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Social Media Has Changed Our Marketing Landscape
Thursday, July 17, 2014 7:00 AM

For decades, companies have successfully used traditional marketing to persuade people to buy their products and services. But social media has dramatically changed the marketing landscape. According to Melissa Herrington with Garland County Educators FCU, social media has given consumers a voice and more power, and modern marketers have been scrambling to decode how social media can be leveraged to grow their brands and influence consumer behavior.

“Concepts like inbound, viral, and mobile marketing are combined with search engine optimization, behavioral targeting, and data mining in order to customize social media content for specific audience,” she tells Perspectives readers – a quarterly magazine of the Cornerstone Credit Union League.  “The modern marketing strategy is to create content for specific groups of people so that when they see it, it not only resonates, but motivates them to take action.”

Herrington shares the following tips with credit unions to help them authentically engage their audience through social media:

  • Connect with your SEG groups. Publish SEG-specific content that will inform, entertain, and educate. Remember, it’s not about you; it’s about how your products and services can make your members’ lives easier and help them become owners of their financial futures.
  • Employ ambassadors. Providing an exceptional member experience builds confidence and trust, which often translates to loyal members. Leverage these members; ask them to become ambassadors for the credit union, and garner their input for social media content development. Because they are invested in a more meaningful and authentic way, they will be more likely to take ownership of the process and spread the word about your credit union.
  • Share your message. Credit unions are different than other businesses because of our ideals, and social media is a powerful tool to share our cooperative principles with other facets of our society.

“Social media has changed the way we market our brands and how we sell our products and services. Consumers have a great of influence in determining what type of content is shared on social media,” she says. “While there are many factors to consider when building a social media strategy, if credit union marketers view social media through a philosophical lens—that is, if they choose strategies that play to their strengths in an effort to be authentic to their membership base and to the ideals of the movement—then people will be more apt to “like” and “share” in their marketing efforts.”

Credit unions can read more insight from Herrington in the summer issue of Perspectives. The online version of Perspectives, located at www.cornerstoneperspectives.coop, allows readers to post comments.