ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (8/4/10)--Social media have gone mainstream, and a credit union service organization (CUSO) is urging credit unions to "use these vital communications tools to gain awareness" for their products and services. The CUSO, PSCU Financial Services, based in St. Petersburg, Fla., has launched the first of a series of social media tutorials to help credit unions tap into the promotional potential offered by social media formats on its Facebook page. The current video is called "Social Media 101." "Social media outlets--including Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube and blogs--are now being used by many corporations to create brand awareness and consumer loyalty," said Mike Yatros, interim CEO of the CUSO. "Research shows that more than 69% of consumers have read a corporate blog and 40% of consumers have 'liked' a brand on Facebook or MySpace," he added, referring to research by Razorfish in 2009. "Credit unions that use social media can create broad consumer awareness about our unique industry and ultimately influence prospects to consider making a local credit union their primary financial services provider," he said. The new "social media" tab on the CUSO's Facebook page presents information that credit unions can use to learn how to leverage current and emerging social media tools to engage with their existing and prospective members. The first lesson sets the foundation by presenting facts and figures about consumers' online and social media habits. Future postings will provide lessons for using popular social media sites and downloadable best practices and resource guides.