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Social Lessons from Gatsby

By May 31, 20132 min read

The Great Gatsby showed us a few things about partying like the roaring twenties. It shows us the lengths Gatsby went to attract his sweetheart. While his methods were certainly flawed, there are some lessons that we can learn about customer interactions from one of the most famous lines in the book:

“Anyhow, he gives large parties,” said Jordan, “And I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy.”

Often times in financial services we get too concerned with moving a customer from casual engagement to selling a product and miss the concept that often consumers want to investigate the relationship first. For many this means looking at the social activities we implement. A few concepts that can help your financial institution to make people feel comfortable:

Keep the conversation going. When people post on your Facebook wall or send you a tweet, keep the conversation moving forward and allow them to share positively. Don’t stifle it with a short answer.

Customers who research will learn from social media. According to a Gallup Poll, Social Media is the most effective channel to convert a prospect researching information into a new customer.



Traction helps gain more traction. As you grow your followers on social media, it becomes a bigger party. And for many people they want to see that you have a conversation worth engaging in. Often times this means focusing on gaining likes early on in order that a critical number of people are engaging in your social media activities.

Design Matters. In order to throw a great party, you need a good design. Size images properly and keep them from looking pixelated. Design cover photos that correspond to your current season, promotion or campaign.

Party for a purpose. A confusing point for Gatsby, but for your financial institution, parties are to gain new customers and cross-sell existing ones. Keep it simple, share your interactions, community involvements and personality.

True, Gatsby had some issues building long-term relationships, but he understood a few things about parties that I think we can maximize in financial services marketing.