Lending

‘Give Your Best Asset a Voice’ with Social Media

Be fun and real—and don’t delete angry posts.

November 09, 2012
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“People do business with people they like—and they recommend businesses they love.”

Connecting with members via social media is like any other relationship, says Jennifer Maxfield, electronic marketing manager for $1.5 billion asset GTE Financial Credit Union in Tampa, Fla. It takes steady communication, frequent availability, empathy, a sense of humor—and the ability to overlook others’ flaws from time to time.

She addressed the CUNA Lending Council Conference in Miami.

GTE Financial launched its Facebook page in 2009 when it introduced a new youth checking account. The credit union aims to engage members with social media and create valued relationships because “people do business with people they like,” Maxfield says. “And they recommend businesses they love.”

Plus, social media gives members a voice. “Our loyal members are our best asset,” she says. “Give your best asset a voice. We’d be missing out on these great stories if we didn’t have a Facebook page.”

These voices are more powerful than any marketing message could be. When members post unsolicited comments such as “thank you for making my life easier,” they have a big impact. According to Nielsen, 78% of people consider others’ recommendations the most credible.

Maxfield offers these strategies for social media success:

“And let everyone know you did what you said you would,” she says. “That way, everyone knows how awesome you are.”

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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 (www.appreciationatwork.com/assess) 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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