Credit Union Twitter Chat Wrap-Up: December 1, 2009

The premise behind most social media success is the ability to engage your audience in a reciprocal conversation. This focus on cooperation and the open exchange of ideas is familar to credit unions, since at their heart they are cooperative businesses and founded on similar principles.


Credit unions highlighted the collaborative capabilities of social media during a recent chat-up on Twitter, called #cuchat.


The premise behind most social media success is the ability to engage your audience in a reciprocal conversation. This focus on cooperation and the open exchange of ideas is familiar to credit unions, since at their heart they are cooperative businesses and founded on similar principles. Last week's #cuchat illustrates that the goals of social media and cooperatives are parallel. They just go together well, like peanut butter and jelly.

So, who better to ask about social media and credit unions than the credit union community on Twitter? We covered ten questions on the topic of social media. Anybody on Twitter is invited to the next #cuchat on Tuesday, January 5 at 2:00 PM ET. Below is a rough transcript of the chat.

The Biggest Credit Union Social Media Study Ever

#CUCHAT Wrap-Up: December 1, 2009

creditunionscom: First, let's see who's here. Check in and say hello if you're in the chat!

  1. ryanshell: Hi, Ryan Shell from Truliant Federal Credit Union. 180k members, $1.3 billion in assets.
  2. ryanshell: Been testing it out for about a year. Several success stories thus far. Bigger plans are in the works.
  3. stacyliz: Stacy Dugan from Michigan CU League. Hopefully I can catch some of the convo
  4. stacyliz: I don't tweet for my league, but our league has been on Twitter for less than a year.
  5. CU_Ninja: Ken Gardner Capitol CU, Austin TX
  6. abwal8: Anne from the Council on Financial Competition here
  7. CUWarrior: Matt Davis, Filene Research Institute
  8. Ent_CU: Ryan Ito, Ent FCU CO Springs
  9. jillnow: Jill Nowacki,MaPS Credit Union (Salem, OR)
  10. jillnow: We've been dabbling in it for about 8 months, but have not jumped in completely. I'd like to hear from CUs using YouTube
  11. Matt_Vance: Matt Vance from Industrial Credit Union in Bellingham, WA
  12. MegJohnLane: Hey... I'm Megan from Carter Federal Credit Union in Louisiana!
  13. mfagala: Fairly new for us (@VantageCU). May 2009.
  14. MonGinder: Monica Ginder from Day Air Credit Union in Dayton, Ohio
  15. MonGinder: We've been using social media for just about 7 months now
  16. mycucommunity: Jenny Reynolds from CU Community in Springfield, MO
  17. mycucommunity: Since January 2009
  18. ThecuLoop: Andy LaFlamme, MaPS Credit Union (Salem, OR)

creditunionscom: Q2: 2. Do you have any formal goals? What is your motivation w/ social media?

  1. CEB_Banking: Coop in the UK is actually using YouTube. They launched a "Thank You" campaign to their cusotmers through video
  2. ryanshell: Motivation = extension of the communication channel.
  3. CEB_Banking: We've mainly seen banks use social media for service or cusotmer engagement purposes. We have seen one bank use it for acquisition.
  4. mfagala: No formal goals. Mainly just want to offer more channels/options for interaction with our members.

creditunionscom: Q3: Why is social media an important strategy for credit unions?

  1. ryanshell: Again, extension of the communication channel.
  2. jillnow: SM is important b/c you should communicate with people in the way they want to be reached. For some, that seems to be SM
  3. DMI_CUSoapbox: We want to be part of the conversation, part of the dialogue. Old media lacked that, in some ways - a dialogue.
  4. mycucommunity: It's been a great way to connect. Specifically to hear what members & those in our community, media (and beyond) are saying.
  5. MonGinder: 3-social media gives CU's the ability to communicate more efficiently with membership & expand their reach
  6. mfagala: 1. Better pay attention to what mbrs are saying about you. 2. Need to go where the people are.

creditunionscom: Q4: Name some of your social media successes. How do you measure their effectiveness?

  1. ryanshell: A couple of @Truliant success stories can be read about hear:
  2. CEB_Banking: We have seen one FS firm use ROO rather than ROI when measuring social media success.
  3. mfagala: Successes: TweetMyMoney growing steadily with no traditional advertising. Able 2 respond 2 mbrs off hrs, low cost.
  4. ryanshell: How @truliant shared it's position on opt-in overdraft with the media via YouTube:

creditunionscom: Q5: Link to graph on social media use by CU members. Initial reactions?

  1. DMI_CUSoapbox: Not surprising, given what we know about FB (300 million active users)
  2. ryanshell: No, this, does not shock me at all.
  3. MonGinder: 5-so many ppl use facebook now, and with all it's extension apps, it makes sense

creditunionscom: Q5 part 2: How do you balance out your social media initiative w/ so many options? What's the right mix for your cu/co?

  1. mfagala: Q5 pt2 Not an easy decision. We choose to go after the largest/popular channels in our area. Blog, FB and Twitter
  2. MonGinder: Q5pt2-you need to establish what areas of mbrship you'll be focusing on, and see if they fit into the SM goals
  3. richardrc1: We try to hit every social event in our area to find out how our membership is getting their info weather RM or SM
  4. mfagala: Graph is inline w/ general public. Need a presence in the high traffic areas (FB) and at a minimum monitor others.
  5. richardrc1: Which SM to use FB has the highest traffic but are you hitting your membership
  6. richardrc1: The way I see SM on FB as a App to pass on CU info to its membership at right now
  7. ryanshell: @cjsteven 2 way conversation will lead to engagement.
  8. ryanshell: to balance social media you need to determine what outlets will help you best achieve the desired goal.
  9. DMI_CUSoapbox: The mix must be target dependent. We use Twitter and our blog to bring content to people/people to content.
  10. richardrc1: SM is as a communication tool is still new to CU's I feel we are still in the research phase trying to see what works the best.
  11. mfagala: @cjsteven True. If you have at have a presence , it can help drive people to your site. Get info. out that may have been missed.
  12. ryanshell: @cjsteven Of course. I wouldn't just post, "The wall is white."
  13. FirstTechCU: I think SM use depends on a CU's membership. We have tech-savvy members, but all CUs vary. Need to select SM channels accordingly.
  14. MonGinder: start small, maybe one account, establish a presence, then expand based on your goals/ideas/membership
  15. richardrc1: Living in a small community our membership still wants the 1-1 contact but want mobile service.

creditunionscom: Q6: In a survey of 11K CU members, only 5% to 16% knew their CU had a FB page. What can we do to inform them better?

  1. ryanshell: I hope cu's active on FB are not using the wall as their landing page.
  2. jimmymarks: q6. Start using that medium as one that offers specific information about your organization. Make it matter.
  3. ryanshell: quit hiding the info. Most don't put it on the home page. Not limited to cu's.
  4. ryanshell: Look out hides their social media buttons at the very bottom. Lame!
  5. mfagala: Q6: Advertise thru traditonal channels and seek out members via the networks you choose.
  6. stacyliz: Q6. Inform the members via all the 'normal' channels that the FB page exists and what's in it for them to use it.
  7. stacyliz: As a CU member I'm not going to join a FB page for my CU if there is no benefit. I don't join FB groups just b/c.
  8. stacyliz: Altho maybe some join FB groups just b/c they exist. Does anyone have stats on that?
  9. ryanshell: @stacyliz which is exactly why good FB landing pages are a MUST. That's what we need to discuss here.
  10. MonGinder: 6-put it where members will see! website, digital ads, flyers, signs when out and about in the community - also WOM always helps!
  11. richardrc1: You have to get your CU to buy into the SM surge, operations is still wondering about security issues and control.

creditunionscom: Q7: From same survey, 34% of CU members on Twitter use it to follow companies they do business with (much more than FB). Surprising?

  1. ryanshell: I've seen another survey (don't have link) that showed more favorable results with FB. They r hand n hand.
  2. FirstTechCU: Q7: Makes sense. More news and real-time info generally comes via Twitter, rather than FB. Many use FB for more personal reasons.
  3. MonGinder: 7 - not surprising. I'm always on the look out for a deal/promo/special or 1on1 contact with companies I use. Why wouldn't members?
  4. stacyliz: I feel Twitter is good as a news and provides quick info feed for members. FB is more for events and larger stories/articles. Thots?
  5. Paulsworld: Not surprising to me...FB is cluttered and twitter is quick and easy
  6. mfagala: Q7 Nope. We have a lot of mbrs /staff who signed up for Twitter when they saw how we were using it.
  7. Bellco_CU: Q7 - I'm not surprised. Twitter is designed for quick updates. Mbrs still getting used to FB marketing
  8. richardrc1: Twitter doesn't have the following likes FB yet or MS.
  9. ryanshell: Hold on folks. FB hands down will provide a larger audience than Twitter. Concerned that isn't being realized.
  10. ryanshell: You can post much of the same info on FB as you do Twitter. Seems like there's a large divide in the #cuchat conversation.
  11. stacyliz: @ryanshell It isn't being realized. So how to use FB in a way that connect with how members use FB?
  12. ryanshell: @stacyliz Join the conversation and post helpful info. Not one way.
  13. Paulsworld: I dont see a divide...twitter is easy and clean...dont have to wade through mafia wars, yoVille and faming clutter
  14. FirstTechCU: @stacyliz I would tend to agree. Twitter is so rapid--things get "buried" fast. FB news/posts tend to stay longer.
  15. @stacyliz: Q7. But can you post things on FB that fits with how members use it? How do you shift that paradigm?
  16. richardrc1: I still think applying applications to communicate on FB with your member is the way to go right giving them the ability for feedback
  17. stacyliz: I realize I have more questions than answers. It may be my perspective (not being at a CU) :)
  18. mfagala: @ryanshell It may depend somewhat on the avg age of your membership. Ours is fairly young and we are seeing more on Twitter.
  19. ryanshell: FB page value is 1) ability to have two way convo 2) your posts show up directly in the feed
  20. ryanshell: It appears that (some) credit union marketers are at a loss when it comes to posting content.
  21. stacyliz: I think content w good headlines is best way to grab attention on FB. Show up in newsfeed and link back to CU site for conversion
  22. mfagala: @stacyliz Agreed. Excellent point (Content w/ Good headlines)
  23. ThecuLoop: @ryanshell It's pretty easy to bridge that gap IMO by tying Twitter and FB status updates. As long as awareness of both is present
  24. ryanshell: @ThecuLoop I agree 100%. Selective Twitter status is key in my opinion.
  25. FirstTechCU: If you "tie" FB & Twitter together, members can choose how to engage, but aren't left out. This has worked well w/ our #UYL promo.

creditunionscom: Q8: From same survey, younger members (under 29) spend the most time on social networks. Is this confirmed by your results?

  1. mfagala: Q8: So far, yes.
  2. stacyliz: @mfagala So perhaps they are the ones most effectively/actively using and they use Twitter and FB differently?
  3. mfagala: @stacyliz Possible. I know many family/friends who use Twitter and FB differently or one vs. the other.
  4. ryanshell: @mfagala that bucks the Twitter trends. AND, have you actually tried to track them on FB?
  5. Bellco_CU: Q8 - we have younger member on SM but the 26-55 demo is most involved.
  6. ryanshell: they actually use it.

creditunionscom: Q9: What's next for social media use at credit unions? Better security? More networking? Is this a movement inside CU industry?

  1. mfagala: @creditunionscom Q9: Need to educate mbrs on pros/cons of using #socialmedia. It's global, just like all new tech. - Trends chg
  2. stacyliz: @mfagala Or maybe a more complete understanding of how mbrs are currently using SM and then tweak CU goals to fit?
  3. mfagala: @stacyliz Agreed. Never hurts to ask your members. We started with staff and have slowly started polling our mbrs.
  4. Paulsworld: Q9 I think FB will be replaced, twitter will evolve, new entries to SM will cause more networks to be employed to reach the same ppl
  5. Bellco_CU: Q9: SM for Bellco is about deepen connections w/ mbrs.
  6. ThecuLoop: Q9 What's next? Treating a conversation on SM like a true member service channel rather than a secondary advertising method.
  7. cmnigro: Social media at credit unions should be used as a customer service tool going forward. Not just for advertising. Engage your members
  8. ryanshell: @cmnigro Advertising should be used for advertising. Not social media conversations.
  9. cmnigro: @ryanshell I think there are many ways to participate in the conversation through SM, including advertising, but make it a convo
  10. ryanshell: @cmnigro I don't agree in a pretty large way. Run ads to advertise. Don't dilute the efforts of social conversation.
  11. cmnigro: @ryanshell I wouldn't call the SM advertising traditional. More informative less salesy, to people who want/need what you offer
  12. ryanshell: @cmnigro I do. I run ads on FB, but don't mix ads in with the convo. You will lose trust and become static.
  13. stacyliz: @ryanshell So what is the goal of the conversations you are or want to have?
  14. stacyliz: I agree re: SM being a conversation and not used as advert. But what convos work and what are the goals?
  15. ryanshell: @stacyliz some can be to provide helpful info. others provide service. others can ask questions.
  16. MonGinder: 9-whats next? better conversations with members resulting in better products, better ideas, and a better industry overall
  17. cmnigro: @MonGinder totally agree
  18. Paulsworld: Q9 I think FB will be replaced, twitter will evolve, new entries to SM will cause more networks to be employed to reach the same ppl
  19. ryanshell: @Paulsworld No way. People r very tied to FB, not going anywhere.
  20. Bellco_CU: @ryanshell While I agree re FB, MySpace look invincible in '05.
  21. Paulsworld: @ryanshell Thats what you could have said about myspace...Its going to fall the same way...a new cleaner entry will evolve
  22. DMI_CUSoapbox: Good point! RT @Bellco_CU: @ryanshell While I agree re FB, MySpace look invincible in '05.
  23. ryanshell: @Paulsworld MySpace and FB r diff. due to the structure.
  24. Paulsworld: @ryanshell...I know ur a fb fan, but my point is you need to be open to the changing sm landscape
  25. ThecuLoop: @ryanshell Facebook will fall eventually, no doubt in my mind. Nothing lasts forever, and the cycle of rise/fall has accelerated.
  26. Bellco_CU: Good point @ThecuLoop @ryanshell FB, Twitter, etc. are all tools for this new method of communication. Got to stay nimble.
  27. Bellco_CU: @ryanshell Good stuff Ryan - thx!
  28. DMI_CUSoapbox: HOPEFULLY better security. Too many spammers taking advantage of the channel and hijacking CU accounts.
  29. richardrc1: CU's are here to make a difference and our SM should show that by relaying info that will benefit the communities that we serve

creditunionscom: Q10: In your experience, what messages did CU members find most engaging? What do they thank you for, or repeat and RT the most?

  1. stacyliz: What is the goal of getting the most response/reaction? Are you using that to measure engagement somehow?
  2. Bellco_CU: Q10- Biggest reaction so far has been to interactive contests & asking questions.
  3. ThecuLoop: Q10 Best when you do something that gets OTHER people talking rather than talking about yourself. Listen and respond.
  4. ryanshell: Providing help has driven the largest reaction thus far.
  5. MonGinder: 10-a lot of our financial education, id theft, money management tips, articles, etc were the most responded too
  6. FirstTechCU: Lots of great points/views about the future of SM and CUs. SM can be tough in our industry, and idea-sharing is helpful.
  7. ryanshell: And look folks, there isn't a "this is how social media works" book. Diff things work for diff people.



Dec. 8, 2009



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