What you and your staff say on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites can directly affect your credit union’s reputation. Social media platforms have introduced new challenges in maintaining organizations’ reputations, especially during crises, according to a white paper from CUNA’s Marketing and Business Development Council.
In addition to the challenges, social media sites also bring great opportunities. For example, direct communication between organizations and their stakeholders is easier in some respects.
But credit union staff, notes the report, must use new technology intelligently to survive in today’s crisis-ridden “reputation economy.” Make sure you and your staff are clear about your credit union’s social media policies and responsibilities.
Today the power of the message lies with the individuals in the virtual community, not only with the business itself. In addition to monitoring consumers’ perceptions and reputation risks, credit unions must guard against increased risks of fraud, robbery, false online rumors, natural disasters, cyber-attacks, and employee/management misconduct.
When any of these events occur, staff who are active on social media platforms can help dispel concern and answer members’ questions. “A truly sustainable reputation has the potential to buffer an organization from the negative fallout of a crisis,” notes the white paper.
Credit unions can now communicate with members in multiple ways. More than 85% of American consumers have mobile devices, according to Direct Marketing News.
Mobile technology gives users a sense of connectedness to the world and limits uncertainty, says the council white paper. And credit union staff can use it to connect members to the credit union.
Social media platforms are a direct communication channel to members. The credit union and its staff, however, shouldn’t limit communication efforts to high-tech platforms, the report suggests. Instead, they should create the best messages, then share them through social and traditional media (television, radio, and newspapers).
Note that your credit union’s reputation isn’t determined only by information you “push” to members and potential members. It also depends on their reactions.
Monitor perceptions about your credit union on all platforms—even the ones you don’t use directly. Keep in mind that the most popular social media platforms will change over time, and follow all of them carefully.
Next: Best practices
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