27 Credit union social media don’ts

I’m sure that I left out plenty, so feel free to add your additional ones here! And here’s a nice buttoned-up, three-page PDF version of the 63 CU social media do’s and don’ts.

Because this list is long, I’ve split up the Do’s and the Don’ts into two entries:

Don’ts:

  1. Don’t think that social media is just another marketing channel to starting shouting on.
  2. Don’t blast your message into online communities without checking out the existing conversation, culture, and etiquette. People will tune you out and/or flame you if you do.
  3. Don’t spam your members.
  4. Don’t blog just because everyone else is doing it. And if you do, don’t let it languish for long periods of time.
  5. Don’t use a condescending tone of voice.
  6. Don’t try to use slang or crazy graphics to try to appear cooler than you really are.
  7. Don’t think it’s all about the credit union. It’s not. It’s all about your members.
  8. Don’t devise a plan to use one particular social media tool, and then plan a campaign around it.
  9. Don’t use marketing/corporate-speak, lingo, or jargon in any of your communications. Your members appreciate plain-spoken honesty that they can understand.
  10. Don’t shoot down or ignore negative comments about your credit union on your own site or third-party sites. First cool down, then respond as if the person were standing in front of you in your lobby, and treat him/her with the class, dignity, and respect befitting your institution.
  11. Don’t be afraid to let people know how the CU could benefit them when the circumstances come up to do so.
  12. Don’t think you have to write a new blog post every day.
  13. Don’t be afraid to dive in and get your feet wet with the MULTITUDE of free social media resources available.
  14. Don’t think that social media and traditional marketing are an either/or situation. The best campaigns utilize both types where appropriate.
  15. Don’t be afraid to start a blog, with comments enabled, for fear of negative comments. There have only been a half dozen or so in the entire four years that CUs have been blogging. We’ve got our work cut out for us just to get our members to even read it, let alone comment on it.
  16. Don’t invest in mobile banking that requires any kind of a special software download. Your members will never go for that. The only exception are Apple iPhone Apps, where they’ve made it ridiculously easy to get new apps.
  17. Don’t invest in a web site with flashing graphics and animations. Your members want simple and easy to use. Focus all of your web development efforts on simple, intuitive, quick, and easy.
  18. Don’t forget that not all of your membership is as tech-savvy as you are. Many are further behind, some are further ahead.
  19. Don’t make your members feel stupid that they don’t already know how to participate in online social media. You’ll earn their gratitude if you treat them respect when teaching them how to participate online. And go a long way to raising the image of your CU in their eyes.
  20. Don’t think you are the first financial institution to do anything. Chances are, not only has another financial institution done something similar to what you are embarking on, your members know about it as well.
  21. Don’t pursue being your members’ sole source of info, nor being their sole financial institution. While many members enjoy the convenience of banking at one place, many others prefer to work with a variety of FIs, for many different reasons. (Most of which are not logical, but hey, it’s not always about the most logical.)
  22. Don’t get upset when your members use the term “bank”, or when they have financial relationships with banks. It’s your job to inform them of why you’re better, not berate them because they are idiots. Even knowing why you are better, there are a multitude of personal reasons to have an account at a bank. (An account that a spouse doesn’t know about for instance.) You can’t mess with that, and no amount of arguing is going to change their minds.
  23. Don’t limit blog authors to only those in marketing.
  24. Don’t think that social media is limited to the marketing department.
  25. Don’t shut down employee/CU access to social media sites and expect to get any results from social media initiatives.
  26. Don’t be afraid to show some personality, and
  27. Don’t forget to have some fun with your members!

Here are the 36 Do’s.

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10 Responses to “27 Credit union social media don’ts”

  1. Tony Mannor Says:

    I am guilty of #4 myself. 🙂

    All of these are pretty good and should be followed. I still like the cautionary statement I gave in that last presentation…

    “A social media campaign is not a grenade, you can’t just pull the pin and wait for it to work.”

    You have to cultivate a social media campaign or blog or whatever you are doing. It is a long term investment. It is not a “Prop or Drop” endeavor. If you are going to do this, have a 12 month plan in hand. Have some goals and how you plan to meet those goals.

    You can have an exit strategy, but I would have it come up for review after 24 months. It does take a little work, but isn’t everything that is worth doing?

  2. Ginny Brady Says:

    Building on # 18 – don’t think that members can’t live perfectly productive, savy lives without social media and the internet.

    Don’t think that you can get all members to trust online/mobile banking and (I’ll stick my neck out) don’t build a rewards program based on using technology. Morriss, you’ve convinced me that even though this is tempting it’s not the way to encourage participation.

  3. 36 Credit union social media do’s « EverythingCU.com World 2.0 Adventure Says:

    […] marketing & technology « Is the iPhone going to revolutionize banking? 27 Credit union social media don’ts […]

  4. Morriss Partee Says:

    @Ginny good point. Perhaps #28 should be: Don’t lose sight of your CU’s business and marketing goals when planning and executing social media initiatives.

    It’s easy to get caught up in the technology and the novelty of these tools. (I admit it, I am guilty of this!). We need to step back and remind ourselves of our aims and objectives.

  5. 27 Things Companies Should NOT do with Social Media « Brett’s Blog Says:

    […] I’ve just stumbled upon EverythingCU.com, and have come across this excellent list of 27 Credit Union Social Media Don’ts. Don’t worry – every point can be applied beyond Credit Unions. Read it, apply it, and […]

  6. Toni Anicic Says:

    Don’t be afraid to start a blog, with comments enabled, for fear of negative comments. There have only been a half dozen or so in the entire four years that CUs have been blogging. We’ve got our work cut out for us just to get our members to even read it, let alone comment on it.

    This is good one. When I suggest my clients to whom I’m making their websites to start a blog they are mostly afraid of negative reactions. They know they could moderate it but they are afraid to see it themselves 🙂

  7. Marketing In Progress » Blog Archive » 27 Things Companies Should NOT do with Social Media Says:

    […] just stumbled upon EverythingCU.com, and have come across this excellent list of 27 Credit Union Social Media Don’ts. Don’t worry – every point can be applied beyond Credit Unions. Read it, apply it, and […]

  8. Elliott Kashner Says:

    The best way to think about blogs is that they should be a natural extension of what you have to say. Sometimes credit unions want to speak to them members in a way that is either not appropriate or not feasible to do using other media.

    This article nails it; just talk to them. It’s like any other method of communication. Know the rules and speak respectfully.

  9. Betsy McElfresh Says:

    An exhaustive list! Most hit home. In light of being blasted (rule #2), I suggest taking advantage of free webinars in which you are getting valuable, free marketing advice on social media marketing. One coming up on Nov. 19 is http://www.defyingtrends.com.

  10. Morriss Partee Says:

    Here are a couple more Twitter DON’Ts that drive me up the wall:

    #28 DO NOT spam your new Twitter followers by setting up an auto-responder when someone new follows you on twitter.

    #29 DO NOT tweet ONLY your blog posts. If I wanted ONLY your blog posts, I’d have subscribed to your RSS feed. (Blog posts mixed in with other normal convo is fine.)

    #30 DO NOT create a twitter account and start following people BEFORE YOU’VE EVEN MADE YOUR FIRST TWEET. PLEASE fill out your bio so that people have SOME idea of why they should follow you. And a handful of tweets is also a good idea.

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