As a credit union member for nearly 30 years, I've seen the industry from diverse vantage points--from a small farming town to the bustling concourse of the Pentagon. I believe Irish credit unions could enhance their time-tested connections with key stakeholders and turn those connections into real clout with decision-makers. It's an essential process, driven by tumultous forces across the financial sector.
There are real goal and real metrics inside this process. In several creative multimedia modules I teach, we create separate metrics plans and consider them alongside helicopter views of the goals we need to achieve.
Credit unions start with a lot of good will already. There's a community spirit in the queue on weekends and in my local credit union lobby long after the local banks are closed. This community wants to get involved in sharing ideas across social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. And when they do, the effort extends like a spiderweb across the networks of friends who are credit union members. It's that web of friends that can energise a myriad of audiences with passion for a cause.
The tools of engagement are simple and once the foundation for conversation is set up, it's just a matter of stoking an idea (an event or a cause or a competition) and watching the conversation create a measureable impact across an extended community.
These ideas are new to many credit union managers who often watch their sons and daughters click around for hours inside Ireland's popular social networks. Not every cashier or office administrator feels comfortable tweeting or conversing on Facebook, often because they aren't encouraged. Speaking from the other side of the counter, I see happy stories emanating from the result of loans approved to members. I see photos from live events sponsored by the credit union. I hear chatter from parades, arts events, and school assemblies that the credit union helps with funding. All those things deserve to be captured and shared in social media because credit unions sustain an essential narrative of modern Ireland.
Slidedeck -- "Where Credit Unions Meet Social Media", February 21, 2012.