I am following the news on a daily basis. Business, Politics, Marketing, Social Media, PR, Soccer and a few other topics are on the table every day. You might think this is a lot to cover, I am lucky, it is my job, it is my hobby and it is what I like to do when I have time. Information addicted, news junkie and such I have been called. Anyway.
So, while doing all this I read about the banks. What I read for the most part, is not of advantage to banks, not at all. What I read are examples such as “Multi $Trillion Manipulation”, “NY Attorney General is after the banks” and so on. Looking for good stuff that is reported is very difficult. For the most part what I kind find is actions from the consulting handbook: Donations to charities and other organizations of public interest. Many of those cut by the way. Those donations are great and the banks should keep doing that, however, to believe that these donations will repair a brand or image, is dangerous, for the bank. At the most, they will earn some shoulder tapping by these organizations, and that’s it. In order to reach the broader public other measures are necessary. And this is were the banks completely miss out.
Just yesterday I ran into a tweet from Bank of America. The tweet stated a number of $millions in loans that the bank put out to help small businesses. When I saw it, it took me by surprise (positive). Even if you follow the banks on twitter, you don’t see a lot of tweets. Once I got over the surprise I checked Bank of America’s Twitter account to find out if I had missed anything. I didn’t. Everything was fast asleep, as always. 480(!!!) something tweets, 24000 Followers and following 56 or so. Please.
The bank has roughly 5,900 branches in the United States. They are open almost every day, some of them are open every day. There is nothing to tweet from these assets on any given day? I bet there is. And I am talking about a lot of stuff that doesn’t fall into any regulatory oversight division and can’t be tweeted. If I add the lighter cases of the regulatory drawer that can be easily cleared by the banks legal department, there are quite some interesting cases to tweet and engage the public. Sure, there will be some bad news flowing as well, but who says that’s bad news. Ever heard of the fact that bad news can turn into the best PR that you can’t buy? You bet. Three cases from every branch to tweet, imagine the customer engagement and the opportunity.
There is so much more banks could do to improve their brand and image. The fact that it is not happening is one of the unsolved mysteries in the business world. Let’s see what happens when the shareholders finally find out about it. I for my part, if I would own a significant stack in a bank, not only Bank of America, I would ask a few questions. And I wouldn’t take “no” for an answer. What happens here, well doesn’t happen with image and brand, costs approximately 5 cents in every single share. Go calculate the losses. Since everything needs a number, $475,000,000.00. Don’t believe it? Well, would half of this number make you think?