December 3, 2009
Bankers tell me on a regular basis that they refuse to participate in social media (blogging, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) because they fear potential negative publicity.
Guess what? It does not work that way!
Sort of like many people say about death and taxes, the internet and social media is not an opt-out kind of medium here in the United States.
What is the safest approach? Actively participate!
Where To Start?
Where do you start? Step one is to create a social media business plan!
Why should you care?
Today I was posting an article to StumbleUpon, a web sharing and indexing service, and found a great example that illustrates how opting-out is not an option.
StumbleUpon indexes posts on the web by topic. Banking is a topic I follow. Today when I clicked on Banking, here is the first article that was returned: Bank Refuses $80K loan; Annoyed Man Withdraws $190K From Bank!
I read the article and the comments posted. I urge you to do the same.
The Power of Google
Next I decided to do a Google search using the words "Westpac Roger Griffiths". Here is where things get interesting! My search took 0.14 seconds and resulted in "about 37,000" results
Here are some of the results:
Okay, I stopped copying links after six full pages of hits on the Roger Griffiths / Westpac situation. On page 11 of the Google search a very limited number hits unrelated to this incident began to show up.
Who won? Certainly not Westpac! In my opinion Roger Griffiths won. He was already a successful artist whose work is displayed around the world. Stop for a minute and consider the value Roger Griffiths will potentially receive from the number of mentions he received from the publicity around this incident.
I suspect Roger Griffiths will have people from around the world looking up his work as a result of learning about him through this widely publicized incident.
Was Westpac justified in their decision? Who cares? When I browsed through a few of the posts and replies I noticed less than five people that were supportive of Westpac.
One thing I am quite sure of, even if Westpac was justified in its loan decision the situation was not handled correctly. An old customer service mantra I hear from many people is "the customer is always right." I actually don't believe that. What I do believe is customers should always be treated respectfully and given a reasonable explanation.