New Rules (with Old Problems) In Social Media

In many ways, Peach State FCU symbolizes the essence of the credit union industry: Created in 1961 with a specific goal of serving local educators in a few Georgia counties, it now has more than 41,000 members, while employees of all sponsor Boards of Education and select groups and associations are also eligible to join.

Like all good businesses, Peach State likes to stay current, and that’s why, earlier this fall, it launched social media initiatives through promoted posts on Twitter and Facebook. It was working—the institution says it had soon doubled the number of followers. In November, however, Twitter instituted new rules that “restrict the promotion of financial services and related content.”

For the record, this is not an absolute ban. Financial services providers can indeed use promoted posts, but there’s an approval process that must be followed, and some products, such as short-term mortgages, still can’t be publicized.

If Peach State represents one end of the financial services spectrum—a small, focused institution serving a very specific purpose—then JP Morgan Chase surely represents the other. So what can the two have in common?

On December 6, the Wall Street behemoth sent out an innocuous Tweet from its corporate account promoting an upcoming Twitter Q&A about leadership and careers and featuring the hashtag #AskJPM. It was totally innocuous and uncontroversial. . .except for the fact that just a few minutes earlier, Twitter had gone public with underwriting help from Chase. That first Tweet didn’t get much attention, but a second one a week later certainly did. The #AskJPM hashtag soon became a minefield of nasty messages, most flailing the company for its supposed lack of ethics.

Social Media Tablet

While Chase has had its share of PR nightmares in the recent past, from bribery scandals to the Bernie Madoff fiasco, it surely wasn’t expecting this one. The company hastily scrambled to fix the damage, dropping the Q&A as a bad idea and promising to “back to the drawing board.”

Of course, it’s way too late for that. ‘Social business’ isn’t just coming, it’s been here for a while. The lines between personal and corporate communications, previously blurred by a plethora of mobile apps, have been essentially obliterated by the ubiquity of social media. And the problem isn’t that the rules have changed, it’s that they keep changing on a regular basis.

Just this month, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) released its long-awaited guidelines for this process. Officially intended for financial marketers, “Social Media: Consumer Compliance Risk Management Guidance” actually deserves a broader audience in that it provides a clear overview of this rapidly evolving field, covering both the promise and the potential pitfalls. It doesn’t outline new laws per se, but plays an invaluable role in examining common practices and helping to negotiate current regulations.

Case in point: Twitter itself, which experienced a major snafu in this same timeframe. In mid-December, the company sparked howls of protest when it instituted a rule that enabled blocked Twitter users to anonymously view or Tweet the very users who blocked them. It was done with the best of intentions—Twitter wanted to protect those who sought to filter out abusive messages but feared retaliation—but the change had the opposite effect, and the company almost immediately had to reverse course.It’s important to remember that even a document like this, comprehensive as it is, offers little more than a snapshot in time. Regulations in the traditional sense, like Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank, take years to create and implement. Rules around Twitter and LinkedIn, meanwhile, can turn on a dime, evolving as fast as the technologies that enable them.

The simple truth is that new technologies will keep emerging, and the rules will keep changing. In the long run, this is a good thing—each advance fosters better communication and greater competition. But in the meantime, it’s imperative that we monitor new tools as they emerge, stay abreast of changes in user behavior and expectations, and adapt our own practices to stay both current and compliant. It’s a tall order to be sure, but vital nonetheless.

*Image courtesy of  samuiblue - FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Social Media Statistics: By-the-Numbers, January 2013

Below are some interesting statistics on social media usage. Feel free to share your favorite social media statistics in the comments section or Tweet @bankingdotcom.

  • 200,000,000 – The number of members for professional social network LinkedIn, an increase of 13 million since November 1, 2012. (Source: LinkedIn)
  • 181,000 – The number of Twitter users with “social media” as part of their bio as of January 2013, up from just 16,000 in 2009. (Source: AdAge)
  • 2 – The number of people that join LinkedIn every second, which equates to more than 172,000 new members per day. (Source: LinkedIn)
  • 92 – The percentage of people who share mobile video they have watched on their phone with others. (Source: IAB)
  • 200,000,000 – The number of monthly active Twitter users. (Source: Twitter)
  • 87 – The percentage of US magazine and newspaper publishers that have an iPad app. (Source: Alliance for Audited Media)
  • 33 – The percentage of US Internet users who said they ended a connection with a brand on social media due to the brand sharing too many updates. (Source: eMarketer)
  • 1 Million – The number of websites that have integrated with Facebook (Source: iStrategyLabs)

Did you catch the analysis of the most loved and most hated brands of 2012? Social Media Explorer has the breakdown.

Social Media BandwagonPhoto credit: Matt Hamm / Foter.com / CC BY-NC

Social Media Statistics: By-the-Numbers, July 2012

It’s been a few months since we published a social media stats post, and there has been a lot of social activity this summer! Below are some interesting statistics on social media usage. Feel free to share your favorite social media statistics in the comments section or Tweet @bankingdotcom.

  • 250,000,000 The number of accounts that have upgraded to or signed up for a Google+ account (Source: Google)
  • 17: the percentage of cell phone owners who do most of their online browsing on their phone, rather than a computer or other device (Source: Pew Internet)
  • 3.6 billion dollars in gross revenue is projected by the end of 2012 for video sharing platform YouTube (Source: Citi)
  • 52: the percentage of all cell phone owners who use their phones while watching television (Source: Pew Internet)
  • 18: the percentage of teens who would stop communicating altogether if their favorite technological channel of communication disappeared (Source: AWeber)
  • 7.56: the average percentage of traffic to Facebook Pages from external referrals (Source: PageLever)
  • 41.7: the percentage of the top 10,000 websites that have some form of Twitter link on their homepage (Source: Pingdom)
  • 36.6 billion online content videos were viewed by US Internet users in May 2012 (Source: comScore)
  • 152,000,000: the number unique US visitors to Facebook.com in May 2012, placing the social network in second place behind Google (Source: Nielsen)

Curious if LinkedIn Groups are useful? Here are some tips on how marketers can benefit from participating in LinkedIn Groups.

Social Media Statistics: By-the-Numbers, December 2011

Below are interesting statistics on social media usage. Feel free to share your favorite social media statistics in the comments section or Tweet @bankingdotcom.

  • 1,000,000+ RSVPs in the past year to events via professional social network Linkedin (Source: LinkedIn)
  • 81% of small businesses now use social media, up from 73 percent earlier this year (Source: Constant Contact)
  • 66% of US adults use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn  (Source: Pew Internet)
  • 2,400 advertising partners for Twitter, up from 600 in June 2011 (Source: Twitter)
  • 53% of young adults ages 18-29 go online for no particular reason on any given day  (Source: Pew Internet)
  • 42.6 billion videos were viewed by the US Internet audience in October 2011, an all-time high (Source: comScore)
  • 3.5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every day (Source: YouTube)
  • 60% user growth so far in 2011 for professional social network LinkedIn (Source: LinkedIn)
  • 50% of US adult cell phone owners have apps on their phones, up from 43 percent in May 2010  (Source: Pew Internet)

Social Media Statistics: By-the-Numbers, October 2011

Below are interesting statistics on social media usage. Feel free to share your favorite social media statistics in the comments section or Tweet @bankingdotcom.

  • $400,000,000 in ad revenue is projected for Twitter by 2013, up from $139.5 million in 2011 (Source: eMarketer)
  • 7,432,307 job changes have been tracked by LinkedIn since 2009 (Source: LinkedIn)
  • 68% of social media users go to social networking sites to read product reviews (Source: Nielsen)
  • 59% of B2B purchase decision makers use a smartphone to research potential purchases (Source: eMarketer)
  • 58% of social media users go to social networking sites to learn about or research products (Source: Nielsen)
  • 1,600 advertisers are now using the Twitter platform for advertising (Source: Twitter)
  • 53% of active adult social networkers follow a brand, while 32% follow a celebrity (Source: Nielsen)
  • 40% of social media users access social media content from their mobile phones (Source: Nielsen)
  • $1.23 billion will be spent by US advertisers on mobile advertising this year, up from $743 million in 2010 (Source: eMarketer)

Interested in hosting a giveaway on your Facebook page? Check out these tips from Social Fresh.

Social Media Statistics: By-the-Numbers, June 2011

Below are interesting statistics on social media usage. Feel free to share your favorite social media statistics in the comments section.

  • 300,000,000 Twitter users as of May 2011, up from 200 million in February (Source: Twopcharts)
  • 79,000,000 users for professional social network LinkedIn as of March 2011 (Source: comScore)
  • 1,000,000 Facebook Fans bring in an average of 826 Likes and 309 comments per post (Source: Simplify360)
  • 40% of companies measure social media performance on a quarterly or annual basis, while 13% don’t measure social media ROI at all (Source: Hypatia Research)
  • 13% of online adults use Twitter, an increase from 8% in November 2010 (Source: Pew Research)
  • 3 billion views per day on YouTube, a 50% increase over last year (Source: YouTube)
  • $120,000 to purchase a Promoted Trend on Twitter for a single day, up from $25,000 in April 2010 (Source: Twitter)
  • 56% of all shared content on the Web is shared via Facebook, an 11% increase from August 2010 (Source: ShareThis)
  • $31.3 billion is expected to be spent on online advertising in the US in 2011, a 20% increase over 2010 (Source: eMarketer)
  • 5.2 hours per month on average spent by US visitors to social networking sites (Source: comScore)
  • 4.9 is the average number of clicks on a link shared via Twitter, ranking it ahead of Facebook (4.3 clicks) and email (1.7 clicks) (Source: ShareThis)

Want the 101 on Twitter? Check out this infographic on the who, why and how of Twitter.

Social Media Statistics: By-the-Numbers, May 2011

Below are interesting statistics on social media usage. Feel free to share your favorite social media statistics in the comments section.

  • 800,000,000 recommendations (aka ‘stumbles’) are made each month on news discovery service StumbleUpon (Source: StumbleUpon)
  • 155,000,000 tweets are issued every day, a three-fold increase from one year ago (Source: Twitter)
  • 92% of B2B marketers are involved in social media marketing, with LinkedIn being cited by 26 percent of survey respondents as the most important channel (Source: B2B Magazine)
  • 132,500,000 people in the US will log in to Facebook regularly this year; by 2013 that number will increase to 152.1 million (Source: eMarketer)
  • 67% of Twitter users said they would be more likely to make a purchase from a follower, while only 51 percent of Facebook users said something similar about their friends (Source: AllTwitter)
  • 88% of marketers found that social media helps get them increased exposure; 72 percent saw increased traffic and subscriptions as a result of social media (Source: Social Media Examiner)
  • 80% of marketers said they were planning iPad-based advertising and/or an iPad-based app this year (Source: Effie Worldwide)
  • 70% of marketers plan to increase spending on social media by at least 10 percent this year (Source: Effie Worldwide)
  • 6 years of video is uploaded to YouTube every day (Source: YouTube)

Social Media Statistics: By-the-Numbers, April 2011

Below are interesting statistics on social media usage. Feel free to share your favorite social media statistics in the comments section.

  • 100,000,000 members and counting on professional social network LinkedIn (Source: LinkedIn)
  • 20,600,000 US adults will access a Twitter account at least monthly in 2011, an increase of 26.3% over 2010 (Source: eMarketer)
  • 400 full time employees now work at Twitter (Source: Twitter)
  • 5 years ago the first tweet was sent on Twitter (Source: Twitter)
  • 250,000,000 active users access Facebook via mobile device (Source: Facebook)
  • 20,000 ‘elite’ Twitter users generate a whopping 50% of all tweets consumed (Source: Yahoo)
  • 42% on average is the portion of a Facebook friends list that a person does not actually know (Source: BitDefender)
  • $14.7 billion in revenue for US print advertising in 2010, down from $15.5 billion in 2009 (Source: eMarketer)

Do you run a Facebook Page? Don’t miss these marketing tips from Michael Stelzner at Social Media Examiner.

IDC Poll: Which Banking Services Customers Will Pay For

IDC recently released a poll which investigates how consumers prioritize their banking services.  Through LinkedIn, the global intelligence firm polled 45 individuals on what single service that financial institutions offer deserved their hard-earned money.

The poll found that 39 percent found check writing to be the most important feature with the highest willingness to pay. The use of debit cards came in at a close second with 36 percent mindshare.

As the economy is stabilizing and the current consumer climate constantly wants free services, financial institutions will have to decide where they fall with respect to fees. However, the increasing ease and benefits of online banking may encourage more people to want to pay for banking services.

Which fees do you think make the most sense for consumers and FIs? Let us know in the comments below.

Using Social Media to Empower Resellers

Jeese Stanchak at SmartBlog on Social Media recently interviewed Cisco’s Small Business Marketing Manager, Jeanne Quinn, about the role social media plays Cisco’s business model.  Stanchak posed questions about which Cisco’s engagement on social media platforms, as well as asked Quinn to share lessons learned from Cisco’s social media strategy.

Analysis: Cisco Systems is widely recognized as a leader in social media adoption at the corporate level. When it comes to the company’s focus on small business, Cisco executes on-going listening campaigns in an effort to better understand the pain points for resellers and potential customers. In terms of how it views various channels, Cisco utilizes Facebook to share the content it generates, Twitter to amplify key messages and spotlight content, LinkedIn to foster small group and community discussion and YouTube for video distribution.

In terms of the customer service issue (which can’t be ignored on social channels), Cisco’s approach is simple and one that other organizations should aim to replicate. Specifically, the company aims to respond promptly, empathize with the customer’s issue or concern, and do its best to solve the problem or get them to someone who can help as rapidly as possible.