Credit Union Picks A Funny Time To Engage On Twitter

What did it take to get Suncoast Schools Federal Credit Union to send its first real tweet? One member complaining about another member’s urinary incontinence.

Suncoast Schools FCU launched its Twitter account in February 2011. It took them over six months to send their first tweet:


Hey, don’t smirk. Everyone was there at one point.

But then they didn’t tweet anything for another year and a half.

A year and a half…

That’s bad.

But then suddenly just last month, they sparked back to life.

(Well, for at least one more tweet anyway.)

What could possibly have awoken them from their Twitter slumber? What did it take to get them off the pot, as it were? This tweet from a member named Joe Connor, sent January 9, 2013:


Was Joe being serious? Or did he just have a chip on his shoulder and wanted to say something negative about the credit union? We’ll probably never know.

It took Suncoast Schools FCU two days to muster up their reply:


“DM us with the details???” (“DM” is Twitterspeak for “direct message,” a private two-way chat.) Ewwww…

If the credit union had seen or reacted to the tweet immediately, they could have looked around their East Hillsborough branch in Tampa for a seat with a wet spot.

But wait, a second. Maybe that was “dry” humor? (Yuck, yuck…) From a credit union no less? Or maybe someone didn’t realize how funny were being when they wrote the tweet? Again, who knows?

While it’s certainly admirable that Suncoast Schools is scanning Twitter for relevant mentions of their brand, you have to wonder why they singled out this particular tweet for a response…?

It’s not like this is the first time someone has mentioned Suncoast Schools FCU on Twitter either. There are 45 results for “Suncoast School Federal Credit Union,” another 18 results for “Suncoast Schools FCU,” about a dozen other references to “Suncoast Schools,” and nine tweets pointed directly @suncoastfcu — some stretching as far back as June 2009. That’s nearly 100 tweets. Around 20 tweets have mentioned Suncoast Schools FCU in the last six months alone (which honestly isn’t that many for one of the top 20 biggest credit unions in the world).

A couple members helped promote Suncoast School FCU’s Facebook promotion back in July 2012. One member said she was opening a savings account for her kiddo. And a few other Foursquare check-ins.

And Suncoast Schools FCU didn’t want to respond to them? Even with a simple thanks? Or maybe a tip of the hat to the dozens or so local papers and CU industry analysts throwing kudos their way?


But hey, when someone starts complaining about pee in the seats?! “We’re all over that!”

Suncoast Schools FCU just doesn’t seem interested in taking Twitter all too seriously. In two years, they’ve sent two total tweets, follow seven accounts, and have 74 followers themselves.

Oddly, Suncoast Schools FCU is very active on Facebook, where they have an astonishing 23,783 ‘Likes.’ The credit union has $5.2 billion in assets and over 500,000 members, so its Facebook fanbase is equivalent to 5.1% of their entire membership. Impressive.

Update: The Financial Brand received a phone call from Patti Barrow, VP Marketing at Suncoast Schools, within hours of this article’s publication. Savvy marketer that she is, the story popped up on her Google Alerts in the morning (she’s also a regular subscriber to The Financial Brand’s weekly eDigest newsletter). Barrow explained that the credit union’s policy is to respond to every negative social mention involving its brand, in whatever channel it can find them. She said Suncoast Schools staff did indeed investigate the situation within moments of when they first spotted the troublesome tweet, and — rest assured — everything has been addressed properly at the East Hillsborough branch. Kudos to Barrow for taking the tweet — and this article — in stride.

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