3 Tips to Address the Social Media Resources Question from Management

Kirstin Orr, Senior Associate Director of Marketing, NAFCU Services Corporationby: Kirstin Orr, Senior Associate Director of Marketing, NAFCU Services Corporation

In honor of Social Media Week (Feb 13 – 17), I want to offer some helpful tips to social media champions that are struggling to get upper-level support to move their credit union into the new millennium of marketing (and attract the new millennium of membership while they’re at it).

Putting aside the obvious question of ROI – One of the most common and major roadblocks for gaining management support for a social media strategy at your credit union stems from two simple questions:

  1. How are we going to come up with the content to share?
  2. Who has the hours of extra time to create it?

Two very important questions, no doubt, and resources are often scarce, especially in marketing. However, the resources dedicated to a successful social media plan don’t have to be extraordinary, (especially when you’ve only been granted the opportunity to dip a toe in the water promising that your other work won’t suffer). Here are some tips that might help you answer these important questions of content and resources and help you start to build the business case for getting your credit union to finally hop on the social media train or get more out of your current social media strategy.

Social media should be looked at as another channel in your overall marketing mix. As with all of the other marketing channels you use – website, email, direct mail, statement inserts, ATM ads, etc. – social media is one other channel that your members have chosen to receive information and one other channel for your credit union to distribute information.

It’s about the content, not the delivery mechanism. When you set up a marketing campaign, don’t set up a Facebook campaign. Set up a first time home buyer campaign where you use email, direct mail, website AND social media to deliver your message. Make sense? Social media is not a stand-alone revenue generator – it’s an important part of your overall marketing strategy. One person might read your direct mail piece and never connect with you on Facebook. Another might throw away every piece of snail mail they get, but always read their email. Yet another might only pay attention to Facebook and the Web. The same message is going out, but in different channels so you have a better chance of reaching your audience through their communication channel of choice. By not using one of your marketing channels (i.e. social media), you risk not reaching a group of members that prefer to receive their information in that specific way.

Keeping in mind that social media is a channel in your overall marketing mix, it’s important to help your managers understand that social media doesn’t have to require generating brand new content and therefore, it doesn’t have to be a huge time suck like many managers fear. Don’t get me wrong, social media might be the perfect channel to share something new, but it’s also the perfect place to re-share what you’ve already created. Here are some ideas for repurposing content:

  • Rewrite a press release in a conversational tone and post it on your blog.
  • Have a library of brochures, FAQs, disclosures that you hand out to members? Talk about information overload! Get the message out more effectively by putting the FAQs you already came up with into a presentation and post it on SlideShare, embed it on your website or blog. Or explain those disclosures in a casual, easy-to-understand podcast and post it online or link to it in your e-statements.
  • Record your latest first time homebuyer workshop for a downloadable podcast or video.
  • Put those handy online financial calculators on your blog or Facebook for your members to figure out “how long until I can pay off my credit cards.” (Don’t forget to offer a link to your debt solutions!)

You have ready-to-go, sharable content. You just have to think outside the box a little bit as to how you can repurpose it.

Finally, the weight of your social media content shouldn’t be on one person’s shoulders or on one person’s time card. Your credit union is full of expert content authors. The loan officers, member services reps, credit card and rewards program managers, even the Webmaster – they all have unique expertise that is valuable to and welcome by your members. Your loan officer can probably talk about the typical home loan process without even thinking about it – think she could write it down in a simple list in 15 minutes? Probably. Voila – a blog post…that you can email…and link to on your website…and mention in direct mail with your latest rates and offers…sorry, just reiterating my first tip. ☺ How about the Webmaster – he spent all month writing SOPs and directions for your new home banking with bill pay system – think he can give a quick overview in 10 minutes? Probably. Voila – a downloadable podcast to promote the new features….that you can put in your e-newsletter, your statement inserts……you get the idea. ☺

The underlying point for all of these tips is that social media works…and it doesn’t have to be a huge time suck! Trust me, as the original social media champion of NAFCU Services, I’ve had to do a little of my own convincing on this topic. I hope these tips can help you start to build your business case for social media use at your credit union or at least help you answer that pesky question of resources.

Think you need more? There are tons of resources out there to help you get your management to see the social media light…even ones just for credit unions. So, don’t give up – once you get the buy-in, and put together a proper strategy, your social media success will speak for itself.

Kirstin joined NAFCU Services in 2009. In her current role as Senior Associate Director of Marketing, she works closely with the NAFCU Services Preferred Partners to create educational, timely and free content for credit unions with the goal of offering useful information to help credit unions grow and be more productive. Prior to joining NAFCU Services, Kirstin worked in various marketing roles, ranging from email and analytics to graphics and Web design.  www.nafcu.org/nafcuservices

Kirstin Orr

Kirstin Orr

Kirstin joined NAFCU in 2012 in her current role as Digital Content Strategist, specializing in digital communications strategies ranging from Website to Social Media. Prior to joining NAFCU, Kirstin worked ... Web: www.nafcu.org Details