Social media is a constantly evolving term that has become a part of daily life for businesses and individuals alike. Brian Solis, a thought leader in the social media realm, defines social media as: “The democratization of information, transforming people from content readers into publishers. It is the shift from a broadcast mechanism, one-to-many, to a many-to-many model, rooted in conversations between authors, people and peers.”
As social media has become a primary means of personal communication between individuals, sites such as sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have proven to be a great way to bolster brands, generate new business and engage new and existing customers.
In the age of steady status updates, financial institutions cannot afford to stand by and watch as everyone around them engages in online communication. By using social media platforms such as Twitter, banks and credit unions can join in the online conversation and engage with the people they depend on for success.
Above all, social media is increasingly where the people are. And any marketer will tell you that’s exactly where you want to be. Here are a few tips if you’re still deciding whether or not social media is for you:
- Use social media for good, not evil: Engaging with customers on Twitter should be a conversation, not another means for spamming.
- Find what’s right for you: Just because the big guys have a bazillion fans on Facebook doesn’t mean that you have to. Think about what ratio of customers you have compared to them and set your goals accordingly.
- Don’t wing it: You wouldn’t go to a meeting with your shareholders without a plan, right? The same rule applies to entering the Twittersphere or blogosphere or Facebooksphere. The days of poking around to see what will happen are coming to a rapid close as people become savvier about the time they spend online. If you give them something they could use, they’ll come back for more. If you don’t, they’ll ignore you.
The Social Media toolkit is a resource of tools and tips designed to provide value to credit unions and financial institutions with the best practices on engaging customers and members via social network platforms. We’ll be posting more insights about social media in our Social Media toolkit, so check back for additional info!