wait to read more of your members’ stories about how fantastic your CU is.

Is your CU part of the Twitterverse yet?

June 1, 2009

CU Times just published an excellent article on Credit Unions and Twitter that features yours truly. I heart CU Times, and have for many years!

Announcing PlumWall

May 5, 2009

“It’s not about the CU story you tell your members — it’s all about the story your members tell themselves about doing business with your credit union.”
— Ron Shevlin, Aite Group, at BarCampBank NewEngland 4.5.08

There is something new on the EverythingCU home page, and in the navigation bars, called PlumWall.

“What the heck is a PlumWall, and what have you crazy EverythingCU people done now?” you may be asking yourself.

Here at EverythingCU, we’ve understood the power of testimonials for a long time. Heck, it’s the main reason we get out of bed every morning and continue to work to keep your community the amazingly neat and clean place that it continues to be.

Now we have harnessed the power of the web, World 2.0 and social media to allow CREDIT UNIONS and their MEMBERS to share the joy, power, and beauty that is the CREDIT UNION MOVEMENT with one another.

PlumWall enables you to easily upload your member stories and testimonials about your CU. We all know you have LOADS of them, especially loan officers who are literally changing people’s lives for the better. EVERY loan officer has at least three or four VERY special stories they keep on their office wall. Well, it’s time to bring them OUT IN THE PUBLIC for ALL TO SEE!

So check out PlumWall, and see if it’s a fit for YOUR CU’s web site.

Here’s a link to more info.

Here’s a sample of what it looks like, using EverythingCU as example

Here’s what your control panel will look like.

We know it’s not perfect out of the gate, and have room to improve it, but at least it’s a fresh start to make sharing member testimonials online really easy. Feel free to email me any questions, comments, or feedback, or call my cell phone any time at 413-535-0621! We’d love to set it up for you!

Time to rethink Marketing 1.0 techniques

April 17, 2009

My new friend, and Amherst native, Ron Miller has graciously allowed me to be a guest author on his new blog, Social Media 101, which is co-created with Julie Roads.

I met Ron through mutual friend Tish Grier, who brought the two of us together, along with Ann Kingman, to be on a social media panel for the Hidden Tech group of Western Mass.

My guest post describes how those brought up in traditional marketing must adjust their mind-set in order to thrive in World 2.0.

It’s an honor to appear on Ron’s and Julie’s excellent new blog!

World 2.0 brings us to Pokagon

April 16, 2009

What is World 2.0? And why do I use this term to explain the new environment in which we live? The web, and in particular the new engagement known as social media, has fundamentally changed the way that we, as people and organizations, exist in the world. By connecting all of us together, we have a new layer of knowledge in addition to the physical world with which we are more familiar.

EverythingCU is going to hold unique event in Indiana on Friday, May 29. This event will be a success, and would not have been possible prior to World 2.0.

Personally, I have only been to Indiana a couple of times, and it was always either passing through on I-80/90, or visiting Indianapolis. I know very little about the rest of the state except that French Lick is where Larry Bird came from, and the Kiss Fan Club’s address was in Terre Haute.

Because the economy hit the skids recently, and our credit union clients were blind-sided, errrrrr assessed a heavy burden to their operating budgets in January, we decided to postpone our flagship event, the Triple-B, slated for Portsmouth NH, by one year, to October of 2010. In the meantime, I wanted to continue to bring great experiences and education to our colleagues, and knew this presented the opportunity to put into action an idea I’ve had for a while: hold smaller-scale events for our members in locations that are convenient to them.

EverythingCU’s COO, Matt Taggart, coined the term for this one-day event: Instead of the multi-day Triple-B, this one-day event is known as the Little-B.

Choosing the right location can be quite problematic for an online company with members throughout North America. My first order of business was to poll our members to find out where people are located who are interested in attending our event. I put the query out on EverythingCU. While we got responses from all parts of the US, there was a clear mandate coming from three states: Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio. Since these three states border each other, my next step was to take a look at Google Maps and see what lay at the intersection of them. I immediately zeroed in on a place called Pokagon State Park, in the northeast corner of Indiana. Further googling of this area showed me that there were a couple of hotels nearby, even if the nearest major city was a 45-minute drive away in Fort Wayne. Also, using Google Maps, I could tell that this location was within driving range for many people. It’s two to three hours away from several major and minor cities: Detroit, Columbus, Indianapolis, Chicago, Fort Wayne, Lansing, and slightly farther from Cleveland and Cincinnati. Other cities include: Dayton, Toledo, South Bend, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Gary, Saginaw, Battle Creek, and Essex, Ontario.

It’s not always easy to get a feel for a place simply by looking at a web site or three. So my next step was to get in touch with the people who live nearby, and I contacted a few EverythingCU site members in Fort Wayne. Not only did they confirm for me that was this indeed a great spot, but two told me that they have had great experiences at this park, and that the Potawatomi Inn in the park is a great hotel and conference space. Prior to speaking to our members, I had thought we’d have to hold the event at a hotel just outside the park, not realizing there was a great facility inside the park itself.

None of this would have been possible prior to World 2.0. There is no way that we could have had this direct contact with our membership to pull off an event in a place that we have never been to before. We have our agenda set, the invitations have been emailed and posted online, our members are signing up, and a great experience awaits us and our membership. A special thank you to Doug True, Chad Gramling and Nan Morrow who have spread the word to the Ignite Indiana group.

Now our challenge is to find another spot where this confluence of geography and member interest lies. I have several ideas and will be posting them inside the confines of EverythingCU.

Our agenda is set. We’ll be networking with each other (we’ll have many EverythingCU’ers who have never met each other in real life before), covering social media, sharpening our marketing skills with a presentation project, and sharing money-saving marketing techniques. If you are a credit union employee in Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, or Ontario, I hope to see you at the 2009 Little-B Pokagon! If you have CU friends in the area, let them know!


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