Social Media You Can Bank On!

soical media4A successful social media campaign doesn’t happen from just being on Facebook and putting a post now and then. It’s about finding a balance or timing, messaging and the right audience.

This quick 15 minutes read will guide your credit union/bank to a successful social media campaign that engages with your customers and create a following that will share their experience with their friends and family members.

Step 1 – Set Objectives

What does your credit union want to accomplish by being on social media? Your objectives should align with the credit union/bank short-term and long-term goals. Could be for many reasons:

  • Additional layer of customer service
  • Improve brand perception
  • Member feedback on products and/or services
  • Monitor and manage brand identity
  • Build trust with the community
  • Increase credit union website traffic
  • Announcing of new products and/or services
  • Build a virtual community
  • Give members a voice

Knowing why you’re on social media, outside of promoting your products and services, is the first step to building an successful online community with your customers.

Step 2 – Find Your Channels

It is more than just setting up a Facebook page and Twitter account making a post here and there. You must have a plan of action and find out what social media channels your members are on.

According to PewResearch – Social media channel used by online adults as of September 2013

  • 73% use Facebook
  • 18% use Twitter
  • 17% use Instagram
  • 21% us Pinterest
  • 22% use Linkedin

If you don’t know what social media channels your members are on, simply ask them. Being involved on Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, & LinkedIn will usually have all your members covered.

You can set up your social media channels so they link between each other and you do not have to post each platform individually, which will allow you to reach more channels with less time and effort.

There are several social media management online sites that can assist with this effort. Here are some recommended sites to use: Hootsuite, Nimble, SproutSocial, Wildfire, Spredfast

Step 3 – Be Awesome

It’s not about just being on social media, it is about what you do with it. Every person and business on Facebook and every other social media channel wants their followers to engage with their post and listen to what they have to say. Remember that you are competing against friends and families conversations, so if you are just another commercial, you will get lost in the feeds and ignored if not un-followed.

Spend 80% of your time helping others, being useful and entertaining and 20% promoting your products and services.

Think of ways that connect with your members on a personal level, create emotions, entertain, involve them and give them a reason to like your page and share your content. Here are some ideas:

  • Monthly podcast or YouTube videos featuring members and/or businesses from your bank or credit union
  • Video Blog with scenes from your community
  • Share experiences of your customers. Video a closing process on a home loan, and then show the family as they are walking into there new home for the first time.
  • Member video testimonies
  • Have members #hash-tag your credit union Twitter and/or Instagram page and share photos while at your branches. Offer a $10 savings prize for best picture.
  • Tweet and post good things that members have done or said. Be sure to tag them in the post
  • Weekly giveaway for who likes your page or shares a post. This doesn’t have to be big bucks. It can be tickets to a local show, sporting event or local restaurant. Be sure to read up on Facebook contest guidelines and stay familiar with them as they change often.
  • Promote a charity. Click here to see this creative example of how a credit union used a video to encouraged the public to donate pet toys, treats, beds and cleaning supplies to the Kansas Humane Society.
  • Have members show how they use perks for banking with you.
  • Pick a big event in your community and let your employees pay $5 to where their jeans that day and the monies go to a charity…post fun pictures of everyone in the office.

Create value, entertain, and involved your customers and they will want to see, read and share what you say! When customers share their experience, people they know and trust will see and they will be curious to learn more about how they can become part of the experience for themselves.

Step 4 – Monitor

There is always a concern that members will start talking about the credit union/bank and credit union/bank won’t be able to “control” what is being said. The fact is that there is no such thing as “control” because social media has opened the gate for anyone to say what he or she wants, when he or she wants to.

If your credit union/bank is not on social media and a member says something good or bad about the credit union/bank, you will have no way to thank or defend your brand because you will not have a clue that something was even said.

When negative comments are made, it is important to not panic and delete the comment, (unless it is some sort of prank or scam) but instead to try to steer the member into a happy direction. Find our why they are upset, what steps were previously made and how you can move forward to making the member satisfied. When you do this, others will see the transparency in your credit union, along with your efforts into making things right. We all like to see that businesses are human and that they have people that care about the customer. When things go wrong you have the opportunity to loose a member or keep them for live, and with social media the story is uncovered for everyone to see.

There are several social mention tools that can track conversation about your credit union. Two recommend tools that are free are Google Alerts and TweetDeck.

There are several social mention tools that can be consider outside of Google Alerts and TweetDeck that are very intuitive but do have a fee associated. Trackur and Sysomos are two recommended services.

Step 5 – Build a Dream Team

It is really important to have a team to help strategize and execute your social media efforts. You don’t just want anyone on your team, as it is important that your teammate have some of the following qualities:

  • Problem solving and listening (most important)
  • Open-minded and curious
  • Product and service knowledge
  • Active on social media
  • Understand the importance of developing a brand
  • Creative and likes to think outside of the box

Your team should be made up of multiple representatives: marketing, sales, customer service reps, product development, and/or outside trusted organization and personnel.

Once the team is selected it is important that everyone has a responsibility to fulfill and team members can have multiple responsibilities.

  • Team Leader: The leader is focused on the big picture, one that can lead and handle issues and quick to resolve problem.
  • Conversationalist: The community manager, one who can reply to customer questions and comments and understands that there is a different audience on each social media platform.
  • Content Engineer: These are the ones that are on the search looking for information to share about clients, finding amazing photos of the community, video footage and creating great content that tells a story about your brand.
  • Analysts: This person is behind the scenes and they know how to use tools to gauge social chatter about your brand and can interpret the date to advise the team where to go next.
  • Legal or Compliance: These are the ones monitor participation to ensure alignment with any regulatory issues. They give the thumb up or thumb down on all projects before going live.

Tip: Offer incentives to employees for bringing information or articles about members and businesses that have done something good that the social media team can use in their campaign. This can save your social media team several hours of research.

Step 6 – Have Guideline

It is highly recommended to provide employees with general guidelines on how to use social media for both their personal profiles as well as professional profiles. The guidelines are

Here is an example of what guidelines might look like:

The following policy has been created to establish guidelines for use of social media sites controlled by (credit union/bank) and its employees. This includes sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Youtube to name a few and refers to not only the social media accounts of (credit union/bank) but also to the posts of employees on their own or others’ accounts should the content relate to (credit union/bank).

Branding Policy

  • Use of logo and/or brand graphics
  • Reference to credit union/bank name

Social Media Policies

  • Do not submit advertising, off topic material or anything that does not add value to the discussion.
  • No bullying, personal attacks, offensive language, discrimination or any comments that may drive others away from participating in the discussion. This does not include civilized disagreement.
  • Do not post anything that violates any local, state, federal, or international law including copyright infringement.
  • No content other than unformatted text unless prior arrangements have been made with a representative of the credit union.
  • In no way can you post compromising or personal information such as account details or birthdates. Specific names should not be used as a general rule to help protect individuals’ privacy.
  • All subjective information should be presented as the employee’s opinion and not necessarily the official view of the credit union.
  • Employees should identify themselves as such and not attempt to misrepresent their position in the credit union/bank, state or any other misleading information.
  • The marketing department must approve rates, promotions, nonpublic upcoming events, or programs with special emphasis on compliance and legal implications before published on any social media platform.
  • Violations of policy could be viewed as a violation of any other internal credit union/bank policy.

Step 7 – Measure

There is no hard and fast set of guideline to put a dollar amount to the metrics you can get from social media measurement tools, nor is there any ROI formula that is perfect or comprehensive. Your credit union/bank will need to figure our your methodology for monetizing your social media marketing efforts based on your objectives, short-term and long-term goals.

One way to measure is to find out what is working. Create daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly reports to discover what content resonates with your members, including content type and the best time to post.

Social media marketing is about creating opportunities, not necessarily the amount of dollars closed. If opportunities are being created, then your social media efforts have been a success. It is easy to focus on the dollar amounts generated from a campaign versus the opportunity.

Example: Let’s say your credit union/bank is running a campaign on social media to promote a new free checking program. If 100 possible members call, but only 10 signs up, you have to measure your social media success based on the 100 possible members that called, not the 10 that signed up.

There are tools that can help measure your brand visibility and mentions. Here are a few recommended site:, Sprinklr, Adobe Analytics

Step 8 – Game Time

Just like your coach always said, the team that is ready to play…wins.

  • Presence – be where your customers are and remember different platforms have different users
  • Listen– give your customers a voice
  • Adapt – be ready to change when needed
  • Youtility read the book and become a source of value that everyone and your community wants to be a part of.

Develop a plan that engages with your members across the various social media channels with a defined purpose. Create value to your members online and become part of their community and make sure the messages are align with your credit union/bank short-term and long-term goals.

Matt Ruedlinger