Better Late Than Never?
A major credit union publication featured some interesting news on its front page this week. No, not breaking news on the interchange amendment, it was instead news on a credit union hiring a full-time social media specialist. Social media positions are certainly not new, by now a good portion of companies, not to mention government agencies have full-time employees that are responsible for generating and monitoring Tweets, Facebook and blog postings. Credit unions however, have been late to adopt social media as a way to communicate with members and the community. Slowly, some are beginning to abandon their conservative marketing techniques for more modern methods. The number of credit union fans and followers aren’t quite as impressive as those of the big banks, but they are catching up and learning that social media is an excellent way to promote community events, connect with members and to answer questions and concerns. It does potentially open the credit union to risk and is an open forum for members to vent their frustrations, however, if it’s monitored well and a response is carefully crafted, credit unions can learn from these service hiccups and acknowledge them publicly; members love to feel that they are heard and recognized.
It’s also important to point out what social media is not. It shouldn’t be another method of communicating auto loan rates or a new checking account. It should be personal and fun and assist in putting a face on the credit union. Letting the CEO post her thoughts on the interchange amendment in one post, along with pictures of a community event that the credit union sponsored in another post will keep followers interested and connected. Building these networks can be a full-time job, and interacting with the public shouldn’t be taken lightly. While not all credit unions are able to support a full time social media specialist internally, they should have a social media plan in place. LT Public Relations can assist credit union marketing and public relations staff in creating a social media plan that is engaging, informative and consistent.