Did you know that about one in five credit unions are “Twitter quitters?” In other words, they had an account at one point but have since given up and stopped posting. We don’t blame them. Social media can be incredibly frustrating—how does one build followers, encourage interaction, and actually generate return on investment, anyway? But when done right, social media use can strengthen community engagement, increase brand recognition and brand loyalty, and allow financial institutions to reach new audiences.
At Avannis, we’re dedicated to helping you understand and better connect with your member base. Today, we’re taking a closer look at the potential power of social media and diving into why credit unions should maintain a solid social presence on one or more platforms. We’ve also got some actionable tips for strengthening audience engagement so that you can start making the most of your digital presence.
3 Benefits of Cultivating a Social Presence
Too many financial institutions open social media accounts because they think they should. But without a clear idea of the potential returns on your efforts, it’s impossible to work towards concrete goals. Here are just a few of the positives of establishing and maintaining a strong presence on a social platform.
Build Customer Relationships
Credit unions have long been perceived as catering more to the individual than larger financial institutions. You can lean into that perception by taking to social media to build deeper connections with your existing members. Establishing a clear voice that speaks directly to a chosen audience on social platforms gives a voice to a credit union, ultimately making it appear more friendly and relatable.
Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram also offer an opportunity to interact with individual members. In this evolving digital age, people will often take to the internet to air grievances. A company’s response can either improve the situation or negatively impact brand perception. Ideally, your credit union will be able to address a negative post on social media gracefully and effectively. When handled well, this kind of problem resolution can actually increase customer loyalty!
Whether your goal is to increase membership numbers or get more existing members interested in a certain service, social media can help get you there. Once you start producing quality content and generating engagement, you’ll expose larger audiences to your brand. You might also consider running ads on social media, which can increase brand recognition even if they don’t directly lead to conversions.
Reviews are everything, even for financial institutions, and social media creates the perfect channel for encouraging members to write them. Avannis makes it particularly easy for members to share information on their experience by inviting them to detail their thoughts on social media at the end of a customer survey. Then, with our intelligent survey tool, we take them directly to the platform of choice. We can even invite your members to complete a survey directly through social platforms like Twitter and Facebook!
Which Platform Is Best?
We wish we had a definitive answer here, but the truth is that there is no one perfect social platform. However, there are better options depending on your target audience. Looking for the younger crowd—people who are just beginning to bank? Head to Instagram. Have plenty of short-form content to post? Get started on a posting schedule for Twitter. Focused on collecting a steady stream of reviews? Your target audience might be best reached on Facebook.
One thing to remember here is that jumping into social doesn’t mean that you need an account on every single available platform. In fact, that kind of approach may very well spread your brand too thin and create a lot of frustrating, fruitless work for your marketing team. Instead, set a realistic goal to develop profiles on one or two platforms, then create a robust posting plan packed with captions and content written just for your audience.
Strengthening Your Social Approach
Here are a few tips for making the most of your social accounts.
It’s not enough to have a social account; to see return, you have to use it. That means posting at least once a day—and maybe more, depending on your platform of choice. Be sure that you have enough time and resources to dedicate to producing and posting quality content.
One thing that can help get you on a consistent posting schedule is a content calendar. Plan out your posts a month in advance to give your team plenty of time to pick up on any key dates or events that are important to your members.
People are on social media to interact with others and to stay updated on current events. Your credit union is on social media to engage and learn from your members. Give those members the opportunity to interact with your brand, whether it’s through polls, giveaways, or unique insight into banking.
Get to Know Your Members with Avannis
Getting set up on social media and learning to use these platforms to your advantage will do wonders for strengthening your relationship with your existing members. But for additional insight into the customer experience, direct customer surveys can’t be beaten. At Avannis, we offer customizable tools and online software as well as industry benchmarks to help you unlock the valuable learnings behind the data. We can even help you utilize social platforms to encourage member feedback and reviews! Reach out today to learn more about how we can put you inside the minds of your members.