FTB is one of the top 50 largest banks (First Horizon Nat’l is holding company) in the US with a history going back to 1864. Dan Marks, as the Chief Marketing Officer at First Tennessee Bank (FTB) is moving where bank or financial institutions fear to tread – to the social web to listen to their customers.
FTB is the leading blank in Tennessee and is committed to staying in contact with and listening to their customers. When Dan noticed that 11% or more of their target audience was already involved in social media, Dan decided that the bank needed to be finding ways to connect with them online where they already were are.
The social presence for FTB includes a Facebook Fan Page (http://www.facebook.com/firsttennessee) where they have 2,687 fans and a new Twitter ID (@firsttennessee) where they post the question to others who comment on FTB, “I work for First Tennessee Bank, is there anything we can do to assist you with any issues you may be having?”
The path to this point has not always been easy for the FTB team though. In this episode, Dan cites the biggest obstacle for the use of social media as a financial institution.
The two he points out are –
- banking is typically fairly conservative, so any action that might be seen as risky might be hard to adopt and
- a perspective that consumers might feel that a bad decisions in marketing for the bank might impact the safe & secure image a financial institution need to project
FTB very very careful in assessing what risks they’re taking and they are not alone in financial services. There are concerns about security, safety and soundness as well as a perspective that some people in management that may not completely understand the effort and see it as merely a youth oriented tactic.
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