Social Media Opens Door to Member Engagement

Don’t miss opportunities to connect with current and potential members.

October 10, 2012

From left: Michael Ogden and Robin Marohn

Credit unions aren’t close to tapping the power of social media in telling current and potential members all that credit unions have to offer, says Michael Ogden, social media manager for CUNA Mutual Group, told participants of the third annual Online Discovery Conference.

“Credit unions are really good at talking to themselves on social media channels, but we are missing opportunities to reach current and would-be members to tell our story,” Odgen says.

“It’s time to flip the switch on being bold in communicating the great things that are going on with credit unions and what we can do to help consumers,” he continues. “Social media is a great complement to other marketing plans and it’s a communications channel you can’t ignore as part of your marketing strategy.”

Ogden joined Robin Marohn, vice president, marketing and business development, for $186 million asset Heartland Credit Union, Madison, Wis., in discussing how credit unions can identify, engage, and develop relationships with their audience through social media.

Finding the right platform for a credit union to reach its audience is key, Ogden says. “It’s not one size fits all. Is it Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest? There are audience-finding tools available that can help you find the people you want to reach.”

Consumers don’t watch TV as much as they used to. Instead, they’re online with their smartphones, tablets, and laptops, Ogden says. “Businesses, including credit unions, are all looking for genuine connections, and social media can give them that. It’s smart for credit unions to find their audience online and engage them in a real conversation.”

Marohn calls social media one of the most important developments in his 23-year marketing career. Heartland, which has 18,000 members in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa, dedicates 80% of its marketing budget to social media.

“Traditional media advertising can’t touch what and who we are reaching through our Facebook presence,” Marohn says. “We’ve all but abandoned traditional marketing. Heartland’s ad dollars now go toward video production for their You Tube channel and Facebook and Twitter pages.

“Our focus is to go local and our success rate is outstanding,” he continues. “Our social media presence has increased traffic to our web site more than any time before. “Content, of course, is critical. It breeds engagement. Our challenge is keeping that engagement content coming.”

Online Discovery is CUNA Mutual Group’s Web-based equivalent of a face-to-face conference without the associated expenses or time away from the office.

The free, online event attracts an international audience of more than 1,800 credit union and league staff. The conference aims to help credit unions solve problems, face challenges and address opportunities all from the convenience of their computer.