A big voice for a small credit union: Using employees and social media to amplify your brand

first_imgWhat has the highest value at your credit union? I’m guessing it’s not something that’s kept in your vault. Look around. It’s who you see all around you–your co-workers, your employees, your member/owners stopping into your branches every day. These are your best assets. Are you using them to help promote your brand? If you’re not enabling and empowering your employees and happy customers to be your biggest brand advocates, you’re certainly leaving a ton of low-cost opportunity on the table. And your competition (banks, non-traditional financial services, disruptive services) are scooping up what you leave behind and laughing all the way to the…bank!Grabbing the opportunitiesTo give you a better sense of just exactly what opportunities are being missed by small businesses today, take a look at the data from this report:Half of small companies do not even have a website.Ninety percent of small businesses have not optimized their site for mobile.While 78% of consumers’ purchases are influenced by online reviews, 87% of small business owners do not ask their customers for reviews, according to other research we commissioned.The report goes on to supply the following 5 ‘marketing musts’ for small businesses to compete in today’s competitive landscape:Build a website that works well on both desktops and mobile devices.Claim directory listings on sites like Google Maps and Yelp.Secure positive online reviews from customers.Establish a social media presence.Stay engaged with existing customers.While I doubt that any of the above items will come as a surprise to you, it’s time to think about if you’ve made all of these items a priority yet. I would assume you all have a website for your credit union, but is it mobile-friendly? Google changed the game about what happens when your site is not mobile-ready back in April.It’s the last three items on the list above I want to expand on here. It’s no longer just enough to have a social media presence and speak highly about your brand through your brand. People are seeking something much more genuine, and it doesn’t get much more genuine than your members and employees saying how much they value working and doing business with you.Empowering your advocatesAccording to this article about getting employees excited about their work, we are twice as likely to trust someone “just like us” as we are a CEO. Encouraging employees to speak about what they love about their jobs on their personal social media channels will boost your recruitment and retention strategies, create a positive culture of pride about your organization, and show potential members that this is a good place to do business.You can’t force this behavior however, or it will never be genuine, and members and potential customers will see it for the contrived attempt at “being real” and it can work against you. Here are some simple guidelines to follow to set you off in the right direction with employee advocacy on social media:Recognize and engage your “early adopters:” Ask a handful of employees active on social media if they would want to share content about their work in their personal social media feeds. If so, why and if not, why not?Customize your plan: Based on employees’ interest, provide them with easily sharable content about the good you do, the community involvement, helping people, giving back, making a difference. This is what employees are proud of about where they work and will have incentive to share with friends and family on their social media channels.Empower employees and make it fun: give them clear rules of engagement so everyone feels comfortable and safe that they are following protocol and meeting brand/company standards. But be sure to make it fun, too, by showing off all the good things people are saying. Consider adding a monitor in the branches that shows a feed of all your social mentions using tools such as TwitterFall.By making it fun, convenient and safe, you can easily empower your employees, and even your members , to amplify your brand voice and truly use the cooperative advantage—your connection to your community—to the benefit of your organization, and stand out as a better choice against your bigger competition. 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Holly Fearing Holly lives and breathes social media; if you can’t find her IRL, try reaching out on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram, and you’ll likely get her right away. … Web: www.filene.org Detailslast_img read more