Just this last week, I read an interesting statistic that said 72% of marketing professionals believe that “social media helps them develop loyal fans.” And I agree. The most powerful part about social media is that it can elevate a credit union’s relationship with their members. It can even turn a member into an advocate.
The key is to establish an online community with your social media platforms, and an organic way to develop an online community is to get your team involved. Check out a few ways to foster a social media relationship with your members (and potential members) below.
Get Your Team Involved
Did you know 52% of consumers trust an “average” employee more than a CEO? This statistic comes from the 2014 Edelman Trust Barometer. When a frontline staffer comments on an update the credit union posted, it shows fans (or followers) that real people work at the credit union AND that they enjoy working at the credit union.
This report also showed that content shared by employees usually receives much more engagement than that shared on brand channels—upwards of eight times the engagement! Think about it. Are you more likely to engage with an update from a brand or from your friend? I'll share several Bank On More updates a week, and this leads to more shares, clicks, likes and comments.
Credit unions do amazing work, and chances are that many of your employees already advocate for the credit union. Get them to take their support online! They can do this by engaging—sharing, liking or commenting on—the credit union’s content.
By nature, people are drawn to pictures with faces—especially smiling faces. It just makes sense to highlight a new employee or an employee providing a tip. You could even get staffers to pose for a picture. CSD Credit Union's staff congratulated Grandview C-4 School District on its 100th anniversary. Not only did this get a ton of likes, but it received some wonderful comments. See right.
These types of updates works best on visual platforms, like Facebook.
Of course, you want to get permission from the employee, but also let them know when the post has gone live. Encourage them to share it with their friends. One share can increase the reach of your post drastically.
Share Your Members' Stories
You’ve heard it before, but the strongest story you can tell is that of your members. Remind your frontline staff to be on the lookout for any members who want to talk about how the credit union has helped them. If you take a photo of the member, remember to ask for permission to use it and have them sign a photo release form if possible.
Arsenal Credit Union (Arnold) gathered testimonials by running a Facebook contest. Not only did they score social media points, but they received some great comments to share on their website and social properties in the future. See right.
I would advise that you create a social media policy to ensure that all employees are on the same page and request that employees sign a photo release. In addition, send out a regular email to employees about the credit union’s content—blogs or social media updates. Sometimes a simple reminder can spur employees to action. Or consider implementing employee activation programs that incentivize participation. For example, you could host a contest once a month for employees that encourages them to share, comment or like specific photo updates.
Pro Tip: If you already have a group of highly “social” people, create a brainstorming group that meets once a month. Not only does this help cultivate ideas for content creation, but develops a team of credit union advocates who are more likely to share the credit union’s message. Don't let just anyone make the actual updates though... only 2-3 team members should be Facebook admins or have passwords to other social media accounts. If too many people have access to the social channels, it can get messy. Multiple updates could go out on the same day or inappropriate content could be accidentally shared.
If you have any questions, please contact me (Nora Holloway), PR & Online Community director for the Missouri Credit Union Association, via email or phone, 800.392.3074, ext. 1349.