Shifting Social Media from “If” to “How”

Guest post written by Steve Richman, sales trainer and national spokesperson for Genworth Mortgage Insurance.

Social media has been embraced by consumers — your members and potential members. Your employees are engaged in social media activities, whether they are active on Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, and other sites or active bloggers themselves. In fact, social media has become more mainstream, with growing participation in all age groups and income levels. The question for credit unions has changed from “Should we or shouldn’t we?” to “How do we?” Here are three steps to consider, whether you’re already using social media or are just getting started.

1. Identify a Senior Leader Champion.

The first step in making social media work for your credit union is to have a senior leader to champion the idea. This initiative is not going to bubble up from within the organization — it needs a champion from high atop the hierarchy. That champion needs to create a team to institute a social media initiative. The team should include an attorney. If the attorney is involved in the creation process, with a directive from senior management to make it work, you can pave  the way to easier implementation.

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Be the one-in-a-million (or 663,000,000) to your members

After weeks of error messages and crashes, I decided to buy a new laptop before my current one finally succumbs to the blue screen of death. For a technophobe like me, buying a new laptop is my worst nightmare. Go to and search for “laptop.” 6,720,212 results. Gulp. Maybe I’ll just go off the electronic grid for a bit.

So think about how daunting/paralyzing/maddening homeownership—the largest purchase most Americans will make—can be. With first-timers representing 39% of home purchasers, a large segment of your members are new to the process. Ninety-eight percent of those first-timers will get a mortgage. Just for fun, Google “mortgage.” Yep, that’s right—663,000,000 results. Yikes.

With so many choices available, why should anyone do business with you or your credit union? It’s not enough to say you have great service or the best rates. You know your competitors are saying the same thing. Well, you should know what your competitors are doing and saying. But we’ll save that for another day. Here’s how you can be that one-in-a-million:

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Helping Our Credit Union Military Members

The long Memorial Day weekend is more than just a break from work, it gives us a chance to reflect on the sacrifices that the men and women of our military make on our behalf.  I’m speaking not just of the sacrifice of those who have given their lives or were wounded in action, but also of others who put their lives on hold for military service, and to their families as well.

Whether deployed overseas or serving domestically, military families have a different set of needs than other credit union members. More than one-third of the U.S. military population is faced with relocating their families each year. Unlike the private sector, where any employee has a choice to make with regard to accommodating the wishes of their employer for relocation, military service members don’t get suggestions, they get orders. Especially in times of war, those orders can come on very short notice.

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Nine Credit Union Industry Experts Tell Us What To Watch For In 2012

I like to say that one of a visionary leader’s most important functions is seeing over the horizon and recognizing opportunities and threats before anyone else does, and then shaping the strategy and tactics of the organization accordingly.

So for our year-end blog post I asked our Preferred Partners to tell us what they see coming over the horizon, from their perspective, that credit union executives need to be focused on and/or prepared for as we head into 2012.  Here is what a few of them said —

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Do You Know Your Members As Well As You Think You Do?

True or False?  When compared with non-members, credit union members tend to —

  • live in urban/suburban areas
  • be between the ages of 46-55
  • be married
  • be more likely to have a college or graduate degree than non-members
  • own a house
  • have school-aged kids
  • have a net worth between $100k – $499k
  • be more likely to be on LinkedIn than on Facebook

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