Have you liked your credit union on social?
Yes, even traditional businesses can have a distinct voice on social media. So, if you don’t have a credit union social media plan, it’s time.
Whether a sassy fast food company or beauty company encouraging body positivity, each business has an online persona. However, in a social world where we prioritize fun, human connections, where do credit unions and financial institutions fit in? What about a nonprofit championing a more somber or serious purpose?
A serious cause or business plan doesn’t mean staying off of social media. (Likewise, it also means having a smart web and mobile presence.) Credit union social media requires some extra care, forethought, and planning. Here’s how to cover your bases and have a human presence on social media.
Research Standards and Systems First
Of course, no official social media account should start without a plan. Even if you’re marketing unicorns and rainbows, you still need to know your industry and establish dos and don’ts.
But, if you are creating a social media account for a business related to a regulated industry like banking, it’s even more important to do your homework. You should take protective measures and get your experts involved so that no one is caught unaware. Share your social media strategy with your compliance officers, lawyers, and business leaders, and establish a system for review. Although you may be worried about squashing creativity, ensuring more than one person has eyes on a post before hitting publish can save you from embarrassment or worse.
Additionally, a regular audit of your social media accounts and practices will help you keep up with changing practices and identify potential problems. Once you launch your accounts your work isn’t done. Continue to work with your marketing specialists and keep an eye on what others in your industry are doing. Fortunately, resources are available to help. Run through a social media audit checklist and look for guidance from the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council’s published guide for social media.
Establish Privacy and Social Media Policies
Another policy to have handy is your social media policy—for employees and your community—so that fans, friends, and others understand what is acceptable, encouraged, and discouraged. This is especially important for your employees to have, because you do not want to put your company at risk if they represent themselves in the wrong way.
If, however, something does go wrong on social media, be prepared. This is where your decision tree and crisis plan come into play. Hope for the best, but plan for the worst. Then you’ll be prepared for whatever may unfold in your online community.
Don’t Forget to Be Human
With so many rules and regulations, you may feel like launching your official social media plan is a lost cause. Don’t feel that way. Even companies and organizations with serious missions are about people. Use your social media to connect, educate, and inform. For example:
- Expand your credit union social media strategy to include an Instagram page and show your human side
- Post information about promotions and job openings on your LinkedIn.
- Share key news and insights on Twitter.
- Create events on Facebook to connect your community in real time.
People naturally respond to personal stories and faces. Do you have a new leader joining your team or a promotion to announce? Share a congratulations and make the introduction virtually, especially if this is a name and face you want your audience to get to know. Do your employees volunteer in the community? Create an album, short video, or even go live to show them in action beyond the office.
Think about ways you can make your work more human too. Are you helping connect people? Helping people access life-changing resources or accomplish life events, like graduation or buying a home? Keep people at the heart of your social media mission. Even when it comes to the more serious topics, you’ll still be able to build connections and grow your followers.