It’s undeniable that social media is a force to be reckoned with. Increasing numbers of internet users are on social media, with young adults leading the pack. But as a credit union, how do you figure out which platforms are right for you? Should you just stay with Facebook and Twitter, or should you venture beyond? The new year is an excellent time to do some research to see which of many social media platforms might be right for your brand.
I call Facebook and Twitter the Dynamic Duo for a reason: Facebook has the users, Twitter has the news and customer service cred. If you’re not on either of these two, I suggest that you look into integrating them into your marketing and communication plans for 2014.
You don’t need to sign up for every new social media channel that comes around. That’s what social media experts are for! But when you’re thinking of updating your social channels (which isn’t a bad idea once a year), you want to invest time into something that makes sense for you.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself when thinking about adding a new social channel to your mix:
1. Is it more than a passing fad?
If you had asked me in 2007 if I thought Twitter was going to be a place for anything more than celebrities, I would have told you no. On the other hand, remember Chat Roulette? No? I didn’t think so.
Sometimes it takes a little bit to determine what is just a fad, and what is worth investing in. Read up on expert analyses of a new platform. Just focus on the evaluations, not the hype or projections. And do your own market research: ask around to see if friends or family members are using a service.
2. Is it right for your brand and audience?
Remember what I said about not paying attention to the hype? That’s because hype can cloud what’s important, which is whether this channel is going to matter to your members.
Are your members using the service already? Do they want to interact with you in this forum? Does it make sense for you to be in this forum, or are your goals for the forum being met elsewhere?
Let me give you an example: even though plenty of us at brass Media have personal Instagram accounts and love the service, we decided as a B2B company that it wasn’t the right channel for our corporate brand because we already post pictures and videos to Facebook. However, several credit unions do use Instagram, and are building up excellent communities there.
Check out this Social Media Today article on choosing the right social media platform for your goals.
3. Do you have the time/resources for another platform?
Obviously, before you decide to add something to your marketing mix, you need to determine whether you can actually do it. Another facet to our decision on Instagram is that it would take time away from marketing and social media that is currently working for us, and we didn’t want to sacrifice those.
It isn’t worth being on a channel if you can’t maintain it. Seriously evaluate whether you have the people power necessary to create content, post it, and interact with other users regularly to build relationships.
You should never jump blindly on to a new platform. Hopefully, these questions will help you decide if you’re ready to sign up for a new social media challenge.
Fatemeh Fakhraie, brass Media’s Social Media & Marketing Specialist, contributed to this article.