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Leveraging social media in the MBL battles
LANSING, Mich. (4/17/12)--The Michigan Credit Union League (MCUL) has been working with credit unions to place stories about the member business lending (MBL) issue in media outlets to draw attention to an impending vote in the U.S. Senate to raise the credit union MBL cap. Social media need to be leveraged in the MBL battles, MCUL says.

Because of social media, readers have the ability to share and participate in the news, and the MBL coverage provides an opportunity to do that, said MCUL (Michigan Monitor April 16).

Credit unions can leverage the current MBL coverage online to reinforce the issue and expand the circle of influence, Jonathan Fuhrman, marketing consultant for CU Solutions Group, who specializes in social media, told MCUL.

"Credit unions can search for the topic on Twitter, and then engage directly with anyone who is talking about it," Fuhrman said. "This can include more mainstream media sources (local news and radio), along with bloggers, or anyone else with a strong influence online.  Perhaps there are local businesses with a strong social media following who could greatly benefit from MBL. You can engage those businesses directly on the issue, then get them to talk to their followers about it," he said.

Credit unions can use the hashtag #raiseMBLcap in all MBL-related Tweets to make it easier for others to search for the topic and share information. Fuhrman added that credit unions can set up Google Alerts for keywords related to the topic, which will alert them each time a new article appears online. Also, consistently post in the story's comment section, which ensures that accurate information and positive comments remain near the top of the comments.

Also, the California Department of Financial Institutions discussed what goals and objectives management should consider in developing a social media plan (Monthly Bulletin March).

Financial institution managers should ensure they cover all applicable social media activities when establishing policies and procedures.

Key elements to address are:

  • Description of the approved social media activities (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Yelp, etc.);
  • Establishment of responsibility for the social media program oversight;
  • Creation of the appropriate reporting authority;
  • Designation of staff members authorized to manage and respond to social media inquiries and postings;
  • Specification of type of use for social media (business use only);
  • Guidelines for personal use, if allowed;
  • Definition of permitted content (such as communications, product promotions or advertisement, customer education);
  • Inclusion of applicable consumer protection laws and regulations requirements such as deposit insurance and, Truth in Lending, if advertising products and services;
  • Employee training program;
  • Procedures to detail how social media activities are performed;
  • Description of reporting metrics to monitor the social media program's goals and objectives; and
  • Regular review and updates for the policy and procedures.


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