Posts Tagged ‘Blogging’

Social Media is not a waste of time for most Credit Unions

November 30, 2010

Fully five years into the social media revolution, a job opening for a social media position at a credit union was posted on EverythingCU.com just a week ago. I was very excited about this development, because as many of you know, I’ve been involved in social media and credit unions for… well, before there was even such a thing as social media.

When we started EverythingCU.com back in 2000/2001, we wanted to enable credit union marketers across the country (and even a few other countries too) to be able to share and communicate. We quickly realized that it would be great to attach a face to these names flying across our computer monitors, and thus photo uploading was added. (In the early days we even scanned photos sent to us by mail.) In addition, we created easy document sharing, as well as individual profile pages.

When the words “social media” started cropping up in credit union and other online sources back in 2005/2006, I started investigating this newly emerging trend and discovered it was very similar to the peer-to-peer networking and communication we were already enabling with EverythingCU.com, only on a more personal and “regular consumer” level. “What an exciting development!” I thought to myself. “Now that social media is emerging as an entity in its own right, we’ll be able to help credit unions understand the power of this medium for themselves that we’re experiencing here at EverythingCU.com.” In the subsequent years, I’ve spoken at many CU conferences and conducted workshops on social media for credit union leagues around the country; something which I truly love doing.

So based on the job posting, the subject on EverythingCU turns to “how can you calculate the ROI of this new social media position?” What an interesting question!

It can indeed be extremely difficult to measure ROI for marketing. You can measure overall results for a marketing campaign for a specific product by comparing that product’s sales with the previous year’s results. But as was pointed out on EverythingCU by Mia Perez, how do you measure ROI for the second year of the campaign, when you had successful adoption of the product in the previous year, thereby reducing the pool of people who would have bought the product based on your spectacular new marketing campaign? It’s going to necessarily be less than year 1. But you did as great a job creating the marketing campaign in year 2, but you’ll have less to show for it. Hmmmmmmm.

Another commenter in the Social Media-ROI topic pointed to the Financial Brand’s Why Social Media is a waste of time for most banks and credit unions.

I can’t prove the ROI of social media, but I fundamentally believe social media is not a waste of time for most credit unions. If your credit union behaves like a bank, then absolutely, you should skip social media. But I find the values of most credit unions line up perfectly with what makes social media a fantastic venue. Let’s take a look at where and why this makes sense from a “values” point of view:

Social media is all about empowering individual people. Each person in entitled to their own voice, their own opinion, and can create their own network of friends, family, and colleagues. Everyone is on an even playing field in terms of putting their message “out there.” In the credit union world, all members are treated equally, i.e., every member has an equal vote in electing the board of directors who are charged with overseeing how the credit union is run. Credit unions open their doors to everyone who is eligible to join; they don’t discriminate. Credit unions are cooperatives; social media is fantastic because of the cooperation and sharing that occurs. Credit unions originally were created for employers or organizations in a single location, in other words, a location-based community of people who had something in common. Social media flourishes because people everywhere are finding and/or creating their own online communities based on criteria that are important to themselves, whether it be political, religious, occupational, or centered around comon hobbies, passions, pasttimes, locations, and all sorts of other common interests.

Social media is fundamentally democratic and cooperative, as are credit unions. Credit unions were born of communities; social media is community brought online.

But before diving further into Social Media and its ROI, let’s examine exactly what social media is, since it means different things to different people. I view social media as any way that people communicate with each other online. This is done on an individual as well as a group basis. Well, this was happening long before MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter started becoming popular. So why did the phrase “Social Media” catch on starting around 2004/05? At this point, Facebook wasn’t open to the general population; blogging and podcasting were the new and hot things. Bloggers and podcasters were starting to build community with their endeavors and were excited that they were creating what the authors of the Cluetrain Manifesto had talked about in 1998.

So if we define social media as online communication, conversation, networking, and media sharing, then it’s been happening for quite a number of years, as email, AOL, chat rooms, listservs, the web, and the like are not new by any means. And even more fundamentally, human communication has been happening via technology since cave drawings were painted, and continued on through smoke signals, telegraphs with Morse code, pony express, the telephone, radio, tv, 8-tracks, albums, cassettes, CB radio, VHS, DVDs, and many others.

Let’s examine the telephone for a second. The telephone is basically a one-to-one non-persistent communication technology. (Although via voice mail, it can also be persistent and asynchronous.) At one time, I’m sure the telephone was very expensive, and businesses were loathe to adopt a new technology that very few of their consumers possessed. But now we don’t question the ROI of every person having a phone, whether it’s on their desk, a mobile phone, or now a smartphone. And yes, we have people dedicated to running businesses’ telephone infrastructures. But we don’t dedicate one person or one department in an organization, put all the telephones in their office and say “you are our telephone department! You’ll be operating and handling the telephones for everyone in the organization! Anytime anyone needs to make a call, they’ll come here to use these telephones, and seek your guidance in how to use the darn things!”

Well, I think social media is about where the telephone was many decades ago, in terms of how businesses are thinking about being involved with it.

Also interesting is how everyone views social media differently depending on their background. Marketing looks at social media as an advertising channel, while journalists view social media as a threat to the traditional way of bringing people news. Customer service people see social media as a new method of communicating with people.

As for ROI, well, there have been quite a few Credit Union success stories in social media already. And there have been quite a few success stories for non-CU businesses in social media.

We don’t necessarily measure the ROI of attending an in-person networking event such as a Chamber of Commerce mixer. But we all intuitively understand how important networking is. Well, as William Azaroff has pointed the way, perhaps a better term for social media is online community, or maybe even better, online networking.

Bottom line: Social media is definitely not a panacea, cure-all, or get-rich-quick scheme. But it works great for businesses when it’s used as a way that makes sense for both the business and its customers. After all, communication is fundamental to human nature, business, and marketing, and these online channels, media, and community are all fantastic communication avenues. And oh, by the way, social media, and online channels, have in many respects transformed the way people interact with each other.

Second bottom line for credit unions: Did you notice how your physical community dispersed over the last ten years or so? Yes, a majority of your members still reside within a five mile radius of a branch, but c’mon, don’t tell me you weren’t excited when you discovered you had a handful of members several thousand miles from your nearest branch. Well, I’ve got news if you hadn’t figured it out already. While location-based communities and geographies are still important, and are more important than ever in some ways (The New Geography), there is a new community and it’s online. People belong to multiple communities online and are excited about them. There may be an opportunity for your credit union to also be a part of the online communities that make sense for your credit union, based on what makes your members tick.

Post Script: (As if this blog post weren’t long enough already), I think that while there are huge areas of credit union function that are in the process of being transformed by online communication, the most exciting one, which has the most potential for bringing credit unions back to the member-centric powerhouses they once were, is in governance. Right now, credit union governance is a closed-door black box despite the efforts of pioneers such as Ginny Brady. But it’s in governance that credit unions have the opportunity to engage with the members like never before; to bring better transparency, to throw open the doors to the board room, and get meaningful, frequent member interaction with the board and management decision making. I truly believe that’s what Ed Filene would have envisioned had he been alive in this generation instead of his own. While you can’t measure the ROI of social media/governance interaction by the members, it gets to the FUNDAMENTAL reason why so many people LOVE their credit unions:

Because it feels like it’s MINE.

If you spend thousands upon thousands of dollars on a “traditional” branding campaign, you won’t make nearly the impact as ACTUAL online engagement with your members about the way THEIR institution is run. This is also an advantage that credit unions will ALWAYS possess over banks. PRESS YOUR ADVANTAGE TO THE MAX!

Look who’s talking about YOU!

June 14, 2010

I’ve had the great pleasure of presenting this social media topic (or online community communication is perhaps a better term): Look who’s talking about you. I was first invited to give this presentation by Jodi Torres (Thanks Jodi!) of CU Tech group for her organization’s Spring Consortium in Boston. I also presented this information to the Northeast Harland’s User Group in Portsmouth NH (Thanks Andrea!), and will give a webinar on it for EverythingCU.com this Thursday, June 17, as well.

This information is based on my own online experiences, and also draws heavily on groundbreaking work done by William Azaroff way back in the dark ages of social media (approx 2006-07 AD). Way back then, blogging was still the primary connection media, meaning Facebook and Twitter had not yet exploded in popularity. I’ve also drawn on the experience of various PR professionals in how to handle critiques (and worse) of your organization online or offline.

Here is a list of resources for further exploration on the topic, as well as links to first-hand information I covered in the presentation:

WILLIAM AZAROFF, Monitoring your brand health
WILLIAM AZAROFF, Responding to bloggers
DREW McLELLAN, 6 Steps to take if your company is criticized in a blog post
JOHN SOAT, Reputations at risk
MORRISS PARTEE, Motrin gives itself a migraine
CHRIS LOCKE et al, The Cluetrain Manifesto
RYAN UNDERWOOD, Tell us what you really think
LESLEY LAMBERT, BofA is on Twitter for the win
STEFAN BETZOLD, SM Monitoring Tools-an overview
DAN SCHAWBEL, Top 10 reputation tracking tools
DARREN BAREFOOT, I wanted to love Vancity, but now I loathe them
CULLEN WATERS, Vystar CU – Worst bank ever
JEFFRY PILCHER, Fighting axe grinders and their online vendettas

Outsourcing social media is a lot like outsourcing your face

May 19, 2010

I had the privilege of being a guest, along with Day Air Credit Union’s Design Manager, Monica Ginder, on Carla Day’s CU Chat Up BlogTalkRadio show today. The show was centered around credit union’s use of social media, and a question raised was, “Should CU’s ever outsource their social media efforts?” I replied on air, and I also typed into the chat box, “Outsourcing social media is a lot like outsourcing your face.”

Also in the show, Monica made a wonderful point; that as the Design Manager, she doesn’t get to interact with members in-person on a daily basis the way tellers, MSRs, and loan officers do. So social media is her window into her members’ world, and her opportunity to interact with them directly.

Thanks for having me on the show Carla, and thank you to all the listeners! If you want to listen, the show is located here.

Divine providence?

January 24, 2010

Or just coincidence?

Friday, the conversation on EverythingCU and my blog was all about how to convince management to not be “dead-set” against social media involvement. Then yesterday, my mother sent me this article on Yahoo News: Pope to Priests: Go forth and blog.

Your interpretation?

To tweet or not to tweet: Is it even a question?

November 18, 2009

To tweet or not to tweet?

Is it still even a question?

Like everyone else, I only reluctantly joined the twitterverse initially. Nearly universally, people hearing about Twitter for the first time think it’s a dumb idea, one that has zero business use, and only marginal personal use. I think this reaction happens nearly for nearly everyone because you can’t see or understand Twitter until you get inside it.

Recently, the business case for twitter was poo-poo’ed by a real estate blogger, and it drew a strong reaction from realtors that successfully use twitter in their business. One of the commenters in favor of twitter stated that twitter users are in the top 2 percentile of intelligence. While clearly this is an overstatement, not based on facts, it IS possible to have a twitter experience of only very smart people. What sets social media apart from the broadcast model that preceded it is that EVERYONE gets to control who is or is not in their very own network. If you want to only follow brilliant people, then you are free to do so.

Because I’ve been in the twitterverse for so long (more than two years), it’s hard for me to remember that many people haven’t been exposed to it, nor have the time to develop a quality group of people to tweet with. Twitter advocate and consultant Laura Fitton (@Pistachio) continues to make arguments for twitter for businesses. I applaud that she is bridging the gap. But for many people, they will simply have to experience Twitter, or at least see it in action, to understand its usefulness.

I was recently witness to a new use of Twitter that leaves me chuckling and shaking my head…. and that is as extension of one’s own brain. Shari Storm, VP of Marketing at Verity CU in Seattle, and author of Motherhood is the New MBA, recently tweeted that she had written a note to herself, “Evaluate MOH”, and couldn’t remember what it meant. Lo and behold, several of her twitter followers chimed in with possible meanings of MOH. Many replies were funny, and the correct answer, Messages On Hold, was mentioned by several people.

Think about that for a second… Shari wrote a note to herself, designed for her eyes only, forgot what it meant, and then asked friends and strangers for help deciphering it. And they did! What better case for Twitter could be made than as extension of one’s own brain?

By the way, what got me hooked on Twitter, back in 2007, after the typical false start phase that everyone goes through, was a tweet sent by Brent Dixon relaying something that Shari said in a presentation that was occurring 1000 miles away from me at the time. Brent tweeted that Shari said “of new members joining Verity CU, three times more cite their blog as the reason than direct mail.” It was an important bit of information that I would have never known had it not been for Brent, Shari, and twitter. And I was hooked.

If you are interested in hearing Shari talk about her book, Motherhood is the New MBA, you can hear her interviewed, 30 minutes into this 60 minute TQ Radio show, recorded Monday Nov 16, 2009.

The Shevlinator is back!

September 16, 2009

Marketing Tea Party

Marketing Tea Party

I am very excited that Mr. Ron Shevlin is back and blogging again, and debunking more marketing myths than ever before. I always appreciate the analysis and dose-of-reality he brings to his topics.

There are two reasons that I love Ron’s blog: Ron’s excellent, and usually humorous posts, but equally important, the outstanding conversation he elicits from some really smart, quality people. Ron is a lightening rod because of his own keen analytical mind, and well-reasoned, thoroughly thought-out blog posts, whether or not you agree with them. Because Ron is posting quality stuff, he attracts quality commentary.

So here’s a tip for those who are looking to gain more traffic and more conversation on their blog: feature your readers comments PROMINENTLY. Put “Most Recent Comments” near the top of your blog’s sidebar. I will visit Ron’s blog often, even when Ron hasn’t written a new post, just to see what new conversation may have happened there. (His old blog had reader comments featured in this way, and he’s working on adding it to his new blog.)

P.S. I am beyond flattered that Ron uses Maurice Purdue as one of his target reading audience members. Looks like I’ll have to create a new Google Alert for that guy.

Social Media Marketing Best Practice: Make it easy

August 28, 2008

Another principle for successful social media marketing (inspired by Mitch Joel’s project): Make everything as easy as possible for your visitors.

One of the reasons why you see YouTube videos posted everywhere online is that YouTube makes that extremely easy to do. When you upload a video to YouTube, you are given code on the side of the page that will embed the video. All one has to do to post that video on their blog or discussion board is to copy and paste the code. Sure, a techie could figure out the code on their own. But it’s hard to do, time consuming, and there is no way that non-techies could figure out the code to do it. YouTube has made it cut-and-paste easy for any of their video clips to be embedded anywhere. That is a large factor in their success.

At EverythingCU.com, we owe much of our success to the fact that we are constantly thinking about ways to make doing things online in the community as easy as possible for our members.

Make it easy for your visitors to:

  • sign up
  • participate in your community or project
  • find and connect with other people
  • find the information that they are looking for
  • share and re-use elements of your community/media for their own projects and sites
  • tell their friends about it

What are you doing to make it easier for your audience to spread the online word about you? Do you have a Refer a Friend button on your web site? Sure, the same thing could be accomplished via email, but having a button on your site reminds the viewer that they could be sharing this with someone who might appreciate and benefit from what you have to offer.

In order to make things as easy as possible for your members, you have to design your site and your processes from your members point of view. Imagine being in your visitor’s shoes, and walk yourself step-by-step through your screens. If you haven’t done this in a while, no doubt you will uncover some ideas for improvement.

Under the hood of a blog

August 27, 2008

During the World 2.0/PR Buzz workshop I gave for the Georgia Credit Union Marketing Council in June, I showed attendees how to start a blog, and even created a live blog posting, complete with photo, right before their eyes. One of the questions from the group had to do with stats and tracking of the blog. All blog platforms have some type of stat reporting. In fact, WordPress recently announced new and improved stats.

I realized that unless you start your own WordPress blog, you won’t know what kind of stats you can expect to see. So to clear up that mystery, I’ll show you some of the stats from this blog.

SearchTerms-big.gif

Today, it’s Search Engine terms. When you check your general stat page on WordPress, you’ll see the search terms people are using to find your blog. The image to the right is a 30-day snapshot of search terms people are using to find this blog. Much to my amusement, ‘amish’ and related searches are always the number one way people find me via search. This month ‘decoupled debit card’ is running a close second. I never expected ‘amish’ to be so popular. (Here are my entries on Opening new accounts for the Amish and Decoupled debit lives again.

I don’t know which search engine these hits are coming from (and I’ve checked the first 10 pages of Google, and looked at ask.com, live.com, and yahoo.com), so if you uncover it, let me know. I realize that these hits are not relevant to the purpose of this blog, so I take no pride in the 450 readers per month who find this blog that way. These hits are like strangers knocking on your front door who are really looking for a neighbor’s house.

There is not yet much information online about ‘decoupled debit cards’ so these results show that to gain readership, either blog about things that are very popular (Amish) or things that are very unique, or not yet widely discussed online (decoupled debit cards).

However, random searches are not the only way people find this blog, and I’ll discuss the other ways in a future post.

(For people who are already blogging reading this: I bet you have some funny or unusual search terms people are using to find your blog. Please feel free to share the terms you never thought would lead people to find you!)

Showdown, Texas-style

August 12, 2008

On Sunday night, I found out why Trey Reeme has been very quiet on the credit union/social media scene since the beginning of the year. It’s because he’s been working to bring Tim McAlpine and Currency Marketing’s Young & Free Alberta campaign to Trey’s new credit union, TDECU (fka Texas Dow Employees’ CU). This news was twittered very quickly Sunday night, with Bryan Sims being the first outsider to discover it the night before the official launch.

Yesterday, launch day of Young & Free Texas, it has been blogged by William Azaroff and Trey Reeme, Tim McAlpine, and Ben Rogers, and reported by CU Times, Reuters, and Forbes.

This exciting news, the Young & Free campaign’s launch and license for the first time in the United States, was tempered with the news that another credit union in Texas has copied (emulated?) the Young & Free concept (reported by The Financial Brand), in most, if not all, details.

This brings up the issue of financial institution branding in the internet age.

In the old days, it was easy. There was no way someone in Alberta, Canada would ever encounter something from Houston, Texas. And only traveling professionals would have regular visits between Houston (HQ area of TDECU) and Dallas (HQ of Resource 1 CU). But the internet has changed all that. With three clicks of a mouse, someone can view Young & Free Alberta, Young & Free Texas, and Resource 1 CU’s MyLifeMyMoney . And in fact, googling “Young Free” today yields the Alberta campaign as the first two results, and William Azaroff’s blog post about the Texas launch near the bottom of the page.

MyLifeMyMoney could suffer the same fate as the stellar BBC sitcom “Coupling” when it was translated from British to American TV. Coupling has six main characters, three men and three women, and the series explores the humor of their personal lives, and male/female dating and stereotypes. The BBC original is delightful, unexpected, and original. When Friends ended its 11-year hit run, NBC needed something to replace it, and purchased an American version of Coupling. But rather than re-interpret the British version in an American style, it simply copied the BBC original, line for line. The only difference was the American actors, and a few changed words such as ‘lorry’ to ‘truck’. Whether or not you had seen the British original, the American version stunk. It was flat. It had no sparkle, no charm, no pizzazz, all the things which made the British version wonderful. Even though 99% of American audiences had no idea that it was a copy of a show across the pond, no one watched it, and it was promptly cancelled.

This is what Resource 1 CU’s MyLifeMyMoney is. Nearly identical in most regards (spokesperson contest, online voting, etc), just changing the words and switching the graphics. Copying the surface, without understanding the depth. The first difference I see in MyLifeMyMoney is the declaration that the campaign is aimed at 18-35 year olds. What an 18 year-old and a 35-year old have in common is that they eat and breathe. And not much else. (A smart credit union marketing professional recently updated her Facebook status saying 30 is too old to come up with effective marketing strategies for the 18 to 21 age group. When will financial institutions understand that a.) it’s not about age and b.) even if it is about age, you don’t need to say it in your ads — Hey you! If you are between the ages of 26 and 34, pay attention because this ad is aimed at your wallet! Otherwise, never mind and go away!) MyLifeMyMoney also uses generic, cheesy, typical stock photography showing happy white people who could be anywhere. There is nothing that says “Texas” or local about these generic images, which is in stark contrast to Young & Free. Another social media misstep is that blog posts on the site are unsigned. Nothing says “corporate” more than faceless blog postings.

The final area where MyLifeMyMoney seems to fall short is that the actual value that a young person gets is unclear. On the surface it seems like a bunch of fancy names for services the credit union offers anyway. Free online banking? Who doesn’t offer that? Free live call center? Free ATM deposits? Free drive thru? Free direct deposit? Does ANY FI charge for these things? Free 8 locations? What, if you are older, you are charged for walking into a branch? Thud.

Resource 1 CU appears to have copied the surface appearance of Young & Free, while making mistakes on critical social media aspects.

In contrast to the hit BBC show “Coupling”, the BBC hit sitcom “The Office” made the leap across the Atlantic very differently than Coupling’s straight-out copy. The Office retained the name and core concept in translation, but was completely re-interpreted in an American style. And the results have been a runaway success on both sides of the pond. This is my hope for Young & Free’s translation south of the 49th parallel.

However, even Young & Free Texas has the potential to be less successful than Young & Free Alberta. As I mentioned, googling Young Free results in the Young Free Alberta site showing for the first two results. How will this be resolved? What is the best that Young Free Texas can hope for? Five Alberta results and five Texas results? What kind of confusion is that going to create in young potential members? What are young people going to think when they see Alberta videos mixed in with Texas videos on YouTube? Never mind the potential confusion that will occur once other states join the fray. Are Texans going to take kindly to the fact that they are second-class citizens, copying the magic that is occurring in Alberta? Texans have built their brand on being the biggest and best. Texans don’t take kindly to being second-fiddle at ANYTHING. You can’t hide things on the internet. Texans WILL find Young Free Alberta. The questions are how much, how often, and will they care? Because I like both Tim and Trey so much, and I love the Young & Free campaign and everything Larissa has done as Spokester, I would like to see them and Young & Free be successful in Texas as well. I even thought about NOT writing about Resource 1’s version of Young and Free. But that would be not accomplish anything. It’s on teh INTER-NETS. It’s out there for EVERYONE to see. Everyone can see the strategy of Resource 1. It’s not like if I don’t write about it that it will go away. It’s already out there. (A video from Larissa/Young & Free Alberta shows up as the third ‘related video’ result on YouTube when viewing the MyLifeMyMoney spokester search explanation video.

Young & Free Alberta’s success is definitely not solely due to Larissa Walkiw’s talent and charm. Young & Free Alberta has three primary success factors going for it: 1.) It’s completely new and innovative; no financial institution has ever done anything like this. 2.) The CU has a unique product (free checking) which no other F.I. has in Alberta. 3.) The campaign gives young people a true voice, not only through spokesperson Larissa, but through the unique Albertan events that Larissa covers in person and shoots videos and blogs about.

Young and Free Texas will have number three on the above list, but will not have number one, and number two is questionable. I’m not sure how the Go2Account stacks up against not only what TDECU offers, but against other FIs in Texas. I’m not sure what Dual Checking and Savings accounts mean, but checking accounts are already free at TDECU.

Will Young & Free Texas equal the success of Young & Free Alberta without a clearly compelling and differentiating product? Will Resource 1 CU learn enough on the fly about social media to make MyLifeMyMoney successful and be able to overcome the lack of a differentiating product?

Update: Now that I have listened to Trey’s phone conversation with Mark McSpadden, I have learned that Trey acknowledges 1.) The hope that Young & Free Texans commune with Young & Free Albertans and any other future Young & Free’ers and 2.) that he and TDECU decided to proceed with launching Young & Free Texas despite not being able to launch the corresponding youth product in the way that they had wanted. However neither of these points is apparent (or matters) to outsiders or the target audience.

27 Credit union social media don’ts

July 15, 2008

I’m sure that I left out plenty, so feel free to add your additional ones here! And here’s a nice buttoned-up, three-page PDF version of the 63 CU social media do’s and don’ts.

Because this list is long, I’ve split up the Do’s and the Don’ts into two entries:

Don’ts:

  1. Don’t think that social media is just another marketing channel to starting shouting on.
  2. Don’t blast your message into online communities without checking out the existing conversation, culture, and etiquette. People will tune you out and/or flame you if you do.
  3. Don’t spam your members.
  4. Don’t blog just because everyone else is doing it. And if you do, don’t let it languish for long periods of time.
  5. Don’t use a condescending tone of voice.
  6. Don’t try to use slang or crazy graphics to try to appear cooler than you really are.
  7. Don’t think it’s all about the credit union. It’s not. It’s all about your members.
  8. Don’t devise a plan to use one particular social media tool, and then plan a campaign around it.
  9. Don’t use marketing/corporate-speak, lingo, or jargon in any of your communications. Your members appreciate plain-spoken honesty that they can understand.
  10. Don’t shoot down or ignore negative comments about your credit union on your own site or third-party sites. First cool down, then respond as if the person were standing in front of you in your lobby, and treat him/her with the class, dignity, and respect befitting your institution.
  11. Don’t be afraid to let people know how the CU could benefit them when the circumstances come up to do so.
  12. Don’t think you have to write a new blog post every day.
  13. Don’t be afraid to dive in and get your feet wet with the MULTITUDE of free social media resources available.
  14. Don’t think that social media and traditional marketing are an either/or situation. The best campaigns utilize both types where appropriate.
  15. Don’t be afraid to start a blog, with comments enabled, for fear of negative comments. There have only been a half dozen or so in the entire four years that CUs have been blogging. We’ve got our work cut out for us just to get our members to even read it, let alone comment on it.
  16. Don’t invest in mobile banking that requires any kind of a special software download. Your members will never go for that. The only exception are Apple iPhone Apps, where they’ve made it ridiculously easy to get new apps.
  17. Don’t invest in a web site with flashing graphics and animations. Your members want simple and easy to use. Focus all of your web development efforts on simple, intuitive, quick, and easy.
  18. Don’t forget that not all of your membership is as tech-savvy as you are. Many are further behind, some are further ahead.
  19. Don’t make your members feel stupid that they don’t already know how to participate in online social media. You’ll earn their gratitude if you treat them respect when teaching them how to participate online. And go a long way to raising the image of your CU in their eyes.
  20. Don’t think you are the first financial institution to do anything. Chances are, not only has another financial institution done something similar to what you are embarking on, your members know about it as well.
  21. Don’t pursue being your members’ sole source of info, nor being their sole financial institution. While many members enjoy the convenience of banking at one place, many others prefer to work with a variety of FIs, for many different reasons. (Most of which are not logical, but hey, it’s not always about the most logical.)
  22. Don’t get upset when your members use the term “bank”, or when they have financial relationships with banks. It’s your job to inform them of why you’re better, not berate them because they are idiots. Even knowing why you are better, there are a multitude of personal reasons to have an account at a bank. (An account that a spouse doesn’t know about for instance.) You can’t mess with that, and no amount of arguing is going to change their minds.
  23. Don’t limit blog authors to only those in marketing.
  24. Don’t think that social media is limited to the marketing department.
  25. Don’t shut down employee/CU access to social media sites and expect to get any results from social media initiatives.
  26. Don’t be afraid to show some personality, and
  27. Don’t forget to have some fun with your members!

Here are the 36 Do’s.


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