Finding Social Media ROI is like Hunting a Unicorn (Part I)

This is the first of a four part series written by Mark Zmarzly (see below for his full bio). Stay tuned for the remainder of the series.

I’ve been intentionally not posting on my blog for a good reason – O.K., that’s not entirely true but I’ll talk more about that at the end of this post – but the intersection of four interesting items all surrounding social media have caused me to violate my posting moratorium.

Here is a list of the four items in the order I encountered them:

  1. Post on The Financial Brand titled “Confessions of a Social Media Skeptic
  2. Post on Snarketing 2.0 about how “Banks and Credit Unions Can Forget Twitter for Marketing
  3. A question on a bank marketing board asking other participants for “ideas to help drive people to our Facebook page.”  URL intentionally not shared to protect the innocent and not so innocent discussion participants.
  4. An article by Dave Martin on American Banker’s Bank Think titled “Your Staff’s Time is as Valuable as the Customer’s

I’ll give you a quick bit of background on my own foray into social media and then quickly move on to some comments about these four interesting items and my thoughts on how they are all related.

First, my background on using social media within the banking industry:

  1. It all started when a man by the name of Al Gore and I invented the Internet
  2. Most of my involvement in using social media within the financial services industry would be traced back to my use of LinkedIn in 2008.  An innocent invite from a friend in the technology field introduced me to this professional networking site.  Since that time I’ve grown very fond of LinkedIn; have used it to advertise industry webinars, publications, speaking gigs, etc; and have found it to be a very valuable source of industry credibility.
  3. In May of 2009, I started the Twitter handle @BankMarketing.  This project started from a small observation: that I read a sh*t ton of articles about banking and bank marketing, which many others in our industry don’t see.  I started the account the first night I was at the ABA School of Bank Marketing & Management after mentioning Kasasa  and nobody had heard of it yet.  (Confession: a Google alert on a competitor was how I knew about this product before they had done a large formal launch).  My tweets mainly consist of broadcasting what I’m reading within the industry.  The byproduct is that I’ve connected with a ton of people in the financial industry, increased by industry reach and credibility, and been exposed to a lot of writings that I might have missed.
  4. In late December of 2010 I started the now rarely maintained blog/website www.ihelpbanks.com.  My intentions for this site were to have a presence on the web outside of my employer – both at the time and the new one I was about to join – and to start advertising my speaking services within the industry.  The blogging portion of my site is underutilized because of the main point of this entire post: ROI (Return on Investment).  More correctly, I’d say ROSMI (Return on Social Media Investment).

About Mark Zmarzly: Mark Zmarzly is VP of Financial Services at ACTON Marketing, and an accomplished marketing, business development, banking, and creative professional with demonstrated success solving customer acquisition, marketing, and profitability problems. He has worked with financial institutions from 1 branch up to 1,700+ branches in the areas of marketing, copywriting, account management, consulting, teaching, social media, and business development. You can find his insights on issues facing the financial industry at www.ihelpbanks.com and on Twitter @BankMarketing. You can also connect with him at http://www.linkedin.com/in/markzmarzly

Written by Mark Zmarzly

Our privacy policy has been updated. Click here to see the updates.