We recently sent our Digital Marketing & Communication Strategist, Krista Jo Boyum, to the LIFT Social Conference in Seattle hosted by the esteemed social analytics company, Simply Measured. This conference is dedicated to analyzing the current state and seemingly limitless future of social. So, what insights did she gather from the industry’s best social event? And how can credit unions leverage this information? Let’s take a look:

Social cultivates content—The way your members are gathering their information and news has changed. Social media is no longer a place to simply share updates and life events; instead, consumers are expecting curated content on social channels. People are turning to social for thought-leadership and to discover information and answers. Kip Bodner, CMO of Hubspot opened up with some fascinating statistics to support this trend:

 “60% of time online is now spent on mobile and 86% of that time is spent within mobile applications.”

This means apps are now relied on for breaking news and credible content. Answers are also expected almost instantaneously. Google no longer even requires users to click on external links when asking a question; instead, answers automatically populate (try googling “NFL Standings” to see a great example). In order to stay top of mind and relevant to their members, credit unions need to be aware that the way consumers gather and learn information has shifted.

Messenger and live video capture attention­—Messaging is now replacing email for transactions. Apps such as Peel allow users to order products online without ever logging into their email. To be a trend-setter in the credit union space, consider a streamlined messaging channel for your members to reach your team from their mobile device and eliminate paper or email trails all-together. Messenger isn’t the only trend that is exploding—the emergence of live video on apps like Facebook and Snapchat represent real-time and uncensored content that is reachable from any mobile or desktop device. This enables content to “go viral” even more in our digital world. Natalie Benson, Director of Communication at PBS stated:

 “Video is king; there are 18 billion daily video views between Snapchat and Facebook alone.”

That mind-blowing number illustrates the power of social-video.

Get creative and be different—How can your credit union stand out from the rest of your market? Be unique, stand out, and take a bold stance. “Humanizing your brand” is imperative to relating to the member. Consumers don’t want to take the time to break down and digest information—instead they desire quick and understandable “human” content to complement their fast-paced lifestyle. We have had this trend on our radar for a while. At our 2015 Summer Owner Meeting our Keynote Speaker, Amanda Lannert of Jellyvision Labs, gave a compelling presentation on humanizing business language. It is also important to add humor and intrigue to your brand’s culture—work on shifting your credit union’s image from that of “a typical financial institution” to something your members actually look forward to checking out. Credit unions should be creating social content with stickiness that makes the consumer desire to know more and encourages return visits to your sites. Ask yourself this: If I am a member and I open my wallet to find three credit cards that each represent separate financial institutions, am I more apt to choose a card that represents what is “expected or humdrum” or am I going to choose the card that resonates in my mind as unique and cutting-edge? Be the credit union that represents the latter.

The power of social is limitless (and it is not going anywhere). So make your credit union’s social channels a strategic priority and emerge as a thought leader in your space.

Want to know more about topics and themes that were discussed? Be sure to contact Krista Jo and she will be happy to engage in a deeper conversation that can be specific to the needs and goals of your credit union! She has notebook full of notes and a passion for this topic!