ABA Banking Journal - July 2009 - (Page 2)
Commentary STEVE COCHEO Executive Editor Banking JOURNAL ABA USPS-544-030 JULY 2009, VOL. CI, NO.7 Editorial and Executive Offices: 345 Hudson Street, New York, N.Y. 10014-7115 Phone: (212) 620-7210 Fax: (212) 633-1165 Subscription: (800) 895-4389 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Internet: http://www.ababj.com Dateline: Twitterverse BRITNEY SPEARS IS FOLLOWING me, or, rather ABA Banking Journal, on Twitter. Actually, two Britney Spears are following us. We have no idea if they are the “real” (assuredly ghost-written) Britney Twitter accounts. Not that we care. They will soon join the ranks of attempted “followers” who we’ve blocked from having access to our bankerly “tweets.” Policing your followers list is a never-ending task. Anyone in the Twitterverse can start following you, though you can block their access after receiving the standard email alert that you are being followed. Why block? Twitter users can browse through your bank’s following, and check out your followers’ tweets. In our case, we didn’t want representatives of groups or companies we didn’t choose to communicate with, even inappropriate websites we didn’t want any ABA brand associated with, following us. Our own primary goal is to tell folks what’s new on our website, www.ababj.com. If you believe that people judge you by the company you keep, then you get it. In case you aren’t at all familiar with this social media service, Twitter is a messaging site through which users can broadcast ads; business announcements; updates; headlines; weblinks; personal attitudes, coordinates, and musings; gossip; trivia; nonsense; and words some people will likely wish they had never attached to their name (some day). On that, years ago, someone suggested that you should email as if it were going to go on the news crawl that circles #1 Times Square. Twitter is the world’s news crawl. I’ve spent about four months, with varying devotion, depending on deadlines, in the Twitterverse for ABA BJ (our twitter address is ABABankingJourn). The effort began when we were promot2 JULY 2009/ABA BANKING JOURNAL ing something and needed no-cost marketing. Today, I’m fairly regular about posting new tweets when we update our website, and to provide clues to our weekly online puzzles. Sometimes leads for new articles come through Twitter. But I don’t post what kind of sandwich I’m having; who could possibly care? A quick perusal of almost any string of tweets suggests that apparently a lot of people care about stuff like that. Among the banks that have pioneered on Twitter, there has been some innovation. Next month’s “Pass the Aspirin” (available now online, if you don’t want to wait), will include a community bank’s interesting ideas on how Twitter can spice up a marketing mix. Going back to “getting it”—that’s relevant. Twitter is a funny—sometimes fun—little tool; a quirky big e-universe. Chief Editor Bill Streeter probably said it best: He didn’t quite “get” Twitter, but anything that could force Steve Cocheo to be very brief would be interesting to watch. Twitter messages must hold to 140 characters—not words, characters. (By the end of this sentence, I would have consumed almost 18 Twitter messages thus far in this column.) Note to your Twitter file: If you’ve got employees who are tweeting personally, tell them not to associate their personal account with the bank. And if they are tweeting officially, tell them to consider carefully what personal comments they make. You’d be amazed how ridiculous a person or company can make themselves look in 140 characters. So far, the regulators aren’t tweeting. I don’t know if the world is quite ready for a Fed tweet. (“About to vote 4 rate cut. Tweet thoughts?”) I don’t see regulators holding to 140 characters, either. Steve Cocheo, email@example.com ABABankingJourn at Twitter Published monthly for the American Bankers Association by Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corp. and copyrighted 2009 by ABA; Edward L. Yingling, President, 1120 Connecticut Ave., N.W.,Washington, D.C. 20036, (202) 663-5000. Title registered in U.S. Patent Office. With the exception of official Association announcements, the American Bankers Association disclaims responsibility for opinions expressed and statements made in articles or advertisements published in ABA Banking Journal. Editor-in-Chief Executive Editor Editorial Assistant Art Director Associate Art Director Art Production Manager Contributing Editors Leslie T. Callaway Lucy Griffin Mark Kruhm Lisa Valentine Advisory Committee Jeffrey S. Owen Production Director Circulation Director Group Publisher William W. Streeter firstname.lastname@example.org Steve Cocheo email@example.com Andrea Rovira firstname.lastname@example.org Wendy Williams email@example.com Phil Desiere firstname.lastname@example.org Todd M. Blanchard email@example.com Ed Blount Nancy Castiglione Karen Holliday Bill Orr Edward L. Yingling Virginia Dean Mary Conyers-Brown firstname.lastname@example.org Maureen Cooney email@example.com Robert DeMarco Senior Vice President firstname.lastname@example.org Subscription: Call 1-800-895-4389; or write to: Subscription Dept., ABA Banking Journal, P.O. 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