Credit Unions on Facebook

So my CU just started a Facebook group. Woo hoo!  Now the question is how do you make your members that are on Facebook aware of this?  Buy ad space?  Adopt the “if you build it, they will come” mentality?  The first idea that actually crossed my mind was to grab the names and emails out of our core or online banking and treat them like regular old contacts which Facebook can upload and find your members that have Facebook accounts.  That way the invite would only go to members already on Facebook.  But then the paranoid side came out of me and I started to think that we’d feel a little wierd uploading a list of our members’ names and email to Facebook.

How would you guys feel if your CU invited you to join their group?  Are credit unions suddenly rubbing off on me and making me overly paranoid about privacy?  We’d invite the members through Facebook so only Facebook members would see the invite.  We would not send it to all of our online banking members as I can see issues arising.


10 thoughts on “Credit Unions on Facebook”

  1. Attach some sort sweepstakes entry for joining the group, and mention it on your website, within online banking, and in your newsletter. That way, you don’t have to worry about ticking anyone off. Everything’s on an opt-in basis, and there is incentive for members to act.

    If you can attach a legit reason members should join the group (ie. exclusive offers) along with the incentive, you’ll be even better off.

    I know this isn’t specifically targeting current Facebook users, but that group is a subset of your overall member base. If you market through all of your touch points, you’ll hit that subset too. Who knows? This may even lead to more of your members adopting the wild world of Facebook (believe it or not, there are still many who still haven’t jumped in).

    Don’t buy ad space. Don’t blast an email.

    My two pennies…

  2. I think as long as you are creating value via Facebook it’s fine.

    Is there a plan to create content, use the Facebook features, create apps that enhance the social aspects of the network? If not, then I would say get those elements in order before you advertise it to members or reach out to them via their email address if they’re already on Facebook.

    You won’t get a second chance and if you invite your members to something that isn’t clear about what it offers them, they won’t stick around and you will have wasted their time.

  3. You can try what we did and send an email to your members about your Facebook group. I offered our members a Starbucks card for becoming a fan of our page, but there have been some who became fans on their own.

    If you don’t want to send an email, you can also try just adding a link to some areas of your CU’s website and put it in the newsletter somewhere.

    I think it might seem creepy if you look up your members on Facebook and ask them to join. Better that you just keep telling them about the group and create value in it so that they go there on their own.

  4. To advertise the Facebook group to your members, I would use channels already established like member email addresses and your CU’s website. Looking them up on Facebook would be too time-consuming, plus there’s a chance you’ll miss people.

    If you can energize your existing base into getting onto Facebook and joining your group, they can help you spread the news via their networks.

    However, as William mentioned, make sure your group is ready to go with content, functionality, etc. If you’re not providing value to the potential group members, they’ll most likely look and leave.

    BTW, I’ll check out the group tonight (I saw you invited me), as I don’t have access at work. 😉

  5. I agree with the others here. For what it’s worth, when we put up a promo for ChangeEverything when our members log out of online banking, it often gets the highest clickthroughs of of the promos we do.

  6. Great comments everyone. I think we’ll hold off on the invites through Facebook (we would be uploading member info to a non-verified third party and I don’t really want to go through the NCUA’s due diligence on Facebook). Plus we need to get a few more things in line to run a little promo on it. The logoff on online banking is a great idea William as are the coffee cards. Thanks guys!

  7. As a member and an employee of a credit union, I would not like to have my credit union give information to Facebook. I have had a profile on Facebook for several years, but I feel this online social network has become increasingly intrusive. I would be very irked if my credit union provided information to it.

    I’d rather see ads come from my CU through well-established means. A mention on a monthly statement, a stuffer, signs at the branch or something similar.

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