By: Sharon Simpson, SGS Consulting
Filene recently released a report on The State of Social Media in Credit Unions: Opportunities and Challenges. The research examines social media usage today as self-reported in a baseline survey. The findings showed that while the vast majority of credit unions are either utilizing social media today or planning to in the near future, a much smaller percentage of credit unions have taken the time to develop a social media strategy. One of the key highlights was “Credit unions that say their social media goals align with the credit union’s strategic goals report the highest levels of success.”
This sounds pretty simple in theory, but in practice how do you develop a social media strategy that aligns with your credit union’s overall strategic goals? Simply instituting new activities that drive up the number of fans or followers won’t necessarily lead to new memberships being opened or more loans being made and tracking success can be challenging.
As credit unions search for ways to leverage social media effectively, it’s important to look beyond the standard fan page and find social tools that really fit their core values. Hanscom Federal Credit Union, for example, has introduced PiggyBanc (www.piggybanc.com) to their members to help encourage strong financial habits (along with establishing more active, younger credit union members). They describe it as a combination of elements you’d expect from the king of social media + the leader in online funds transfer. The innovative online tool allows members to create their own profile pages, invite friends and family members to participate in their savings goals, and direct contributions to their credit union savings account. You can see their introductory video for the PiggyBanc tool, which leverages shared branching, here http://www.hfcu.org/media/pbintro/
As the search for the right approach to social media continues to evolve, credit unions should consider applications that mirror their core values (such as financial education) AND help meet strategic goals (like attracting younger members who will be active with the credit union for the long-term).