First and foremost, there are three points that need to be addressed:
It is imperative that credit union marketers understand that social media is the fastest growing communication medium that exists and that members are part of that growth. Companies that embrace and learn to utilize social media will reap the benefits for years to come. Those that don't will be playing catch up.
Social media is not simply about growing market share. It is about taking part in the conversation and growing relationships.
Social media can easily be used as an awareness or customer service tool-that decision is up to you.
The article tried to imply that if your credit union uses social media you are endangering your members. That simply is not the case.
The Internet in general has certain pitfalls that users have to watch out for and that is why companies take precautions when necessary. You'd never ask a member to communicate personal information via e-mail, and the same goes for social media.
If, for example, you are approached by a member on Twitter with a question that requires you to look up their account, it is a best practice that you ask the member to send you a direct message. From that point, you can request their phone number and handle the conversation that way. There will be many other times where a member has a generic question that could be answered in an open forum or via direct message-this is a proven fact.
The article also hits on the fact that social media allows employees to reveal confidential information at ease. If this is a concern your credit union should adopt a social media policy and handle violations accordingly.
The final point to address is security concerns. If social media presents a danger to your members, it is something they will be susceptible to no matter if you are involved or not.
As with everything you do, it is important to take precautions and protect your member's best interest at all times.
Ryan Shell, Marketing Comm. Supervisor
Truliant Federal Credit Union, Winston-Salem, N.C.