3 things you need to know about social media policy for your credit union

by. Mark Komnik

Credit unions are beginning to discover the many benefits of social media.  The use of sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, allow for less expensive ways to attract new members, market services, promote their brand, and recruit employees.

However, along with those benefits come inherent risks.  Aside from the credit union’s website, they have very little control over what is said about them on the internet.  People talk.  And using social media is the by far the easiest and fastest way that allows them to be heard, both personally and professionally.  Credit unions also face internal risks though the misuse of social networking sites by employees.  Enter, the social media policy.

What is a social media policy?

A social media policy sets the credit union’s guidelines of what is expected from its employees when using social media.  Guidelines include acceptable use and what employees should or should not do when using social media sites while employed by the credit union.  It should also include possible consequences should the policy not be adhered too.

Why have a social media policy?

“Not another policy?!” were the words muttered by a participant at a recent tabletop exercise I facilitated when I asked if they had one.  Whether a credit union maintains a social media presence or not, there are valid reasons to establish guidelines for social media.  One of the biggest reasons is loss of, or damage to, the credit union’s reputation.  Disgruntled employees, and even unhappy members, bashing the credit union through social media raises the possibility of damage to the credit union’s brand and reputation.  And, reputation is easy to lose, but very hard to regain.

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