Local Businesses using Social Media Right

When it comes to businesses, social media is a means of brand awareness and advertising.  To further permeate areas where people dwell with their ads, coupons, services, and so on.  I personally feel some big named brands are a bit late with coming to the party, but many aren’t even entertained by the notion.

Consumers are using the Internet and social media every day.  At work, at home, and even on their phones.  The traditional means of advertising are now being filtered out, so these new mediums are where to find your audience. Case and point is Webster Bank.  A local bank here in Connecticut that’s been in business for over 75 years. I’m not going to get into their banking success or their great reputation with engaging the community too much – I’ll let them continue to do that. However I will comment on their use of social media.

Recently I received an email from Twitter informing me that Webster Bank @WebsterBank was now following me.  At first glance I thought it was a fake Twitter handle, or at best a Webster employee looking to find new clients.  To my surprise it was actually an official account from the bank.  Had a couple hundred tweets.  Engaging other users that I knew or were familiar to my Twitter stream, and even had a good bio.

Webster Twitter Stream

This was ok, but I figured I should kick it up a n0tch and @ reply them. They actually responded, and not computer type of response but like from a real person.

Just about everyone within Connecticut has probably heard of Webster Bank, and though not everyone may bank with them, they’ve seen the branches in their neighborhoods.  Now here’s where Webster can start to take advantage of their market where some other banks may not particularly care about social media.

  • Feedback: They can better understand customer comments and complaints, that they may normally have never heard within their branches or telephone customer support
  • Engage: They can engage both existing clients and potential new ones in a medium that can be familiar and friendly without the need to “sell”
  • Awareness: They can continue to build company and product awareness. This could also lead to the perception of having authority on their regional/local market
  • Promotions: They can host contests or specials
  • Growth: They can further grow their community of loyal customers, and those customers will easily tell their friends about their bank in a way that is free advertising to the bank (word of mouth)

Just to make it clear, I’m not being paid by Webster to write this in any way. Really I’m using them as a live case study to prove a point in how marketing is adapting more from tradition means to social media.  There are plenty of businesses big and small that don’t think this is a worthy investment in time and resources.  And there are businesses like this one, who are taking the risk, maybe even on a small scale to at least have a social presence to engage an audience where they’re most comfortable and prevalent.

As always I’d like to get your thoughts on this, so please feel free to agree or disagree in the comments below.