5SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Helen Lawler Helen Lawler, president of FINspiration, has more than 20 years of leadership in marketing financial services. FINspiration is a strategic Marketing firm focused on financial services and specializing in the … Web: www.finspirationnow.com Details Who doesn’t love a good puppy photo in their news feed? Right?While occasional novelty or humorous posts may have some merit in your content plan, it is important to realize the value social media plays in your overall marketing strategy. My dog agrees.Until more recently, credit unions were cautious about joining social media. Much of that delay can be attributed to compliance concerns. There also has been hesitance on how to use or manage the channel effectively. Those fears are no longer slowing FIs down though, as their presence on social networks is growing. That growth is thanks, in part, to more regulatory guideline clarity, as well as improved delivery and compliance solutions. Still not sure about your approach? Let’s look at some reasons why a social media strategy is important for CUs:Staying in the discussion. CUs need to monitor and respond to issues that impact their reputation and brand. The conversations are happening whether your CU is there or not. Don’t miss the opportunity to manage your message.Member service. The interactive nature of social media provides CUs another way to manage member service issues. In fact, some financial institutions are already integrating it with their own online service portals. Gaining insights. CUs can learn from the qualitative feedback, crowd sourcing and other hard metrics to make improvements in their processes, products and member engagement. Promotional and sales activities. Whether it is promoting products and services, community outreach or thought leadership, CUs can leverage social media for deeper marketing reach and “social selling” activities. Expectations. Consumers are on social media and look to interact with companies there (including your competitors). Furthermore, expectations will continue to rise as the industry integrates business practices such as lending, transactions and incentives into the channel.In our recent Instagram content analysis of over 100 FIs, we found a few notable trends:CUs posted more than community banks with an average of 12.8 posts versus 11.7 during the month studied.The leading category of CU posts were community-related at 24%, which was 11% less than the community banks. CUs posted about products 15% of the time, which was slightly greater than their bank counterparts.Overall, there appeared to be a general lack of strategy such as posting regularity, content standards or consistent consumer service interactions. Yes, there were some Fidos too.What should CUs do? CUs need to create more engagement with the community and key market segments through strategic social communication. They also need to go beyond the basics and integrate social media with other business areas such as operations, product integration and sales conversion. Now, I wonder where I can find a company t-shirt and hat for my dog? I have some photos to take.