Social media creeps into many aspects of our daily lives, sometimes without us even noticing.
In fact, according to Nielsen, 51% of older millennials (ages 25-34) log in to social media apps such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn while at the office.
They connect more than any other age group, and do so using both work-issued technology and personal mobile devices.
If you engage in social media activity, be careful to not use that medium in a way that reflects poorly on the credit union and affects the credit union’s reputation in the marketplace.
“Credit unions need to set clear and easy-to-follow policies for BYOD [Bring Your Own Device] and social media use while on the job, and guidelines for social media etiquette,” says Robert Jarosinski, risk management senior consultant for CUNA Mutual Group. “But being responsible for your own actions on social media is best accomplished by self-managing what you tweet, like, and post through social.”
1. Work first. Limit your personal use of social media, whether on credit union-issued technology or personal devices. Follow your credit union’s policy and ensure your social media activity doesn’t interfere with performing your job duties.
2. Be careful. Stay away from comments someone might consider inappropriate, such as racial, religious, or sexual slurs, and jokes.
3. Identify yourself. If your credit union allows you to share public credit union posts, or if you repost and retweet content about your credit union’s products and services, always identify yourself as an employee.
4. Get consent. Before sharing pictures, obtain permission from your credit union and co-workers. Be sure everyone is comfortable with seeing the pictures posted online.
5. Don’t share. Refrain from posting in online communities any confidential or nonpublic credit union information—such as business strategies, legal issues, branch security, planned promotional activities, and personal information about members or employees.
6. Respect decisions. No one is obligated to accept a request to connect on a social media site, so honor a co-worker’s decision not to connect with you.
7. Correct mistakes. If you make a social media mistake, correct it as soon as possible and clearly state what you’ve done to fix it. Contact your supervisor or credit union leadership if you need guidance on how to resolve the situation.
8. Use a disclaimer. Express in writing full ownership of your online posts. A good example is: “The following comments are my own. I didn’t make them on behalf of the credit union and didn’t intend to represent its positions, strategies, or opinions.”
9. Alert management. If complaints or issues arise, alert your manager and allow him or her to handle the situation on behalf of the organization.
Don’t respond to offensive or negative posts made by a member, fellow employee, or anyone else.
Remember, you’re responsible for the content you post and share on social media.
In many instances, it’s acceptable to talk about your work and your credit union, and maintain dialogue in the social media community.
But use the same thought, care, and consideration as you do when communicating through other channels.
CUNA MUTUAL GROUP'S PROTECTION RESOURCE CENTER allows policyholders to access a wide array of helpful online resources, including training modules, recent RISK alerts, and loss control recommendations. For registration information, contact CUNA Mutual Group at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article initially appeared in Credit Union Front Line newsletter, the monthly sales and service newsletter for branch staff and their managers. Subscribe now to the print edition or PDF version.