Credit unions in Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin are hoping to create a buzz for their services after partnering with a social media marketing and rewards program called BuzzBanking.
BuzzBanking is a software program provided by Austin-based fisoc Inc. that offers debit card reward programs linked to social media sites and local merchants. In addition to enabling credit union members to earn reward points by making purchases with debit cards, members also can earn extra points by shopping at local merchants and broadcasting their experiences on social media to their friends.
The program can improve member loyalty, provide local merchants opportunities to target market products and services to credit union members and generate more fee income for credit unions, according to fisoc.
The points earned can lead to reward cards that can be redeemed locally or donated to a place of worship, school, sports team, charity or local public service organization. The theme of the program is “Buy Local, Shop Local, Give Local.”
Over the last few years, buy local campaigns have been gaining popularity. Various studies have found that of $100 spent at national retailers, about $13 to $33 remains in the community. But that same $100 spent at local merchants means $50 to $60 stays in the local economy, according to fisoc.
“We actually heard about the success of the Buzz Points merchants program from a participating credit union in Fort Atkinson, Wis.,” said Christine Rockweit, president/CEO of the $50 million Fond du Lac Credit Union in Fond du Lac Wis. “We are looking forward to offering a service that encourages the citizens of Fond du Lac to open an account with us and also support local merchants and charities.”
Kathy Martin, senior vice president of development and support, for the $561 million Directions Credit Union in Sylvania, Ohio, likes the social media aspect.
“Our members will be able to earn double, triple or more reward points than those offered by national programs,” Martin said. “And they earn even more reward points when they share their experience with friends and family on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Yelp.”
The $75 million Community Services Credit Union in Huntsville, Texas, and the $319 million Union Square Federal Credit Union in Wichita Falls, Texas, also use BuzzBanking.