In an enterprising use of social media, ING Direct, which runs a Twitter feed for savings account customers that has 10,830 followers (recent Tweet: "In honor of National Squirrel Appreciation Day we'd like to remind you to 'Squirrel it away.' You'd be nuts not to") has been turning this online interest into actual human interaction through a series of meetings, or "Tweetups" as they're officially called, in major cities. The next Tweetup is scheduled for Thursday afternoon in Chicago, at the Chestnut Street Cafe. "Twitterers, bloggers, students and other savings-savvy Chicagoans will have the chance to discuss everything from savings habits to social media," the ING invitation says. The bank will serve free food and drinks.
Jim Kelly, the chief operating officer for ING Direct USA, will host the event. ING is urging customers to come prepared with questions about career paths, personal finance, and the bank itself. Questions and answers will be posted in real-time on Twitter at #SaversQA. The bank is inviting customers who can't make the live event to send an @reply or a direct message to @INGDIRECT on Twitter.