Social Savvy: Adding Social Media to Your Credit Union Marketing Mix

Social media – we all know we should be doing something with it … the question is what. The why is pretty self-evident: Social media allows for positive interactions with your brand – at the places where your clients and future customers are found. Social media is especially effective for engaging Gen Y.

There’s a saying in the medical community: Don’t just do something – stand there! In other words, take a minute to get the facts before jumping into diagnoses and action. This is great advice for CU marketers who are considering how to best leverage social media.
First, what are your specific goals? How will social media benefit your business? What will you do with these social tools: How will you specifically employ them – and why? To what end?
Ask these big questions before you throw up a Facebook page: These key questions will help uncover and crystallize your strategy. And from these over-arching goals, all subsequent actions and ideas will flow.

So you’ve decided employing social media marketing tactics will be beneficial to your credit union brand. Your credit union will be engaging with current and future customers, including the coveted Gen Y. Now it’s time to get practical. Who will do the heavy lifting, both upfront and ongoing?

Who will set up and design your social media platforms, and who will maintain and update these platforms once launched for your credit union? If you are blogging, for example, who specifically in your group will be tasked with content development? Who will do the physical uploading and tweaking to your blog?

The point is, launching a social media program requires a lot of central planning upfront, to ensure a smooth rollout and steady online presence once you green light your program.
Eating elephants is best done one bite at a time. Rather than having your credit union launch a YouTube channel, Facebook pages, a Twitter account and a blog all in one week … try slowing down and selecting one social media marketing tactic to start with.

This will bring a sharper focus to your energy, and prevent your credit union from overextending yourself right out of the social media marketing gates.

The best advice I can give you is to consult a credit union marketing firm before you begin your foray into social media. Share your thoughts and strategy with a team of credit union and social media marketing pros, to ensure you are starting off on the right foot – and to ensure your social media strategy is in line with the rest of your credit union's marketing efforts. Upfront planning will help provide a social media payoff in both the short and long terms.

Courting Gen Y: A Tested Credit Union Marketing Tactic

A key to long-term credit union health is capturing new members, and growing your business with those members through lasting relationships. Consider spending some time courting your future customers with this tested tactic for engaging Generation Y.

An entire generation of kids are graduating from school having been repeatedly exposed to two ideas: Personal finance is very important, and banks are not necessarily trustworthy. These sentiments, reverberating in our kids’ heads, are the result of a take-no-prisoners political climate and tough economy.

So what’s the alternative to banks for today’s students? How about not-for-profit, community oriented credit unions. And the link between your credit union and Gen Y is financial literacy education.

Credit unions are perfectly positioned to offer financial literacy education, and schools make the perfect partners for credit unions. Software companies such as Banzai! are offering credit unions plug-in financial literacy products, and even source partner schools for you.

You get a steady supply of students exposed to your credit union's brand. Then, these kids become customers when they graduate with savings account vouchers in their hands. It’s a program currently in place and producing results at hundreds of schools nationwide.

Schools are strapped for cash, and they’re also eager to teach financial literacy to a generation of kids hungry for success. This is your credit union's chance to step in and greet your new customer base: Generation Y (and their parents, too). Financial literacy education – a credit union marketing tactic you want to have in your toolbox.

Financial Literacy from Banzai and Credit Union Savvy

Credit Union Marketing: Defining Your Difference

There’s still a lot of confusion in the general public about what, exactly, credit unions are. One of the easiest ways to define your credit union brand and organization for your credit union is actually to explain what you are not. And, you are not a bank!

The community oriented, not-for-profit status is a major selling point for credit unions, especially in this current climate where banks are often political punching bags. Their problem is a credit union's opportunity.

There are several ways to market credit unions and set a credit union apart from the banking pack. The most dramatic and effective brand transformations and branding/marketing programs we see with credit unions always start with cultural change. Staff education and employee buy-in are the cornerstones of all additional marketing efforts, so make sure those foundational blocks are secure before adding layers to your credit union marketing mix.

Credit unions are ideally positioned to capture new market share in our still struggling economy. Programs such as referrals and financial literacy education are just the tip of the credit union branding and marketing iceberg — positioning you to gain customers now, and soar once the economy kicks back into gear.

Northwest Georgia Credit Union in Rome, Georgia just recently launched a bold, multi-tiered campaign touting both their key values and their key differences from banks. Third Degree Advertising helped craft this highly successful credit union advertising campaign.

But fundamentals first: Ensure all of your employees are comfortably and fluently talking up the advantages, values, and key differences that separate credit unions from banks.

For a full suite of credit union marketing ideas, tools and tips visit our credit union marketing resource center.