Jumping into what must be considered the lead for “Most Incredibly Stupid Thing Ever Done by an Australian” is 26-year-old Harrison Williams. A few days ago while on a boating trip with friends off the coast of Australia, he decided it would be a terrific idea to jump out of the boat, swim over to a dead, bloated whale and climb on top of it.

If that wasn’t stupid enough, it was only at that point he figured out, with the aid of mates on the boat, that the carcass was surrounded by a feeding frenzy of hungry sharks, including large tigers and great whites.

No one is immune from acts of stupidity. Similarly, no company is immune from these acts. Your bank or credit union is no different. What are some ridiculously stupid things that your bank or credit union might be doing? Things that could not only harm your wallet share but also the most important asset on your books — your brand? Try a few of these on for size.

  • Trying to cram your message on every social media site. Odds are, you’re spending a lot of time and energy spreading messages where few of your target consumers actually hang out. Social media is great for targeting specific groups. The key is to align the folks you are trying to get with the channels on which you participate. For example, if your bank or credit union was to attract new members from the young female demographic, you might want to consider being on Pinterest.
  • Pausing marketing because business is good. How foolish is this? If you wait and try to throw together a promotion only when your executive management team tells you it’s time to bring up loan numbers, you’re playing way behind the curve. Instead, consider consistently promoting your brand at all points all year long.
  • Failing to follow up with your strategic plan. You probably put a lot of time and energy into the strategic planning process. What’s the point if you leave that day or two of closed-door meetings and do nothing with it? Planning is terrific and a vital part of how banks and credit unions operate. However, a plan without follow-up isn’t worth the paper upon which it’s printed.

Hopefully, you’re not doing any of these things. If you are, it’s time to take a long, hard look at your communication strategy. What mistakes have you made in your marketing that might qualify as “surf the dead whale?” stupid? Feel free to share below.