Wachovia Bank Update: New Twitter Strategy Matches “Connectivity” Goals

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Direct Message to deansguide from our friends at Wachovia Bank

If you have followed the deansguide series of critiques on Twitter.com business strategies, one of the companies I outlined was Wachovia Bank: “Bank’s Twitter Strategy: Lack of Strategy Hurting Brand.” In this critique, I pointed out the following:

  1. They had no discernible strategy
  2. Their lack of strategy in following people (audience of customers) could be perceived negatively
  3. They were not being true to their Twitter Bio mission

Wachovia’s Old Strategy: Follow a minimal percentage of audience-clients on Twitter

wachovia-bank-twitter1

The results can be seen in the “follow” and “followers” categories where Wachovia was following only 11% of their audience.

Wachovia’s New-Improved Engagement Strategy

As of today March 12, 2009 Wachovia has aggressively fixed their follow strategy by following every one of their followers. By adopting this strategy, Wachovia now has created the following:

  • Open line of communications with audience via Direct Messaging
  • Created the perception that they wish to communicate with their audience
  • Provided their audience with recognition by following each person or company who follows Wachovia on Twitter
  • Demonstrated their willingness to listen to their audience
  • Quickly tap into customer conversations and solve customer services challenges that may exist
  • Demonstrate they are one of the leaders in the Banking industry in regards to social media and audience engagement on Twitter

Wachovia Bank March 12, 2006 Twitter Account

wachivia-new-strategy

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Twitter Transparency: Inner Architect’s Strategy

For the sake of being transparent, honest, and forthright, I feel it is necessary, as the Business Director for Inner Architect, to state our Twitter.com strategy on Twitter. Over the course of the last month I have reviewed the Twitter strategies, or lack of strategy depending upon how you utilize Twitter, of the National Association of Realtors and Wachovia bank. Let’s take a look at what we are accomplishing here on Twitter:

Two Account Strategy: deansguide

deansguide-twitter-page

My Twitter.com deansguide has the following functions:

  1. Engage: Spend time investing in my Twitter relationships, my selected communities, conversations, individuals, and companies by following nearly everyone who follows me
  2. Communicate: Direct contact with people or companies
  3. Research: Gather content ideas, valuable links, and industry information for repurposing
  4. Go-To-Source: Try to be a go-to source and resource of valuable information by providing the best tweets as often as possible
  5. Recognize: Recognize great content, ideas, attitudes, and kindness by ReTweeting or writing about any person or company that is creating and giving value on a continuous basis
  6. Network: meet and network with people in Silicon Valley (near my home) and around the country

My goal here is to contribute to the twitter community as much as possible.

Two Account Strategy: Innerarchitect:

innerarchitect-twitter-page

Our Twitter.com Innerarchitect account has the following functions:

  1. Research: Find content that matches our business goals, provides fresh perspective, and helps us build our library of value
  2. Follow: The main focus of this account is to find content, research our industry. Consequently we are less active in following. We try to follow people specific to our industry, read, and listen more on this account.
  3. Recognition: We will not follow everyone that follows us as that is not the focus of this account. What we will do is recognize people and companies that inspire us and provide value on a ongoing basis
  4. Activity: We will produce less content (Tweets) on this account because our focus will be to listen to conversations and gather information

Conclusion

If you are a company or individual concerned with ratio of followers to those you follow, then consider deansguide as the place to be on Twitter. On deansguide, I provide value and follow most everyone to build their network numbers.

If you are interested in our company mission, information, and writing consider following or checking in with Innerarchitect. We will focus on companies interested in social media and

Banks’ Twitter Strategy: Lack of Strategy Hurting Brand

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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.