It’s All ‘Neighbor’ Good At TruStone Financial

The Twin Cities financial cooperative used social media to entice members to call out good causes and made a lot of positive impressions in the process.


TruStone Financial FCU
Data as of 03.31.17

HQ: Plymouth, MN
MEMBERS: 104,305
ROA: 0.89%

For an investment of less than $2,300 and a bit of staff time, TruStone Financial Federal Credit Union($1.2B, Plymouth, MN) drove some serious social media engagement by helping worthy causes help themselves.

The Twin Cities-based credit union staged the Show Us Your NeighborGood competition last December to showcase local volunteerism in the form of nominations, selfies, and digital voting.

Katie Grindeland, TruStone’s director of marketing and communications, says the campaign drove a 245% increase in Twitter mentions and 50% increase in Facebook posts during its four-week run last December.

Katie Grindeland, Director of Marketing and Communications, TruStone FCU

You don’t need to spend a lot of money on social campaigns, Grindeland says. For less than $2,300, including prizes, we created an impactful campaign that exceeded our expectations and brought awareness to local non-profits and charities.

Here, Grindeland explains how it all went down.

Describe TruStone’s Show Us Your NeighborGood competition.

Katie Grindeland: The contest was a four-week social media campaign intended to recognize our members for their involvement with local charities as well as raise awareness for those charities.

Every week during the campaign, our members nominated charities for which they volunteered or were personally involved. To be nominated for the campaign, our members had to submit a selfie of them volunteering with the charity for our Facebook page. Our Facebook followers selected the four weekly contest winners and the grand prize winner.

Who came up with the name?

KG: The NeighborGood name was a creative combination of our tagline ― Your Neighborhood Credit Unionand the good works of our members that we wanted to recognize. ContentMiddleAd

When did TruStone start it and why?

KG:We originally intended the NeighborGood contest to be a one-time, four-week social media campaign that recognized our members who quietly and routinely engage in acts of charity and spend hours volunteering, donating, and giving.

The campaign ran at the end of 2016 and generated such positive feedback that we are currently exploring additional opportunities to further develop the Show Us Your NeighborGood program.

Our Facebook audience controlled every step of the campaign from nominating the charities through the voting and selection of the weekly and grand prize winners.

Katie Grindeland, Director of Marketing Communications, TruStone Financial

What social media did TruStone use?

KG:The entire campaign was based around social media. We asked our members to submit a selfie of them participating with a local charity in their community. We posted the campaign on Facebook and duplicated the message on Twitter. We managed the campaign through Wyng, a third-party platform.

All social media posts included a graphic, whether it was the branded campaign imagery or lifestyle photos of people volunteering. Graphics were an important aspect of the strategy because our research has shown tweets with images receive 150% more retweets than tweets without images. Facebook posts with images see 2.3 times more engagement than those without images.

Something new we tried for this campaign was crafting messages based on trending hashtags and account handles for content participants. This encouraged others to share, like, and retweet posts that included personalized content for their channel.

We also engaged with the social media channels for the non-profits who were nominated. This brought additional organic, and free, campaign awareness and provided an amplified platform for the non-profit.

Of course, we posted information through multiple other channels to gain awareness to the campaign for those who are not as active on social. Those channels include website, member e-newsletter, and in-branch signage.

Click hereto see TruStone Financial’s online announcement of the NeighborGood campaign.

How else did TruStone market the NeighborGood campaign?

KG:Most of the marketing efforts relied heavily on social media, but we also used press releases, our website, in-branch advertising, and emails to gain awareness.

We sent emails to all past social media contest participants to alert them to this campaign. We also created shareable email content for those who submitted a charity to be able to send along to their friends, followers, and family encouraging them to vote.

How many people posted selfies?

KG:We had 42 selfies submitted throughout the four-week campaign. We had more than 13,000 unique visitors to our contest page throughout the campaign 556% over our goal.

What happened after they posted?

KG: At the end of each week, our Facebook audience voted on the photos to determine the winning volunteer and charity. The four elected winners then participated in a $1,000 grand prize contest that had a one-week voting period.

The best part of the NeighborGood campaign was the use of crowdsourcing. Our Facebook audience controlled every step of the campaign from nominating the charities through the voting and selection of the weekly and grand prize winners.

What kind of charities did people post about?

KG:The four finalists were the Minnesota Hooved Animal Rescue Foundation, Perspective Charter Schools, Ruff State Rescue, and Good Karma Animal Rescue of MN.

How many people picked the winner?

KG: More than 13,000 people visited the contest page during the grand prize voting period and nearly 6,000 votes were cast.

What did the winner get?

KG:Each of the four weekly contest winners received $50 for nominating the charity. The winning charity ― Good Karma Animal Rescue ― received $1,000. The other three each received a $100 donation.

What was the impact?

KG:The impact of the campaign reverberated far beyond the social media contest. In the end, it truly captured the people helping people’ philosophy that is the foundation of the credit union movement. Our staff, members and community were engaged in the contest.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

And The Finalists Are …

The four finalists chosen for TruStone Financial’s NeighborGood social media campaign had to provide write-ups about the non-profit to be considered for the $1,000 grand prize donation.

Congratulations to Good Karma Animal Rescue.

Good Karma Animal Rescue was voted the winner of the $1,000 donation given as the grand prize in TruStone Financial’s NeighborGood campaign.

  • Minnesota Hooved Animal Rescue Foundation Since 1994, the Minnesota Hooved Animal Rescue Foundation in Zimmerman, MN, has been rescuing, rehabilitating, retraining, and re-homing horses and other animals in distress while treating each animal with compassion and respect while acting in the animal’s best interest. The MHARF also educates the public on the welfare of hooved animals.
  • Perspectives Charter Schools Perspectives operates five open enrollment public schools serving 2,300 students in grades 6 through 12 in the communities of Auburn Gresham, Grand Boulevard, and the South Loop. Committed to providing access to top quality public school education in Chicago’s under-served communities, our goal is to ensure that all Perspectives students graduate from our schools prepared to succeed in college, and in life. Despite the fact that many of our students come to Perspectives well below their grade level, nearly 97 percent of our graduates are accepted to college!

This little critter was the star of one of the selfies submitted in the NeighborGood campaign.

  • Ruff Start Rescue Ruff Start Rescue, is dedicated to saving all animals whose lives are at risk. Office in Princeton, MN with foster homes located around Minnesota; RSR is determined to educate the community about the importance of animal rescue and safety. They rescue animals from high kill facilities, rehabilitate the sick, love the unsocialized pets and maintain a 100% spay/neuter program. Ruff Start Rescue strives to end pet overpopulation and safely place all animals in loving homes.
  • Good Karma Animal Rescue of MN Good Karma Animal Rescue of MN is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that was formed by Lisa Booth in January 2013. The idea behind Good Karma is simple, and something we hold true to every day. We place priority on high quality care and ethical volunteers who are aligned with our mission, not quantity of dogs. Yes, we want to save them all! But we will not make a commitment to a dog that we cannot truly help. We do not have a physical shelter, kennel, or facility. Every Good Karma dog is living in a foster home. We are only able to save dogs when we have available foster homes. We will not place a dog in boarding or any other environment besides a private home. No exceptions.
July 17, 2017

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