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- updated on 25/10/2011 -
Financial institutions too must embrace social media. It is not an option anymore. Your clients are using it. Your employees are using it. Your competitors are using it. Your influencers (advocates, detractors, journalists, bloggers...) are using it. Do your Senior Executives appreciate the importance of social media? How realistic are their expectations?
In heavily regulated industries such as banking or insurance more than any other industries, you need the support of at least one of your Senior Executives to launch any kind of significant customer facing social media initiative, as proven by large financial institutions (FIs) such as Wells Fargo, Citi, Bank of America, American Express, Standard Chartered, Barclays...
Indeed, you generally see more adoption of social media when a Senior Executive fully understands the importance of listening, engaging and reaching out to customers and employees online.
So if social media is in your remit, and/or you are convinced your FI should do a better job engaging with your clients online, one of your primary goals is to evangelize social media in your organization, starting with the Senior Management. Like anything else, your Senior Executives don't necessarly have to use social media themselves to be onboard, but it always helps.
Your CEO is your best ambassador externally and your best catalyst for change internally. Using social media publicly would give more legitimacy to your internal social media effort and drive its adoption within your organization.
In this post, I will focus on twitter which I believe is one of the most convenient, yet least time consuming of ways for Senior Executives to embrace social media and not only engage publicly with their clients and their influencers, but also increase their leadership.
It is also a perfect way for Senior Execs to demonstrate their commitment to being transparent and engage in conversations.
Peter Aceto: "I am a CEO and I tweet"
I've been looking for Senior Executives on twitter for quite some time now. I guess I was waiting for the right moment to publish this post. A big thanks to Peter Aceto, President & CEO at ING Direct Canada, who made this post even more relevant.
On 17 November, Peter published a simple and transparent post on his official Direct Talk blog, I am a CEO and I tweet, where he brilliantly articulated the importance of social media, and twitter in particular, for Senior Executives.
In short, Peter uses twitter to share some inside news and drive employee advocacy. This is an excellent example of leadership via social media.
A couple of my favourite quotes:
* "Yes, I'm a CEO of a bank, but I am a regular guy. My goal is to form trust, be real and accessible."
* "Twitter or social media are nothing new. Twitter in particular, in its simplest form, is a dialogue and a form of engagement. That is one of the reasons why I feel my personal involvement in being transparent would be important for our brand."
I highly recommend you subscribe to Peter's blog and follow him on twitter.
So, is Peter unique in the industry? If his level of enthusiasm and his focus on leadership are pretty unique, he is not the only Senior Executive on twitter.
Since last year, I've started to identify Chairmen, Members of the Board, Presidents, CxOs, Managing Directors and General Managers on twitter. I also listed a few Directors, depending on the size of their financial institutions. I used the twitter search as well as linkedin's. Most of the Senior Executives listed have a linkedin account.
Due to the low number of Senior Execs on twitter, I decided not to apply very restrictive criteria on the quality of the page (bio, avatar, background), the level of activity, or the size of the follower base. Please note, I won't be listing CEOs of small insurance agencies (agents / brokers) nor will I list every single financial services firms (IFAs).
Quality of the Accounts
You will find that the quality of the profiles, the level of activity and the size of the follower bases vary tremendously from one Senior Exec to another. Please find below our Top 5s which will give you a better idea of the most social media savvy and active Senior Executives.
Top 5 oldest accounts: 1. Shari Storm @ Verity Credit Union, 2. Jean Philippe at Credit Agricole Pyrenees Gascogne, 3. Gerd Schenkel (formerly) @ UBank, 4. Laura Bennett @ Embrace Pet Insurance, 5. Roger Grobler @ Real Insurance.
Top 5 most active tweeps: 1. Rod Brookes @ PEMCO Insurance, 2. Amy Leahy-McGraw @ Public Service Credit Union, 3. Laura Bennett @ Embrace Pet Insurance, 4. Kevin R Mullins @ The Monticello Banking Company, 5. Matthias Kroener @ Fidor AG.
Top 5 most followed tweeps: 1. Muhammad Yunus @ Grameen Bank, 2. Peter Aceto @ ING DIRECT, 3. Gerd Schenkel (formerly) @ UBank, 4. Shari Storm @ Verity Credit Union, 5. Alex Twigg @ UBank.
To find out more about social media in Finance (banking, financial services, insurance), I invite you to check our 90+ video interviews and our social media directory, and benchmark you own twitter or facebook initiatives using our Visible Banking Twitter Watch (1,300+ accounts in 65+ countries) and our Visible Banking Facebook Watch (620+ pages, group, applications in 55+ countries).
The List - 48 Senior Executives from 14 Countries
I invite you to follow my twitter list of Senior Executives in banking, financial services, insurance.
As usual on Visible Banking, we don't only list social media initiatives or people, we always make sure to add as much value as possible to our blog posts. We like to give some background, put things into perspective and share some of our exclusive insights.
In this case I have added the links to the linkedin profiles and blogs (if any). I've also added the links to my posts covering the financial institutions mentioned.
It is a work in progress. Please let me know if I have missed any Senior Executives, as I will update the list regularly.
Please find below the tweeps listed by company name, in alphabetical order.
* American Family Insurance (US) - Jack Salzwedel, President
twitter (@AmFamJack) - linkedin
* Aussie Home Loans (Australia) - Stephen Porges, CEO
twitter (@StephenPorges) - linkedin
* Banco Sabadell (Spain) - Carles Abarca, CTO
twitter (@carlesabarca) - linkedin
* Barclays Bank (UK) - Shaygan Kheradpir, COO Global Retail Bank
twitter (@ShayganK) - linkedin
* Barclays Bank Russia (Russia) - Nikolai Tsekhomsky, CEO
twitter (@Tsekhomsky) - linkedin
* Binck (Netherlands) - Nick Bortot, Member of the Board
twitter (NickBortot) - linkedin
* China Construction Bank Asia (Hong Kong) - Terry Roberts, President & CEO
twitter (@tp_rock) - linkedin
* Chubb & Son (US) - Jon Bidwell, Chief Innovation Officer
twitter (@joncbidwell) - linkedin - Articles (Innovation & SM Risk Management)
* Commonwealth Bank (Australia) - Andrew Lark, CMOO
twitter (@kiwilark) - linkedin
* Community CPS Australia (Australia) - Ray O'Brien, General Manager - Distribution
twitter (@RazorCEO) - linkedin
* Credit Agricole Pyrenees Gascogne (France) - Jean Philippe, CEO
twitter (@jcphilippe) - linkedin - blog
* Ditzo (Netherlands) - Peter Hoitinga, Algemeen directeur
twitter (@Hoitinga) - linkedin
* Embrace Pet Insurance (US) - Laura Bennett, Co-Founder & CEO
twitter (@laurabennett) - linkedin - blog
* Family First Credit Union (US) - Christine Peters, President & CEO
twitter (@ChristineP_FFCU) - linkedin
* First National Bank (South Africa) - Michael Jordaan, CEO
twitter (@michaeljordaan) - linkedin
* FIDOR BANK AG (Germany) - Matthias Kröner, Vorstand
twitter (@ficoba) - linkedin - blog - xing - Interview
* FORUM Credit Union (US) - Jenny Budreau, Chief Administration Officer
twitter (@jennybudreau) - linkedin
* Founders Bank (US) - Jim Sturgeon, CEO
twitter (@JSTexBanker) - linkedin
* Grameen Bank (Bangladesh) - Muhammad Yunus, Managing Director
* Greenfield Savings Bank (US) - Rebecca Caplice, President & CEO
twitter (@rcaplice) - linkedin - blog
* HSBC Private Bank Luxembourg S.A. (Luxembourg) - Claude Marx, Deputy CEO
twitter (@claudemarx) - linkedin
* IAG New Zealand (New Zealand) - Jacki Johnson, CEO
twitter (@jacki_johnson) - linkedin - blog
* ING DIRECT Canada (Canada) - Peter Aceto, President & CEO
twitter (@CEO_INGDIRECT) - linkedin - blog - Articles (Interview US Head of Marketing)
* Metro Bank (UK) - Anthony Thomson, Chairman
twitter (@ATMoneySpinners) - Articles (no social media strategy?)
* Millstream Area Credit Union (US) - Karen Reams, President & CEO
twitter @karenreams) - linkedin
* MiniCo Insurance Agency (US) - Michael L. Schofield, President & CEO
twitter (@MLSchofield) - linkedin
* Mt. Lehman Credit Union (Canada) - Gene Blishen, General Manager
twitter (@Tinfoiling) - linkedin
* NAB (Australia) - Sam Plowman, Executive, General Manager Direct Banking
twitter (@samplowman) - linkedin - Articles (twitter + 'More Give, Less Take' campaign)
* NAB (Australia) - Christopher Smith, General Manager Digital Services
twitter (@csmith_in_oz) - linkedin - Articles (twitter + 'More Give, Less Take' campaign)
* NIBC Bank (Netherlands) - Jeroen Drost, Chairman Managing Board
twitter (@JerDr) - linkedin
* Nordnet Bank (Sweden) - Carl-Viggo Östlund, CEO
(twitter @ViggoNordnet) - linkedin
* North Jersey Community Bank (US) - Frank Sorrentino III, Chairman & CEO
twitter (@FrankSIII) - linkedin
* Novartis Federal Credit Union (US) - Ann South, President/CEO
twitter (@southan1) - linkedin
* Pan American Bank (US) - Jesse Torres, President & CEO
http://twitter.com/jstorres - linkedin - blog
* PEMCO Insurance (US) - Rod Brooks, Chief Marketing Officer
twitter (@NW_Mktg_Guy) - linkedin - blog
* Peoples Trust FCU (US) - Angela S McCathran, President & CEO
twitter (@amccathran) - linkedin
* PerkStreet Financial (US) - Dan O'Malley, CEO
twitter (@dan_omalley) - linkedin - blog
* Public Service Credit Union (US) - Amy Leahy-McGraw, Marketing Director
twitter (@PSCU_Amy) - linkedin
* Putnam Investments (US) - Robert L. Reynolds, President & CEO
twitter (@robertlreynolds) - linkedin - blog
* RaboDirect (Australia) - Greg McAweeney, General Manager
twitter (@GregMcAweeney) - linkedin - blog
* RaboDirect (Ireland) - Roel van Veggel, General Manager
twitter (@Rbveggel) - linkedin - blog
* Real Insurance (Australia) - Roger Grobler, CEO
twitter @rogergrobler) - linkedin
* Saffron Building Society (UK) - Andy Golding, CEO
twitter (@Andy_Golding) - linkedin - blog - interview
* Sun National Bank (US) - Thomas X. Geisel, President & CEO
twitter (@TomGeisel) - linkedin
* The Monticello Banking Company (US) - Kevin R Mullins, CFO
twitter (@krmullins1964) - linkedin
* TopMark FCU (US) - Angie Maynard, CEO
twitter (@amaynard67) - linkedin
* Truliant Federal Credit Union (US) - Marcus Schaefer, President & CEO
twitter @CUschaef) - linkedin
* Ubank (Australia) - Alex Twigg, General Manager
twitter @alextwigg) - linkedin - Articles (USB contest on twitter, time capsule)
* UBank (Australia) - Gerd Schenkel, Former Managing Director
twitter (@gerdschenkel) - linkedin - Articles (USB contest on twitter, time capsule)
* Vacationland Federal Credit Union (US) - Kevin Ralofsky, President & CEO
twitter (@kevinralofsky) - linkedin
* Verity Credit Union (US) - Shari Storm, Chief Marketing Officer
twitter (@stormtwitter) - linkedin - blog
* Volskbank Buhl (Germany) - Claus Preiss, Vorstandsvorsitzender
twitter (@claus_preiss - xing
I am keen to talk to you about twitter, facebook, customer reviews, social media & social commerce in banking, financial services, and insurance.
Don't hesitate to call me (0044 7736 446 357), send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or DM me (@Visible_Banking).
Related articles on Visible-Banking.com
* About Visible Banking & Christophe Langlois
* Top 10 Most Followed Financial Institutions on Twitter in November 2010
* Top 10 Most Liked Financial Institutions on Facebook in October 2010
* Visible Banking Directory: Social Media in Financial Services
* Visible Banking Social Media Watch Series (Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, YouTube)