Tens of thousands of business people attend conferences and seminars every year to hear experts teach them the new ways and the secrets to keeping their businesses afloat in a not so ideal economic atmosphere. Such gatherings cost a ton of money and have become businesses in their own aspect. Where do men and women in suits learn about these seminars? The people who run these conferences exhaust every place they can advertise on—from print to radio, TV, and social media.
Year after year, these conferences provide the same knowledge with minimal variations to their eager audiences. One thing among the tactics they share stands out, and it is the secret to keeping businesses alive. What is that thousand-dollar secret, you ask? Adaptability.
That is right. Businesses shell out big bucks to be reminded of the pattern that has given successful institutions and firms such long lives and the ability to survive the threats of an unpredictable economy.
At first, there was the print medium. Financial institutions like financial credit unions paid for ad space on newspapers. When people started tuning to radios day in and day out, financial credit unions hired people to make catchy jingles that would hopefully attract potential customers. Then, the television came and a new layer—visuals—were added onto those catchy jingles.
Financial credit unions started making an online presence when the Internet era began. And with advancements in technology, these websites of financial credit unions nearly became one-stop shops. People can visit a website’s Frequently Asked Questions page for basic inquiries. This saves a lot of time because it does not require people to visit a credit union’s branch to have their questions answered.
And now, we have social media.
Social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, and Foursquare have become venues where many people go. In these platforms, they have the opportunity to express their thoughts and connect with other people.
Companies soon followed suit. It was hardly an avoidable move. Social media offers them a venue for brand-to-consumer interaction unlike any other. Whether they are multi-million dollar institutions or local business, social media provides them the tools to promote their products, share their ideas, and reach out to their customers among others.
So, why are financial credit unions have the opinion that social media is not for them? That is a wrong assumption, of course. Financial social media is possible and is actually happening.
There is no need to think twice whether financial credit unions should follow suit or not. They have much more to be gained from maintaining social media presence. Not only is social media a cheap and effective way to connect with credit union members, it also opens the doors to potential customers.
Social Media Adviser Holly Fearing of the Filene Research Institute said, “Financial credit unions can decide what they want to do with social media, and there is a way for that to happen.” On Facebook, she mentioned that “Facebook has choked off most of the paths to organic page views for institutions” and that has now become “pay-per-view environment.”
However, Fearing was quick to add that the cost of social media marketing through Facebook “is relatively modest and the impact is easy to measure. It’s relatively easy to track the return on investment of that.”
She also claimed that a solid $50 budget per day goes a long way to improving posts. That daily budget amounts to $1,500 per month or $18,000 per year. That is not just a relatively low amount compared to advertising on TV networks. It is absolutely a much lower marketing budget. And for the reach that it achieved, it is, too, the most practical marketing method.
Billions of people are present on Facebook and its sister companies, such as Instagram, while over a hundred million are using Snapchat on a daily basis. The latter, a free-to-download app for iPhone and Android smartphone users, has the generation Z and the millennials to thank for. Apart from these two generations, the rich people of the country and the so-called underserved and underbanked have a strong social media presence. Now, why is this piece of information important? That is mainly because social media offers financial credit unions a large pool to fish potential members from. Thus, social media marketing is necessary.
But, why are financial credit unions struggling? Erin Hennessy, the Senior Vice President of Marketing of the United Federal Credit Union, thinks it is because financial credit unions are still in the process of thinking what benefits they can reap from social media and what they can do to harvest such benefits. To financial credit unions, social media can be compared to a maze. The social media platform is relatively new, and it can be easy to get lost in the thick of it.
Hence, here are the four tactics for credit union social media marketing:
1) Interact with your members and followers
Being on social media is not enough. Maintaining social media presence is nearly good enough. Beyond telling all your members that they can subscribe to your Facebook page, follow you on Twitter and Instagram, and watch your stories on Snapchat, a social media marketing tactic for financial credit unions is to interact with their members.
Social media is not a one-way street. It is not just a channel that can be used to spread information. It is also a tool that financial credit unions can use to listen to its members.
People appreciate being heard. It is not uncommon to hear consumers complaining about various companies’ poor customer service. Not hearing from their service providers, despite repeated attempts to be heard, has been the cause of many customers leaving the financial institutions they do business with to look for a new one that offers a better overall experience. This applies to financial credit unions as well.
The ability and space to communicate with your financial credit union members are highly valued. When your members tweet you, make sure that you get back to them. When they message you or write a post on your Facebook account, be sure that their questions and inquiries are heard. Lend an ear to them. Negative comments are common, so do not be afraid of them. Instead, learn from these negative comments because there is a chance that these are valid. Use social media platforms to deal with your financial credit union members’ issues as well.
2) Be their source of ideas
These ideas do not have to be strictly about your financial credit union. These can be tips that they can use in their daily lives. If you are on Twitter, take advantage of hashtags. You can start a series of #WeeklyTips tweets on Twitter. The good thing is you can also do this on your Facebook and Instagram pages.
Unlike Twitter, Facebook does not have a limit of a hundred and forty words. Thus, you are able to write longer and more comprehensive posts. You also have the option of doing it as a daily series and to help your user keep track of the tips, you can also use hashtags.
Here are a few ideas you can use:
- 50 Reasons to Bank with Your Credit Union
- How to Build Up Your Credit Score in Less Than Four Months
- How to Save Money for the Holidays
- How to Have the Wedding and Honeymoon of Your Dreams Without Emptying Your Bank Account
- How to Survive Your College Years and Get Out of It Financially Strong
- Perks of Being a Member of Your Financial Credit Institution
3) Utilize Foursquare
Foursquare is perhaps the least popular among social media platforms. However, do not dismiss it because it is also one of the most useful. Foursquare’s service can be integrated with other social networks, like Facebook and Instagram.
As a location-based social media platform, Foursquare will be the most supportive of your social media marketing efforts.
With Foursquare, you can engage with your financial credit union members in ways that you cannot with Facebook, Snapchat, and other social media platforms. One example is leaving partnering with local businesses and offering members of your financial credit union discounts when they check in.
4) Compose great contents
Various studies have shown that people react more favorably to contents that are more conversational than promotional. Also, make sure that the contents you post are relevant and can be shared with other people.
Why is this? This is because people tend to run away from everyone who is trying to sell them something. However, if in the approach you take, they would feel like they are having a regular conversation and are not worried about having to spend money; they are more likely to give you their attention and listen.
Keep in mind that you cannot just post one content to one social media site. Make sure that your contents are visible on all your social media accounts to reach a wider audience.