By Gina Ragusa Published June 6, 2011 Credit Unions Online
Xceed Financial Federal Credit Union is going rogue with its approach to social media. From campy, "The Office" style educational videos to featuring a superhero named the Numbers Guy; Xceed Financial Credit Union has taken the social media bull by the horns.
According to SVP, Kathryn Davis the social media experience started off slowly a year and a half ago and is now gaining traction. "Twitter has really picked up the last few months, however of all the social media we use, Facebook has definitely been the most engaging for us."
She points to how members access Facebook to handle specific financial issues. "For example, we recently encountered a member who went to Mexico and had trouble accessing her money. When she couldn't reach anyone in the member contact center, she reached out on Facebook and we were able to get her connected to her funds immediately."
Davis adds that trolling social media review sites has been helpful as well. "We set up Google alerts so if a review comes through on Yelp we can respond--either good for bad. If the member has a complaint, this is one way to rectify the situation if possible."
In terms of popularity, Davis says that The Cube portion of the Xperienceonline.org offshoot site has been extremely well received. The credit union works with an outside vendor to create financially relevant videos with pop culture references.
Additionally, promoting value added products and services have worked well. Campaigns such as one run on Friday, April 25 seem to draw the most attention. On a Facebook post the credit union wrote,
Mother's Day is fast approaching! Thanks to Visa, you can use your Platinum Visa credit card at Zales and get a nice discount on some BLING-BLING for Mom. Check out http://bit.ly/eCVoPr for the 411. Happy Monday! -NG
Davis says that posts like the Mother's Day discount entry produce almost a 200% increase in activity. "We get the highest response when we weave a current event or something happening in the news into our offerings."
Of the 68,000 members, Xceed has 500 Facebook fans and 1,000 followers on Twitter.
Catch Phrases and Humor Help Credit Unions Leverage Social Media
"Kevin said you'd help me pay my bill" is one of many attention-grabbing blog titles coming from South Carolina Federal Credit Union. For the past year the credit union has been swimming in the social media pool, trying to figure out what works...and what doesn't.
According to Jessica Jackson, VP/Corporate Communications, the mixture of daily blogs, Tweets and Facebook posts are becoming more and more popular with the membership. The credit union has 2,098 fans on Facebook, 250 followers on Twitter and blog page views vary from 500 to 997 per week, depending on topics.
Jackson says that the cleverly written, humorous blog posts on Simple Cents definitely get more attention. "Most of the topics are educationally driven and either credit union-related or about one of the non-profit organizations we support."
"However, we found that titles such as, 'Kevin...' seem to get a lot of buzz and comments."
She adds that in the last year some of the "accidental" social media endeavors are what have worked best for the credit union.
For example the credit union's COO recently made a guest appearance on morning radio show, "Moms in the Morning" to discuss the topic of couponing. The discussion focused on whether today's mom was more of a coupon clipper from the newspaper or someone who preferred electronic coupons. "Suddenly a buzz phrase was thrown around, asking moms if they were a clicker or a clipper."
The catchy title then morphed into the next day's blog post item, followed by a few Tweets and Facebook posts. "This was a successful social media endeavor because we played off of what was current in the news, such as couponing and partnered it with a catchy buzz phrase."
Another successful social media experiment was when the credit union participated in a WalMart sponsored hunger relief campaign. In effort to raise awareness WalMart challenged local communities to participate by voting for their town. The town with the most votes would win a hefty hunger relief grant dedicated to the city's food bank.
South Carolina Federal Credit Union has been heavily involved in the local Charleston and Columbia, South Carolina food bank and decided to donate $1 to the local food bank for every vote for Charleston or Columbia.
"We ended up donating $1,000 to the relief effort. In fact people would vote on the community page then cover over to our Facebook page and tell us that they voted. As a result, we were able to accomplish something positive in the community and create more likes on our page."