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What your missing is community

What your missing is Community.

Batsheva Nagel

I understand the challenge. You are working hard to grow your business, maintain quality service, and juggle the many aspects of a work/life balance. All this during a global pandemic. You know having a social media presence is important, so you put the time in to post varied content and try and stay on top of what may be trending that week. This is a great start. But this is only the start.

The most important element to a successful online presence for your credit union is creating community. When you create community, you bring validation to your current members that they, in fact, do make the right choice by banking with you. When you create community you leave the door open for more interested members to feel inspired and welcome.

Creating and building a community on social media does not have to take an inordinate amount of your time. However, is does require you to be intentional, to sit down once a month and create a plan by outlining the steps will you take to bring your members closer and open the door for new ones.

But how do you create community on social media? I’m glad you asked ;) There are many ways to engage followers and generate connectivity. Here are two simple ways to accomplish this goal.

--Tell us who you are, not just what you do.

Many credit union social media pages look the same. Tips, services and a contest here or there. What sets you apart from institutionalized banks? What sets you apart from others credit unions? The answer is you and your team. The people behind the desks is what makes your business unique. Highlight your team members, not only in an introductory post but also in a creative way that explains who they are. Share stories from behind the scenes; let your followers know what the office culture is like. I’m not asking you to share personal information. Instead, I am inviting you to create a window that allows a small but personal glimpse into your world. This sort of content is not meant to be posted every day. Two to four times a month is enough for your followers and members to start feeling like they are part of your community. If they know you, they will be more inclined to trust you and more open to working with you.

--Connect with members online. Make sure your members know where to find you. Not only on your website, but also on social media platforms. ‘Like’ or comment on significant posts your members share. Create a room on Clubhouse and open the floor for dialogue with them. Send them a personal message during

the holiday season. Now more then ever, individuals are open to building relationships over the internet. People understand that communicating on social media platforms is a way of socializing. Taking the extra time to build these relationships will prove worthwhile when your members feel they are part of a community.

The outcome/results/findings of a study published by professor Lori Kindle and Caroline Haythornthwaite, which was featured in the America Behavioral Scientist ,proves this point:

“Online communication always reinforces local relationships and local identities that build networks of interacting individuals who are mutually aware of each other. Together, this demonstrates a continuous change in how we maintain local community, while also emphasizing the importance and significance of our attachments to local places and spaces."

Interacting with your members online will help them feel a greater connection to your credit union. It is as simple as that. And remember, these are steps you can take when looking to bring new clients in as well.

Use your creativity, show your personality, and most importantly share a little bit with your members. Bring people in and create an online community where the work you put in can be valued and appreciated and, best of all, can lead to greater and new, productive relationships.

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