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Sometimes, less is more. That’s the takeaway from First Southern Bank’s approach to digital media.

First Southern Bank has not launched a social media platform, they don’t market via email, and they’re not advertising heavily using digital media. Despite this, they have been voted the “Best Bank in Southern Illinois” for the past three years.

“It’s not because we advertise more. It’s because we’re more involved. All of our folks are involved,” said John Dozier, president of First Southern Bank.

This is an important attribute of social media to understand: “Social” comes before “media.”

To put it more bluntly, top-of-newsfeed does not always mean top-of-mind. You’ve got to earn that space at the top of people’s minds. Social media can help, but it’s not a cure-all. As a local business, what you do in the real world is most important to your livelihood and the livelihood of the community in which you operate.

While a business’ social responsibility is important, access and responsiveness to customer service needs are the foundations on which all other operations must be built. No matter which tool you use to communicate, make sure you are consistent and that you are responding to the service needs of your customers.

“The website is a tool and it’s the customer service that we provide that’s important,” Dozier said, “We take pride in doing the personal service and we don’t rely on social media to get that message out. We do that in person.”

“We still have that personal feel that a community bank offers,” said Mindy Combs, First Southern Bank’s marketing director. “Our CEO and our president, their doors are open.”

The tools First Southern Bank currently has in place allow for it to stay consistent and communicate with its customers well. The team’s primary concern when approaching new digital media platforms, whether social media or other tools, is maintaining the accessibility and adequate service they’re able to provide through their current systems.

These are concerns that all businesses should have when implementing new digital media platforms. If you have a website that customers frequent for a contact form, do you still need to field messages through a Facebook page? If your audience on Instagram engages with you, does your business need to pursue activity on Pinterest to grow? Does adding another digital media platform enhance your service or detract from the service you’re already providing?

Ensure that you’re able to consistently provide quality customer service and your customers will understand why less means more for them.

Nathan Colombo is a Carbondale native, stand-up comedian, and marketing professional. His small business, Brand Advocacy Group, Inc, provides digital media services for other small, local businesses in and around Southern Illinois.


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