By Nikki Griggs, Marketing Manager, NAFCU Services.
What do Tickle Me Elmo, Ed Hardy, and the Atkins Diet have in common? They are all fads! They have come in gone in their 15 minutes of fame. Many believe social media to be just another fad. But contrary to these beliefs, social media is more likely a trend. You may be thinking, “Aren’t fads and trends the same thing?” True, these terms are similar in that they both refer to new and popular items, but trends, unlike fads, have staying power.
At the 2013 NAFCU Annual Conference, Kristy Grayson of Deluxe Financial explained that social media may be a newer form of communication, but that does not hinder its relevancy or power, especially as social media continues to evolve. Many credit unions may be wary to engage in social media. As social media continues to percolate through the population, regardless of age or demographic, it is becoming increasingly important to adjust and revise marketing plans to include social media strategies and tactics for a well-rounded marketing campaign.
Social media can be leveraged to better connect with credit union members and create stronger relationships with consumers. Essentially, it is another tool that you can add to your marketing arsenal to interact with consumers. Still not convinced that social media is worth your time? Consider the below statistics:
- In the United States, 86 percent of all online adults are engaging in social media
- More than 40 percent of Americans log into Facebook each day
- It has been found that 58 percent of customers conduct online/social research prior to making a purchase
With more consumers spending more time online and spending less time in brick and mortar establishments, Kristy asked the audience two key questions: How can you be expected to increase your touch points with customers and potential customers? How will you continue to provide the amazing customer experience that is the cornerstone of credit unions across the country? Social media is the root of your solution. Below are three benefits of social marketing that will help persuade you to commit to a sounder social marketing plan.
Benefit #1: Enhanced Consumer Experience
Community building and customer loyalty are the heart of the credit union. However, as mentioned above, it is becoming increasing difficult to reach consumers as foot traffic continues to decrease. Social media can be a tool to increase touch points with consumers. Consider this: tablet users touch their financial institution 30 times per month. Think of social media as an additional channel to extend customer experience.
Benefit #2: Increased Website Traffic
When consumers are already online, it is only a click away for users to land on your website. To emphasize how crucial a role social media plays in web traffic, 74 percent of brand marketers saw an increase in website traffic after investing only six hours on social media per week. These soft leads can later be converted into hard leads as it moves through the sales cycle. As you can see, social media is playing a larger role in the sales cycle than ever before.
Benefit #3: Humanization of Brand
It is a widely accepted fact that people buy from people. In today’s digital age, social media can help humanize a brand. By investing in people online and offering value, your company becomes more than a logo. Marketing has evolved to a conversation and social media helps facilitate that conversation.
Think of social media as Crocs. Everyone believed them to be just another passing fad that would die a quick death. Instead, Crocs grew to be ubiquitous footwear in a variety of industries from the medical field and food services to recreational activities. The bottom line is, much like the longevity of Crocs in the marketplace, social media is too big to ignore. Whether or not your credit union currently has a social media strategy in place, it is time to begin taking your approach to the next level. In my next blog post, I will share exactly what steps to take in bolstering your social media approach.
Deluxe Financial is the NAFCU Services Preferred Partner for Check Printing, Online Check Ordering, Check Fraud Prevention, and Member Loyalty Solutions.