Social Media Best Practices for Banks - "Be Cool." Good Luck With That!

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25 October 2011
Jacob Jegher
I'm still inundated with inquiries from financial institutions regarding social media. Everyone seems to be so concerned with getting on Facebook or Twitter. It's as if that would solve all the woes of the banking industry. A very popular website, Mashable, put out an article yesterday titled, 5 Best Practices for Financial Institutions on Facebook. Needless to say I read it with great interest and much disappointment and disdain. My favourite is best practice #4, "Be Cool." I can already see the catch phrase emblazoned in the social strategy of every financial institution in America. Good luck with that! The article misses the most fundamental point that every financial institution must take into account - banks need to focus on business goals and incorporate social media into the process. It's not about Facebook or Twitter, or whatever the flavour of the week is. Am I opposed to social media? On the contrary. I think it's critical and something that banks need to take very seriously. Social media, is but one of the elements to be used in satisfying business objectives. I'm happy to chat more about this topic, it's an important one. It was the subject of a presentation I gave at the NACHA payments conference earlier this year. Feel free to reach out or comment here. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the Mashable article, it was the subject of a healthy conversation on Twitter yesterday.


  • Hi Jacob,

    I am curious for your take on where and how banks should incorporate social media into their global strategy and who or what function within the organization of a bank should be responsible for overseeing that strategy?


    Denise Bedell
    Global Finance

  • Very good article. Totally agree on your point of view. I think B2B Business shall integrate Social Media within their Marketing Strategy but never forget that it's more a HR or Employer Branding topic for them. At least that's what I assume...

  • Thanks for your comments.

    Denise, there are many ways to answer that question and it requires analysis. Simply stated social media activities need to be blended into a bank’s sales, marketing, and customer service activities. It can also touch multiple channels.

    It all depends on business goals and keeping sight of the true objective and not getting stuck on the social noise that can end up being burdensome.

    As far as responsibility, I've seen everything from this being handled within product, marketing, service, or an independent group. It's truly about having an executive that can champion social initiatives and demonstrate their importance to the organization at large.

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