>Credit Unions and MySpace… It Can Work

This entry was posted by Friday, 23 March, 2007
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There has been some recent discussion in the credit union world about the use of MySpace to better attract and serve youth and young adults.

In my opinion, this is a great opportunity with one concern… be careful with what you post.

And I’m not speaking of wild credit union parties or questionable content. Be sure to keep sales pitches and any mention of great interest rates off of the profile. The last thing a MySpace user wants is to be “solicited” by a financial institution. You can always post a link to your credit union’s website where folks who want to find out more information on various products and services can do so.

Instead, please post something relevant to the social network in which you are entering and be subtle in your approach to attract young adults through your MySpace page.

Here are a few ideas…
* Information highlighting young adults at your credit union.
* Have a young adult employee post a story about a recent financial experience Post pictures of young adults who are served at the credit union
* Post some very basic financial education information, such as the difference between CD’s and savings accounts or describe how loans work… just be careful not to post how great your rates are and smack them over the head with a sales pitch.
* Explain why credit unions are different than banks
* Post pictures/video/content about a recent community service project, or some other story about how the credit union has upheld it’s commitment to bettering the community.

Take advantage of placing a profile on MySpace to educate members and potential members. Do not treat this as free advertising, MySpace users won’t warm up to how great your interest rates are, or that they can get a great new car loan. In fact, that may achieve the opposite. Save that stuff for your real website.

Okay… so how do you post a profile? Ask a young adult who works at your credit union to take some time and post one. Can’t afford to have your valuable employee away from serving your members? Here’s a great idea… make it a contest among your young adult members to come up with a design, and then have young adult members vote on the best idea.

MySpace can work… as long as you are careful about what you post. This is a great opportunity for credit unions to reach out and communicate with the younger demographic on their terms. It’s a great opportunity to put a friendly face on your credit union, and explain a few things along the way. Who knows, you might even gain a few young adult members.

Just remember not to post content that screams “I want to sell you something”.

4 Responses to “>Credit Unions and MySpace… It Can Work”

  1. terrell

    >Josh, do you have any examples of credit unions who have a MySpace page? Or financial institutions in general? I don’t use MySpace, so I’m having a hard time understanding how young adults use it for reasons other than meeting new people. It just doesn’t seem like a place they go to “get educated”.

    thoughts?

  2. Josh Jones

    >Sure, here are a few examples of credit unions with MySpace pages… a lot of the credit unions have made other credit unions their “friends”. You can find additional CUs on MySpace that way too. What do you think of their attempts?

    http://www.myspace.com/brewerycu
    http://www.myspace.com/hersheyfcuorg
    http://www.myspace.com/usacuonline
    http://www.myspace.com/llcu
    http://www.myspace.com/iccu
    http://www.myspace.com/firstamericancu
    http://www.myspace.com/wvunitedfcu

    I think the primary purpose for MySpace users is to meet new people, or catch up with old friends. I started using MySpace and was able to reconnect with a lot of old college and high school friends… not find out about financial institutions or determine if my credit union had a page.

    But I also think there is an opportunity here… people surf, and use social networking sites like MySpace for a ton of reasons. And if youth and/or young adults happen upon a local credit union MySpace page, are engaged by the content and somehow a connection is made, I think that’s a great thing for the individual, the credit union, and for the Movement itself in getting our message out.

  3. terrell

    >Thanks Josh! I’ll have to check out those links from home since we don’t have access to MySpace pages at work.

  4. Tony Mannor

    >Josh,

    I also want to caution all credit unions who want to use MySpace about the security issues. We have our own MySpace page but it is really just to link together our clients and credit unions that we work with.

    However one of our clients wanted a Myspace page and asked us to work with them to get them over the humps. Not only did we tell them exactly what you are saying here (good job by the way) but we also told them that they will get a lot of friends requests. Be careful opening these requests! Many of them have links that go to pornography based sites or sites that will access and implant trojans, viruses or worms on your systems. This is why many IT departments will not allow their internal system to access MySpace. It would be terrible if a trojan was injected into the same machine that compiles and encrypts your mailhouse data for your marketing department. We talk about this kind of stuff all the time at our site CU Hype

    Even with our advise, the credit union was so excited to get “friends” that they opened these requests indiscriminately and that machine was infected. Luckily it was isolated to that machine and it was immediately taken off the network.

    Almost 99% of your friend requests will be this type of activity. Just a MySpace caveat for beginners. That being said – I run 5 different businesses and all of them have MySpace pages. :)

    Keep up the good work guys!


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