KAYLEE WILLIAMS USED TO BE IN LOGISTICS, the art/science of making sure things (or people) get to the right place at the right time in complex operations. About a year ago, she transferred her logistical skills to Honor Credit Union in St. Joseph, Mich., where she’s now public relations coordinator.
Logistically speaking, it was a good move. “In public relations, the question is how to get a message across the most effective way,” she says. “In a way, it’s a lot like logistics, where you’re also trying to arrange things effectively.”
The biggest goal Honor handed her was to amplify the credit union’s voice in the community using any technique at hand.
“Social media has really come on, so my task was to create a presence for Honor on all outlets,” she explains. “In creating our vision, the biggest question was, how can we amp it up? We needed to post more and think about content more.”
Williams revamped Honor’s Twitter account and added Instagram (it already used Facebook and YouTube). In January 2014 she launched a blog that includes financial tips and podcasts of “Mason Jar Monday” episodes.
“Mason Jar Monday” is a 10-minute weekly radio program that features Honor CEO Scott McFarland chatting informally with the station’s host about financial topics. “Besides listener education, the goal is to promote Twitter and blog interactions,” Williams says. Adding that such financial education efforts have solidified Honor’s standing in the community.
Being part of a generation that lives on social media, Williams already knows a lot about social media outlets. “Figuring out how to develop a presence for Honor on each one wasn’t daunting, but it was trial by fire in some instances. It has been a learning process.”
Fortunately, she says, social media platforms have analytics built into them, and it’s easy to see which posts work or don’t work in terms of views and responses. “We recently launched Instagram, and already see that a younger demographic is attracted to it. On Facebook, the metrics are extensive: We can break down visitors by age, sex, ZIP code, and more.”
Williams has discovered a warm, human element in social media. “When people post about us on Twitter, they don’t expect a response. So when I tweet ‘Thanks!’ back at them and they realize a live human being at Honor has read what they’ve tweeted, they’ll retweet their message and my response. It’s a pleasant surprise for people when they’re acknowledged.”