“What can Credit Unions learn from the Virgin America story?” That’s the question Porter Gale, VP Marketing, answered during her engaging presentation. As Porter Gale explained, the numbers are pretty clear: Social Media is here to stay. If Facebook was a country, it would be the third biggest country in the world. Virgin America taps into the power of Social Media to tell their story.

The Credit Union conversation has started in the social space but no one owns it yet. So, how can Credit Unions use social media?

  • Tap into emotional issues such as retirement and home loans
  • Service Recovery
  • Lead Generation
  • Job Postings
  • Product Research
  • Influencer Outreach

The Virgin America Story

It all started by being very guest-focused, delivering services (WiFi in the sky, USB chargers for each seat) that delight guests. Virgin America considers Social Media just as one tactic out of their marketing toolbox, ensuring it delivers scalable ROI.

Virgin America’s main goal utilizing Social Media is engagement (about 70%), secondary promotion and service recovery. Typically, conversations about airlines are focused on service issues. Virgin America tried to change the conversation by delivering buzz-worthy experiences, tapping into the power of YouTube celebrities and developing a new way of flying. In addition, they tried to be first movers in the Social Media space, createing a lot of buzz for the brand and delivering earned media.

Virgin America tracks all their Social Media initiatives and sees a clear correlation between amount of conversations and sales conversions. They deploy sentiment analysis to understand how customers feel about their brand. They pay attention to the conversation and try to respond as best as they can.

An innovative model to change the conversation and build a profitable brand. How will Credit Unions change the conversation?