Creating a social “bond” with members and prospects
by. Marianne Chanda, Director, Business Development, Enterprise Car Sales
CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney recently announced that the credit union industry is launching an aggressive program to leverage social media. With a recent Pew Research Center study showing that two thirds of Internet users also use social networking sites, it is essential for credit unions to employ channels such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to reach out to current and prospective members. However, that same Pew study found significant differences in how various demographic segments use social networking channels. As credit unions develop social media strategies and content to engage key audiences, they should keep those differences in mind.
Considerations for developing content strategy should include:
- Choosing the Right Social Network. Because each social network attracts a distinctly different demographic, particularly regarding age and sex, as well as consumer versus business-to-business, all content must be relevant to that group. For example, what works great on Facebook will probably not produce the same results on LinkedIn.
- Determining Specific Goals and Objectives. The type of content, as well as length and frequency, should be directly related to the credit union’s specific goals, such as growing membership, expanding ways to communicate with current members, or establishing connections with other companies or organizations that can offer benefits to your members.
- Create Content That Engages Users. Unlike traditional communications tools designed to deliver information, social media is based on creating content that promotes mutual interaction. In addition to asking social media fans, followers and connections to take some kind of action, such as watch a video or follow a link, it is very appropriate to request their feedback regarding the type of content they would prefer.
- Benchmarking and Monitoring Results. The only way to determine the effectiveness of the content is to utilize the analytics offered by the social networking sites, which are easy to use.
Credit unions know that interacting with members is key to building strong relationships, and when considering social media, it is most important to tackle and master one social media networking channel at a time, and to develop a content strategy that will produce measurable results.