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Press Release
For More Information: Lisa Mallow, (866) 714-7041,

Credit Unions and Social Media: Opportunities Are Growing
CUs see success using Facebook, Twitter; CU Consortium releases social media survey results
Washington, D.C. (Nov. 24, 2009) – A social media survey conducted by Callahan & Associates Internet Strategy Consortium shows credit unions are part of a growing business population harnessing Twitter and Facebook to build brand awareness and connect with a younger demographic. According to Callahan Research Manager Denise Senecal, social media is still relatively new to the industry, but its growing interest and generating buzz. “Among credit unions, approximately 240 are currently on Twitter, and more than 800 have official fan pages on Facebook,” she said. Senecal will be speaking during Callahan’s upcoming webinar on Dec. 10, 2009, at 2 pm EST, “Engaging Members through Social Media: Challenges & Opportunities.” The session will offer tips for implementing and enhancing social media initiatives, as well as share the results of the social media survey. Visit for more information. Social Media Success: Two credit unions share their stories Two such credit unions finding success with social media are Ent Federal Credit Union in Colorado Springs, and University Federal Credit Union in Austin, Texas. Ent FCU originally launched a Facebook page in 2008 to support the credit union’s University of Colorado at Colorado Springs branch. “But we quickly found we were reaching more than just our student members,” said Victoria Selfridge, director of marketing and e-commerce. “The recent social media survey showed that 44 percent of Ent members actively use social media websites, and of those members, 90% use Facebook.” Now in its second year, Ent’s Facebook page has successfully been used to engage credit union fans through a variety of online contests, and by sharing information and photos of Ent’s community involvement activities. The credit union also uses Twitter to share Ent’s promotional offers, free financial education events, and community involvement activities with followers. “With Facebook, we try to post information to our fans’ news feed just a few times each month, while with Twitter, we try to post a minimum of one tweet a day,” said Selfridge. Ent FCU, which manages its social media efforts in house, regularly searches social media sites to track where it is being talked about. “You need to be aware of what is being said – good and bad,” said Selfridge. University FCU used Twitter to share information with members during its system conversion, and now uses it for a range of activities – customer service notices, promotions and general member communication. It posts similar information on Facebook, which, like Ent, was originally geared toward the college community. And, like Ent, University FCU “made assumptions about who Facebook would attract, but learned differently,” said Lyndee Bennett, marketing media project manager. -- MORE --

Credit Unions and Social Media Nov. 24, 2009/Page Two

“We found of our 379 Facebook Fans, only 18 percent were 18 or younger, 64 percent were age 25-44, and the remaining 18percent were age 45-plus,” said Bennett. This fall, when the credit union launched a welcome-back student promotion – the Twenty09 Challenge where members created videos showing creative ways to use $20.09 – it received entries from various segments of its membership. The contest, promoted through both Facebook and Twitter, became a viral hit, receiving mentions through local media outlets and bloggers. Social Media Survey: Credit union group shares their results To provide guidance to credit unions considering or developing a social media strategy, Callahan’s Internet Strategy Consortium, a shared-cost research group consisting of 10 credit unions and facilitated by Callahan and Associates, recently conducted a survey measuring members’ use of social media. The online survey was completed by 11,031 credit union members, and measured their use of social media, including visited sites and online activities, communication preferences and desired topics on social media sites. Preliminary survey results include:    Younger members (under age 29) spent the most time on social network sites; older members tend to be more periodic users. Younger members want and expect interactive communication from social media sites. Facebook is the most widely used social network site among credit union members, with high-use rates (greater than 82 percent) across all ages 18 to 60-plus.  When asked, about half of all members surveyed said they would read a credit union’s Facebook page periodically.  However, among credit unions with Facebook pages, members’ awareness of it was low (ranging from 5 percent to 16 percent).  Most members reported learning of Facebook pages through credit union websites. Twitter’s overall familiarity among combined members was 14 percent, with only 2 percent to 7 percent reported being “very familiar” with the site.  Of Twitter users, 34 percent use it to follow companies with which they do business.  Members using Twitter expect their credit union to provide information such as fraud alerts (71%), special offers (60%), financial tips (58%), and rate specials (57%).


According to Senecal, social media offers a new way to engage members, especially the desired Gen Y crowd. “It’s important for credit unions to keep in touch with younger members and to understand the new ways this member segment communicates. Remember, any communication channel can be an opportunity to reach more members,” she said. To learn more about the social media survey, contact Senecal at Callahan and Associates, (800) 446-7453.
Callahan & Associates has been at the forefront of credit union issues for more than two decades. The Washington, D.C.-based firm provides timely insights, fresh data, and supporting tools to help credit unions provide their members benefits that cannot be found elsewhere. For more information, visit or call 800-446-7453. ###

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