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Perhaps the most important and impactful way credit unions can attract and retain millennial members is through social engagement. Did you know that one in every five mobile minutes is spent on either Facebook or Instagram? With an average of 1.04 billion daily active users, these social platforms have the potential to be an outstanding marketing tool for a credit union. If used correctly, social media can engage credit union members in a customized way that will enhance their overall experience and increase their loyalty to your credit union.

Here are five best practices for credit unions to engage with millennial members on social media:

  1. Utilize Facebook Messenger

Connect with your members – instantly. People, especially millennials, don’t want to wait for answers when using social platforms. They crave instantaneous responses and therefore tend to prefer their communication to be on social channels rather than in-person or over the phone. Credit unions can easily take advantage of this customer preference by utilizing Facebook Messenger. This platform allows members to privately direct message your credit union’s Facebook page with questions or information that one might not want to disclose on the public Facebook wall. It’s important to discourage members from sending personal information such as social security numbers and account details through this platform, as Messenger isn’t completely secure. Setting up notifications and closely monitoring this channel will allow your credit union to respond to the questions in a timely manner and bolster member satisfaction.

  1. Interact and be responsive

Social media wasn’t developed to be a silent one-way street. Make sure your credit union is interacting with content that is posted on your page and answering all member inquiries. Received a negative review or comment? Be proactive in establishing a company strategy for responding to negative comments and complaints. An aspect of this plan will be your response timeline – it is best to always respond within one business day, if possible. In addition, have your team craft specific language so multiple employees are able to properly respond to member comments while maintaining one cohesive brand voice.

  1. Prove you’re a thought leader

One of the best ways for a credit union to establish itself as an industry leader is by pushing relevant content on its social channels. Whether it’s breaking news, trends or original content, engaging in relevant conversations about the credit union industry will demonstrate that your credit union is a thought leader. Has new technology been developed that will significantly impact the credit union industry? Write a blog about the possible effects to insert your credit union into the conversation, and then share the content across your social media channels. If done properly, your members will find significant value in your content and will in turn actively follow and engage with your channels.

  1. Show your credit union’s company culture

While sharing industry news is one excellent way to engage with your members on social media, it’s equally important to showcase your company’s culture. Connect with your members on a deeper level and humanize your brand by thoughtfully highlighting employees, departments, awards and social events. Do you have an all-star member? Feature him or her on your social channels! Keep in mind that these posts are most appropriate on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.. Be sure to save LinkedIn for the industry insights and original content such as white papers, news articles and blogs.

  1. Share member-generated content

Actively seek member engagement by running contests, asking for photos and posting questions on your social channels. Utilize your members’ creative ideas and opinions by simply asking for it; you can gain valuable insight from member feedback.

Once your credit union implements these best practices, monitor your channels and utilize social analytics to gauge your success and channel growth. Not getting the results you’d hoped? Vary your content and test new strategies. Remember that establishing a solid social strategy takes time, so be patient during your evaluation. If done well, your credit union will see higher engagement and increased millennial member loyalty through your efforts.

Most importantly, stay on top of emerging social media platforms. Millennials are typically the first to adopt and master new technologies. For example, when Snapchat first made waves, businesses couldn’t seem to figure out what it was or how to use it. Now, they’re scrambling to find ways to connect with its massive user base. So, when in doubt, act like a millennial!

 

Wayne Benson is the CEO at EPL, Inc., a credit union service organization (CUSO) headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., that provides customized technology and service solutions for credit unions of all sizes. For more information, visit www.eplinc.com.

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James W. Gabberty

Gabberty is a professor of information systems at Pace University in New York City. An alumnus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and New York University Polytechnic Institute, he has served as an expert witness in telecommunication and information security at the federal and state levels and holds numerous certifications from SANS & ISACA.

Zachary Ehrlich

25-year-old writer, and as a native San Franciscan, I am unreasonably loyal to Bank of America, if only for their superhero-like origin story, involving the 1906 earthquake and Italian fruit vendors.

Marisa Mann

Marisa Mann brings over 15 years of experience in consulting and financial services industries to the Solstice team, working on large scale enterprise initiatives across many technologies, including specializing in the digital space – Internet and mobile. Mann is passionate about mobile and the endless possibilities for the enterprise, delivering business value through strong brand recognition and driving to excellence in the consumer experience. Prior to Solstice, Mann worked at JP Morgan Chase, Diamond Management and Technology Consultants, Washington Mutual, Inc, and Accenture.

Brad Strothkamp

http://www.forrester.com/rb/analyst/brad_strothkamp