Social Media Platforms Offer Marketing Opportunities for Credit Unions
Guest Blogger: Joe Lea, from Digital Dinos
Ok, so everyone in business knows the power of Social Media. But not everyone understands the benefits each social media platform can provide for your Credit Union. Here, we take a look at why you might want to consider some of the following possible social media platforms for your credit union...
Having an active Facebook presence for your Credit Union has become a necessity. With a captive audience of well over 1.59 billion, even the most inexperienced business owner should be able to see the potential Facebook has for their enterprise.
Unlike Twitter, Facebook offers a more consistent feel as posts are less sporadic and content can have a lifespan of up to 5 hours before losing traction. Compare this to the average lifespan of a Tweet (18 minutes), you can imagine how easily your well-crafted Tweet could be washed away in the high volume environment offered by Twitter. In fact, posting too frequently on Facebook can cause your reach to decrease if people aren’t engaging with your content.
Facebook posts also have much more versatility as Facebook is decidedly more accommodating for business use than other platforms. With Facebook introducing a number of built-in post templates that allow you to change the way your posts look depending on your goals, it’s arguably one of the most effective online marketing tools to date.
Facebook also has an extremely effective algorithm which you can exploit to gain maximum reach if you know how. One way to do this is to vary your content. This is vital for your social media marketing campaign as it means you have to keep your content varied if you want to stand a chance of appearing on the newsfeed of your target audience.
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While a phenomenal success in its own right, Instagram was bought by Facebook in April 2012 and has since seen huge a increase active users. The platform began life as a simple photo editing & sharing app, yet since its launch features such as the addition of video sharing, direct message, Boomerang and, more recently, the introduction of Instagram Live and Instagram Stories have meant continual growth for this ever adaptive platform.
Instagram also gives the option of a business page with features such as analytics and public contact details, allowing you to easily switch between personal and business accounts.
Instagram, unlike other platforms, is a primarily visual social media channel. This means that while text captions are used, the main focus of the app is the picture/video shared by the user. The key for your CU to exploiting the benefits of Instagram is to post innovative content that catches the user's eye - you don’t want people to simply scroll past your latest post! So be creative and have some fun with your images.
Twitter is great for updating your followers and sharing anything you do or find interesting as often as you like; with the general rule of thumb being ‘the more you Tweet, the better‘. This is backed up by research carried out over at Social Quant, revealing that by Tweeting more, the increase in engagement and reach is exponential! For this reason it can be a hard platform to maintain, so keep this in mind, as getting good results could take 10-15 tweets per day, or ever more!
In addition to this (going back to the lifespan of a Tweet) with an average of only 18 minutes before your Tweet is no longer relevant or being seen by users, a constant stream of content means you’re brand will be more visible in the noisy world of Twitter - allowing you to reach more potential members and expand your network.
Twitter, like Facebook, also gives you options in the form of posting videos, pictures, GIFs and links. This means you can keep your content varied and peak the interest of your target audience. However, unlike Facebook, non-varied content will not necessarily lead to a decrease in reach. Twitter’s algorithm is different and while it does allow for engagement when choosing which Tweets display, the main focus is chronological. This is again why the ‘more you Tweet, the better‘ motto is so relevant.
The connected community atmosphere of Twitter also allows people to publicly or privately talk to ‘influencers’ and followers, share audiences and even share content, giving everyone the ability to improve their reach by interacting with one another.
While Facebook gives you the opportunity to share posts, Twitter’s ‘Retweet’ function has been a critical feature in the platform's success. Profiles can go from nothing to something if an influencer was to ‘Retweet’ their content, which is one of the reasons why Twitter is such an important social media channel. But it has to be used properly in order to get results, so make sure your credit union has the time and resources to dedicate BEFORE you set up an account and get going.