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.

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