Fight for a Bold Social Media Future

Those on the fringe will either join the fight or lose interest and walk away.

May 3, 2014

Michael & Holly

Being bold can lead to social media success, say CUNA Mutual Group's Holly Fearing and Michael Ogden.

Want to know the secret to “social media best practices?” Here—we googled it for you.

You’ll find out what most of the world is doing on social media—but why does it matter what Coke or Whole Foods is doing?

Sure, you can pick up some pointers from them, but what works for one organization does not work for the next.

Want to know how to build a much bolder version of a social media strategy? Read on. We call it “The Revolution.”

First, understand this: your credit union has the same potential audience as those big guys with double-digit social media teams and budgets that would make you faint. Moving on.

What do you believe in?

Think about your personal answer to this. What would your credit union’s answer be?

What if you asked your CEO or your information technology and marketing leaders? If you’re thinking some version of, “To serve the financial needs of our community,” you’re missing the point.

Yes, you do—but so what? So does every bank and Walmart.

This is your chance to get to the root of not only what you are, but why you are. Use your credit union’s voice combined with social media’s super-human powers of amplification to communicate your story, and your revolution will have a foundation.

Find your fringe

Imagine you witness a fight break out in a crowd*. There will always be people willing to join in right away. But many more will stand back and watch.

What does it take to convince those people to jump in and fight for something? We call those people “the fringe” because they stand around the edges of what you believe in, waiting to be compelled into action. Eventually, they’ll join the fight or lose interest and walk away.

Give your fringe a reason to join in! Don’t be afraid to stand for something—you risk much more in causing everyone to walk away. (*We do not encourage or condone actual street fighting.)

Being bold is proving to be a successful leap for many companies. You can’t buy these kinds of social connections, but you certainly can create them.

Find your fringe by searching specific hashtags and key words that align with what your credit union stands for and listen to what these people are talking about. What are they concerned and excited about related to your cause?

This is a case of “standing for everything will get you nowhere.” If you take a solid stance on something, it will not only set you apart and reflect your credit union’s personality, it will help build collaboration between you and other people and organizations who have similar goals.

This is the fringe. Embrace them.

Now what?

Putting this theory into practice is easier than you may think. If you’ve done a good job identifying your “stand” and finding your “fringe,” chances are things are already in motion.

But you still have an idea you need to sell. Sell your bosses and board by showing how this approach will meet your credit union’s business objectives to engage and better serve members.

Track visits to your website and new account sign-ups that came from social sites to show how your approach is bringing in new members.

And most importantly, show members how joining forces with you makes a difference in the issues you communally stand for.

HOLLY FEARING, CUDE, is a digital media specialist and MICHAEL OGDEN is digital media manager for CUNA Mutual Group. Follow them on Twitter via @FearingHolly, @grabbingtoast, and @CUNAMutualGroup.