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SOCIAL MEDIA: A lesson for banks from NASCAR E-mail

Penske's epiphany should be yours, too

By John Ginovsky

Many bankers still are scratching their heads over the social media phenomenon, trying to figure out exactly how it fits in with the bank's overall strategic plan and how it may be used to serve customers. ABA Banking Journal Tech Topics talked with Randy Roth, CEO, Vitex, a technology consultant to the banking industry, about this issue.

Roth made an interesting analogy to NASCAR racing. Here's what he says:

"As an old guy, I look at this and say, I don't really get all this social media stuff. But, man, it's amazing the impact it's having and how the younger generation is totally engrossed in this. If banks don't figure this out, how to use social media, they are going to be left in the dark.

"If you look at the racing industry, one of the leaders in that industry is Penske Racing. It is the No. 1 race team out there. They just didn't embrace the social media.

"Then, all of a sudden, they won the championship last year in NASCAR. There were some tweets and Facebook posts, and they went viral! They were just shocked at the people who were involved in Penske that they had never had any contact with as fans and so forth.

"So now Penske is relooking at it, saying, okay, we'd better get on board with this. Banks are going to be the same way. They really need to get on board with the social media. That's pretty significant."

A recent look at Penske Racing's website shows just how much they have embraced social media. Prominent on the home page is a "Social Station" which promises readers the ability to "get the latest updates from our social media all in one place." Once there, access is invited to "Penske Racing on YouTube," "Penske Racing on Twitter," and "Penske Racing on Facebook," as well as selected downloadable pictures.

[This article was posted on January 14, 2013, on the website of ABA Banking Journal, www.ababj.com, and is copyright 2013 by the American Bankers Association.] 

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