The State of Social Media

CUs' social media presence is small, but expanding.

June 1, 2011

Credit unions’ social media presence is small but expanding, says a Filene Research Institute report on how credit unions assess their success. Initial findings:

* Credit union marketing departments assume responsibility for social media, but most (61.4%) spend less than two hours a week managing it. This indicates social media are underutilized by most credit unions.

* Although credit unions of all sizes employ some type of social media program, larger credit unions are more likely to perceive success with their efforts. 

* Offering good content and attracting followers are credit unions’ biggest concerns. These challenges go hand-in-hand, and they also contribute to the widespread belief that attracting followers, friends, and connections should be the end goal of social media.

Those credit unions that report the most success have put in the most work—time, resources, and attention, Filene points out, explaining:

* There’s no substitute for time. Credit unions with more than 10 employees in the marketing department are by far the most likely to report successful programs. Those that dedicate eight or more hours per week report the highest success rates.

* Social media have a symbiotic relationship with otherwise active credit unions. For example, updating a logo or brand image corresponds with more successful social media campaigns, and launching five or more products also corresponds with reported social media success.

* Expect a steep learning curve. Credit unions with more than two years of experience are the most likely to report success (57%), while those with three months or less are least likely (17%).

* Successful campaigns are purposeful campaigns. Credit unions that say their social media goals align with their organizational strategic goals report higher levels of success.