Posts Tagged ‘Marketing 2.0’

Social Media Marketing Best Practice: Make it easy

August 28, 2008

Another principle for successful social media marketing (inspired by Mitch Joel’s project): Make everything as easy as possible for your visitors.

One of the reasons why you see YouTube videos posted everywhere online is that YouTube makes that extremely easy to do. When you upload a video to YouTube, you are given code on the side of the page that will embed the video. All one has to do to post that video on their blog or discussion board is to copy and paste the code. Sure, a techie could figure out the code on their own. But it’s hard to do, time consuming, and there is no way that non-techies could figure out the code to do it. YouTube has made it cut-and-paste easy for any of their video clips to be embedded anywhere. That is a large factor in their success.

At, we owe much of our success to the fact that we are constantly thinking about ways to make doing things online in the community as easy as possible for our members.

Make it easy for your visitors to:

  • sign up
  • participate in your community or project
  • find and connect with other people
  • find the information that they are looking for
  • share and re-use elements of your community/media for their own projects and sites
  • tell their friends about it

What are you doing to make it easier for your audience to spread the online word about you? Do you have a Refer a Friend button on your web site? Sure, the same thing could be accomplished via email, but having a button on your site reminds the viewer that they could be sharing this with someone who might appreciate and benefit from what you have to offer.

In order to make things as easy as possible for your members, you have to design your site and your processes from your members point of view. Imagine being in your visitor’s shoes, and walk yourself step-by-step through your screens. If you haven’t done this in a while, no doubt you will uncover some ideas for improvement.

27 Credit union social media don’ts

July 15, 2008

I’m sure that I left out plenty, so feel free to add your additional ones here! And here’s a nice buttoned-up, three-page PDF version of the 63 CU social media do’s and don’ts.

Because this list is long, I’ve split up the Do’s and the Don’ts into two entries:


  1. Don’t think that social media is just another marketing channel to starting shouting on.
  2. Don’t blast your message into online communities without checking out the existing conversation, culture, and etiquette. People will tune you out and/or flame you if you do.
  3. Don’t spam your members.
  4. Don’t blog just because everyone else is doing it. And if you do, don’t let it languish for long periods of time.
  5. Don’t use a condescending tone of voice.
  6. Don’t try to use slang or crazy graphics to try to appear cooler than you really are.
  7. Don’t think it’s all about the credit union. It’s not. It’s all about your members.
  8. Don’t devise a plan to use one particular social media tool, and then plan a campaign around it.
  9. Don’t use marketing/corporate-speak, lingo, or jargon in any of your communications. Your members appreciate plain-spoken honesty that they can understand.
  10. Don’t shoot down or ignore negative comments about your credit union on your own site or third-party sites. First cool down, then respond as if the person were standing in front of you in your lobby, and treat him/her with the class, dignity, and respect befitting your institution.
  11. Don’t be afraid to let people know how the CU could benefit them when the circumstances come up to do so.
  12. Don’t think you have to write a new blog post every day.
  13. Don’t be afraid to dive in and get your feet wet with the MULTITUDE of free social media resources available.
  14. Don’t think that social media and traditional marketing are an either/or situation. The best campaigns utilize both types where appropriate.
  15. Don’t be afraid to start a blog, with comments enabled, for fear of negative comments. There have only been a half dozen or so in the entire four years that CUs have been blogging. We’ve got our work cut out for us just to get our members to even read it, let alone comment on it.
  16. Don’t invest in mobile banking that requires any kind of a special software download. Your members will never go for that. The only exception are Apple iPhone Apps, where they’ve made it ridiculously easy to get new apps.
  17. Don’t invest in a web site with flashing graphics and animations. Your members want simple and easy to use. Focus all of your web development efforts on simple, intuitive, quick, and easy.
  18. Don’t forget that not all of your membership is as tech-savvy as you are. Many are further behind, some are further ahead.
  19. Don’t make your members feel stupid that they don’t already know how to participate in online social media. You’ll earn their gratitude if you treat them respect when teaching them how to participate online. And go a long way to raising the image of your CU in their eyes.
  20. Don’t think you are the first financial institution to do anything. Chances are, not only has another financial institution done something similar to what you are embarking on, your members know about it as well.
  21. Don’t pursue being your members’ sole source of info, nor being their sole financial institution. While many members enjoy the convenience of banking at one place, many others prefer to work with a variety of FIs, for many different reasons. (Most of which are not logical, but hey, it’s not always about the most logical.)
  22. Don’t get upset when your members use the term “bank”, or when they have financial relationships with banks. It’s your job to inform them of why you’re better, not berate them because they are idiots. Even knowing why you are better, there are a multitude of personal reasons to have an account at a bank. (An account that a spouse doesn’t know about for instance.) You can’t mess with that, and no amount of arguing is going to change their minds.
  23. Don’t limit blog authors to only those in marketing.
  24. Don’t think that social media is limited to the marketing department.
  25. Don’t shut down employee/CU access to social media sites and expect to get any results from social media initiatives.
  26. Don’t be afraid to show some personality, and
  27. Don’t forget to have some fun with your members!

Here are the 36 Do’s.

36 Credit union social media do’s

July 15, 2008

This morning I saw that social media sage Chris Brogan had put together a list of 50 social media strategies. Without peeking at his list (honestly!), I decided I should put together a list of Do’s and Don’ts for social media as it pertains to credit unions. I’m sure that I left out plenty, so feel free to add your additional ones here! And here’s a nice buttoned-up, three-page PDF version of the 63 CU social media do’s and don’ts.

Oh, and by the way, I’m delivering a webinar on Building Relationships with Social Media on EverythingCU on Thursday. I’ll be discussing 7 case studies, among other things. I’m really looking forward to it, and am very excited we have 36 credit unions signed up so far.

Because this list is long, I’ve split up the Do’s and the Don’ts into two entries:


  1. Do become well-versed with all of the available social media tools before diving in. (Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, podcasting are great starting points.)
  2. Do start your social media marketing strategy planning by thinking about what your TARGET AUDIENCE is interested in.
  3. Do make sure that your social media strategy reinforces your CU’s overall business or branding strategy, and is designed to, at the least, create awareness of what your CU is great at.
  4. Do feature your online initiatives in a computer kiosk in your lobby. That way your members will not only learn about what they can do remotely, they’ll also associate what they see online with a tangible presence.
  5. Do learn the basics of how RSS and blogs work.
  6. Do give guidelines to anyone who will be contributing to your CUs blog.
  7. Do put your rates into RSS format.
  8. Do comment on your members’ blogs. They LOVE that, and will share the love in return. That’s the best way to increase readership of YOUR blog.
  9. Do put valuable information that is currently in your print letter ALSO onto your blog so that your members can comment. Feel free to inform that online commenting is available at the end of the print newsletter articles that are also featured on your blog.
  10. Do feel free to blog your newsletter articles before they appear in the print version. Many people aren’t paying attention to your blog, and will be reminded to go there when receiving the print version in the mail.
  11. Do write down your social media strategy so that the rest of the management team can see the cause and effect chain from your marketing efforts to how its helping the CU generate awareness, leads, new referrals, new members, and new sales, or in general reinforcing the CU’s brand.
  12. Do start with the overall campaign concept, then figure out what social media tools are the best fit.
  13. Do reinforce your traditional marketing campaigns with your online efforts and vice versa. These are not separate silos.
  14. Do build up a network of friends among your members BEFORE you start trying to “market” to them.
  15. Do use social media to start conversations among your members about your CU and ask for honest feedback.
  16. Do monitor discussion about your CU on third-party sites using Google Alerts.
  17. Do create a business fan page for your CU on Facebook.
  18. Do be a real person and use real language in all social media venues. Be as polite and professional as you would face-to-face.
  19. Do always make sure your blog posts are attributed to the author, and not to the faceless credit union.
  20. Do only write a blog post when you have something important to say to your members.
  21. Do put your fun and interesting CU events onto Facebook.
  22. Do write your blog posts in a way that invites your members to comment on it. We’ve been so used to one-way communication with our members, that we have to retrain our brains to write in a way that invites dialogue.
  23. Do realize that for the most part, your members are more interested in other members’ comments on your blog, than on the article you originally wrote. Feature comments front and center.
  24. Do optimize your web site and online banking to work on mobile phones, Blackberries, Treos, and iPhones.
  25. Do call your core processor’s rep every day until she gives you a mobile banking offering for your members.
  26. Do attend the nearest PodCamp to you to learn more about what this social media thing is all about.
  27. Do understand that your members expect you to be present in the online conversation about you. They’ll interpret a lack of presence as a lack of caring about their concerns.
  28. Do understand that you’ll have to hold many of your members hands if you want them to participate in your online efforts. But each time that you do, you will be earning their gratitude, and perhaps loyalty. Everyone likes to learn how to do cool new things, without being made to feel like they are stupid.
  29. Do read web sites and books about it: The Cluetrain Manifesto by Christopher Locke, Naked Conversations by Robert Scoble, and The New Influencers by Paul Gillin
  30. Do read blogs about it: this one right here, OpenSource CU by Trabian, Marketing Whims by Ron Shevlin, NetBanker by Jim Bruene, Currency Marketing by Tim McAlpine, CU Hype by Tony Mannor, and scores more.
  31. Do realize that your members know better your CUs strengths and weaknesses than you realize.
  32. Do realize that your front line staff are your best and most important allies in social media marketing. They are far more familiar with it, and trusted by their own friends than you are.
  33. Do involve your front line staff with your social media efforts every step of the way.
  34. Do involve your members at every step of the way with your social media efforts.
  35. Do realize that the relationship your members have with each other is often as important, and sometimes more important, than the relationship they have with you or your credit union.
  36. Do involve your members in competitions and let them see how they stand. Members love that, and will check back often if you do!

Here are the 27 Don’ts.

Facebook – Powerful Marketing Platform

January 11, 2008

Unless you’ve been living under a rock lately, you know that one of the very hottest web sites is Facebook. And that’s for good reason. It may be one of the greatest marketing platforms created to date. If you are a credit union, and you hold member education events, you need to get them on Facebook. The first credit union to do this was Beehive CU in Utah, which put on a Credit Make-Over Seminar in April 2007, and created a Facebook Group for this purpose. They had a resounding success, attracting 19 people to the group.

On deck is Laura Baker (bakedlaurabean on twitter), Director of Marketing for Valley Credit Union in San Jose, CA. Her credit union is holding an event, Credit Score Enhancement Seminar, on February 21, 2008. Laura has already invited 20 people to the event, and has posted it to her profile. Chances are good that she’ll attract a good turnout since young adults and professionals, especially in her region– Silicon Valley, are the fastest growing age groups on Facebook.

It’s hard to explain why Facebook is THE place to go to promote your event if you have never used it. In order to understand better, the best way is to get on Facebook, connect with your friends, and watch your feed. You’ll see all the events your friends are going to. You’ll become aware of events that you would have never known about otherwise. If you become friends on Facebook with professionals in your field, you’ll find out about industry events that wouldn’t have known about otherwise. That’s how I found out about BarCampBank Seattle. Robbie Wright, author of Life and Times of a CU Employee, who I hadn’t yet met in-person, invited me to come a couple of days before the event. I was sorry that my schedule prevented me from getting there.

This is how and why Credit Unions need to put their events on Facebook. First of all, it’s completely free to do so. Secondly, it’s quick and easy to do it. But the best part is that once several of your members sign up for the event on Facebook, THEIR friends will see that they are going. Friends, family members, and colleagues of your members will see that your members are attending your event. You can’t buy that kind of publicity. Especially with the younger generation’s natural aversion to advertising, this kind of exposure is worth ten times the equivalent traditional ad exposure. Because it’s a PERSONAL ENDORSEMENT, and in it’s own way, it’s viral exposure. The more people who go to the event, the more people see that others are going to the event. Imagine how powerfully compelling it is to see that 7 of YOUR friends are attending a seminar on the ins and outs of improving your credit score. That’s going to make you at least want to check it out and see what the big fuss is.

Because of the social nature of Facebook, one of the keys to getting good exposure to your event on Facebook is to entice gregarious people to attend your event. There are many people on Facebook with hundreds of friends. It will get more exposure for your event when these “connectors” attend, than someone with only a dozen Facebook friends.

If Laura’s event does not draw a large crowd via Facebook this time around, it’s not because it’s not the right thing to do. It would only be because she’s ahead of her time, or because she hasn’t yet cultivated a large enough Facebook following among her members yet. But holding the event, and getting the word out there is the beginning of cultivating those member relationships on Facebook.

I covered the basics of Facebook event marketing at the Lake George World 2.0 workshop that we did in December, and look forward to the opportunity to speak to more credit union groups in 2008 about this exciting new marketing channel.

Definition of World 2.0

October 7, 2007

I’ve been writing and speaking about World 2.0 for more than a year, but haven’t put my definition into this blog yet. So here’s my best shot:

World 2.0: The convergence of the online and offline worlds to create new ways of being, thinking, doing, existing, transacting, interacting, belonging, and socializing that weren’t possible before the web.

Further explanation: Tim O’Reilly’s definition of Web 2.0 has been well-documented. World 2.0 is the way in which the web has re-defined how we live our lives.

My favorite examples of World 2.0: Geocaching, Webkinz, Google Earth, and BarCamps. The Cluetrain Manifesto planted the seeds for a new understanding of the world created by the web. Other World 2.0 examples include Couch Surfing, 43 Places, and GPS Navigators. Social media is also integral to World 2.0. This ain’t your grandpa’s telegraph: Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr.

World 2.0 is a change in the way we think about many things. In addition to Web 2.0, World 2.0 encompasses Business 2.0, Marketing 2.0, and Media 2.0.

Marketing 2.0 and Mabel’s Labels

August 24, 2007

I’ve been talking about the fact that we are living in World 2.0 for a while now. It’s the logical successor to the Web 2.0 concept. The other logical conclusion we must draw is that it is critical to employ Marketing 2.0 concepts to succeed in World 2.0.

So what is Marketing 2.0? Marketing 2.0 has its roots in Guerrilla Marketing, the Cluetrain Manifesto, and is now personified by the success of social networking sites. At its core, Marketing 2.0 is about engaging customers in dialogue rather than shouting company-crafted messages at them. It stems from a bottom-up business philosophy centered around “How can our customers use us?” rather than traditional business/marketing thinking of “How can we use our customers?”

Current successful Marketing 2.0 campaigns include the Simpsonize Me site and Mabel’s Labels. Mabel’s Labels employs a Blogger Outreach Program, and these are the future of Marketing 2.0.

Here is the Marketing 2.0 group on Facebook, and here is an excellent interview from One Degree with Mabel’s Labels’ co-founder and PR Guru Julie Cole.

The Simpsons Movie brings us Word of Eye marketing

July 29, 2007

I must say, the Simpsons Movie is one of the smartest, effective Word of Mouth (WOM) campaigns, especially online, currently happening. The fact that Burger King scored the Simpsons Movie for the kids meal toy has ensured that I’ve visited twice with my son in the last four days… and with 16 total figurines, my son is hoping that we hit BK at least 14 more times before the promotion ends. A huge coupe for Burger King.

But what is even more brilliant is the creation of the Simpsonize Me site. This site didn’t function during HUGE overload of traffic during the Friday night premiere. But now that the opening weekend rush is over, the site is working fine. The Simpsonize web site is a brilliant piece of WOM marketing… or should I say WOE (Word of Eye) marketing. The word is out that you can make a Simpsons version of yourself on that web site. And even if you can’t get through to the site, you get a reminder that you can be simpsonsized every time you see a friend who is Simpsonized on any of the social networks. And with the ubiquitousness of social networking sites, people EVERYWHERE have simpsonized themselves and uploaded their simpsonized selves.

I’ve just simpsonized myself and uploaded my new icon to, Facebook, Flickr, and Twitter. There are other sites where I have an icon, but I don’t use Technorati often enough to make it worthwhile for me to upload and eventually switch back my icons.

This is one of the key principles of WOM… give THEM something… in this case a hilarious cartoon version of THEMSELVES… and then when they show the world their new eye candy, people are reminded that there is now a movie out that they should go see, and that they, themselves, can become Simpsonized, thus making the idea WONDERFULLY and effectively viral. Brilliant! And totally on-brand for the Simpsons.