Social Media Key to Opening Door to Member Engagement

Online Discovery Audience Told Social Media Underutilized in Reaching Members

– Credit unions aren’t close to tapping the power of social media in telling members — and potential members — all that credit unions have to offer, an Online Discovery audience was told Tuesday.

“Credit unions are really good at talking to themselves on social media channels, but we are missing opportunities to reach current and would-be members to tell our story,” Michael Ogden, social media manager, CUNA Mutual Group, told participants of the third annual Online Discovery Conference.

“It’s time to flip the switch on being bold in communicating the great things that are going on with credit unions and what we can do to help consumers. Social media is a great complement to other marketing plans and it’s a communications channel you can’t ignore as part of your marketing strategy,” Ogden said.

Ogden joined Robin Marohn, vice president, Marketing and Business Development, Heartland Credit Union, Madison, Wis., in discussing how credit unions can identify their audience, engage them and develop a relationship through social media.

Ogden said finding the right platform for a credit union to reach its audience is key. “It’s not a one size fits all. Is it Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest? There are audience-finding tools available that can help you find the people you want to reach.”

Consumers are not on TV as much anymore. They’re online on their smartphones, tablets and laptops, Ogden said. “Businesses, including credit unions, are all looking for genuine connections and social media can give them that. It’s smart for credit unions to find their audience online and engage them in a real conversation.”
Marohn calls social media one of the most important developments in his 23 year marketing career. Heartland, which has 18,000 members in Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa, dedicates 80 percent of its marketing budget to social media.

“Traditional media advertising can’t touch what and who we are reaching through our Facebook presence,” Marohn said. “We’ve all but abandoned traditional marketing, including the expensive ads in local publications. Heartland’s ad dollars now go toward video production for their You Tube channel and Facebook and Twitter pages.
“Our focus is to go local and our success rate is outstanding. Our social media presence has increased traffic to our web site more than anytime before,” Marohn said. “Content, of course, is critical. It breeds engagement. Our challenge is keeping that engagement content coming.”

Online Discovery is CUNA Mutual Group’s Web-based equivalent of a face-to-face conference without the associated expenses or time away from the office. The free, online event attracted a national and international audience of more than 1800 credit union and league staff. The conference aims to help credit unions solve problems, face challenges and address opportunities all from the convenience of their computer.

CUNA Mutual Group insurance, retirement and investment products provide financial security and protection to credit unions and their members worldwide. With more than 75 years of true market commitment, CUNA Mutual Group’s vision is unwavering: To be a trusted business partner who delivers service excellence through customer-focused products and market-driven insight. More information on the company is available on the company’s website at

CUNA Mutual Group is the marketing name for CUNA Mutual Holding Company, a mutual insurance holding company, its subsidiaries and affiliates. Life, accident, health and annuity insurance products are issued by CMFG Life Insurance Company. Property and casualty insurance products are issued by CUMIS Insurance Society, Inc. Each insurer is solely responsible for the financial obligations under the policies and contracts it issues. Corporate headquarters are located in Madison, Wis.

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