A Credit Union Tale of Two Social Media Ventures

Results from similar social media initiatives launched by EDS Credit Union demonstrate the power of cross-marketing and demographic targeting.


EDS Credit Union ($772M, Plano, TX) has a Facebook account with 60 fans and a Twitter account with 78 followers. The credit union uses the sites to share financial education resources, credit union information and consumer tips with fans and followers.

In August, EDS launched a marketing and ad campaign to increase awareness and provide financial education information. The campaign focused primarily on the 25-30 demographic but also included a secondary focus on the 18-24 demographic. The campaign is titled “The Arrival Guide”. The message is blunt - “Do you have the car you want? The house you want? If not, we can help you reach your financial goals”.

The main component of the campaign is the micro site, thearrivalguide.com. Resources on the site include videos, a glossary of terms, podcasts and a research section with calculators and articles. The arrival guides cover key milestones such as buying a home, starting a family, financial planning, and buying a car.  . Information about EDSCU is also available from one of the site’s main navigation tabs.

In addition to the microsite, The Arrival Guide has a social media presence on F acebook, Twitter and YouTube, as well as an offline advertising campaign with TV ad runs, print material and guerilla marketing efforts. The social media “voice” of the arrival guide is not much different from the credit union's branded initiatives - they both inform their fans and followers about personal finance and new event promotions.

By cross-marketing its social media presence through other marketing endeavors, EDS garnered a much higher participation rate on the Arrival Guide branded social media than on its primary credit union pages. The Arrival Guide Facebook page has 403 fans compared to 60 fans for the EDS page, and Twitter has 220 compared to EDS’s 78.

When including social media in the cross-marketing mixture, EDS went beyond the traditional Twitter and F acebook logos on its website and flyers. It crafted promotions that were largely focused on boosting its social media influence instead of driving more traditional product offerings. One such event (pictured below) was The Arrival Guide launch party hosted at a popular sushi restaurant that was also a notorious hot-spot for its 25-30 target demographic.

At the party, visitors were offered a free appetizer for sending a tweet to friends about the event. The reception table also featured promotional material such as informational cards, T-shirts, key-chains and contact forms. The back of the event promo card (below) featured transparent messaging that was to the point, actionable and supportive of its social media following. Another effective aspect of the promotion material is that it was informative, not sleazy in nature. The value-add for followers is clear – information on how to achieve your financial goals with no strings attached.

The launch party was a great way to create some noise around the new campaign and bolster the credit union's social media influence by building its list for future promotions. By focusing the campaign specifically on a target group and designing relevant promotions, EDS crafts campaign messaging and individual events to garner a greater return on its marketing investment.

Attaining fans and followers is an integral step on the road to social media success. From here, EDS will need to engage their audience by, “listening to [its members], being helpful by offering [them] knowledge and giving them interesting content to share and thereby advocate for [EDS]” (socialmediatoday) – a task that for many financial institutions is easier said than done.