MADISON, Wis. (10/18/11)--Credit unions watching the Occupy Wall Street movement realize the role social media can play in organizing support for a cause. Credit unions using or planning to use social media as a communication tool should follow a few guidelines, according to Allison Griffin of Griffin Strategies Inc. (LoneStar Leaguer
* Be relevant. Stay up to date on current and new trends. About 80% of all social media links originate with traditional media sources, according to the Pew Center Research. * Be timely. If an issue or opportunity is “hot,” act on it. It may be stale and out of date if a credit union waits too long. * Be unique. Find a new angle or perspective to help tweets or posts receive attention among credit union members and the larger social media audience. * Cross promote. Invite members to connect to social media channels in all credit union communications: printed materials, e-newsletters, website, lobby displays and even e-mail signatures. * Special offers. These can get the attention of credit union members and to get them to “share” the opportunity with their social media networks. Pew reports that three-quarters of Americans said they get news forwarded via e-mail or posts on social network sites. * Follow and like thought leaders. Given a credit union’s audience, look for financial planning experts and money management gurus who are likely to post great information to share with followers. * Plan and monitor. Come up with a plan for social media posts. Anticipate built-in opportunities and join the social media plan with an overall communications and marketing plan. The planning process helps generate new ideas and measure effectiveness and team accountability.
Also, Fiserv Inc., a global provider of financial services technology solutions, shared five steps financial institutions can take to market themselves via social media (Business Wire
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* Develop strategy: Developing a social media marketing strategy includes assessing customers’ current social activities, determining goals and objectives, planning for how relationships with customers will change and deciding which social technologies to use. * Listen and monitor the conversation: To get started, financial institutions should listen to what consumers say about their brand, competitors and industry. Use a listening tool, such as socialmention.com or Google alerts, to reveal where customers and prospects participate online. This may guide the decision on what sites to start with and where to focus initial efforts. * Lay the internal groundwork: Financial institutions should establish and share social media guidelines, which can be done in the form of a policy book, education video, fact sheet or other form of internal communication. Also, they should establish a brand voice--whether it is professional, casual, upbeat or reserved--and create a response matrix outlining how to respond in a variety of situations. Financial institutions should develop a content calendar outlining future content. * Integrate marketing: Financial institutions should promote their social presence in other marketing materials. Adding social icons and links to websites, e-mails, brochures and other materials lets consumers know the credit union or bank is active in social media and makes it easy for them to connect. * Use metrics and reporting: The metrics measured will depend on the goals and objectives initially identified. However, when starting out, financial institutions can measure social media impact by looking at how far messages are traveling, the gain in visitors to their websites, the number of engaged discussions and the number of users who return to financial institution social media sites.