FARMERS BRANCH, Texas (4/9/10)--Credit unions resistant to engaging in social media should give it more thought, according to Amanda Vega of Amanda Vega Consulting, who opened the Texas Credit Union League's (TCUL) 76th Annual Meeting and Expo this week in Grapevine, Texas. Social media is a powerful tool that can help credit unions grow membership, increase awareness in the market space and influence decision-making, Vega said. "Credit unions are organically built on the premise of social media," she told the credit unions attending. Because credit unions are formed with a common bond, they have the ability to "connect faster and deeper with your members than your competition," Vega said. Vega cautioned that social media isn't about taking traditional stuff and putting it online. "It's about being a part of the conversation," she said. "Think of social media as a party. Your host invites you and then she introduces you to other people, and your connections grow." To develop a social media plan, Vega listed six steps:
* Listen; * Create content document; * Create the plan/footprint; * Assign staff to implement and oversee; * Interact: and * Track and regroup.
"The reality is, social media isn't going away. You may think it's only a kids' party, but those 'kids' are your future members," she said. Because there are inherent risks using social media, credit unions will find it's critical to have policies and procedures in place to mitigate the risks, she said.