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BES Episode 12 - How Two Social CEO’s Make it happen At Their Banks

Banker Education Series

BES Episode 12 - How Two Social CEO’s Make it happen At Their Banks

Eric Cook by Eric Cook

Chief Digital Strategist

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Full biography

Eric considers himself a “recovering banker” of 15 years, who for the past eleven years has focused his efforts as a digital strategist, helping his clients (mostly community banks) better understand and leverage the power of the Internet as a strategic business tool. An award-winning web designer with WSI, the world’s largest digital agency network, Eric is a two-time contributing author to the best-selling book Digital Minds – 12 Things Every Business Needs to Know About Digital Marketing. Consistently rated in the top five digital marketing books on Amazon, the book is in its second edition and available in three languages.

A sought-after, nationally-recognized speaker in the financial services industry, Eric is a member of the National Speakers Association and loves sharing his knowledge to help educate and inspire others. He is the co-creator of a weekly webinar show called Free Webinar Wednesdays, founder of the Banker Education Series webinar series, and serves as a faculty member at several banking schools around the country where he teaches bankers about digital strategy, online marketing and social media. He is a WSI Certified LinkedIn Professional and holds undergraduate degrees in business administration and psychology. While working full-time as a community banker, Eric earned his MBA and completed the three-year Graduate School of Banking program in Madison, WI in 2003.

Professionally, Eric helps his clients in all areas of digital marketing, which includes mobile-responsive web development, search engine marketing and optimization, social media strategies, e-mail communication, and “big-picture” digital strategic planning. He’s the co-founder of, a service created to help businesses understand their risk when it comes to operating in today’s digital world. When he’s not helping his clients succeed online, he can typically be found on one of his many bicycles training for his next mountain bike/triathlon race or spending time with his wife and two (very spoiled) golden retrievers.



On today's Banker Education Series webinar, we discussed different strategies of how two social CEO’s are making it happen at their banks from the top down, and how they are not afraid of social media, whether its compliance, regulation, reputation management, or privacy.

Our goal is to learn how: “You and your bank make social part of your organizational structure, and strategic plan, and how one must find the time to make it happen?” By doing so, we introduce two very successful bank CEO’s: Tim Marshall with The Bank Of Ann Arbor and Jill Castilla with Citizens Bank Of Edmund. They shared their different strategies, and how companies should overcome the fear of social media being “hard, scary, and dangerous.”

We began with Tim Marshall’s thoughts on social media:

Social media is a huge differentiator for the Bank of Ann Arbor. Being involved with social media helps with being involved in the community, and it builds a difference with their bank and other non-local banks. It is an integration process in the sense that they try to incorporate events with their employees, and the overall community. They utilize social media to support other organizations by promoting their events on their social media platforms. They also make sure their target audience is being reached by having employees attend events to take photos, make posts, etc., to get the word out there for people to interact with them.

For example, some events they participated in or held were: DJ at a coffee shop, soccer team events, speaking at events, summer concert series, support there different platforms, and support a high school football game once a year. In order to ‘spread the word’, they encourage people to use certain campaign hashtags on social media (plus, that helps with the tracking of the conversation). Tim states, “Social media is used to drive the message and we make posts so they are natural to who we are”. He believes it is best to be who you are in case the post goes viral; you don’t want to be too creative or fancy. His company follows the guidelines of being ethical, honest, and having integrity in what they post. Tim believes social is a great way to have the “ability to get your message out”.

Next, we will move over to Jill’s thoughts on social media, and how her bank is successfully using it:

Social media is an important impact on the image of Bank of Edmund. Jill believes the location of the Bank of Edmund makes it hard to have a good marketing strategy, so she decided to focus on social media for her bank's physical representation, and their first-hand connection with the community and their customers. This is an innovative process, and has only helped their company grow socially. Bank of Edmund uses many different social media platforms, including YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. They make sure their posts that are innovative, creative, and have some form of connection with the community (and NOT product focused).

Jill states that her employees create an environment on social media that “engages and lifts up others to add to their social bank”. She also states that their framework is “genuine, accurate, and positive”, which helps them increase their pride, as well as their community’s. Many of Bank of Edmund's employees joined their team though Facebook and LinkedIn interactions, due to the amount of interest people were having through social media about their company. The amount of social engagement their company encounters creates great business leaders, customers, a better industry, and a cheap way to interact with others. Jill estimates that she spends about 15-20 minutes a day on social media, and she believes it has greatly impacted her company.

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If your organization is wondering if participating in social media has any "real value" to it, this is one webinar that you'll want to certainly watch. Both CEOs indicate they have received tangible business benefits as a result of their involvement with social media, and these same strategies could reap similar rewards for your organization down the road!

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