Leadership / Operations / Strategy / Jun 29 '16

3 Ways to Strengthen Your Credit Union through Collaboration

Holly Fearing
Holly Fearing
Marketing + Communications Director

It’s time, credit unions, to harness the power of collaboration. The research all points in your favor. The collaborative nature of the industry will set you up for success and strength that going it alone simply cannot produce.

Here are three ways your credit union can collaborate with other credit unions, employees, members and the entire credit union system to fortify the strength of YOUR credit union:

Holly Fearing
Holly Fearing
Marketing + Communications Director


ONE

Credit Union -to- Credit Union Collaboration

What: Social media strategy to effectively amplify your value, messages, and marketing

Who: Small and mid-sized credit unions

Why: 70% percent of households start their search for new financial institutions and additional financial services online, via search engines and social media. Having an effective social media presence is one of the main ways potential members find out about your credit union.

Smaller credit unions more than ever need to, and can, have big social media presence. All it takes a little group effort. Because many credit unions share similar challenges and opportunities with other like-sized shops, you can maximize available resources by working together and tapping into the industry’s collaborative nature to develop strategies, share best practices and find solutions, together.

Do it now: Pull together a collaborative group of 2-4 small/medium credit unions looking to build and develop effective social media strategies. Then contact Holly at [email protected] to get started.

Working with Filene, your credit union group will receive effective social media strategies for each shop for a fraction of the cost of going it alone. Get the best of both worlds!

TWO

Credit Union –to- Employee/Member Collaboration

What: Connecting with your biggest fans, both employees and members, builds your army of brand ambassadors to organically spread the word about your credit union. This type of endorsement is worth its weight in gold and beats any paid media in effectiveness hands down.

Who: Credit unions with a social media presence looking to assess their strengths and hone their efforts to maximize results. Credit unions with big social media presence and big fans waiting to be empowered.

Why: In a recent Nielson Global survey, only 33% of consumers said they trust paid advertisements, but a whopping 92% trust peer recommendations. In a survey from Crowdtap, 70% of people reported that a suggestion from a friend or family member directly lead them to a purchase decision.

Do it now:  Collaborate with employees and empower your member fans. Start with a Social Media Assessment, then build a Brand Ambassador Strategy.

You can just sit back and hope ambassadors happen on their own. But formalizing a Brand Ambassador Strategy is one of the smartest and best ways to amplify your brand messages, especially on social media. Your employees are your greatest assets, and for credit unions, they often are your biggest fans. Tapping into their enthusiasm and passion for the credit union and cooperative movement is a smart move. 

Meanwhile, the ability to genuinely connect with members on a deeper level is a strategic advantage of cooperative businesses—yours for the taking if you want to build up net promoters for your brand. But you can't just dive in head first and hope for the best—you’ll need to do a Social Media Assessment to see what you’re currently doing to learn what’s working best and what more you can do to build more connected and loyal members.



THREE

Credit Union System-Wide Collaboration

What: Blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies are revolutionizing the way people perceive and interact with money. Credit unions should focus on gleaning value from these technologies to grow their business.

Who: The entire credit union system. A Blockchain is a public [or private] digital ledger that keeps track of transactions within a digital currency by logging them across various computers. This network of computers works in tandem to ensure the authenticity of a transaction.

Why: Realizing these possibilities lies in the future and depends on a common Blockchain or interoperability across separate Blockchains. Big banks are already experimenting with a common Blockchain network. Credit unions can either wait and pay rent on that network or build their own network today.

Do it now: New research has just been released about Blockchain and Insights for Credit Unions. Read the research now and commit to staying up to date on this technology. There may be a time in the near future where credit unions will need to act quickly to stay relevant in a changing FinTech world and the more you understand about this, the better prepared you’ll be for that event.