Filed under: social media
By Jim Jarrell
Early this year, MarketingProfs ran a great article by William Arruda on personal branding trends for 2012. Among the many trends noted by Mr. Arruda in his article was the importance of having a clean, professional-looking headshot that properly represents your “personal brand” and doesn’t reek of bad taste.
Since I considered this point a very valid one, I took to the streets of social media – in other words, the profile pages on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, among others – to see how many people who put themselves out there in social media are actually adhering to this basic tenet of personal branding. What I found, unfortunately, is that a majority of those 1+ million who join social media networks weekly are not heeding this suggestion [cue the Revelation music here].
What is that you say? You hate how you look in photos? Welcome to the club, my brothers and sisters…and trust me, nobody is playing that tiny violin to underscore your misery. But fear not! Anyone – even me — can look great, especially in the micro-real estate that is the social media “profile pic.”
It all boils down to choosing an appropriate photo. Before the chorus of “Duh!” deafens me, let me assure you that – apparently – this concept is easier said than done. After carefully combing through several hundred social media photos (offered via the page that says “People You Might Know” on Facebook and “People I May Know” on LinkedIn), the following is a fairly comprehensive list of some of the most heinous infractions when it comes to selecting an appropriate profile picture.
[Insert disclaimer here: Names omitted to protect the guilty from further embarrassment—but you may know who you are based on the descriptions]
• Just straight-up blurry. Hello, I’m Digital Photography 101. How have we not met before?
• Terrible lighting. Are you the Dark Knight rising? I can barely make you out from all those shadows.
• The “Sears Portrait Studio” background. Ummm, your 1987 yearbook called and they want their background back.
• Random or odd background images. Ok buddy, NICE shot of the waiter behind you carrying a wine bottle under his arm. You are such, like, a restaurateur.
• Classic (or Creepy, as the case may be) Social Media Profile Pics – Parts 1, 2, 3 & 4
- Part 1: “I’m just way too happy right now!” Party on, Wayne and Garth, but this is 2012! As awesome as you look wearing a lei (and a mullet), you are only succeeding in creating a visual cacophony that is illegal in 25 states (or at least it should be).
- “Look at my irresistible baby (or pet)!” As adorable as your perfectly pink newborn baby may be (so newborn, in fact, that their eyes barely open and we can still make out “Newborn” embroidered on the onesie), I came to your page to learn about you.
- “Check me out in my low-rent apartment, as evidenced by the microwave oven, IKEA kitchen cabinets, and unclean plates on the counter in the background.” Dude, even if you’re a “lowly marketing professional,” you should probably tidy up in the kitchen—unless you plan to market a cleaning service.
- “How cute am I with my significant other in a tight embrace!” Because, you know, the first thing I want to know about a “collection litigation attorney” is that she is openly uninhibited about public displays of affection.
• The boozy “I had six too many bourbon shots” smile. Really? Of all the possible looks you can show us, you want your future client to have this first impression of you?
• The “Shepard Fairey was here.” Ah, the Obama 2008-style stencil portrait. I’m sorry, but does this even need a snarky comment?
• Full-body action pic. Jon Krakauer gets to do this, but you, my friend, are a “collection attorney.” So that 80×80 pixel image size of you posing on a big rock while on a break from hiking in the Northern Rockies isn’t exactly inspiring confidence in your risk-taking judgment.
• “But I LOVE this photo of me…” You love it, even though your head is right next to someone else’s, the ear and left of eye of which we can still see because you clearly missed that day in school when they explained what “cropping” meant.
• The white-polo-and-oversized gut combo. “I’m standing in my white polo shirt holding my somewhat oversized gut with my left hand.” I’m no stranger to the protruding gut (although I got rid of mine over the past year), but I’m gonna go out on this limb and suggest that you opt instead for a friendly CLOSE-UP of your face.
• “Side shot of me working the phone, baby!” And a corded phone no less, because you’re old-school landline-ing it, son, with your pen in hand filling out that big contract you just got a verbal on. Wow, no way! You use a phone and a pen in your cubicle? So do I!
• Mediocre black and white. Ok, so black and white can really work—if done correctly. However, if your B&W was taken by your 1-megapixel camera circa 2006, then you’re not achieving the desired effect, and you’re offending those of us who got it right.
• “I’m all business and think that smiling is a sign of weakness.” Lighten up, Dwight Schrute. Even CEOs at Fortune 500 companies can show humanity, and at least a couple of teeth.
• The “I’m important” shot. “Check me out! I’m an in-demand corporate executive who speaks at conferences, as you can see from the event sign behind me and the microphone and podium in front of me.” When I see that, I think one thing: “What a tool!”
• The group photo. “Here I am, Account Director, along with three other people all scrunched up into this tiny photo! Oh, and to make it even more awesome, see how the outdoor sunlight is BEHIND us rendering all attempts at identifying any facial features completely impossible?” This combination of photo faux pas immediately triggers in me a strong reaction: gladness. I’m glad you put your name on your profile so I can tell who you are, because the photo isn’t helping!
• MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE FAIL. The photo that shouts, “Seriously, world, look at just how strikingly beautiful I am in this over-the-top Glamour Shot!” Congratulations, Barbie, you’ve just turned every male viewer of your profile pic into Joey Tribbiani, and every female viewer into, well, let’s not go there.
I’ll admit that, like most of you (probably), I’d rather sit still for a professional photo session than I would lie down in front of a herd of stampeding hippopotami but the finished product is exactly the kind of shot you should be posting up on your social media networking sites. Don’t let me catch you breaking the personal branding tenet again…I won’t be so nice about protecting the guilty next time.
Jim Jarrell is a Business & Corporate Development Representative with Weltman, Weinberg & Reis Co., LPA. He can be reached at 216.685.1144 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
By: Sarah Stevenson
As we all know, the term “social media” has become common language among credit unions. With that being said, it comes as no surprise that more and more credit unions are utilizing social medial channels such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube – the list goes on – to market to potential, new and existing members, as well as recruit new talent for their organization.
An article, The State of Social Media in Credit Unions: Opportunities and Challenges, presents an overview of a recent Filene Institute study focusing on the increased usage of social media among credit unions (http://thefinancialbrand.com/18102/filene-credit-union-social-media-study/). The article details 66% of credit unions utilize Facebook, 44% Twitter and 21% have their own blog. The study estimates that based on these figures, the utilization of social media channels among credit unions will have increased to 90% by April, 2012. In simply searching local credit unions via Google, each credit union had links for Facebook and Twitter on their home page with several linking to YouTube.
With the clear growth in social media prevalent in credit unions and the market in general, Social Media Consultants are in high demand. Working in compliance for a credit union, the phrase “social media” can instantly trigger thoughts of “what possible regulatory violation could emerge?,” meanwhile other departments, such as marketing, jump at the new features and concepts social media offers. With the potential risk (reputation, regulatory) involved as well as opportunities, credit unions may wish to bring in a Social Media Consultant. This then begs the question, what do credit union insiders really think about social media consultants?
In talking with a colleague who specializes in social media, a Social Media Consultant may specialize in a more “risk-based” approach or have a focus on “marketing” through social media depending on the organization’s needs.
For risk-based social media consulting, credit union personnel may provide feedback such as:
- Consultant provided valuable information, especially for younger employees who have social media ingrained in their daily lives. Because of this, they will update their Information Security training, Employee Handbook, etc., to specifically cover the topic of social media “now” instead of waiting for a problem to occur.
- Credit Union insiders may feel what the consultant is providing is simply “common sense”; employees already know the main point – “Do not disclose confidential information,” and feel they do not need to update their internal policies or training materials.
- Unfortunately some feedback may even be – “Social media does not apply to us; our target market/marketing program, etc., is not geared toward social media, therefore does not apply.”
For marketing with social media, many credit unions may utilize a consultant to get their internal department on the right track. More often, colleagues I have spoken with utilize existing marketing staff or have hired younger “social media gurus”, as they feel an outside consultant does not “know the membership or target market” and would not be able to provide assistance. While others, who are just entering the social media realm, welcome a consultant’s expertise as they simply do not have the resources internally to get a social media program campaign off the ground.
While much of utilizing social media requires “common sense”, there continues to be grey areas as this form of communication continues to evolve. Perhaps we should all reflect upon the consultant’s role?
Filed under: social media
Well, I’m not sure it’s the best, but it certainly is the social media flavor of the month. Don’t believe me? Try signing up and see how quickly your friends find and follow you. If you are on Facebook, you’ve probably been experiencing the effects of Pinterest’s popularity without even knowing it. Have you noticed lately that many of your Facebook friends are sharing wall photos with pithy, inspirational or sometimes crass quotes? Those are most likely getting to Facebook via Pinterest.
What is Pinterest? For the more web savvy folks, I’d say it’s Delicious + Flickr. For the rest of us, I say it is this: A small tool you download onto your computer that lets you ‘pin’ websites that you think are interesting. It puts a photo of that website onto a bulletin board that you’ve named. You can save and share your interesting websites and you can browse through your friends’ interesting saves. It looks like this:
- You ‘pin’ what’s ‘interesting’, hence the name. Get it?
- According to comScore, Pinterest just hit over 11 million users.
- So can credit unions use it? Maybe.
I asked one of the smartest people I know, Tim McAlpine, founder of Currency Marketing, what he thinks. He said, “I definitely have social media ADD. I tend to sign up for everything just to get a feel for it and if it doesn’t stick within the first session or two, I move on. For me, Twitter has been the stickiest thing I’ve experienced in the last five years, but Pinterest has definitely captured my interest in a similar way. Being a designer geek and a bit of a collector, I love that the service is so intuitive and visual. Like most social services in their early growth phase, Pinterest is ideal for personal use and free from overt marketing – that’s what makes it so great right now. I am trying to wrap my head around how a credit union could use it and I am not seeing the application just yet.”
I say, if you’ve got a spare person in the office with a lot of time on their hands and a pretty forgiving firewall, you might be able to use Pinterest at your credit union.
I like this article from Mashable: http://mashable.com/2012/01/19/pinterest-brands/
Lauren Drell advises companies to consider using it as a branding tool and I agree. You could build a Pinterest page for your credit union and have bulletin boards such as:
- Money Saving Tips
- News in Co-ops
- Our Community
When you ‘curate’ (a word I stole from Drell that I think is the perfect descriptor) a series of images and websites on your Pinterest page, you give your members and potential members a good indication of the type of company and type of employees you are and have.
You could also peruse the bulletin boards of your credit union’s Facebook fans and get a better feeling for what they are pinning. I could see it working well for designing your next marketing piece.
But for now, my opinion of Pinterest for credit unions is – stick with Facebook.
Shari Storm is Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Verity Federal Credit Union and is the author of the book “Motherhood is the New MBA”, available here: http://www.amazon.com/Motherhood-New-MBA-Parenting-Skills/dp/0312544316/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1314126290&sr=1-1
Filed under: social media, video | Tags: social media marketing, young and free
I’ve posted about Tim McAlpine’s work before on these pages. His latest video is worth re-posting here. There’s a lot of genuinely creative genius happening in the video and I strongly urge credit unions to embrace social media as a marketing vehicle. The lawyer side of me must scream out that age can never be part of a hiring decision in the U.S. (Tim is Canadian) but so long as you pay attention to that and do your due diligence otherwise, there’s no reason why you cannot look at adopting a social media marketing program.
Filed under: credit unions, social media | Tags: credit unions, foursquare, GPS
Today’s blog comes courtesy of Shari Storm, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Verity Federal Credit Union. Shari is the author of the new book ‘Motherhood is the New MBA”, available here.
That was the first message I posted to Foursquare. Before Foursquare, I would tweet that sentence every time I passed through SLC. My friends all know that I like a glass of funny named beer after a business trip has ended successfully.
Foursquare made announcing my victory-beer far easier. The GPS program in my phone let me touch one button and publishing my sentence was quick. While I was there, I could see who else had visited the pub and whether or not anyone I knew (from Foursquare) was sitting there at the moment. I also got six points for checking in.
According to their website “Foursquare is a cross between a friend-finder, a social city-guide and a game that rewards you for doing interesting things. We aim to build things to not only help you keep up with the places your friends go, but that encourage you to discover new places and challenge you to explore your neighborhood in new ways.”
Here are the components of Foursquare that make it important for marketers to pay attention:
1. The immediate nature of the review. I’ve long told marketers to pay attention to Yelp. Foursquare is like Yelp on speed. Since the phone app makes posting an opinion almost instantaneous, a member will voice their pleasure or displeasure over your service while standing at your teller station.
2. The addictive nature of the program: Since Foursquare users earn points for various behavior, people quickly become fanatics of it. You’ll see consumers vying to be “mayor” of their favorite establishments. It’s got that Farmville vibe to it. And if you don’t know what Farmville is, you don’t have enough friends on Facebook.
3. The face-to-face potential: The strongest online communities form around people who get the opportunity to meet in real life. Blogher is an example of this. People who are friends on forums like Twitter often want to meet in real life. Since Foursquare can send you an audible alert when you’ve checked into a place where someone else is or when one of your friends checks into a place near you, it increases the likelihood of bumping into friends. One recruiter nicely summed up his desire to meet possible recruits using Foursquare in this blog post. http://blog.ingramtalent.com/2010/03/20/locationbased-data-and-recruiting.aspx
My basic advice to marketers is to put Foursquare on your radar (what an outdated term, put it on your GPS!). Here are three more suggestions:
1. Look up your locations on Foursquare and see how many people are checking in. What are they saying about your service?
2. Consider building a badge for your company, like the History Channel did – http://mashable.com/2010/04/13/history-channel-foursquare/
3. Send the mayor of your locations a fun gift – perhaps a button that says, “I’m mayor of Verity Credit Union” or some other sort of credit union flair.
Filed under: credit unions, Facebook, social media | Tags: credit unions, Facebook, fan pages, social media
Today’s blog comes courtesy of Nicole Black, an attorney and writer of a weekly column for the Daily Record and four legal blogs.
Facebook Fan Pages Offer Credit Unions a Ready-Made, Effective Social Media Presence
The most effective and economical way for a business like a credit union to engage in social media is to set up a Facebook Fan Page. The reason for this is simple: a Facebook Fan Page is not difficult to set up, fans can be harvested from the credit union’s employees’ ready-made Facebook networks, and Facebook Fan Pages are a great way for a credit union to connect with current and potential customers by interacting and engaging with them.
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of a Facebook Fan Page, you’re not alone. Facebook Fan Pages are a relatively new concept that allow businesses to create a public profile on Facebook.
A Facebook Fan Page is simply a public Facebook profile that can be used to share business and product information with other Facebook users. Facebook Fan Pages are becoming increasingly popular and more and more small businesses are using them to establish a social media presence because Pages allow them to easily stay in touch with customers.
The key to a successful Facebook Fan Page is to create an active community around the Page. The first step, once the Page has been created, is to invite other users to become “fans” of the business’ fan page. One way to do this is to ask your employees to invite their friends and family to become fans of the Page. You can also publicize the Page on your website, at your branches and via emails to your current customers.
Then begin engaging with your fans by: 1) publicizing promotions, educational seminars or charitable events that the credit union is sponsoring, 2) posting photographs from work events, 3) posting photographs and biographies of employees, 4) conducting polls and surveys and 5) encouraging your newfound fans to participate in contests and giveaways.
Many believe that Facebook Fan Pages show great promise for all types of businesses, given the large number of users and the huge amount of traffic that Facebook gets on a daily basis. You can learn more about setting up Facebook Fan pages here: HOW TO: Set Up a Winning Facebook Fan Page (Mashable).
Nicole Black, an attorney, is the co-author of Criminal Law in New York, a West-Thomson treatise, co-authors a book with Carolyn Elefant, Social Media for Lawyers: the Next Frontier, and is currently writing a book about cloud computing for lawyers that will be published at the end of 2010. She also writes a weekly column for the Daily Record and speaks regularly at conferences regarding the intersection of law, technology and social media. She publishes four legal blogs, including “Practicing Law in the 21st Century.”
Today’s blog comes courtesy of Denise Wymore, owner of consulting service for cooperatives, Denise Wymore, LLC.
Have Super Bowl Ads Jumped the Shark?
26 years ago, Steve Jobs spent an enormous amount of money to advertise his tiny little venture during the Super Bowl. It was 1984. Director Ridley Scott (Blade Runner, Thelma & Louse) filmed a jogger representing Apple throwing a sledgehammer into a giant Big Brother image representing IBM – promising a populist shift in the future of personal computers. The ad only ran once.
No other ad has come close to the Monday water-cooler-hype created that Sunday. Can you even name the teams that were playing?*
Super Bowl ads quickly became another reason, and in some people’s books “the” reason to tune into the game. The problem? The cost to run a 30 second spot on the Super Bowl was astronomical and although the commercials were memorable, the sponsor? Not so much.
Can you name the brand behind these famous Super Bowl ads?
(1993) The Showdown with Larry Bird and Michael Jordan – they engage in a physics-defying hoops shooting showdown.
(2000) “Herding Cats” A Bonanza-like family of cat herders talk about life on the range.
(2003) Terry Tate: Office Linebacker. To boost productivity, a CEO recruits a linebacker to slam into a series of “Office Space”- style cubicle drones.
According to Frank Cooper, a Senior Vice President at Pepsico “The Super Bowl broadcast can be an amazing stage for advertisers if it aligns with their brand strategy. However brands should not blindly anchor themselves to history.”
Pepsi is preparing to launch a new cause-oriented marketing campaign early next year. The new campaign, called “The Pepsi Refresh Project,” is a long term, multi-million dollar grant program that will grant money to charitable causes proposed and selected by consumers using social media.
This year the Super Bowl shifted for the first time in decades. The game out-shined the commercials. The ads were, by most accounts, ridiculous, insulting, tired and stupid. Like Fonzie water skiing in his underwear to jump over a shark, it’s time to shut ‘er down.
Instead, we should all take a page from Pepsi’s new playbook. What’s your cause? You don’t need to advertise it with frogs, Betty White or talking babies – you need to live it and let your audience talk about it. The water cooler is now in your member’s hand (think Facebook, Twitter, and good old fashioned text message).
The lessons we need to learn from both Apple and Pepsi? Vision and commitment. The 1984 Apple ad was important because the vision was real. Where is the Apple brand today? Where’s IBM?
Pepsi understands that a long term commitment to a cause can do more for their brand than dumping $3 million on 30 seconds. They are committed to letting their customers market for them.
*ANSWER: LA Raiders and Washington
Filed under: social media, video | Tags: awesome, credit unions, social media, video, you tube
by Rob Rutkowski
So I’m driving to work (and dropping off my kids at school) this morning and I’m listening to podcasts. Cleveland only got a few inches of the great snowstorm that’s wreaking so much havoc across the country so the drive isn’t too bad. Anyway, I tuned into CU Watercooler (Liquid Lunch #10). I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve only listened to the show one other time (my podcast listening is mostly limited to car time). Matt Davis and Tim McAlpine interviewed a young lady from Bucks First Federal Credit Union. Apparently Bucks First put together a video that has eclipsed Larrisa Walkiw’s credit union video in popularity.
This is nothing short of astounding as Larrisa’s video was groundbreaking. Matt and Tim said something about an outfit called Retton something or another put it together for them. I had never heard of it, so at the next stop light I googled it on my phone and found a whole bunch of listings about Mary Lou Retton. Then I googled Buck’s First and found the credit union’s website. I loved the fact that they have a Twitter link on the first page and I’m going to start following them. But I still couldn’t find the video.
I dropped my kids off at school and slid off to work. I knew I had to blog about this this morning and I couldn’t wait to watch the Bucks First video. I went to the CU Watercooler website and found that the company (comedy duo, ad agency, I’m not really sure) that did this for them is called Rhett & Link, not Retton Link and is apparently famous. Here’s a link to the Bucks First video. It is quite awesome.
Filed under: credit unions, due diligence, new media, opinion, social media, vendors, video | Tags: credit unions, due diligence, NCUA, third party relationships, vendors
We get a lot of questions on NCUA Letter to Credit Unions 07-CU-13 so thought I would do a video on the subject.
Filed under: accounts, credit unions, CUNA GAC, Current Issues in Credit Unions, Fraud Prevention, new media, pictures, podcast, social media
On Monday, I left for Washington, not for the CUNA GAC, but to speak on behalf of the Maryland and DC Credit Union League. Yet, I could not keep away from the GAC. I have been to the GAC for about eight years straight but I missed it last year.
In any event, I met Guy Messick, Katherine Weber and their friend Vic at the Vidialia restaurant on Monday night. Guy and Katherine had been at the GAC since it began last week. It was wonderful to see them and Katherine is expecting next month. She told me that she plans on working at home after she has her new baby. She is very ambitious! While I was in Maryland, I stayed with my brother-in-law, Tom, as he lives between the two league locations. He is always very nice about putting me up.
On Tuesday I gave my first seminar on Fortifying Your Front Line (Credit Union Accounts and Fraud Prevention) from 9 to 4. I really enjoy speaking for the Maryland and DC Leagues because the audiences are always there to learn (and maybe have a little fun too).
Morris organized the event.
Ginny is scheduled to appear on Current Issues in Credit Unions later this year. It was very nice to talk to everyone. I chatted with Brent Dixon about this year’s Partnership Symposium. While I don’t think, at this point, that I can make it, I’m going to revisit my schedule to see if there is some way I can attend. A conference about my two favorite things in the world, credit unions and technology, is hard to pass up despite the schedule pain.
On Wednesday, I gave my final seminar. We worked through lunch and got everyone out by 3. It was another great group to teach.
My drive back was uneventful. Although driving down seemed like a great idea having been stuck at Dulles Airport in the past, somewhere in Pennsylvania around 8 in the evening I was wishing that I had flown. Still, what an intense 48 hours! It is sessions like this that make me feel that working with credit unions is the best job in the world.