SAN FRANCISCO — During the opening session of the Marketing Association of Credit Unions’ 2011 Annual Conference, Jeffry Pilcher of The Financial Brand gave attendees a social media reality check.
“Most social media projects start with the tool, then look for a strategy,” said Pilcher. “That’s like going into the garage grabbing any tool and then running around the house looking how to use it. You need to know what problem you’re trying to solve and without clear measurable business goals you’re wasting your time.”
He added that is one of the reasons why most social media experiments are duds.
“Banking is boring and the most precious commodity on earth is time,” said Pilcher. “If you truly care about your members, find ways they can spend less time with your brand. Freeing up members’ time benefits them and may be a more productive area than social media.”
Pilcher also aimed to bust what he said is the myth that social media is free, stating that only some of the tools are free. He quoted Aite Group’s Ron Shevlin “that most social media projects don’t have a shot in hell without a $100,000 budget.”
“The costs are as much as any other marketing effort undertaken maybe more,” said Pilcher. “I want to be clear. I’m not saying social media is a pointless waste of time, just that you should apply the same strategic discipline to social media as you do in other areas. Build a social media strategy before jumping in.”
The conference was Wednesday through Friday at the Westin Market in San Francisco.