Our colleagues over at Ragan.com recently ran a social media conference at which Wells Fargo’s Ed Terpening, the bank’s vice president of social media marketing, outlined why and how Wells Fargo ‘plays’ in this space.
If customers are inhabiting social media, Terpening said, the bank is determined to engage them there. “We’re spending our time where they’re spending their time,” he said.
Afford customers a voice
Wells Fargo monitors comments on its blogs for profanity and other abuse, but it lets readers gripe. At first, some in the company were nervous that the blogs might undermine the message, acting as a magnet for malcontents.
“One of the things that people say is, ‘If we start a blog, it’s just going to be a home for people to complain about our brand. And we’re just going to fill it with detractors,’” Terpening said.
Wells Fargo was expecting that 30 percent of the comments on its blogs would be from people with a beef. It was pleased when the figure turned out to be only 3 percent.
Listen and engage
By engaging other voices on the Web, Wells Fargo has changed the tone. One blogger rated the bank a B+. Wells Fargo staffers wrote that they were glad she had had a good experience, but they wanted a perfect grade. What, the bank wanted to know, could it do better in the future?
“She wrote back on the blog—so we reached all of her readers—and she said, ‘You just got moved up to an A for listening and participating,’” Terpening said.
7 social media tips
Here’s more advice from Wells Fargo’s Ed Terpening:
• Build a “tone recipe” for social media that takes into account individuals (such as company bloggers), the brand and your consumers.
• Write great headlines. Often these are the only thing customers will read on a site.
• Be authentic. Bring in personal experience, admit faults and listen. Post the bios of bloggers and other key team members—and consider using cellphone pictures, not glossy company photos.
• Post regularly—and do it real-time during key events.
• Link to others. “To be part of the culture of social media … you have to include other bloggers in the conversation.”
• Be thick-skinned
• Integrate the comment box into the Web pages where the posts appear, rather than clicking through to another page. You’ll get more responses.
A great article and one that is worth sharing amongst your colleagues who might be worried about one aspect or another of the organisation starting to engage in the social media space.