To accurately measure social media’s return on investment (ROI), be sure to consider the role it plays in:
Advocacy. Social media serves as an effective platform for communicating the credit union mission. That applies broadly and for targeted campaigns such as Don’t Tax My Credit Union and its Twitter subset, #DontTaxTuesdays, which recently won a Grassroots Innovation Award from the Public Affairs Council. “Credit unions are in an excellent position to use social media because they don’t have customers, they have members who are their advocates,” says Amaia Kirtland, CUNA’s social and digital media manager.
Customer service. Social media is a popular choice for members anytime, but especially after hours or on weekends when branches are closed. Andrea Finn, digital marketing specialist at $1.3 billion Royal Credit Union in Eau Claire, Wis., monitors social media channels seven days per week, aided by page activity alerts. “If we respond immediately—whether it’s positive, negative, or neutral—we’re creating a positive member experience,” says Finn.
Crisis management. Two weeks after Lynne O’Leary started her job as vice president of marketing at Teachers Federal Credit Union in Hauppauge, N.Y., Superstorm Sandy hit and wiped out the $4.9 billion asset credit union’s website for two days, and several branches lost power and phone lines. Teachers Federal’s Facebook page became the most reliable communication channel with members, and its value has been unquestioned since. “For those 36 hours, Facebook was critical for us,” O’Leary says.
Product creation and modification. Listening to members and soliciting their input can help credit unions improve existing offerings and develop new ones to meet members’ needs.
Search engine optimization (SEO). Social media isn’t just the 21st century version of the Yellow Pages. Google’s new algorithms favor organizations that actively engage people on social media, boosting SEO for your credit union’s website. Although Google+ continues to lag in awareness and often takes a back seat to other channels, its SEO effectiveness is increasing.