Who’s Managing Your Social Media?

If social media was ever suspected of simply being a passing fad, and, let’s face it, for a minute we all thought it would be, the medium has effectively ditched the apprehension towards it, becoming so entrenched in our lives that it is virtually impossible to ignore. From tapping into the innermost thoughts of celebrity cats to keeping up with this very blog, social media envelops each and every one of us in its reach. And that can mean some very good things for you and your brand.

Social media management has grown from a “leave it to the intern,” aspect of advertising to a full-time, demanding and strategically driven discipline only highly experienced communicators can effectively handle. It requires a carefully designed plan and a unique skill set to properly execute it. When properly approached, social media can boost your brand’s credibility, reputation and overall industry presence, not to mention effectively communicate your credit union’s key characteristics and personality. So, why do so many companies, credit unions included, continue to overlook this medium’s potential or allow it to be mismanaged by inexperienced employees?

When working to implement a social media strategy that will ultimately deliver positive results for your credit union, here are two important items to consider.

Using vs. Engaging

One of the key pieces of information to consider when developing and implementing a social media strategy is the difference between using the platforms and engaging with your audience. While over 75 percent of credit unions use social media, usage does not make for a successful approach make. The purpose of social media management is to create thriving online communities within social networks where your current and potential members can interact with your brand and each other. It gives your credit union a voice, making it a positive presence in members’ lives and engaging them with meaningful messaging. To find social media excellence, the individual charged with its management must have a thorough understanding of a your credit union’s voice, brand promise and issue resolution policies; a direct line to the public relations, customer service, operations and legal departments; and he or she must be a skillful writer.

A Demanding Commitment for Credit Unions

Once created, your social media profiles become a credit union’s child; meaning once you commit to having it, there are no nights off from “parenthood.” It needs constant care and attention. So, how much time should be dedicated to channels like Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn? According to the latest Social Media Marketing Industry report, 59 percent say 6 hours per week or more; 33 percent suggest – 11 hours a week or more; and 15 percent recommend 20 or more hours per week. Is that a commitment your marketing department can fully dedicate itself to? If social media is going to be useful, it cannot be put on the backburner or be at the bottom of someone’s to-do list. Whether it’s being monitored or not, social media doesn’t shut down, or go to sleep. It’s always awake, always active and always unpredictable. If you want to ensure that your social media efforts are efficient and rewarding, you might want to consider enlisting the help of a reputable interactive agency. At the risk of sounding boastful, ad agencies like evok have spent years crafting precise approaches to social media management, leveraging innovative methods and new technologies, often creating proprietary systems for online coordination, like evoking social.

However you choose to implement social media management within your credit union’s marketing efforts, remember your ultimate goals. Are you engaging your members with insightful, meaningful information? Are you creating online communities? Are your social media profiles consistent in tone, activity and messaging?