Give Your Best Asset—Your Members—a Voice

'People do business with people they like.'

January 22, 2013

Connecting with members via social media is like fostering any other relationship, says Jennifer Maxfield, electronic marketing manager for $1.5 billion asset GTE Financial Credit Union in Tampa, Fla.

It takes steady communication, frequent availability, empathy, a sense of humor—and the ability to overlook each other’s flaws from time to time.

GTE Financial launched its Facebook page in 2009 when it introduced a new youth checking account. The credit union aims to engage members with social media and cement relationships because “people do business with people they like,” Maxfield says. “And they recommend businesses they love.”

Plus, social media gives members a voice. “Our loyal members are our best asset,” she says. “Give your best asset a voice. We’d be missing out on members’ great stories if we didn’t have a Facebook page.”

Maxfield offers these strategies for social media success:

  • Don’t assume only younger members use social media. GTE Financial’s contingent of members older than age 35 using social media continues to grow.
  • Be there when you do something right—and when you make a mistake. Celebrate with people who share positive news, and resolve unhappy members’ complaints right away.
  • Be fun and real. “We have amazing people at GTE Financial,” Maxfield says, “and we want to show them off” with profiles and the occasional video.
  • Be helpful and giving. “You have to give away free stuff,” she says.
  • Don’t delete angry posts. Doing so likely will lead to more scathing comments elsewhere in the social media universe.