Shifting Social Media from “If” to “How”
Guest post written by Steve Richman, sales trainer and national spokesperson for Genworth Mortgage Insurance.
Social media has been embracedÂ by consumers â your membersÂ and potential members.Â Your employees are engaged inÂ social media activities, whether they areÂ active on Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest,Â Twitter, and other sites or active bloggersÂ themselves. In fact, social media hasÂ become more mainstream, with growingÂ participation in all age groups and incomeÂ levels. The question for credit unions hasÂ changed from âShould we or shouldnâtÂ we?â to âHow do we?â Here are threeÂ steps to consider, whether youâre alreadyÂ using social media or are just gettingÂ started.
1. Identify a Senior LeaderÂ Champion.
The first step in making social mediaÂ work for your credit union is to have a senior leader to champion the idea. ThisÂ initiative is not going to bubble up fromÂ within the organization â it needs aÂ champion from high atop the hierarchy.Â That champion needs to create a teamÂ to institute a social media initiative. TheÂ team should include an attorney. If theÂ attorney is involved in the creation process,Â with a directive from senior managementÂ to make it work, you can pave Â theÂ way to easier implementation.
2. Distribute the Social MediaÂ Policy.
Developing a practical social media policyÂ is a must â with emphasis on Â "practical.âÂ Rather than writing a social mediaÂ policy that tells employees what not to do,Â complete with threats of termination forÂ inappropriate usage, you should includeÂ what would be considered acceptableÂ posts. Show employees the types of commentsÂ you deem proper and effective, andÂ train your employees on the social mediaÂ policy as a part of the distribution plan.Â One way to ease the entry into socialÂ media is to create a weekly post of contentÂ that is both legally permissible andÂ relevant to the member. Distribute thisÂ post to team members so they can use itÂ in their own LinkedIn, Facebook and/orÂ Twitter feeds.
3. What If Someone âGoesÂ Negativeâ?
Once you have an organization thatÂ embraces and understands social media, there is still an element that is outsideÂ your control â the consumer. How do you deal with negative comments thatÂ people, not your employees, make onÂ social media sites? A plan to deal withÂ negative situations should be a part of your social media policy and training.
If a consumer posts something that has noÂ actual content (for example, âYou stink.â),Â simply delete the post.Â However, if someone posts a complaintÂ (for example, âYour underwriting isÂ horrible.â), you must respond and moveÂ the conversation out of the social mediaÂ realm. For instance, you could writeÂ âThank you for your concern. In an effortÂ to respect your privacy, please contact meÂ at â¦ so that I may help resolve this situation.âÂ After the issue has been resolved, go back to the original post and write aÂ comment stating that you are glad that you were able to work with the member toÂ address his or her concern. These actuallyÂ are opportunities to show what makesÂ you stand apart from your competitors.Â If you successfully resolve a memberâsÂ complaint, he or she may return the favorÂ and provide a positive comment on his orÂ her own on your social media sites. AndÂ learning of a problem sooner can help youÂ address any internal issues or processesÂ that may have contributed to the memberâsÂ unhappiness.
Genworth Financial is the NAFCU Services Preferred Partner forÂ Private Mortgage Insurance.