The Financial Brand has presented two stories of banks using social media to motivate mobile-phone-toting customers to “check-in” at their branches, those of DBS Bank in Asia and Dupaco Credit Union based in Iowa. The article opens with precisely the right observation:
“Most retail financial institutions have spent the better part of the last decade shooing people out of costly branch networks, choosing to push online, mobile and paperless solutions over one-to-one, personal interactions. Most banks and credit unions have done what they can to keep consumers out of branches and reduce transaction volumes.”
The descriptions of the two banks’ social media “check-in” campaigns are entertaining, but as the writer notes, neither reveals any clear business purpose. Let’s say it again…. social media is a tool to achieve a business strategy. Banks that invest time and energy in games and contests (and branch visits!) without being clear internally about what they want to accomplish are wasting resources.