Credit Union Geek

Marketing, Strategy, and The Force by Joe Winn

Tag: engagement

Giving Back Has ROI, Too

Originally published on CUInsight.com

Does your credit union give back? That’s a silly question. But does your community support program intricately tie in with member engagement?

A friend of mine used to work for the local chapter of the American Heart Association. After a few years there, she started her own company. It brings non-profits together with companies whose mission aligned with theirs. Essentially, she is a charity to corporate matchmaker.

At first glance, this seems pretty simple. Find company with money (usually through a foundation), bring together with non-profit which needs money. Now pay me a small consultant fee. Not so fast. It turns out, companies started looking at their give back campaigns differently. Instead of just “doing a good thing”, they wanted said good thing to do more. If we’re spending money, the thought process goes, why not have it improve employee satisfaction? Or serve as cause-based marketing to our current and prospective clientele? And charities began to have the same thoughts.

Just as two random single people are not necessarily a good match, the same goes between companies and charities. My friend learns about the core mission and motivations of every client before recommending a pairing. That way, everyone is more engaged, supportive, and excited about the alignment.

Take your credit union. Say you offer a need-based mortgage assistance program. Partnering with a pet rescue charity is fine. Woof. Meow. But imagine if you aligned with a non-profit which helps place struggling and displaced families into low-cost and subsidized housing? Their mission and that of your credit union are the same. You’re a match. And it shows with staff who are excited to volunteer and talk about it to their members (who are then encouraged to help where they can). Heck, some of those members might even be beneficiaries of the charity. Think of the legen-wait for it-dary social media campaign you could set up. So much good can be done for so many, and your credit union can grow in the process. I think it’s safe to say all the families helped by the charity would become members of your credit union. And based on how you treat them like family, they’re not likely to leave. In fact, they’ll probably tell their friends and family about you.

When you get out of the daily grind and remember why you exist, these types of alliances seem so obvious. And it can give your entire team the motivation to serve at their peak abilities. Giving back really does have an ROI.

Since this post is already too long, a future one will dive into some stories of credit unions following this path. Spoiler: Their staff and members love it. So does the bottom line.

Insights In 160 Characters…Or Less

Full posts are overrated. Ok, that’s not true. They are essential to delve into an issue beyond surface discussions. However, there’s also a time for brevity. Short and sweet, as you could say. I’ve found that much of my best wisdom has originated, spur of the moment, in a Twitter post or reply. If only I were as witty and intelligent in the rest of my life!

There has been a trend lately in terms of topics discussed, both for myself and the industry as a whole. Social Media and Big Data. I’ve written a lot of articles about both, but, let’s be honest. You wouldn’t read them even if they were linked here. However, I might get you to read a series of tweets which spur some new ways of thinking. Ready? Too bad…we’re off!

Social Media

On replying to online criticism/comments:

On producing content your members want to see:

On the difference between good and unique:

On catching attention, in almost any way you can:

On what (actually) makes credit unions different:

On reminding us all that failing is ok, too:

Finally, on being *that guy* in the conversation:

Big Data

On using for “any and all purposes”:

On understanding what you’re looking at:

On realizing nothing really has changed:

On having my A/C replaced:

Did any of those short statements/replies educate, inspire, or convince you of their importance? There’s always more where they came from. Simply follow me on Twitter @JoeCUGeek or comment on the post to start a new conversation!  I tried to share tweets which did not link to long reads, but some do slip through (most of mine go to something to dive deeper).  Also, I realized that searching through 4,000+ tweets is a pain for me, but a victory for you!

Bonus for reading to the end (or just scrolling to the bottom):

Do I Have Your Attention?

10% of you won’t even read this far.

A number of years back, our VP of Marketing, Keith Winn, wrote an article that no one read. And that was the point. Dubbed The Article No One Will Read, you can look back and see how, even in 2011, people had already tuned out of, well, everything.

Last night, a modern repeat of this tale appeared in my Twitter feed. A writer for Slate wondered the same thing we had so many years ago…is anyone even bothering to read what I write? And when they do, is it to the end, or some arbitrary, “I’m bored” point?

38% of you are now gone.

He worked with a web technology company to see how far people actually scrolled on pages. Turns out, most of the time, even a committed reader doesn’t make it to the bottom. A tiny percentage get to the end, and they’re the least likely to share! Ironically, those who post your content on Facebook, Twitter, or some other service, probably didn’t read to the halfway mark.

You don’t know this yet, but you’re past the halfway point, since I know this cannot keep rambling…I’ve lost more than half of you already!

Take-away lesson: If you want engagement, don’t expect comprehension. If you want comprehension, don’t expect engagement. Weird, I know. If you want people to read everything to the end…sorry, not going to happen.

Essential point (Notice how I waited until the end to mention? Think about how those other people missed out because they couldn’t stick around long enough!): You need to get to your point fast, and I mean faster than a Weeping Angel towards the phone box (Whovians got that, but it probably cost me a few percent more in readers who gave up…oh well).

Point. Quickly. Because people won’t stay focused.

Disclosure: The numbers and style are adapted from the original publication on Slate. But I could say just about anything here, since no one is still reading. Always take a banana to a party. Make it so, Number One. Use the Force. You must take your place in the Circle of Life.

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