For a while we’ve heard about the importance of developing an “elevator speech” for your bank or credit union. The thinking here is that, as a brand ambassador for your financial institution, you should be able at all times to describe who you are and what you do in a few brief moments to anyone. In other words, you should be able to give an eloquent brand statement to a stranger in the amount of time it takes to get between floors in a high-rise elevator.

While there’s nothing wrong with elevator speeches, maybe it’s time to update our thinking. As an avid Twitter user, I can tell you that it is sometimes difficult to condense your thinking into a 140–character tweet. The beauty of it is, though, the strict size limitation really requires you to pare-down your thinking to the essentials.

Therefore, it’s time to ditch the elevator speech and think more in terms of Twitter when it comes to your financial institution brand.

Using that 140–character limit, how would you describe your bank or credit union to a complete stranger? With every character precious (including commas, spaces and punctuation) how would you choose to invest your space and words?

When writing your financial institution Twitter manifesto, consider the following:

  • Link back to your bank or credit union website. This is a gimme. It takes little space and zaps the reader right over the plenty of information about your financial institution.
  • Consider hashtags. These symbols give your tweets context and can help solidify brand concepts in just a word or two. Examples might include #memberserviceleader and #fastestloanreplies.
  • Use images. Tweets with images really pop and you definitely want your brand to pop. Images also lead to greater social media engagement. What kind of picture would you include with your brand tweet? The logo? An ecstatic consumer?

Again, there’s nothing wrong with the traditional elevator speech. Just like there’s nothing wrong with the traditional 8-track player. Both had their time and place and both are dated in a fun and quirky way. To bring your brand into the digital age, consider exactly how you would tweet and present it to consumers.