Because I am a summer intern here at Callahan & Associates, I decided to explore the CreditUnions.com archives to see what I could learn. During my search, I came across an interesting article with an even more intriguing response. In early February, writer Aaron Pugh dispelled five social media myths. One reader replied: I’m still a little fuzzy about what the benefits of social media are to credit unions, even if the five misconceptions outlined above can be overcome.
Being a film major, digital native, and Gen Y-er, I am vested in the future of social media, so I decided to provide an answer for our inquisitive reader. Here are my thoughts on why credit unions should embrace social media usage.
Win Over Gen Y
Yes, I know this seems pretty obvious and almost not worth mentioning, but hear me out! Being a Gen Y-er myself, I can honestly say I do not learn about new products or things that might interest me via anything other than the Internet. Word-of-mouth is the most powerful tool to connect to a potential member of my generation, and Facebook, Twitter, and sites of the like are the interfaces to pass the word. And it’s a lot easier for social media users to back up claims of your excellence with links that prove it. As more advertising mediums such as TV spots and magazine spreads get overlooked, social media remains a daily institution in the lives of the younger than 30s crowd. So if you don’t have any form of social media presence, you’ll be missing a major portion of the younger, potential-member market.
Add A Personal Touch
One of Twitter’s main draws in the beginning was the personal connection users felt between themselves and those they followed particularly the ever-idolized celebrity icons in America. Facebook is adored (and on a few occasions abhorred) for its ability to help people stay connected with pretty much anyone they’ve ever met. With the foundations of social media entrenched in the personal interactions users crave, simply being associated with it will imply a personal touch. And a personal touch from a financial institution might be a deciding factor for when a young member chooses with whom tobank.
The Internet Is Taking Over The World
The Internet has been easily accessible for years and continues to become more influential. Staking your claim on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook is easy and free although you do need to decide how you want to manage your accounts to stay visible and relevant. And as Callahan’s publications marketer Elizabeth Morash has pointed out, you’ll have a presence in social media whether you like it or not. Might as well embrace it. After all, it is easier to have a positive image on the Internet if you’re the one behind it.
Think about the relationship between credit unions and social media like the relationship between the film industry and talkies in the 1930s. Many critics thought silent film was there to stay and talking pictures were just a fad. Obviously, filmmakers who scoffed at the talkie crowd learned a hard lesson join or get left behind.