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We hear it all the time: Consumers – especially Millennials — want convenience technology. But too few people know you have it. We asked social media strategist Uwe Hook, Principal at Gretchenfrage, how he would tackle the problem of promoting technology via social media:

THINK: Should credit unions be thinking of social media as a way to introduce and promote new technology – for instance, mobile payments?

HOOK: Social Media has changed everything when it comes to marketing. Now, instead of spending a ton of money on media to talk about the product, credit unions are their own media. Social media allows you to connect with people and encourage engagement with little money and only a nominal effort. You may have a Facebook page or Twitter page – or perhaps a YouTube page. This means you are a media outlet and can leverage that following every time you launch.

Even if you don’t produce solid content yet, chances are pretty good you’ve developed relationships across social channels. All of these outposts provide a great opportunity to take the launch process to a new level.

THINK: Why is social a good fit for promoting technology?

HOOK: Unlike traditional media, social media communication can be used in unlimited ways to communicate about your new product:

  • Create a teaser campaign to hint that something exciting is coming.
  • Create a video that reveals the need you hope to address.
  • Create a launch group: People love to be special. Create a small founders group for people who are interested in learning more about your launch.
  • Get people excited about your launch by creating personalized “behind the scenes” videos.
  • Let your audience know that something is coming soon, creating excitement across all channels.
  • Ask people on your list to spread the message. Once you’ve built a loyal following of people interested in your launch, you can tap into their social graph to spread your message.

Be wise in you how you invest your resources and media dollars to have the biggest impact in your communication.

THINK: If you were going to promote a new product on social – say, a new mobile payments app like Sprig – what would some of your moves be?

HOOK: Reverse your communication focus. Each social customer wants to know, “What’s in it for me?” and “Why should I care about your new product?” Ensuring that each social communication focuses on consumer benefits is a good start.

Why share, why care? If you want to take your social message to another level, answer this question: “Why should the customer share your content?” How can your social communication be so impactful that people will push the “Like” and “Share” buttons?

Optimize your product page for mobile: The majority of social media consumption and engagement takes place on mobile devices. If your social communication is intriguing enough, customers will explore your offerings further on the product pages. You need to ensure their mobile experience there is as engaging and delightful as your social media marketing.

THINK: What are some of the common mistakes credit unions make when they’re trying to get this kind of information out on social?

HOOK: Many credit unions continue to apply traditional marketing thinking to social media channels, not taking full advantage of engagement opportunities in the emerging media space. When putting together a social media campaign, consider:

  • Disruption vs. Engagement: Being successful in social media requires marketers to engage people, not disrupt them. People spend time in the social space to communicate with each other. Interrupting them in that task will lead to a negative perception of your credit union. Instead, engage customers through entertaining content, playful interactions and/or valuable information.
  • Non-Visual Thinking: Social media are visual. Leaning on words to communicate your message goes against user behavior and the algorithm of social channels. On social channels, a picture/video is worth much more than thousand words.
  • If it’s not shareable, why communicate it?: The power of the social media lies in creating content that’s shareable with your social graph, utilizing an implied endorsement by the sharer. Any content created on social channels has to be designed and optimized for the specific site, reducing any friction or hurdles to share.

THINK: In 140 characters or less, what’s one thing someone reading this can do today to make their social media more useful?

HOOK: “Social Media is not about you and your message. It’s about people and adding value to their lives.”