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.

Thoughts?

What can credit unions learn from Facebook?

Facebook recently announced their move to translate the site into different languages for use all over the world.  Facebook, facing a massive translation project, did what any good web 2.0 company would do: make their users do it.

Facebook has created an app called Translations that lets users translate phrases and then vote on their accuracy.  What a great way to take on a large and normally internal project.

What could credit unions stand to learn from this?  What could we “outsource” to our members?  Product development comes to my mind first.  Let our members tell us what they want.

Source: Mashable

UPDATE:  The link in the Mashable article to the Facebook translations page doesn’t work.  It seems Mashable got a little ahead of themselves or Facebook had a slight leak.  Either way, the concept is still firm.  How could credit unions take advantage of this trend?

No, you can’t know what movies I watch!

Blockbuster and Facebook have recently come under attack for some aspects of Beacon, Facebook’s semi-new intrusive marketing tool.  Years ago, when I actually worked at Blockbuster, it was fairly well known that you couldn’t divulge what movies someone has watched.  Similar to how you have the primary member at a CU, the account holder of a Blockbuster account had to given written permission for their history to be divulge to a third party, even if that person was a spouse or a "joint" account holder.  When wives frequently called up to ask what movies they had out, if the account was under the name of the husband we couldn’t tell them.  Not to customer friendly, but it was the law. 

Movie Clique, Blockbuster’s Facebook app, lets you share your movie watching history with other Facebook users.  While this sounds cool and very web 2.0, it also appears to be illegal.  According to a law professor at the New York School of Law, the two companies should be preparing for incoming lawsuits.

So what does this mean for CU’s?  First off, that it is actually harder to share movie rental history with a spouse than it is to share banking transactions.  Personally, I feel like banking transactions are a little more private than that, yet they are not afforded the same legal protection.  With the recent advent of Mint, Wesabe, Cake, etc, our member’s information is getting spread all over the web and we to be very aware of how this info is being consumed.  It would also be a good idea to ensure your branch staff are relatively tight-lipped about the info they give out.