6 ways to communicate more effectively and boost your credit union’s online engagement
Does your online presence need a boost? Consider these tips for upgrading your credit union’s social media performance.
1. Know your audience.
Knowing who you are trying to reach will help you determine the appropriate social media channels to use. “There is certainly an affinity demographic-wise for specific channels,” says Suzanne King, digital marketing manager for $100 billion Navy Federal Credit Union, Vienna, Virginia. “For example, Instagram is where we’re seeing Gen Z and the millennial community. … With Pinterest, a majority of the followers are women. We use that information when determining content for each channel.”
2. Target your message.
For example, $3.9 billion Libro Credit Union, London, Ontario, is targeting five key markets with its social media messages: growing suburban families; young and connected urbans; active commuter families; established rural households; and small town matures. “We focus our social media and all of our digital marketing on these five segments and track how many new owners within those segments we are able to attract,” says Tina Van Loon, Libro CU’s marketing manager. By mid-year, Van Loon reports, the CU was on pace to achieve its annual new owner targets.
3. Build channel-specific content.
“The content we publish is purpose-built for each channel,” King says. She suggests that Facebook and Twitter tend to be more focused with the “here and now,” whereas Pinterest is more forward-looking. Instagram, meanwhile, is more about imagery and inspiration, while “LinkedIn focuses on the credit union’s organizational culture and helps prospective employees can get a sense of who we are as an employer.”
4. Have a plan.
Navy Federal CU plans its content a full year in advance to coincide with members’ seasonal goals and aspirations. In late summer and fall, for example, King reports, “we know our members are going back to school or getting their children ready to go back to school, traveling and planning for the holidays, so our content is going to align with those editorial themes.”
5. Create two-way conversations.
At Citizens Equity First Credit Union in Peoria, Illinois, one of the goals established at the outset of the credit union’s social media efforts was to use the various platforms for communication and to place less focus on sales. “This gave members the ability to publicly post about their CEFCU experience, a relatively new concept for businesses starting out on social media,” says Martha Kamp, community relations manager for the $6.2 billion credit union. “This very visible form of communication made it clear that quick and accurate responses were essential, therefore requiring us to monitor social media 24/7 and recruit several team members from the marketing division to make this feasible.”
6. Use social media to educate, not sell.
“Consumers do not want to be sold to, so stay away from sales pitches and aggressive marketing tactics,” advises Mary York, vice president at William Mills Agency, Atlanta. “Instead, focus on helpful topics like money management tips or navigating the home-buying process. This will keep members engaged and help attract new ones. cues icon
Diane Franklin is a longtime contributor to CU Management who writes from Missouri.