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Experiments With Pinterest In Retail Banking Fail Miserably

In early 2012, Pinterest swept across the financial industry with a wave of hype. Bleeding-edge social media zealots pressured banks and credit unions to hop on the bandwagon. But one year later, has anyone capitalized on the promise of Pinterest? No.

What Is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a pinboard-style photo sharing website that allows users to create theme-based image collections around their interests and hobbies. Users can browse other people’s pinboards for inspiration, “liking” photos or “re-pinning” images to their own collections.

Today Pinterest has 25 million users, the same number as MySpace, and equal to one-fourth the size of LinkedIn, 1/10th the size of Twitter, and 1/40th the size Facebook.

Let’s roll back to January 2012. Articles about Pinterest in banking started popping up all over the place. Social media consultants and analysts, smitten with the popular picture-pinning service, published essays encouraging banks and credit unions to jump on board. By April, the trade media’s interest in Pinterest had escalated to a full-fledged feeding frenzy.

Finextra said that banks needed to get their heads around Pinterest, and — like it or not — that the new social channel really deserved their attention. “Banks should probably use the site,” Finextra noted. American Banker ran an article titled “7 Ways Banks Can Use Pinterest.” Corporate Insight went so far as to publish an 18-page report touting best practices for financial marketers on Pinterest. Bank Innovation offered tempered enthusiasm in “3 Reasons Why Pinterest Could Be Huge for Banking,” and a companion piece, “Why Pinterest Should Matter to Banks.”

“Should banks and credit unions show interest in Pinterest? The answer is clearly: No, not today.”
– The Financial Brand
February 22, 2012

At the time, Pinterest was adding millions of new users. It had become the new darling in the social media world. The site was growing fast, and yes, it boasts tasty demographics — college educated, higher incomes, and a huge following among women (a favorite target audience with bank marketers).

But despite all the pressure to participate in Pinterest, financial marketers remained wary. Back in February 2012, Ed Terpening, the wise sage heading up social media for Wells Fargo, said he would take a wait-and-see attitude towards Pinterest.

“Our resources are thin!” Terpening exclaimed. “Will the flood of new social sites cease?”

Wells Fargo still hasn’t done anything with its Pinterest account. As it turns out, Terpening’s decision to hold off was a good one.

Getty Images | Content Marketing

Pinterest is a Complete Bust

When The Financial Brand decided to assess Pinterest adoption in the banking sector, the goal was to look at 100 banks and credit unions and see how they are doing. But we figured, why stop at just 100? Let’s study them all… 115 of them. Yep, that’s right: according to Pinterest, there are only 54 banks and 61 credit unions with an activated account — in the entire English-speaking world. (“Activated” accounts have a complete profile, an avatar image, and the financial institution has performed at least one activity on Pinterest.) There were approximately another 70 placeholder accounts with no activity.

Total # of pin boards created (all 115 FIs): 801
Total images pinned (all 115 FIs): 11,545
Total followers (all 115 FIs): 10,859 (0.003% of U.S. population)
Bank with the most followers: Capital One (7,046 followers)
Credit union with the most followers: Firefighters Community (274 followers)

Average # of pin boards: 7
Average # of images pinned: 88
Average # of followers: 100*

# of FIs with less than 100 followers: 109 (94.8%)

Most active bank: Capital One (732 images pinned)
Most active credit union:
Anheuser-Busch Employees’ CU (732 images pinned)

If you remove Capital One from the study, then the picture of Pinterest gets even more dim for financial institutions. *Without Capital One, the industry has a grand total of only 4,498 followers — an average of only 39 per bank and credit union.

Between the 61 credit unions on Pinterest, they have 2,305 followers total. The one with the most, Firefighters Community, has only 274. Firefighters has uploaded over 400 images. At a minimum of 10 minutes per image, that’s 67 hours. Could Firefighters have accomplished more for its 67-hour investment that attaining 274 followers on Pinterest? The answer is almost certainly “yes.”

capital_one_pinterest

Capital One is by far the most active financial institution on Pinterest. They have accrued over 7,000 followers by pinning around 1,000 images across 20 different boards. The bulk of their activity centers around a “12 Days of Christmas” promotion.

“Yes there have been a few articles since the peak of the hype, and yes some financial institutions have made the leap,” says Gregor McKelvie. “But there hasn’t been a lot of activity.”

That’s an understatement. Very, very few financial institutions are involved in Pinterest, and even those that are aren’t really doing anything.

Indeed most business sectors have struggled to find any footing in Pinterest. Restaurants, with their ocular delights, are among the handful of industries where a small sliver of supersized brands have achieved (limited) success. Starbucks has more than 70,000 followers. Panera has over 5,000 followers, and Maggiano’s has over 4,000. But TGI Fridays only has around 1,000, as does Chilis.

For comparison, consider that the top 10 pinners on Pinterest each have at least 4.7 million followers. The top pinner has over 11 million.

Augie Ray, Director of Social Media for Prudential Financial looked at how his peers have performed on Pinterest, and he is wholly unimpressed.

“Few — if any — case studies demonstrate Pinterest is a match for the goals of financial services brands,” Ray points out.

Citi, for instance, tried using Pinterest for job recruitment, but that didn’t work and they shut their account down.

Kiosk & Display | Digital Merchandising for Financial Institutions

Ray points to social media power brands like AmEx and USAA as evidence of Pinterest’s failure in the financial industry. AmEx has millions and millions of fans on Facebook, but have only managed to scrape together 370 followers on Pinterest.

“If I had to guess the financial services brand that would make Pinterest work, it would be AmEx,” Ray says. “Even terrific visual content such as this infographic on the importance of small business to our economy has earned just three repins and one like.”

Before joining Prudential, Ray helped lead social media for USAA. “We began experimenting with Pinterest,” he explains. “The goal was to share evocative images that conveyed USAA’s spirit and commitment of the military.” Despite posting really gorgeous photos, the USAA account only has a few hundred followers.

“Financial services firms have done an outstanding effort of testing the new platform but seen very little by way of evident results,” Ray notes.

And remember, for every one financial institution experimenting with Pinterest, there’s at least another 10 that thought hard about how they might make it work before giving up.

Bottom Line? Don’t Bother

Augie Ray also noticed how, a year or so ago, consultants launched a wave of blog posts and presentations championing the power of Pinterest for banks and credit unions. “A year or so later, those optimistic predictions have been largely unrealized,” he concludes. “It is not proving to be the ‘next big thing’ for financial services.”

One look at the top uses for Pinterest and you’ll quickly realize this is forum for hobbies and interests — not somewhere users are eager to engage around life’s tedium (e.g., banking). The most popular images on Pinterest are related to (in order) food and drink, DIY/crafts, home decor, hair and beauty, women’s fashion, weddings, holidays and travel. People on Pinterest want to think about ways to spend money, not manage it.

“Pinterest may eventually come of age in the financial services space,” Ray observes. “But it is difficult to see how it will benefit financial services brands in any way with significant scope.”

Zachary Ehrlich at MyBankTracker.com is undiplomatic in his assessment. “Banks and Pinterest go together like lamb and tuna fish,” he says. “Where is there space on Pinterest for banks to promote intangible products like a checking account or even a credit card? The opportunity for banks on Pinterest is limited at best.”

“With the media interest and the number of consumers flocking to Pinterest.com, your bank may be tempted to join,” notes Gartner analyst Stessa Cohen. “Most banks should resist this temptation.”

“Most banks?”

Let’s just go ahead and say “all.”

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All content © 2014 by The Financial Brand and may not be reproduced by any means without permission.

CUNA | Youth Week 2014

Comments

  1. Pinterest is not the place to be if you’re looking to monetize your brand. It is, however, an excellent place to communicate your organization’s values — what you believe in. It’s just another tool.

    One thing the fast-changing social media landscape has taught us recently is to resist sticking a fork in an idea too early. Like what you’ve done right here. Pinterest isn’t going anywhere.

  2. The FFIEC’s new social media guidelines stipulate that FIs should tie their social media efforts to their strategic goals and report on the ROI of their social media initiatives.

    Would LOVE to see how the FIs using Pinterest link these efforts to strategic goals and demonstrate ROI.

  3. Smoke and mirrors, Ron.

  4. Ron – The FFIEC guidelines only call for the reporting of results, not the generation of results ;)

    Robin – Wait… are you saying there’s still hope for Pinterest in the financial industry?

  5. We actually recently started using Pinterest to share teacher grant winners and their photos (obviously). Aside from that, we haven’t really come up with another use for it. And yes, so far the results are dismal.

  6. I so totally agree with (smart CU marketer) Robin! (surprised, huh!). Even experts can be wrong! :-)

  7. Roger, do you have any data proving that Pinterest has value?

  8. Hey Roger: I agree with Robin, too. Pinterest CAN be a good place to communicate your organization’s value. But as Robin says, it’s just another tool.

    And in that light comes the important question: How do you allocate your scarce resources across tools to optimize results?

    From the FB’s analysis, it would seem clear that allocating resources to Pinterest is not a smart decision.

  9. I have to say…I can be a bit over-passionate on this subject! (nah…not me)

    I do have to admit that Pinterest is 1 for 3 with the CUs targeting women…FTWCCU uses it, Verity and Summit don’t.

    Let’s just say that I’ll go with what Robin said…don’t stick a fork in it…yet!

  10. I do think there’s hope for Pinterest for financials, Ron, but the tough question is the one you nailed — how do you choose on which resource to use your scarce resources? Roger hit on the one demo for which Pinterest has the most potential – women. In fact, my wife was all over me about Pinterest before it was a glimmer in Ben Silbermann’s eye. She finally got my attention when she showed me her followers and what they were pinning.

    Holy jeezaloo …

  11. Robin–Ron knows that! He’s already surrendered to three women…like me! (wife and 2 daughters):-)

  12. James, it’s interesting that you bring up the subject of “tools” and “hammers.” Here’s an excerpt from one of my speeches:

    “Most social media projects start with the tool, and then fish for a strategy. Financial institutions think they need a blog before they know what for. They start a Facebook page without knowing what they’ll be putting on it… and why. They create a Twitter account unsure about what they’ll be tweeting…and why. It’s backwards. It’s like running into your garage, grabbing some random tool, then roaming through your house looking for something to fix with it. “Erg! Everyone told me a hammer was so useful! So now, what can I hammer? I wanna hammer something!” But don’t you usually only grab a hammer when you need to pound nails? Tools help you solve specific problems. First, you need to know what problem you’re trying to solve.”

    Innovation and experimentation are great, provided they fall within a strategic framework built around solving existing business objectives. All too often, the “goals” and “objectives” attached to social media projects are reverse-engineered to suit either the tool or the results the tool achieves (or both). Every executive in the C-suite should raise a skeptical eyebrow whenever someone starts introducing new business objectives along with a new tool they want to use.

    SVP Social: “We need to engage consumers on social channels with honest and transparent dialogue.”

    CMO: “Agreed. Honesty and transparency are the new currency in social marketing.”

    CEO: “Sounds good. But can you show me where those things are in our strategic plan? Aren’t our objectives for this year to increase loans by 12% and grow products per household up to 4.3 while improving ROA 0.2% and shareholder return by 0.8%? Where’s the bit about engaging consumers, or being honest and transparent?”

    It’s about building a business case. Almost every other initiative a financial institution undertakes is held to a cost-benefit standard. Why should social media get a free pass? While some banks and CUs are okay with soft metrics and an iffy ROI on speculative projects where the odds are long — where the biggest probable outcome is “learning something” — that isn’t the case for most FIs.

  13. While we are at it… let’s just hop on every latest social channel coming out and spread our resources even further without having a strategy. I heard about something new through the grape “vine” the other day.

    You know the credit union down the street is doing it so it must work right!

    As noted above, many of these social channels are viewed as tools. The idea of “credit union tools” is one that is irking me of late.

    When credit union’s view these initiatives (social media, email marketing, digital delivery, video… even PFM) as tools, they don’t have a fighting chance as they are not being strategically driven. They are simply satisfying another check box on someone’s “strategic” check list.

    Making a few posts on Pinterest here and there will not yield results just as making a few posts on Facebook here and there about rates, promos, weather and closings yields nothing.

    At the end of the day, people want to build the whole house but many are barely willing to lift the tool, the hammer, as they are swinging blindly with no blue print or direction to guide them.

  14. Jason Kincy says:

    I’ll follow up on Ron Shelvin’s comments, because I think he has the right perspective on participation in channels like Pinterest. It’s really about deciding if it’s an easy channel to add or not for your marketing plan.

    Most things in social media (and traditional marketing tactics as well) are about evaluating the expected results vs the resources and energy put into the execution. The way we use Pinterest doesn’t require much additional effort.

    I like the fact our bank is on Pinterest, and the fact that most banks aren’t makes me like it even more. We’ve put minimal effort into it and in the event a customer checks it out, it represents fairly well – showing that we share financial education and support our communities. We have the content already from other channels, so why not add a few items to Pinterest from time to time?

    It’s a great way to share our specialty debit cards (have you seen the bacon and the moustache?!) and we have plans for adding more community oriented content this year.

    If we’re saying Pinterest is a fail because of murky ROI, wouldn’t we say that about almost all of social media? That’s what makes marketing interesting – different opinions!

    Anyway, great article, and really enjoy the site. Keep up the good work!

  15. Hi, I’m the Digital Marketing Specialist at Firefighters Community CU. We’re proud of how many followers we’ve attracted, but it’s certainly not because we’re throwing lots of resources at it. Since Pinterest gets more activity during non-working hours, I usually manage our page on my own time. Even then, it only takes more like 10 seconds to upload a pin – and even less to repin – so the estimate of our CU’s time investment here is skewed.

    Here’s the real secret, though: Pinterest is part of our holistic multi-channel content strategy, not just another social network. James, you couldn’t be more correct. We’ve been very strategic about identifying ways to intersect the artsy Pinterest conversation with our financial expertise. This is just one rung of our content ladder: We vet content here and gauge the response to inform the content topics & tones we leverage across other channels. That means we’re not just wasting time on Pinterest; we’re integrating it into our overall communication strategy.

    The point is, we haven’t attained those 274 (currently, more like 302) followers because we set out to get the most followers. We didn’t even set out with the goal of turning a certain ROI (gasp). Our purpose on Pinterest is to find relevant ways to join the conversation, and use that to inform our strategies on other channels.

    Like everyone else, we’re still exploring the best way to funnel that conversation toward conversion. But we do know it starts by engaging people. Pinterest helps us understand how we can be relevant to consumers, regardless of how many followers or pins we have. In our mind, anything that helps us connect with potential members is not a failure!

  16. Jason – Indeed The Financial Brand has frequently suggested that when it comes to social media, nearly all banks and credit unions have more important, more productive, more proven initiatives they could/should pursue with their limited resources. It’s not that there’s anything inherently wrong with social media (although one could argue over the level of interest consumers have in interacting with financial institutions in social channels), it’s about the opportunity cost. The vast majority of banks and credit unions simply lack the scale and staff to justify heavy investments in social channels; they have bigger fish to fry, lower-hanging fruit they’ve left unpicked. While there certainly are exceptions, what may work for one or two FIs here and there isn’t sufficient evidence that something is right for everyone else.

    True, there isn’t much risk in Pinterest activity provided the organization is comfortable with few followers and the (probable) absence of ROI, but that isn’t the case for most FIs. The spirit of this article isn’t to say, “If you’re using Pinterest today, you’re foolish and should stop.” As with every article published here at The Financial Brand, the purpose is to equip financial marketers with information that enables them to make good decisions. The site always targets the broadest audience, offering a perspective that will benefit the most readers. Along with that comes a standing caveat: With any idea in any industry, there may be some who can make it work. But with Pinterest, it’s simply not going to be a wise investment of resources for the 80% of banks and credit unions with less than $500 million in assets and only one or two marketing people.

  17. Brooke – Thanks for weighing in. Presumably, you are referring to conversations you’ve had with consumers on Pinterest. For readers’ benefit, would you be willing to share an example where something on Pinterest helped guide your broader social/content strategy?

  18. Could comments like these be the reason that “Enthusiasm For social Media is Dampening in the Financial Industry”.

    “The way we use Pinterest doesn’t require much additional effort.” “We’ve put minimal effort into it.”

    – How does the old saying go? You reap what you sow? Social media’s real investment is time and effort. If a credit union is putting minimal time into social efforts, let’s just go ahead and kill it off as there is no point to tip toe into something to see if we can get “results”.

    “We have the content already from other channels, so why not add a few items to Pinterest from time to time?”

    – recycling content from other channels, I presume traditional, is not the best approach for digital channels IMHO. This is where I see many credit unions re-purposing the same promos they are sending out in direct mail into Facebook wall posts.

    “That’s what makes marketing interesting – different opinions!”

    – Marketing is not about different opinions. Marketing is about controlling the message while driving results through a set of strategic objectives to obtain an end goal.

    “Even then, it only takes more like 10 seconds to upload a pin – and even less to repin – so the estimate of our CU’s time investment here is skewed.”

    – False thinking about time management. 10 seconds to upload a pin does not mean 10 seconds in “real” or “billable” time. It’s probably closer to 5 minutes by the time your brain shifts back to it’s original train of thought.

    “Like everyone else, we’re still exploring the best way to funnel that conversation toward conversion.”

    – That funnel should lead to a call to action to ask for the business and drive a lead. Talking and listening are great but if we never ask for the business in one form or fashion we are losing the possibility of converting relationships to profitable business.

    “Any executive in the C-suite should raise a skeptical eyebrow whenever someone starts introducing new business objectives along with a new tool.”

    – The irony here is that many of these “tool” conversations start in the c-suite or board room and work their way down.

    Strategic objective/goal: We have to create a social presence
    Tool: Facebook/Twitter

    Strategic objective/goal: We have to launch mobile banking
    Tool: Mobile app

    You get the point…

  19. Thanks, Jason – it sounds like we have similar (non-intensive) approaches to Pinterest, and you explained some of it better than I did! There’s no such thing as a bad channel – it all depends on your purpose, your strategy, and your results. And if you’re on a channel without any of those – then yes, it probably will fail. :)

    In the simplest form, this is how Pinterest guides our content on other channels: A pin about cheap remodeling tricks got 72 pins, so we’ll share those tips on Facebook & Twitter, and then if it’s still getting good feedback, we’ll drop it in our newsletters – always tweaking the presentation to match the channel, of course. Then to close the loop, we’ll pin that email newsletter on Pinterest (& other channels), inviting followers to subscribe — which we think is a more relevant next step on this channel than jumping straight to “Open an Account!”

    But let me give you an off-line example to show that it goes deeper than just reusing links. Every year we make a calendar for our members, showcasing photos they submit. Traditionally, this was targeted at firefighters, but we’re trying to appeal more broadly to our entire community. So, to open a new channel of photo submissions, we started a board on Pinterest & used it to recruit photos/photographers by inviting them to contribute. We ended up with a totally different calendar this year because we had a totally different pool of contributors, thanks to Pinterest. This new calendar has become sort of a visual template for the graphics we use on all our marketing materials. In this case, if nothing else, Pinterest helped shape our visual brand by helping us discover images that resonate with our followers.

    To us, there’s value in that – even if we can’t stamp an ROI on it quite yet. In the long-term, I think brands that take the time to engage fans with relevant content will get further than brands that head into every channel with ROI on their mind, screaming, “Do business with us!” People are gonna engage with photos before finances, so that’s our first step to building a longer-term relationship with them.

    I’d rather see CUs “tiptoe into something to see if we can get ‘results’,” than to jump into it full force only to realize we can’t get results or, even worse, ignore an emerging channel altogether and never know what our results might have been.

  20. Jason Kincy says:

    Editor – Congratulations on a thought provoking article, I agree with the comments in your reply to my thoughts. Pinterest (nor many other social efforts) is not a fit for every institution. Our bank has the staff and infrastucture to experiment with things we’re interested in, and this is one we want to try out. I’m certainly not going to debate the issue, each marketing program leader needs to make their own choices!

    Brooke – kudos on your Pinterest page. Regardless of the number of followers, it looks like some well rounded content.

  21. Brooke, you’re an inspiration! We’ve been trying to get photos from members for 12 months and I never thought to use Pinterest!
    Thank you!

  22. “There’s no such thing as a bad channel – it all depends on your purpose, your strategy, and your results. And if you’re on a channel without any of those – then yes, it probably will fail.”

    Agree with you on this point. Yet why do credit unions still push out direct mail drops “targeting” everyone within a one mile radius, get no results then want to do the same thing again expecting different results. I would say at that point direct mail is a bad channel.

    Regarding the calendar and the way you are using Pinterest is interesting. However, this opens up a bigger question of what credit unions use as giveaways. Are calendars even relevant today in an age of smart phones? Totally understand how this could depend on market, demographics, etc. But… how many of those calendars are taken and then trashed (or hopefully recycled).

    On a completely different angle, where does the issue of image copyright come into play if you are using images off of Pinterest for calendars or creative.

    “I think brands that take the time to engage fans with relevant content will get further than brands that head into every channel with ROI on their mind.”

    – Having ROI on every channel is a must in today’s market place as margins are going to keep getting tighter and tighter. It will be those brands who keep ROI top of mind who will not only be ahead, but still in business in the future.

    “I’d rather see CUs “tiptoe into something to see if we can get ‘results’,” than to jump into it full force only to realize we can’t get results or, even worse, ignore an emerging channel altogether and never know what our results might have been.”

    – I have been one for the theory of rapid prototype development that encourages one to launch something and continue to build and revise it over time as opposed to dip a toe into the water as results might be skewed that way (good or bad).

    Over the years I have had many successes (and failure) by going full speed ahead into something but was quickly able to pivot and change course. There is more on this thought that can be found here about “The Entrepreneurial Credit Union?”: http://www.cuinsight.com/the-entrepreneurial-credit-union.html

    In summary Brooke, I respect your different opinion and thank you for the sharing of thoughts and ideas as I hope this gives others reading two different angles to think further on. Cheers and Happy Friday!

  23. What a wonderful and healthy debate. I’m the Chief Marketing Officer at Firefighters Community CU and have the great pleasure to have Brooke on my marketing team.

    As it relates to the benefits we gain from our involvement in Pinterest, it should be said that we also develop our direct promotional angles from content we’ve vetted on Pinterest (and our other social channels).

    In terms of ROI, we’ve had a tangible increase in promotional responsiveness since we’ve begun tying our offerings to consumer sentiments we’ve discovered through all of our social channels. Therefore, I embed the costs that support our digital efforts into every campaign we run. It’s a promotional content/copy development cost we’d have regardless of how we produce it.

    In the end, all of our channels increase our market effectiveness and it’s my responsibility to build the resource cost into all of our promotional campaigns to drive overall ROI. In that regard, the ROI proves out for us.

    With that, we will live to pin another day! =)

    Thanks for letting us have a voice in this smart debate.

  24. @Brooke – I started digging a bit deeper into your Pinterest account/activity and had a few thoughts/questions. I also read this article here (http://www.cuna.org/newsnow/13/system013013-7.html) as well.

    In regards to your social integration, I see you have links to Facebook and Twitter on your home page (https://www.ffcommunity.com/) but not to your Pinterest account. I was curious to know why this link was left off?

    I know Financial Brand noted you guys having the most followers on Pinterest in regards to all credit unions and wanted to explore that a bit further. In the CUNA article you noted Pinterest “is a way to connect more fully with our members.” I agree with that statement.

    However, as I was going through your Pinterest fans I noticed that many were located around the country outside of the Cuyahoga or Lake Counties area as defined in your FOM (https://www.ffcommunity.com/open-an-account.aspx). There are also quite a few credit union affiliated fans as well. Upon quick count there were around 50 or so of these.

    Have you done an analysis to see how many of these fans are members or possibly eligible for membership? I understand you guys have a few other options for membership including SEGs and being family of a current member.

    The point is, and this is not just about Pinterest, how many fans are “engaging” credit unions social channels that are either from other credit unions or people outside our FOM.

    Once again, this routes me back to the ROI discussion as this has been running since 2012.

  25. Thanks for digging deeper into us, James!

    Pinterest wasn’t left off of our website intentionally – in fact, it sparked plans for a website overhaul. I was still new to the company – and getting acquainted with our web administration – when I created our Pinterest page. When I realized that we had no nimble way of adding new channels like this, it indicated that we needed a more flexible website to keep up with our changing digital landscape! So, we’ll soon begin a redesign process where one of the goals is to make all of our social channels (including LinkedIn & YouTube, too) more prominent and accessible.

    You also caught us right in the middle of another evolution: How relevant are analytics like follower numbers when we have such a narrow local focus? We’ve definitely noticed – perhaps more so on Twitter than Pinterest – that social media can become a B2B platform where CUs talk to each other instead of members. Between that segment, and the random folks around the world who are following our pins, you’re right – it’s quite a generalization to call that “member outreach.”

    So those basic analytics like # of followers were just a starting point for us last year. From there, we started looking more at engagement-driven analytics. This year, we’ll dive even deeper to analyze WHO we’re analyzing, like how many of those engaged followers are actually members or potential members. It’s a work in progress, but we’ve already started paying more attention to this on Facebook, and other channels will follow.

    The ultimate goal is to integrate (and automate) these “social engagement indicators” with our CRM system to create real profiles of who our members are – not just in terms of our banking relationship, but also through social relationships. If we can build a picture of what socially engaged members look like, it will help us target the right people and build a clearer conversion funnel out of this shape-shifting enigma known as social media.

  26. Thanks for the great note back Brooke! It is exciting to see what you have going on behind the scenes at FFCCU. Your mention of the digital landscape excites me as we are hoping credit unions continue to invest in this channel, as it looks like you guys are doing.

    Furthermore, your second point of your evolution is spot on asking about the relevance of your followers on the local level. This is an area of interest for us at PTP.

    You are right about it being a work in progress as the digital channel is always changing but provides so much opportunity.

    Your last point however is the one that really excites me as you are now looking to tie your social channels into your CRM to create real profiles of who your members are both offline as well as online. From there, targeting efforts to continue to build relationships with a focus on people, product and process is possible with amazing potential.

    Looks like you guys are working hard to breath life into your digital channels as opposed to the opposite: http://www.cuinsight.com/is-your-credit-unions-digital-channel-deadly.html

    It would be great to continue this conversation offline with you and Michelle whom I connected with on LI while learning more what you guys are doing. Shout out anytime.

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