Banks’ Twitter Strategy: Lack of Strategy Hurting Brand

wachovia-bank-twitter

FoxBusiness.com published this deansguide article 3-06-09

We’re here primarily to listen, to learn, to engage with the Twitter community and, occasionally, to share information about our company and services.”–Wachovia Bank

The Wachovia bank bio on Twitter explains their strategy in using Twitter. Unfortunately  they seem to be stuck in the same misunderstanding that many companies have wandered into blindly: they are missing their greatest opportunity to connect.

Wachovia’s Misunderstood Strategy:

According to Wachovia they are on Twitter to:

  • Listen
  • Learn
  • Engage with the Twitter community
  • Occasionally share information on their company and services

Wachovia’s Bio: Problematic

Listening, learning and engaging are exactly what works on Twitter. The first problem in this bio is the fact that you should never make the statement that you (company) “occasionally share information on our company and services.” The idea is to occasionally share company information and services  without stating that is your intention.

Step#1: One of the strategies that best suits businesses on Twitter is to be a go-to source of information by varying the content to include more “outside” information than sales pitches for your own products or services. The “Hard Sell” is dead and gone.

Mixed Signals: Challenge #1

Wachovia wants to “engage with the Twitter community” yet they only follow 204 out of a possible 1,793 people that follow them.

Step #2: If you want to engage your audience, possible customers, or networking partners on Twitter then you must acknowledge their existence and importance by following all 1,793 of your followers.

Perception Challenge: Understanding Strategy

Wachovia’s challenge is that they are trying to fit two divergent strategies into one Twitter account. They say they want to listen, learn, and engage with their audience. At the same time, it appears that they are trying to learn, from prominent Twitterers, information that they can leverage in their own social media efforts. This leads to an ineffective campaign.

Danger of Perception:

The danger is that Wachovia’s audience could perceive them as attempting to build “authority” by accumulating a large number of followers while keeping the number of people or companies they follow to a minimum. This ratio of large tribes of people following you (company) to you (company) following a select few is often perceived by people as:

  • The company or individual “must” be important and worthy of following for their brilliant content
  • The company or individual “must” be uncaring in their attempt to be perceived as important and a “player” in the Twitter community

Best Strategy:

Step #3  Wachovia’s Options

  • Keep the original account (we will call it #1) and make it your customer-audience engagement account
  • Account #1 immediately follow everyone of the 1,793 followers
  • Go to Tweetlater.com and set the “auto-follow” so that you automatically follow everyone that follows Wachovia
  • Set up Account #2 your Learn and Listen account. On this account Wachovia ONLY follows those individuals and companies that provide the most relevant information. If you wish to follow your competition, social media strategists, industry pundits, then do so on this account. Don’t worry about anything else except the research of learning and gathering recon information

Conclusion

By creating two accounts you are able to satisfy all your needs, create better perception for your brand, specifically and strategically target sources of information, and appear to care about the very customers who represent the life line to your business in this or any other economy.

Does Twitter Really Help You Build Your Business: Ask Amazon.com

Reuters.com published this deansguide article 11-25-08

Twitter.com is fast becoming the go-to source for small and big business marketing. For me, Twitter represents my greatest content resource, broadcasting opportunity, and a fantastic networking opportunity with industry leaders. One of those leaders, Guy Kawasaki, dropped a “tweet”, aka mini message, about the power of Twitter in growing your business.

The following is a comment, on MotleyFool.com, answering the question: “Does Twitter Help You Build Your Business?”:

  • On November 24, 2008, at 3:56 PM, j2xl wrote: I work at Amazon. During a lunch break last March I wrote a simple bot that posts Amazon’s deal of the day to Twitter. Since then I’ve added Lightning Deals throughout the day. The bot now has close to 3,000 bargain-hunting followers and drives all sorts of orders every day. Add it to the list of Twitter success stories. Check it out at http://twitter.com/amazondeals .

Analysis:

Big corporations like Amazon, small firms like Innerarchitect.com, and entrepreneurs like Adam Helweh of Secret Sushi Creative are building their businesses, creating opportunities, and connecting with industry leaders on Twitter. The next time you are looking for a method and strategy to increase your business, make new connections, find opportunities, look for a job, or broadcast news about you–look no further than Twitter.com. It is your “mini PR release-sound bite broadcasting” tool.

Adam Helweh

guykawasaki


Realtor’s Twitter Strategy: 4 Mistakes to Avoid By Communicating

FoxBusiness.com published this deansguide article 11-16-08

Reuters.com published this deansguide article 11-16-08

ComputerShopper.com published this deansguide article 11-16-08

Free Twitter Strategy Chart courtesy of Paul Gram’s Websitesuccessdoctor.com

Twitter.com is quickly becoming one of the most useful, fastest growing social media tools available today. Anyone from entrepreneurs to large corporations can utilize twitter to gain exposure, push out their message of value, research, learn, and network. Yet a large number of twitter advocates are making the most basic mistake in social media which is costing them valuable opportunities and slowing their desired results.

#1 Mistake to Avoid: Collecting Numbers

Stop collecting and start connecting! Too many people view twitter as a place to collect followers or create impressive numbers. This syndrome is not exclusive to twitter as many people make the same mistake on Linkedin. The collection of connections has no depth, no meaning, and no value unless you create communication leading to relationships.

#2 Mistake to Avoid: Staying within Your Own “Tribe”

Many Realtors, from my observations on twitter, are guilty of staying within the “tribe.” Simply put many Realtors fail to communicate or investigate outside the sphere of real estate. Instead they tend to limit the majority (if not all) their communications to other brokers or Realtors.

#3 Mistake to Avoid: Stop Hard Selling

Realtors have been trained, and ingrained, to push features and benefits with an ongoing hard sell sales strategy that has worked for decades–up to now. In today’s information rich, Web 2.0 savvy world, the hard sell is dead. Today’s most influential and successful Realtors understand that they must provide valuable information on an ongoing basis without a sales pitch attached. Instead of A-B-C tactics of “Always Be Closing” fame, today it is all about giving value.

What does this mean to Realtors on Twitter? A: If you only provide listing links and links about you, people will quickly begin to stop paying attention to your messages. Which brings us to the next challenge.

#4 Mistake to Avoid: Narrow Focus

This dovetails into #3 mistake to avoid because delivering the same narrow focussed message over and over is not compelling. If you are a Realtor and the only subject and strategy you employ is to leave links to your listings or to your website-blog people will begin to tune out.

Then What is the Strategy?

Like any social media community, twitter is most valuable when you engage other members in meaningful communication, provide valuable information to the community, and then collaborate when given the opportunity. Antidote to the 4 Mistakes:

1. Stop collecting numbers by communicating with people, show you care, and get involved.

2. Go outside your real estate community and make new connections with people from other career paths. Also consider people with similar hobbies and interests as viable networking partners.

3. Stop Hard Selling and become a provider of valuable information. By doing this people will perceive you as a valuable resource and somebody to be read and respected.

4. Widen your subject matter for a more well rounded approach to your messages. Personalize and humanize by providing information about things other than your business. Create value for your business connections as well as your networking partners who have no business ties to you.

Blog Your Way to Employment, Branding, and Your Differentiating Factor With Inner Architect

Susan Dean

I am very happy to announce the first of two Inner Architect workshops titled “Blogging to Employment” November 18 and 19. The workshop is a detailed basic course on how to create an employment campaign utilizing your blog as the delivery system for your message. The goal is to provide people a plan on how to create their differentiating factor in order to stand apart from the estimated 1.1 million Americans who will lose their job in 2008.

Call to Action: If you know anyone who is unemployed, and I know I do at this time, please consider informing them of this valuable workshop.

Benefits for Attendees

1. Your own Blog: We will help you register and set up your first blog

2. Employment Campaign: Learn how to action plan an employment campaign so that you can answer the age old hiring manager’s question “So Bob what have you been doing the past 6 months to find a job?”

3. New Skill Sets: You will add to your skill sets-blogging, navigating blog software, Web 2.0 tools, and networking

Workshop 1:

Date: Tuesday November 18, 2008

Place: Silicon Valley Holiday Inn Express San Jose Airport

Time: 6:30-9:00pm

Workshop Fee: $75

Workshop 2:

Date: November 19, 2008

Place: San Rafael, CA Ace Conference Room

Time: 6:30-9:00pm

Workshop Fee: $75

Value Comparison: Blog Set-Up fees, as advertised on the internet, run from $200-$300 which only covers the registration and setup without any coaching. Blog Coaching and Training fees run from $70 to as much as $500 per hour

Class Size: We will limit classes to 20 so that each student is provided hands on personalized instruction.

Come find out why you need to establish your brand, discover your differentiating factor, and add to your skill sets the latest Web 2.0 information.

Poor Branding Strategy Mirrors On Field Ineptitude: San Francisco 49ers Misfire

Reuters.com published this deansguide and innerarchitect.com article October 6, 2008

Branding and marketing your brand’s message is all about perception, believability, and credibility. It is also something that requires a hard look at what will resonate with a particular targeted population of customers you want to accept and embrace your brand. If there was ever a case study on how not to brand a product, it is the recent season ticket sales radio advertising campaign by the San Francisco 49ers.

Qualifications: I am a native San Franciscan, a 38 year fan of the Niners, and a former season ticket holder from 1996 to 2006. I am a fan of this team but not a blindly “Faithful” drone as they seem to want to create. My assertions about fan demographics, fan behavior, and message viability is based on my experience with the sport. Since 1972 I have attended over 200 NFL games, 5 NFL playoff games, and one Super Bowl. In addition I have attended another 100+ college football games-I have experienced many crowds in my long journey as a sports fan.

The Radio Branding Message

Setting: A father gives his preteen son and daughter a lesson on being a 49er fan aka one of the “faithful.”

Message: the father is training his children to be 49er fans, faithful 49er fans, and nothing else.

Branding Message: Being a 49er fan is about blindly following, supporting, and being proud of your team.

The Reality: A Branding Message Gone Bad

1. Being a 49er “Faithful”: is a very old marketing message that was established in the 1970’s. It has very little impact upon the buying public as it does not address image, invoke faithful behavior, or inspire people to buy season tickets.

Case Study of Excellence: The Oakland Raiders, although enduring hard times for many years without excellence on the field, continue to invoke and inspire fan participation. Why? Being a Raider fan holds the connotation that you are a tough guy, hard scrabble, pure violence loving fan of a very violent game–the Raiders tell it like it is and embrace the brand they have created for themselves

2. Association with Baseball’s Message: The 49er’s attempt to utilize the message major league baseball has been extremely successful using does not work. Baseball is associated with family, apple pie, and America. It is a tradition of heritage passed down from generation to generation; something a father can share with a son or daughter. And baseball is an affordable family outing for everyone to enjoy.

3. The 49er’s Branding Strategy: to sell season tickets, is to create a following of blindly faithful fans. By describing a pep talk between a father and his children, you are left with the perception that the ticket buying fan base that attends games is a demographic closely inline with baseball’s fan demographic-that is ridiculous!

Football is a very violent sport. The fans at games are often unruly, drunk, and misbehave. The atmosphere at a professional football game has nothing in common with the gentile atmosphere at most major league baseball games. The age of the NFL fan base is older. The number of preteen and teenage fans at professional football games is far fewer than what you would see at a Major League baseball affair.

Results: A Complete Misfire

What the radio listening public is left with is a NFL team that is attempting to sell season tickets by invoking faith in the team. Their method of invoking faith is to “start em young” and bring up little 49er fans that will grow into season ticket buying 49er fans. Their brand is be faithful-be a 49er fan. This is very ineffective and completely ignorant of the brilliant marketing and branding message the team could create from their storied heritage. Why is a franchise with 5 Super Bowl wins, voted the team of the decade in the 1980’s, completely ignoring their brand strength?

Realtor’s Guide To Blog Writing Tip #1: Three Components Of Success

FoxBusiness.com published this article February 9, 2008

Blogging is the most powerful next generation online marketing tool available to Realtors today. The #1 concern in a Realtor’s mind is being able to produce compelling content on a daily basis. Reality dictates that technology is and will remain the biggest challenge to entry and content the biggest “psychological” factor to adoption. Let’s concentrate on content.

3 Components of Successful Blog Writing

1. Have Something to Say:

Before you embark upon the task of writing a blog, identify your core message to readers. Within this message (what you wish to “say” in developing your “voice”) identify your “differentiating factor” aka what makes you special? Are you a seller’s agent with a twist on presentations? Do you have a great marketing plan? Are you an expert in a hyper local area?

Remember when you are delivering your message make it full of valuable information that helps the reader NOT a sales pitch–EVER.

One of the best examples of “Having Something To Say” comes from Tommy at http://therealestatebloggers.com a rich compilation and differentiating message filled with analysis, facts, and common sense for the industry.

2. Know How To Say It:

When writing your message make sure you have a direction. Present information supported with facts, tips, guides, how to’s, and strategies. Provide sources to back up your message. Make sure your writing is grammatically correct, spell checked, and pleasing to the eye. The best example of a hyper local blog by a Realtor with direction and understanding of “How to Say it” is John Harper’s blog at http://theharperteam.com.

3. Be Able To Sell It:

Did I not just state that you should NEVER EVER sell anything in your writing on your blog? Yes I did. Here is what I mean by “Be Able To Sell It”–

Create a blogging plan. Hone your writing skills, identify your differentiating factor, create content with the specific goal of adding free valuable information that will help both consumers and fellow industry professionals. An avalanche of information, an embarrassment of riches best describes the type of industry analysis and future forecasting found at Pat Kitano’s encyclopedic source http://transparentre.com. If for nothing else read this blog for the trend analysis.

What does doing all of this accomplish? All of these components help to create a blog that becomes a “go-to source” of information that drives traffic, creates buzz for you, provides a “moving” resume of your thoughts and skills, and illustrates to the world your commitment to your profession.