Data from an Internet Strategy Consortium survey show that 52% of credit union members use social networking websites. Although Facebook (91%) is by far the most popular, members of all ages are using multiple platforms. While social media initiatives won’t reach all members, they represent an opportunity to create a different type of relationship with particular member segments.
Michigan State University FCU ($1.7B) has 1,518 fans of its Facebook page and 1,390 followers on Twitter. Group Health Credit Union ($287M) is also finding Twitter an effective means of communicating with 1,077 members who are following its tweets. Here is a quick guide to social media for financial institutions.
Facebook: Credit unions are generating conversations with members, soliciting feedback on products and services and alerting members to upcoming events. With the ability to customize the landing page, credit unions can design their page to promote products and educational events, and encourage member participation. Members who become fans receive instant credit union updates.
MySpace: Featuring more graphics and video content than typical Facebook pages, MySpace provides an avenue for credit unions to reach Gen Y members. GTEFCU’s U224U account is promoted through a MySpace page (682 friends) includes video contests, educational info, and blogs.
Twitter: With messages limited to 140 characters, most credit unions post content such as educational reminders, article links and commentary, community resources and credit union events. Some financial institutions, such as Amex, are using Twitter to resolve customer service problems.
YouTube: Credit unions use YouTube to promote member-created video contests and to post topical education segments. YouTube’s video hosting capabilities make it an easy choice for embedding video on the credit union website or social media sites. Videos that go viral, such as The Difference Between Banks and Credit Unions by Young and Free Alberta with more than 75000 views, can reach a far broader audience than originally intended.
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