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There is no question one of the most important things for a credit union is consistent membership growth while maintaining current members. This is done many ways but as we have found by talking to several CUs across the country, not all of them are doing some of the most basic outreach functions. Sure, organic growth through location and current members is key but not enough to grow.

Whether you like social media or not, there is no question it is part of our lives every day and most of us partake in one way or another. As a financial institution, it is important to have all of your social profiles claimed and active. This is the case for any business really. All social media sites offer “business” profiles with added features to help your business grow on their platform. Simply having a social profile is not enough, there needs to be a steady flow of relevant content that flows through your channels weekly if not daily. For example, here at Sharetec, we attempt to post a minimum 2 times per day on our channels, if not more. Our posts consist of company information, new products, industry news, customer appreciation and world or local events. It is important for your organization to have a similar flow on your channels. If posting twice a day is difficult, we recommend no less than 3 posts per week. Social media algorithms and trends will start to show your content to less and less people the more inactive you become and it is difficult to grab the attention of the algorithms once, it is lost, as there is so much content out there. Each social media platform has its own audience. Facebook tends to lean towards an older demographic now and the younger demo has escaped their parents and grandparents who are on Facebook and have fled to Instagram, Pinterest or TikTok. Our recommendation is to claim ALL of these channels as you do not want to miss any audience and once you create a piece of content, it is very easy to distribute to all your different channels (there are tools out there that help with this).

Create engaging content that is relevant to the audience. One thing you want to avoid is creating too many “Sales pitch” type content that focuses only on you and what you want your audience to buy. No doubt this will be part of your posting schedule but it should be a small percentage. Instead, focus more attention on the industry and the things your audience is interested in. As you start posting content you will see what types of topics receive more attention and you can focus more of your attention on those topics to help engage more viewers. Social media platforms have very valuable insights on what is and is not working and most of them make suggestions automatically. Have a dedicated person or a 3rd party vendor that can perform these outreach services for you. Hold community events and gatherings to engage more with your local community. Whatever you decide to do, this is important and a big contributor to continued growth.

Of course, social media is not the only tool. Having a well-designed, modern and responsive website is another big contributor to growth. If a prospective member lands on your site and sees that your website is outdated and does not function as it should, they will assume your technology and credit union is outdated as well. Websites are the front porch of the business. If it is not attractive, people will not walk in. Same goes for your current members. If your website or apps do not provide the technology and resources they require, they will more than likely consider a change. This is especially true for the younger demographic of members.

It is important to be up to date on all online channels from the website to social media, to your blog and community engagement events. Whatever you do, make sure you dedicate enough time and resources to these small but powerful elements. As the landscape becomes more competitive and online financial institutions continue to grow, change is inevitable and in order to survive there needs to be a plan put in place to ensure continued audience engagement.