Guest Opinion: Need a Plan and Strategy for Social Media
Over the last couple of years, especially in 2011, many credit unions flocked to social media to extend their presence into the digital realm.
The adoption of new media is certainly a step in the right direction. But what appears to be lacking for a large percentage of these credit unions is a well thought-out plan and strategy for how to use this, well, new media. For years, marketers and advertisers alike could go about their business the same way day in and day out; but all of that has changed now.
In my humble opinion, any good social media campaign should be focused on communication, not sales. Social media is and should always be about creating an environment where communication and conversation are encouraged. Your members should feel comfortable leaving their thoughts and opinions about their credit union on your wall. And they should feel confident that their credit union will respond to their comments. This is how social media generates a return.
Just because members don’t come bouncing into your branches taking out loans by the dozens, claiming it was your Facebook fan page that encouraged them to do so, does not mean the media holds no value. Marketing and advertising has and always will be about getting a message out to a large number of people in as many ways as possible. While new media offers the same opportunities as more traditional methods, it also contains an additional aspect that makes it even more valuable. With new media, you control the messaging and conversation. Let’s face it, your members and the community at large are talking about your brand. Sometimes it may be negative; other times it’s positive. Why would you not want to be a part of that conversation? When used correctly, social media can be in the eyes of your members a valuable sounding board for how your credit union can improve its operation.