This Focused Performance Weblog started life as a "business management blog" containing links and commentary related primarily to organizational effectiveness with a "Theory of Constraints" perspective, but is in the process of evolving towards primary content on interactive and mobile marketing. Think of it as about Focusing marketing messages for enhanced Performance. If you are on an archive page, current postings are found here.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Disappointing Outlook -- From Sour Outlook by Jeffrey Zeldman:
"It's outrageous that the CSS standard created in 1996 is not properly supported in Outlook 2010. Let’s do something about it....
Banks haven't helped their cause by putting up static Facebook pages without transactional capability. The pages often redirect people to a bank's Web site for even the most basic product information, which analysts say is antithetical to the social networking premise. "In the mind of the consumer that is not helpful. Facebook needs to be a real outpost of the bank; it needs to be tied to products and service," says Andy Schmidt, the research director for global payments at TowerGroup. "Banks need to provide a reason to show up and stay, and banks haven't done that yet."
On the other hand...
"People don't log onto Facebook for banking, but for friends. I just don't think that Facebook will drive business profitability." At best, Jegher says, it's "experimental marketing," but not a viable business strategy. "There are better ways to build and solidify customer relationships..."
…There's also a lack of data to support a business case for Facebook. Jegher says he hasn't seen any data on "stickiness," whether the "friends" on a Facebook page ever come back. What's more, says Shevlin, the numbers that are available can be misleading. He recalls when Washington Mutual put up its Facebook page in 2008 and proudly announced that it had 250 to 300 fans in the first 24 hours. But he did a little digging and quickly found that at least two-thirds of those fans were connected to the Web design team.
And while there are logical limitations to banks and their social media strategies, there may be room to offer more functional services to customers on Facebook. MyMoney is a Facebook application created by Fiserv that lets you use your financial institution to view balances, transfer money, etc. without leaving Facebook. It currently has only a few active users, but as Facebook continues to roll out its payment system, demand for similar applications could increase. Just when you're about to purchase those Facebook credits, you may realize that you need some extra dollars in your checking account.
IMHO, that last comment could be a bit of wishful thinking on the part of folks invested in Facebook as a platform. I think that most people who want to have an online relationship with financial institutions and services are probably nervous enough about privacy and security even when working directly on the bank’s own website. Inserting another middleman layer like Facebook would feel a bit too risky. And like the first comment at the top of this note, money is probably still one area in which there’s a clear line between the "social" and the "personal" or "private" even in the current social "that's more information than I needed to know" environment.
The question becomes more of what a finance-related business can do to keep itself in the social hive-mind. What can they bring to the "conversation" that has enough value to be "followed" or "fanned?" Probably expertise and advice without overdoing the sales pitch.