Time of questioning

Question: Is what we are doing real? My point is, the way we are engaging in social media appears to have a lot of hesitation to it – like we are going to get into trouble by our parents for posting something that might be a little “out there” even if it’s true facts, feelings and beliefs we have in the industry. Therefore, we appear to be sharing what’s safe, steady and creamy white. And it turns into a lot of cheerleading and no action.

Since we are the downside of 2013, I propose that this is the time we recalibrate our social compasses to actually make good and powerful waves well beyond our credit union shores to those who haven’t heard or haven’t paid attention to CUs before. Here’s what I’m thinking:

  1. Shift the Marketplace – the audience/followers you have connected with get bored quickly. So, shake things up with connecting with new people in new and different ways such as “Adopt a Local Business,” partner and connect with foreign credit unions on social media (great video opportunities) or even host your own version of “Comic-Con.” Whatever you’re doing now, turn it 180 degrees and see what you come up with.
  2. Original Content – this is the hardest part, creating original content your followers take a lot of time. My suggestion? Plug into sites like Digg or Reddit to complement the content holes you’ll have. And of course, mine sites like BuzzFeed to bring the goofy and fun into your feeds.
  3. Social Advertising – pardon me while I sound like Sally Struthers for a second, but for only pennies a day you too can make huge steps forward on your Facebook page. Try creating a Facebook ad to connect with people you’d never find otherwise. Set your budget to $10-$50 each day and see what happens after a few weeks.
  4. Create Social Space – if you have an area around your credit union like an empty office or storage closet, think about turning it into a social media headquarters. A space where you can record branded videos, hold Google+ Hangouts – somewhere you can engage with your followers without the chatter of your co-workers talking about their latest colonoscopy.

These four things are the easiest steps to take almost immediately for your social credit union. The hang-up tends to lie in the discussions you’ll have with your executives and/or board members. What everyone needs to understand is what is real now (our communications challenges and membership needs) is a complete shift from the reality of decades ago – that’s where we see many people get stuck. They get stuck in the “rules of doing business” that were created 40 years ago. The “rules” need to change or we’re just going to break them.

Michael Ogden

Michael Ogden

Michael has been in the social media business for more than a decade inside the credit union, technology, financial and food industries. He’s the founder of For3, LLC, which ... Web: www.for3forgood.com Details