Monthly Archives: July 2012

If You Could Do Your Banking on Facebook – Would You?


From time to time, I might ask close friends and family members for a financial advice, but I can’t say I’ve ever thought about the possibility of “social banking.”

Financial giant, Citibank, is however thinking about the possibility of “social banking,” as least as far as Facebook is concerned. The bank recently posted an interesting message to its Facebook page, asking fans if they would bank through Facebook, testing consumer appetite for “social banking.”

The post has already garnered nearly 800 ‘Likes,’ but comments on the post are overwhelmingly negative – here’s just a small sampling (positive and negative) of my favorites:

  • “100%”
  • “No way.”
  • “Yes, absolutely.”
  • “Over my dead body”
  • “No. That would just give hackers an incentive to hack Facebook. In the long run, I get my information stolen, and Facebook AND Citibank lose their reputation for keeping your information safe.”

It’s clear, we live in an ever more-connected world. We check-in, hangout, Tweet, ping and snap photos all day and all night. We can already deposit paper checks into our accounts with mobile banking apps and transfer money with a touch.

That convenience has improved the way we do business and streamlined money management, but is a good idea always worth taking to its logical extreme?

Facebook’s questionable privacy history, combined with the obvious security questions raised by many Facebook users in the comments on Citbank’s post, come together to create what could either be a disruptive partnership that changes the way we think about banking, or, it could be a behemoth privacy disaster.

So, what do you think? If you could do your banking on Facebook, would you?

– Marrissa (@marrissam)

I Want This Brand – My Friend Follows It on Twitter

Would you choose a jar of pickles based on your knowledge of a friend or family member following the brand on a social media site such as Facebook or Twitter? Close to one of five American consumers (18 percent) said they would when asked as part of a multinational study.

That survey from Ipsos OTX and Ipsos Global @dvisor didn’t specifically focus on pickles, it did provide clear evidence of the power of social media to drive buying decisions.

And it looks as though that influence will grow as nearly one in four (23 percent) younger respondents – those 35 years of age and under — said they would buy a brand based on a friend’s social media followings. Only 9 percent of those between the ages of 50-64 gave the same response.

There was virtually no difference between males and females. However, American companies may not be as quite as effective in using social media as their counterparts in other countries.  Worldwide, 22 percent of all respondents said they were influenced by friends’ social media brand likings.

Still, the survey shows the value of cultivating brand advocates through carefully planned social media campaigns. And if these numbers are accurate, it only stands to reason that a business-to-business social media effort also could prove to be worth the effort.

– JD

Follow me on Twitter @jdaum









Can English Survive Social Media?

Is the informality of email and social media leading to the ruin of the English language? Is proper grammar and correct spelling going the way of the wired telephone? The answers to those questions are troubling many corporate communications executives.

We have come to accept slang and shortcuts in our electronic communications.  The grammar used is often spotty and let’s politely assume that the numerous misspellings we see are typos.

So a tweet contains “c u l8er” instead of “see you later” in order to save space in a message with a maximum of 140 characters.  Later in a text message you might read “Mary and myself will handle that.” Then a news release posted on a company Internet site may include that the “Acme Corp. is known for providing their customers with world-class service.” That may not be a problem among friends, but that same writing style is unacceptable when used in external corporate communications.

The blame for our eroding standards is often placed on younger employees who have been raised in a social media era. That’s not entirely fair. All of us regularly engaging in social media take many of the same shortcuts and make many of the same grammatical and spelling mistakes.

We just have to consider social media communications as a different language.  The way we communicate to friends via Facebook or Twitter is fine. But, for the time being, that informality has no place in the way we communicate on behalf of or our employers or clients.

In time, much of the social media vernacular will become an accepted part of the language. But until then, we need to remind ourselves — and our employees — of the need for accurate and clear communications in a business setting.

— JD

Twitter: @Jdaum