Best Practices for Writing Part 2


Remember in social media that what you say and how you say it are equally important. Good content alone isn’t enough – it must be delivered in a manner that reveals your brand’s unique personality.


Your brand represents the character and values of your organization, regardless of which type of media you are using to communicate. Social media provides an opportunity to share your story in a very personal way across time and distance. When developing content, be consistent in your tone and choice of topics. The more focused you can be in telling your story, the better.


 snippet of social media could be the first contact somebody has with your brand. Your content needs to make the right impression. For those who interact with your brand regularly, every piece of content should reinforce who you are and what you offer in a relationship. Every piece of content must be true to your brand.

Best Practices for Writing Part 1



Just because you want to write something doesn’t mean others will want to read it. Especially if you happen to write dense blocks of text.

Get in their heads. Create social media content that is both relevant to your brand and interesting to readers. How? Provide information that is either useful or entertaining to your desired target audience. Put the wants and needs of your reader first, within the context of topics that support your brand identity.

Keep content concise and on point. Present information in a way that is easy to read or interpret through imagery. Providing too much or too little content can be a turn-off for readers. If you have a lot to say, break it up into multiple pieces. Not only is this more readable, it also keeps your audience coming back for more.

Add a cherry on top. Chances are, others are sharing similar content. After all, there’s a lot of content floating around out there. What makes your target audience turn to you as their chosen source is the value you add to the content.

Do's and Don'ts of Social Branding


Do: Recruit your front-line workers. They already know your products and services, and they’re trained in customer relations. After all that, learning how to tweet is easy.

Do: Share ownership. Teamwork, people! Don’t waste time figuring out who has authority over which bit of social media. The whole team needs to partner on equal ground to be successful.

Do: Include social media in your employee guidelines. Even if an employee is not part of your social media team, they’re still engaged in social media. You might even go the extra mile and create a whole playbook for every employee, focusing on appropriate behavior for each social media channel.

Do: Be nimble. Social media moves fast–you can’t afford to spend too much time making decisions or creating elaborate processes of approval, or you could miss out on a fleeting opportunity.

Do: Trust your internal staff. They know the subject and can provide the best strategy and direction on short-term social media decisions.

Do: Hire, if you can. Once you’ve found the most social savvy members of your own team, hiring one person with a specialty in social media can save your organization a lot of time.

Do: Share knowledge. Create space and time for colleagues to discuss best practices and learn from other organizations. Groups like the Social Media Business Council or Word of Mouth Marketing Association can be good resources for case studies and real-world experience.

Don’t: Impose too many restrictions. It’s scary opening up your brand to social media, so your impulse may be to list in detail what can and cannot be said. For your social media team, offer suggestions, examples and recommendations. For your employees as a whole, remind them that they are representing your organization in all media.

Don’t: Sound schizophrenic. When more than one group responds to customers, it can get confusing fast. A unified voice is reassuring and efficient.

Don’t: Give it all to the intern. Social media takes a lot of time, so you may be tempted to offload the day-to-day duties to an unpaid staffer. This is the work of seasoned community managers – experienced people who can manage relationships on behalf of a brand.

Branding Your Credit Union Online: Part 3


Set some long-term objective goals for your social media presence. Be aware that just because data can be measured, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s important. Instead of the number of friends or followers, track things like @replies, active conversations, and unique impressions, which are more representative of healthy, growing relationships.

Create a short-term schedule for social media engagement. Spread out engagement duties throughout the day across the whole team. For example, one person monitors the Twitter account in the morning, another during the lunch hour, another in the afternoon. Again- figure out a system, and most importantly, stick with it.
Be accountable. Schedule regular huddles for your social media team to discuss your ongoing metrics and update editorial calendars. This helps keep all members of the team accountable for their slice of the social media pie. Mmmm... pie.

Branding Your Credit Union Online: Part 2


Determine your desired key words. How do you want to be found? How do you NOT want to be found? Think about the important terms related to your audience, industry, brand and region. Establish a list of keywords, and refer to them often when creating content. Complete a competitive review of search engine results and rankings for your keywords. And repeat.

Open up your IT. Your IT department may have security concerns with opening up your organization’s network to social media channels like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Consult with the head of your IT department to give special access to social media channels for your team.
Review the channels. You should have a sense of which social media channels are most relevant for your audience. Review relevant demographic research to find where your audience already is, so you can bring your brand there in a meaningful way.

Branding Your Credit Union Online: Part 1

Branding: As marketers and CEO's, we all know how important it is. But do we know the best way to go about it online? The channels are always changing and there are new possibilities and realities every day. Take it from someone who's been around the block a couple of times.

Here are a few "Best Practices" we've put together for you when it comes to branding your credit union... 


Conduct and review research with your employees, customers and prospects. Uncover what makes your organization unique and strong, and determine your voice and personality. For example: are you quick-witted and clever, professional and polished, or down-home and darling? Determining these attributes will help to reinforce internal culture and maintain cohesive interaction with the outside world.

Consult with a third party. As with many things in life, sometimes we need a little outside support to help us take an objective look at ourselves. Seek out a branding expert with experience leading organizations through such a process. Upon completion, you should have a compelling story and brand standards to help guide your social media team, as well as front-line staff and leadership. Win-win!


Choose people who know your company culture. Too often, social media and web presence responsibilities are delegated to the youngest employee, sometimes even an intern. Instead, find someone who is social, savvy and personable- regardless of age. Anyone can be trained to use the tools of the trade. Though- always hire a trustworthy professional for web development. Trust us.

Avoid ownership squabbles. People from different departments must partner together if the basic structures and processes are going to be beneficial for the brand. Figure out a system and stick with it.

Stay tuned for a couple more best practices and strategies for branding your credit union online...

5 Tips For Your Credit Union's Storyful Moment

You're Convinced. And you're ready to create your credit union's storyful moment and start making videos!

Now What?


If the secret to a good video is finding a storyful moment, then how the heck do you find that moment? Here are some tips to make that process a little easier.


A video doesn’t have to go viral to be successful. Appeal to your audience specifically. If there is spillover appeal to the general public, that’s great, but it’s not a primary goal. Always ask yourself, “What would my audience find most interesting?”


“For sale: Baby shoes. Never worn.” That’s a six-word short story by Ernest Hemingway and proof that you don’t need to pontificate to tell a big story. Keep your video focused on one moment in a larger story. Provide just enough context for it to make sense. Struggling with debt? Planning a wedding? Find that trigger and craft a moment out of it.


Don’t sit around with a camera waiting for a candid moment to happen. It’s less important to be literally accurate than to tell a story that your audience can recognize as a part of their own life, too. That’s the difference between “realism” and “authenticity."


If you’re seeking laughs, you might be caught up in the recent “random” humor trend. It’s a sea captain nonchalantly fighting a giant octopus. A guy with a living beard interviewing for a job. Non sequitors still need to be relevant to your brand and story. The “man your man could smell like” appealed because he represented the brand’s masculinity, not just because the tickets are now diamonds.


When you produce a video, you can chop it up into 30 second segments for TV ads. You can keep longer versions for your website, use still images for print campaigns and in-branch collateral, and use audio for radio ads and on-hold messages. With text, visuals, and audio all working together, you get three times the branding assets for your marketing budget. Regardless of the format, make sure your storyful moment stays intact.