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By: Meredith Olmstead

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February 6th, 2017

4 Successful Social Media Contests for Credit Unions

Social Media Marketing | Credit Union Marketing | Marketing Tips | Credit Union News & Information

Credit Union Social Media Contest Image

With our Credit Union clients we always recommend they consider running some social media contests on their various Social Media platforms, just to get the proverbial 'ball rolling'. These contests have ranged from the old-school 'Page-Like' contest, which are now against Facebook promotion guidelines, to 'selfie' contests and perhaps even a larger incentive prizes like a paid mortgage for a year!!

Here are FOUR specific examples of contests you can implement for your Credit Union:


Once your online audience has been established and you are interacting with members online a bit more consider a member testimonial contest. We typically run these for 3 weeks and promote them via emails, social media and social media ads targeted to members or social media users who have recently visited the Credit Union website.

We recommend offering 1-3 larger prizes, like $200-300, to encourage members to share their expereinces. You should also make sure to require 2-3 short paragraphs so you get meaningful entries and each entry should also have a visual, as these make the testimonials seem more believable. These contests typically yeild 20-30 amazing entries (depending on your member size of course) and the testimonials can then be used throughout the rest of the year to promote your CU in emails, ads, blogs and other online assets.



These are absolutely the BEST place to begin for many CUs. We suggest running these internally without a third party app. The gist of the contest is that you are trying to mobilize your greatest asset, YOUR STAFF, to promote your new marketing campaign.

We've had tremendous success with these staff-only contests in the past offering a nominal prize of only $300 cash. You simply send out an email to all staff telling them they will be automatically entered for liking the CU Facebook page or following you on Twitter. Then the real kicker is you tell them that for every friend they invite and get to like/follow the page they will be entered an additional time. We've seen single staff members account for upwards of 75-100 new page likes in just a matter of days!

Here's an example of instructions we have used for several clients: sample internal contest



Selfie Contest Example

With the rules always changing on Facebook it's hard to know what contests will work and which will not. However, we loved a 'selfie' contest we did with a CU in Arizona this year. The rules required that the person take a 'selfie' with the CU's sign somewhere in the picture and then submit their picture for a chance to win $500 cash. We had great total reach and engagement with the contest and grew the total Facebook page likes by about 10%, even though we did NOT require a page like to enter the contest, as that is no longer allowed by Facebook.

For this contest we used the Shortstack Third Party App to create the entry page and then manage entries select a random winner. This was very effective, though for organic reach it would work better to run this kind of contest as a Timeline contest, and track entries manually. This would be more time consuming, but would offer more reach to friends of fans on Facebook.

We also recommend that you brand your contests and publicize them in all your images on Facebook (see example Facebook header image below), Twitter and any other platform you're active on. And one last tip, keep the contest SHORT! THis give people a sense of urgency to enter and will increase your total entries. Our clients also blog about the contests before and after they are complete.

enter to win



These are truly the ideal kind of Credit Union social media contest, if your CU can afford them! However, consider a smaller prize, like a one-month payment or one car loan payment. People love the idea of getting such huge necessities of life for FREE!House payment contest

In the example below you will see a very large Credit Union who partnered with a large new organization to increase the reach and publicity of the contest. In all likelihood this was a very successful effort, but you can mimic this on a smaller scale very easily. Consider partnering with smaller local businesses, like a popular local retail store or restaurant, to give both your CU and the local business a boost online.



If you'd like help with your Credit Union's Social Media efforts please contact us, and feel free to share your contest ideas below!


Credit Union Social Media Response Plan

About Meredith Olmstead

Meredith Olmstead is the CEO and Founder of Social Stairway, LLC, which provides Digital Marketing & Sales services to Credit Unions and Affiliated Organizations. With experience working with financial institutions in markets of various sizes around the United States, and as an experienced Director of Online Marketing, she has helped design and implement numerous marketing and sales campaigns. Since 2013 Meredith has led the Social Stairway team, working exclusively with Credit Unions, taking staff step-by-step through the process of launching all of their Digital Marketing efforts, as well as implementing full Inbound Marketing campaigns and providing Sales Enablement training and support. Meredith recommends a very clear and measureable strategy to all of her clients, and then works with them to re-evaluate the success of these efforts on a continuing basis, all with an eye on moving toward a clear return on your online sales and marketing investment.

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