WASHINGTON — The breakout session theme was plain: Social media matter – and you can do them.
Three panelists topped the bill entitled, “Using Social Media As An Advocacy Tool.”
There was Kristen Christian, the founder of Bank Transfer Day, who told the audience that a key to getting read on Facebook, Twitter and the rest is to “stay interesting.” Bad tweets, bad Facebook updates do not get read.
Amy McGraw, a vice president at Tropical Financial CU, a $562 million institution headquartered in Miramar, Fla., stressed the need to post regularly – but don’t overdo it. Her ballpark numbers were three to five Facebook posts per week, and perhaps five to eight Tweets daily.
McGraw also said that a well-managed social media program can happen with less staff time than many credit union executives fear.
Jill Stevenson, a CUNA executive on the Tuesday panel, offered the advice that “hashtags are your friends. They help people find you on Twitter.” Her point was that, yes, there are mountains of content in social media but users have created tools to help them sort and smart posters use the tools to flag their content for more readers.
Throughout the session, panelist Christian was seen checking her smartphone – “That’s what we do,” she said of a young generation that documents its life on social media. “And that’s why this is so important.” Many audience members were doing likewise, at least some posting to the Twitter hashtag #CUNAGAC12.
Moderator Pat Keefe, a CUNA vice president, predicted that the day will come “when the big banks make another mistake and our lesson is that we need to be ready for it when it happens.” Social media, he suggested, will be large weapons in the credit union arsenal in maximizing gains.