Social media is new, exciting, and tricky.
It's tricky because you’re ceding control to the masses. It's tricky because, while social media promises lower costs, measuring effectiveness is harder. It's tricky enough that some credit unions are even rethinking it's worth. An August CUNA Lending and Marketing Council survey reports that 87 percent of credit unions currently using Facebook say they will continue–which means that many will not.
However, as credit unions work hard to attract up-and-coming members, a social presence is essential. And becoming a social expert could be critical. For many consumers, social media mastery has become a brand expectation: “Digital branding and social strategies are becoming the necessary norm for all business including credit unions.” (Credit Union Digital Branding, Rogers 2011, Filene) A new member or a new hire may not even consider a credit union that doesn’t do Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn well.
And mere presence is no longer enough either. An effective social media strategy goes well beyond populating a Facebook page: “When implementing social media programs, credit unions must understand how to develop strategies that will help them communicate effectively with members and potential members, foster credit union growth, and build social equity and awareness.” (The State of Social Media in Credit Unions: Opportunities and Challenges, Austin & Good 2011, Filene). Moving from a static online presence to effectively engaging consumers using social channels is challenging but critical: “Among successful credit unions 41.8 percent say that members are “somewhat engaged” and 11.3 percent say they are “very engaged.” (Measuring Social Media Success in Credit Unions, Austin & Good 2012, Filene).
Research Pilot Details
“Being part of the QUEsocial pilot program has really helped me to more thoroughly develop our social media presence. Not only has it enabled me to share relatable and timely content with our followers, but it has also helped me become more in-tune with best practices among fellow Credit Unions. While I have had previous social media experience, the more familiar I became with the QUEsocial pilot program, the more confident I was that what Filene had to offer would help me better represent St. Cloud Federal Credit Union online. Utilizing the various components of the QUEsocial pilot, I have been able to expand my network of fellow Credit Union professionals and exchange both learnings and insights with them. I have without-doubt seen the benefits of the QUEsocial program as our social media audience continues to grow on a regular basis. Thank you Filene!”
-Bridget: QUEsocial Pilot Participant
“We've used social media to recruit, engage our audiences, and generate leads. During the pilot we've had 3 leads develop via social media which are currently in the process of closing.”
-Filene | QUEsocial Social Media Pilot Participant
Filene launched a research pilot that will be wrapping up in late April with QUEsocial to explore how credit unions can improve their social media efforts and effectively drive business. The pilot has proven extraordinarily successful so far.
Initial findings include:
- More than 50 percent report a “business win” from the pilot so far.
- Growing social networks and posting frequently are the key factors to gaining business wins.
- Twitter is the most popular social platform for the pilot’s best performers.
With the research pilot coming to an end shortly, we are excited to announce that the Filene | QUEsocial Social Media Platform will be open to all credit unions on May 1, 2013.
Platform participants will build an internal network of socially engaged team members, learn new strategies from other credit unions, and gain important practical insights about how to incorporate social media tools into day-to-day operations.
QUEsocial offers a solution for credit unions to drive business results by improving their social media efforts. The company’s portal combines e-learning, content delivery, gamification, and analytics to make it easy for credit unions to take social business beyond marketing and put into the hands of individuals from across the organization including such functional areas as sales, recruiting, member services, product development, and more. QUEsocial is offering special pricing for the credit unions that participated in the QUEsocial Social Media Pilot.
Please use the comment feature of this blog post to ask questions others might benefit from or contact Tansley Stearns via email or call 608.661.3753.
The Impact team at Filene provides actionable solutions grounded in research to help credit unions continue to grow and thrive, ultimately enhancing the well-being of consumers. To learn more about our Impact team or our other Impact projects and pilots, contact Tansley Stearns via email or at 608.661.3753.