I have been told that social media is simply another form of marketing, but may not be suitable for all companies. While this is true, it can’t hurt to have some kind of social media presence out there. Maybe it doesn’t have to be used in a “traditional” advertising way. Maybe the social media presence can be more for fun than for straight information and advertising. Social media is a way to connect with people on a face-to-face level, and not just with an all business approach.
The following are my recommendations for Oregon Community Credit Union:
- Identify a clear target market: OCCU needs to clearly define whom they are trying to reach. They need to hone their messages and content to a particular group of people. If they don’t know who they are targeting, how will they know what works and what doesn’t work? I recommend that they start with millennials. OCCU started as a bank for employees of the University of Oregon. It’s ties are with the college. College age kids are the future of economics and finances. If they can reach this audience, they can secure more members now and form strong relationships for the future. OCCU needs to get out the word about what they are doing for college students. They currently offer scholarships through programs such as PathwayOregon. I would have never learned this from their social media sites.
- Increase frequency of contact: Neither social media site (Facebook nor Twitter) is used much at all. I recommend that they update Facebook at least daily and Twitter two or three times per day. In order to keep from getting lost in the sea of posts/tweets, they may consider updating even more frequently than that.
- Organize their Twitter site: OCCU is all over the place with their (infrequent) tweets. Tweets should be relevant and related. They should pick a theme for the day, or being a credit union, for the week. One week could focus on your credit: how to establish credit, how to use it, and how to clean it up. And so on with subsequent weeks.
- Ask more open-ended questions: The key to social media is to be social. OCCU should ask questions, get followers involved and make them feel like they are being listened to. In order to draw people in to your site, you need to give them a reason to visit it in the first place. Hold contests, ask opinions, and give out prizes. It doesn’t need to be a big gesture, even something as simple as waiving fees for a few months or adding $10/mo. to someones savings account for a few months might be enough to get people interested in entering.
- Find ways to connect social media sites with more traditional marketing: OCCU has a blog on their website. I didn’t even realize this until recently. If they had promoted their blog on their social media sites, I would have checked it out. It gives insight into the company and should be promoted on Facebook and Twitter. They can use radio or other media to get the word out about contests specific to their social media sites in order to drive traffic to those sites.
For OnPoint Community Credit Union, I recommend that they:
- Organize Twitter: OnPoint is overwhelming with the amount of links on their Twitter page. Get creative with titles, stick to a theme, and create relevant content. Much like my recommendation for OCCU, OnPoint needs to stick to a particular theme. Since OnPoint is more active with their Twitter account, a daily theme may suit them best.
- Post more frequently to Facebook: OnPoint rarely posts to Facebook. In order to stay relevant and even be noticed at all, they need to up this frequency to at least one post per day, if not more. Facebook is a sea of activity and it is easy to get lost in it. The more a company comes up in a news feed, the more they will be in peoples thoughts.
- Ask open-ended questions: Like OCCU, OnPoint should ask more questions to get people involved in what they are doing. They need to understand what users/members like, dislike, and want to see from their credit union. The best way to do this is to ask questions and opinions.
- Draw in target audience: One strength of Onpoint is that they clearly target millennials. Although they tweet many links to articles that are relevant to this audience, they are not very interesting. Yes, they need to know about credit, financial aid, scholarships, and first time tax filing. But this is just information for, not drawing-in their target audience. These informative posts should be interlaced with more fun posts, links, and tweets. For example, spring break is something this age group is interested in. Ask where they are going, what are their plans, how are they financing it? Have they considered a credit line/card? Have they thought about building credit so next year they can finance more fun?
- Be truly interactive: Especially with their target audience, OnPoint needs to be much more interactive. Younger people have short attention spans, lots of social interaction, and not a lot of time for things like a credit union. Like OCCU, they could hold contests or find ways to get their target audience together for an event using social media.