by. Walt Laskos, The Laskos Group
How would you define your credit union’s social media strategy? Do you even have one?
I happen to monitor a number of credit unions that are using social media in one way or another to engage members and attract new followers. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the tweets and posts I come across seem to only scratch the surface of what I see as being the full potential associated with the social media.
I suspect such limited use of these applications can be attributed to credit unions not fully recognizing the power of the social media or seeing no value at all in dedicating an employee to spend time nurturing a social media presence. Of course, there are also those who see no difference between their personal social media accounts and the ones representing the credit union. Such naiveté certainly doesn’t help! Getting excited because you have 200 Followers or 100 Likes out of a potential audience of literally thousands just doesn’t cut it.
So what’s the answer? My point is, don’t wing it. Your credit union can reap tremendous benefits from social media with a defined strategy and a bit of know how. Others are already demonstrating the value they’ve found by applying a strategy to their social media engagement. So why can’t your credit union do the same?
For example, just look at all the U.S. airlines that are now tapping social media to correct unpleasant experiences their customers have when flights are cancelled or agents don’t quite provide the kind of service one would expect.
Check out this story in the Huffington Post (Have an Airline Complaint? Tweet Away). Credit unions could be reaping similar benefits.
So don’t tweet and post with no overarching strategy. Develop a plan today and then engage your audiences across the various social media channels with a defined purpose. And, don’t forget to make sure that it’s in alignment with your credit union’s marketing communication and business plans!
To help you get started, here are my Seven Ps for building a successful social media strategy.
– Promote your credit union by telling its story, highlighting cases where the credit union enriched the community or served members in ways that others could not. Don’t forget to use photos and videos to support your claims.
– Use social media to showcase the personal side of your brand; what your credit union likes, supports and endorses in the community.
– Participate in discussions others are having where you can interject comments that educate and inform audiences about the credit union difference.
– Protect your credit union’s reputation. Correct false statements and add clarity to posts that criticize or speak negatively of your credit union. Apologize when necessary and offer to repair a bad experience when warranted.
– Prospect for new sales leads and opportunities by constantly monitoring and searching for consumers who are expressing dissatisfaction with their current financial services provider. Use the search engine associated with the platform or investigate the various types of analytical software offered by social media service providers.
– Push a social media follower to your credit union’s website or to a specific officer at your credit union when it’s appropriate as the next step in nurturing the relationship.
– Provide freebees, coupons and incentives exclusively on your social media channels as a tool for measuring the dividends produced by all your social media efforts and for reporting the value they bring to your business and its reputation in the community. Having a handful of “Likes” or followers is one thing. Seeing them walk through the door to do business with your credit union is another.