I recently attended the Financial Communications Society’s social panel on the roof of the National Geographic offices. Against a beautiful NYC summer sunset, Pepper Evans of American Express, Michael Ma from Vanguard and Percolate’s own James Gross discussed the marketing importance of social media, with an appropriate emphasis on financial services.
Each panelist shared a wealth of insights, but what struck me the most was that above all else, brands need to be alert, authentic and adaptable to succeed in social media.
Both Pepper and Michael revealed how their respective brands approached social planning with a thoughtfulness that allows them to incorporate the above requirements. For American Express, an alert social media strategy is part customer service and part customer engagement, where ultimately the customers become brand advocates. ‘Will customers care, and will they share’ is the motto for the @Amex social approach.
Michael Ma stressed that social media is a business strategy and the content on these channels should inform customer’s days and change their lives. By Ma’s reckoning, most brands are over-thinking social and not focusing on the importance of authenticity and “being on message.”
The necessity to take a proactive approach and avoid being reactive was raised a number of times during the panel. Additionally, what works today in social media isn’t necessarily going to work tomorrow. Despite frequently shifting challenges, brands must adapt accordingly, always remembering what defines them while keeping consumers at the core of their social strategies.
Of course, no panel on social media (especially one with a financial focus) is complete without the question – “What is the ROI on social?” Both American Express and Vanguard shared that Net Promoter Score was the key measurement for ROI, but they emphasized that ultimately, if fans are engaged, social media has been a success.
Social marketing needs to be an integral part of corporate strategy. Two of the largest financial services companies in the world are focused on engaging with their consumers as a socially centric business objective. By being alert as a brand, authentic with what you proactively share, and adaptable to a shifting environment, you can develop an engaging relationship with your.
Below are some short clips from the panel. Thanks again to FCS, National Geographic and Y INTERACT for throwing a great event.
Photo Credit - Y Interact Flickr
I started this year with a mission: revive likemind.
In 2008, when the NYTimes wrote about it (and took the photo below), likemind was fresh, energetic, filled with ideas. It was the place to be – places, really, since there are chapters all over the world.
By January 2012, likemind had lost a bit of its momentum. It needed a new direction to reflect the current state of the media and tech community.
When Noah and James asked me to help revive likemind, I have to admit, I had doubts. I went to the likemind site and read the about section:
who: people like you
what: an opportunity to enjoy coffee and conversation
why: because drinking good coffee with likeminded people is fun
when: the third friday of every month (just about)
I reread the section a number of times and I found myself asking: What is this morning meet-up all about? Do people really show up in the morning on a Friday? Will I really meeting interesting people?
And so I proceeded with the task at hand – revive likemind globally and get likemind active again here in NYC. Fast-forward to the February edition of likemind. 6 people showed up and I knew 4 of them (thanks for coming, Percolaters). But a good idea with interesting people is evergreen. Fast-forward one more month to March edition of likemind. Roughly 50 people attended! I met a likeminder from Sweden who was in town visiting and decided to join the NY chapter to meet new people. We chatted for 2 hours, sharing stories, ideas and interests. Doubts completely eliminated, I left this likemind with a new friend and a feeling of inspiration!
Let me take this opportunity to give you a little more intel on likemind from my point of view.
What is likemind?
likemind is a morning coffee meet-up that occurs globally on the 3rd Friday of every month. The mission is to bring together people from a variety of industries to share ideas and have great conversations with new people with some good coffee.
Why should I go to likemind?
The power of likemind lies in the people. We are all busy in our lives with work and personal activities. This is a time to step outside of your routine, meet someone new, and open your mind to ideas and people.
I encourage everyone to come this month to likemind and experience it for yourself. It’s awesome.
Here are the details for NYC:
Where: ‘sNice Café – 45 8th Avenue
When: Friday, April 20th, 8am – 10am
See you at ‘sNice!
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