Scaling the Social Media Mountain

Guest blog by Laura Wilson, IBA Vice President-Communications

“Because it’s there” sums up why humans will tackle a challenge as towering as Mount Everest. It also explains, these days, why businesses of all stripes are positioning to get a foothold on the social media mountain. Mounds of case studies, statistics and anecdotal evidence support social media, but one metric soars above the rest: We embrace social media because it’s there.

And it’s not going away. Social media may morph through time, but it’s here to stay in some form or another. All the more reason to be making the social media climb now because, in the future, handling change will be easier than starting from scratch.

For traditional businesses, like banks, the social media ascent is approached with caution, due to security concerns, compliance issues and appropriate messaging. Of equal concern loom questions of logistics – who is responsible, what needs to be conveyed, where are the best platforms, when should postings be added, how will upkeep be managed? The driver behind all of the above is “why?”

Your Indiana Bankers Association is eagerly taking on the social media challenge – not only “because it’s there,” but because you, our members, are making the climb. We want to be hiking up the mountain with you.

We’re now on our third level. We began the trek a couple of years ago, tiptoeing into base camp, so to speak, by establishing presence on four social media platforms: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and this IBA Desktop blog. At that point, our goal was simply to orient ourselves to the terrain.

In 2012 we went higher by formalizing “like” and “follow” goals for Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. We reported regularly on progress of those goals to our board of directors; thanks to your help, those goals were met by year-end.

This year we are reaching further upward. We have increased the number of likes and follows, added a blog subscriber goal and, more significantly, we are now honing in on direction for each IBA social media platform.

Now we seek your input. We invite you to act as our compass to help IBA set pathways. Though some of our messaging will be universal across all platforms, we would like to establish a general direction for each. For example, perhaps we could aim as follows:

  • Twitter – financial literacy tips;
  • LinkedIn – banking news and articles;
  • Facebook – member bank community outreach, including photos;
  • IBA Desktop blog – political issues, current events and commentary.

What do you think? If you have suggestions for IBA social media, please enter your ideas into the “comment” area below. We value your guidance.

Meantime, back to the “because it’s there” quote. Some say it was uttered by mountaineer George Leigh Mallory, who died while ascending Mount Everest in 1924. Others attribute it to Sir Edmund Hillary, who reached Everest’s summit in 1953. Either way, another mountain quote also applies to social media — Mr. Mallory compared Mount Everest to “the struggle of life itself, upwards and forever upwards!”

2 Responses to Scaling the Social Media Mountain

  1. Hi, great post! I appreciate the vulnerability as we are all trying to ‘figure it out’!

    As a bank, I am always looking for articles and tips that we can share with our customers. So I like that aspect. I also like learning from others. So if the IBA was to highlight what other banks were doing (and doing well) that might be valuable. Does it make sense for us all to recreate the wheel? I appreciate the community and resources available to banks. So the IBA’s efforts to help with that on social media would be great! Kudos to you for jumping in and continuing to improve.

  2. Laura Wilson says:

    Thanks for your enthuiasm, Jaime. Great idea to highlight and share the successful social media efforts of other member banks.

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