Bank Mashup

I was looking for mashups of google maps by financial services – beyond location of ATMs and I found this one by Standard Bank, it neatly displays deals, accolades, and news from around the world for the company. Clicking on the “thumbtack” opens a call out with a short explanation and an invitation “let’s get the conversation going”.

Picture 1Which is where it starts to fall down in my view. When you click on that you are taken to a standard web form and told “tell us who you are and we will contact you”. I’m not sure what I expected but this wasn’t it.

That’s the tricky thing with corporates adopting Web 2.0, we’re not really naturally equipped to take it on, and it tends to either languish in a web team or be taken up by a Facebook fanatic in marketing.

Really effective use of Web 2.0 requires more than that, Harvard Business Review identifies five areas that businesses need to consider when establishing social media programmes; Integration, Governance, Culture, HR, Measurement & ROI.

I would add Risk and Technology as issues for large companies.

Effective use of social media requires clear policies around its development and use internally. It requires technology teams that understand and create solutions that deliver to business – rather than shaking their heads and pointing to risk. And risk teams that understand the technology and the business benefits. The organisation also has to support a culture of openness and knowledge sharing. Any move into social media also needs to consider the impact on business – does inviting people to a conversation imply a direct connection to chat? Who will be on the other end, and what do they need to know?

I think there are several reasons big corporations aren’t quick to adopt social media, and the biggest is probably the cost and difficulty of integrating strong social media programmes into the business.

It’s understandable, but not sustainable. Businesses have to figure this out – be smart and start small.

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