Entering the World of Social Media

The vast majority of marketers use social media for business purposes.

October 24, 2012
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“If Facebook was a country, it would be the world’s third largest,” says George Balchev, online marketing manager at Alliant Credit Union  in Chicago. “And 93% of marketers use social media for business purposes, which are convincing indications of just how large social media has become.

“Before you decide to have a presence on social media sites, you should get buy-in from your board and senior management team, and be sure to establish clear ownership of the social media channel within your credit union,” says Balchev. He also recommends involving various credit union departments in the initiative: human resources, marketing, legal, compliance, and IT.

“Be sure to establish policies and guidelines governing the professional and personal use of social media,” he says. When developing your policies, Balchev offered these considerations:

Balchev says there are many tools that measure the effectiveness of your social media efforts such as Google Analytics, Wildfire Social Media Monitor, Klout, Crowdbooster, Radian 6, and Hootsuite.

“Be patient with social media,” adds Balchev. “It takes time to accumulate critical mass, identify influencers, and resolve issues.”

Balchev also has a list of what not to do on social media sites:

“The future is so-lo-mo—social, local, and mobile,” said Balchev. “Use social media to build relationships, engage members, and increase brand loyalty.” 

Two "Ss" of Social Media

Mark Arnold
October 24, 2012 7:54 am
Steve, This is a great piece for credit unions to consider when wading into the waters of social media. There are two "Ss" of social media credit unions should consider: strategy and staff. They must have a clear strategy for what they hope to accomplish (build brand, engage members, market their message, etc.). They must also have sufficient staffing resources (social media is not free: it takes a great deal of time). Mark

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Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory ( will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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