For credit unions to run successful social media accounts, there must be a balance between using them for branding and as a source of revenue.
“Sales shouldn’t be the sole focus of social media,” says Katie Rammer, marketing coordinator at $566.3 million asset Kohler Credit Union in Sheboygan, Wis. “Your social media presence should be built around storytelling—of your credit union, your members, and your community. By sharing your story on social media, your followers will find content that’s relevant to them and that shares their values, they’ll engage, and, when they need financial services, they’ll turn to you.”
Janelle Herrera, vice president of marketing and business development at $362.2 million asset On Tap Credit Union in Golden, Colo., agrees, adding that social media coordinators should test out a variety of platforms and types of content.
“Jump in,” she says, speaking alongside Rammer at the CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council Conference Thursday in Los Angeles. “Don’t be afraid try things. You’re never going to learn unless you try it.”
There have never been more platforms to try, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Nextdoor, Snapchat, TikTok, and YouTube. A credit union doesn’t have to use all of them, but Herrera and Rammer suggest claiming your credit union’s name on platforms like TikTok and Snapchat even if you don’t plan to post. Once a credit union identifies what platforms they want to utilize, the challenge becomes connecting strategy with execution.
Rammer’s tips for credit unions looking to increase their social media following include focusing on quality over quantity, creating engaging content, running contests, inviting people to follow, and leveraging community influencers.
But the most important thing is building a brand personality, which Rammer says, “sets your credit union apart from anyone else.” The best way for credit unions to share their story is with an organic strategic approach, which can be used to inform, educate, inspire, and entertain.
Credit unions looking for additional engagement can leverage their employees, community, and business members by asking departments for content, featuring team members, sharing member interactions, resharing local business events, and connecting with community influencers.
The other primary social media method is the paid strategic approach, which is a channel extension of an existing marketing plan that includes a call to action and is primarily used to promote a new deal or product, reach new audiences, and generate leads to drive conversion.
Overall, Herrera and Rammer’s six tips for easier social media execution are: