by: Brad Banyas, CEO, OMI
Implementing a social media strategy is no longer a fad, it is a business imperative
Everyone is aware of social media these days. Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn have become modern social channels that have changed the way people interact with friends, family…and businesses, including your credit union. Indeed, social media has become so pervasive that for many people it is hard to imagine life without it. If you have not considered how social media fits into your business model and member communications strategy, now is the time to act.
The Social Credit Union
Enter the era of the social credit union. The proliferation of devices like smart phones and the emergence of social media is connecting consumers in ways that we never dreamed possible. As a result, being social media savvy is not just cool; it just makes good business sense. In today’s hyper-connected society, communicating with members using plain old paper simply doesn’t cut it anymore. It is important to reach your members where they “hang out,” and more and more that means online…not on paper.
Facebook is not a Fad
Facebook is a phenomenon in social media. Their IPO valuation earlier this year set an all-time record at 104 billion dollars. Apparently, that may be just the beginning in a much bigger social media and national economic trend. According to the McKinsey Global Institute, improved communication and collaboration from social media in major business sectors could add somewhere between $900 billion to $1.3 trillion in value to the US economy. Clearly, unleashing value and productivity through social technologies is now, and will be in the future, a major thrust in the marketplace. The value and productivity is found through an improved consumer focus.
The “Like” Button
The “Like” button has become an outward expression of member interests and endorsements – a modern-day digital version of word-of-mouth. As a result, credit unions need to not only be aware of this social platform but work to leverage the implications to their advantage. Being social gives credit unions the ability to create a network of “promoters” — loyal members who believe in your brand and urge their friends to do the same. Understanding this metric is a radical change in the way credit unions can manage member relationships and it clarifies the link between the quality of your member experience and your growth prospects.
Know What Members are Saying Socially
In the past, credit unions controlled their brand by communicating to their members via advertising, web content and member account statements. But today, a power shift is in motion that has dramatically changed how members evaluate your products and services. Members no longer rely solely on the messages they receive from you and instead look to social media to formulate their opinions. This can dramatically impact your brand equity if you are not actively managing the “customer conversation.” Whereas word-of-mouth was once limited to casual feedback over coffee or an informal chat at the office water cooler, member experiences and perceptions are now shared widely and without reserve on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and more. In the social media world, what members say online can have a significant and immediate impact on your brand equity. If it’s positive you win; if it’s negative: beware.
Don’t be Spooked by Social Media
The social credit union is now a reality and implementing the correct social media strategy, process and technology is no longer a fad, it is a business imperative. But the landscape of social media is a dynamic and ever-changing platform, so you need a partner that can stay in front of the trends and technologies required to deliver multi-channel social media communications. Our social media portfolio services are tailor-made for credit unions and helps take advantage of the everyday communications you have with your members. Through the utilization of standard member communications OMI allows you to target social media that will bolster relationships, boost brand loyalty, and improve revenue from both new and existing customers.