While it’s common to think of establishing a brand as a thought leader, thought leadership extends beyond just your credit union. By establishing employees as representative thought leaders, personal connections can be leveraged to humanize and build your brand.
Join Ben Pankonin and Danielle Chaney as they share proven social media strategies and tactics that both credit unions and their employees can implement to support thought leadership and encourage community growth. Topics covered:
- Develop content that engages your members
- Establish online communities around your leaders
- Leverage growth into membership
- Scale these strategies for long-term growth
Ben Pankonin 0:14
Welcome to a credit union webinar. We’re talking today about getting started with social media and thought leadership. I’m really excited to talk to you a little bit about thought leadership today. Because, you know, as we talked through this webinar, there were so many great examples we kept coming up with, about how we’re listening to other thought leaders. And so I’m really excited if you’ve jumped into one of our webinars before you might recognize my voice. I’m Ben Pankonin in the co founder and CEO of social assurance, and I am joined today with a thought leader in her own right and the head of our content and client strategy. Danielle Chaney Welcom.
Dani Chaney 0:57
I’m excited to be here today and content is truly what I’m passionate about so I’m excited to talk with everyone today about how how you establish that leadership and how you continue that momentum throughout the rest of the year.
Ben Pankonin 1:07
Awesome. Well, Danielle, you’ve, you’ve displayed a number of of ways to think about thought leadership, not only on as yourself, but you’ve also been the thought leader behind a thought leader to so I think that’s a really exciting story. You know, you you’ve sort of been the ghost writer for a lot of thought leaders. Yes. And oftentimes, you know, you might not have someone in the right seat right now. But you could be writing for a credit union president or another person at your credit union to help amplify their brand and teach them a little bit and encourage them to also use social media. So yes, that’s that’s an important thing to note is that sometimes your thought leaders are best hidden to start behind the ghostrider but can really help that person grow on social as well? Awesome. Yeah. Well, and I think it’s, it’s so interesting to think of it like you often do as a writer, and I don’t always see the world as a writer I, you know, see the world through a different lens. And so to be around like writers like yourself, you know, and the rest of our content team to think about how we sort of use content in a strategic way, I think is a really exciting part of this webinar.
Dani Chaney 2:19
Yeah, I’m excited to talk about it today, we have some great tips to provide you guys today and some strategies that you can use and start now and continue to set the right people up for success on social.
Ben Pankonin 2:29
Awesome. So when we think of of what we’re doing in marketing and, and thinking about thought leaders, you’ve kind of outlined for us three steps, right. One is how do we get started? How do we think about thought leadership and our credit union’s content marketing strategy, right? Yeah. Like what is it that we think of them? So maybe that’s our Getting Started phase, and then we have, you know, how do we help them to really become thought leaders, right. And then you know, additionally, you know, what are some some steps to really optimize that. And so I think it’s a great outline that we have to talk through kind of what that looks like to get started in thinking about thought leadership. And hopefully we can kind of expand a little bit maybe of our view of thought leadership.
So we have a few examples here of different types of thought leaders. And I think the message is, you know, we already are following and thinking about thought leaders, so maybe maybe the way that we sort of train ourselves is to first be conscious about who we’re following maybe why we’re following
Dani Chaney 3:36
Yes, yeah, I think one of the things we really need to be thinking about when we get started in this process is the fact that in many industries and disciplines, we are following thought leaders. So you know, we put some examples on here that are very tech focused or big picture focused, but you’re you are likely following a thought leader and a multitude of industries anywhere from retail to financial services, to technology, whether it’s a company or leader at that company. So I wanted to show some examples here that you probably do follow these brands or have products from these brands, or have listened to TED Talks from these brands. And so when you think about a thought leader that can extend anywhere that you are purchasing from so we’d like to include this slide here, because it’s a really great reminder to say, I’m already following these people, maybe I don’t really know why I follow them in the first place, but I engage with their content. And I like their content for whatever reason that might be and we’ll be covering you know, how you can get started in doing that and maybe explain a little bit more. That’s why you liked Bill Gates, and maybe you don’t know it yet. But there are reasons why.
Ben Pankonin 4:38
Yeah, yeah. Well, I actually really gravitated to the Bill Gates example. And, and there were a couple reasons for that. Well, I did reluctantly get a computer science degree, one point in my life. And you know, so I have a background that likes Bill Gates for what he brought to computers and especially the inter computer nerd of me is like, I just really have respected him right or kind of who he is and what he’s been able to do with code and things like that. But But you know, the interesting thing is, if you’re following Bill Gates now, that’s probably not why you’re following Bill Gates. Exactly. Yeah. And I think that’s a really interesting component that sometimes we get really hooked into following a thought leader or thinking of ourselves in the thought leader that maybe made Bill Gates money, but the thought leader that Bill Gates is giving away money is also really important. Yeah. And I think that’s one of the things you know, as we think about ourselves and the people within our credit union, and what they might be known for, sometimes we get really hung up on how they need to be known for the sort of products and what we do, and sometimes they need to be who we are and who we want to be in. So I think he embrace both
Dani Chaney 5:56
Oh, yeah, I think he’s a great example and that you know, he you know, him. For one reason, but he’s also a humanitarian. And we we idolize those people. And he’s, he’s done so much for the tech industry and then has taken that and shares his personal story on how he’s done that and how he’s giving back to the community, whether that be in tech, or philanthropy. So I think he’s a great example and a great one that I think when you think about your credit union president, your credit union president isn’t just there. That’s not just their only job. They’re a mom, their dad, they’re in their community, they’re volunteering, they have personal commitments and passions. And he’s a great example of sharing that story kind of all around. And that’s an important thing to remember is that establishing yourself as a thought leader is also humanizing yourself. And I think, yeah, he’s a good example of that. And so you don’t have to be a robot or you don’t have to feel like you can only talk about one thing. You can you can talk about all the things and your whole life and that’s really what interests people.
Ben Pankonin 6:49
Yeah, yeah, no, I completely appreciate that. And I also want to call some attention. We’ve had a couple little little comments back and forth to on the right side for some of you who may be at the top of your screen, you can click on the go to webinar, little control panel, and you can chat with us. And we’ll try to bring your questions into this webinar as well. We have quite a few credit unions jumping in with us today. So feel free to chime in and ask any questions, we’ll make sure to do that live or as live as we can be, sometimes I might miss him for a slide or two. But But go ahead and jump in. If you’ve got questions. So, so Danny, you know, as we start thinking about thought leadership, why do you really feel like thought leadership is important?
Dani Chaney 7:33
Yeah. So I think, you know, over the past, you know, four or five years, we’ve really seen a big transition. And a lot of people really wanted to humanize their brand. And I think that’s where our thought leadership has really come from is, a lot of you are already on Facebook, or Twitter or Instagram or whatever that might be from your credit union. But this next step is really making that further connection. And when we talk about that that’s a person to person type of connection. So, not only we just talked about Bill Gates, not only that humanizing you and putting your thought leaders in focus, you’re also able to engage with their audiences in a in a new way, when you talk to them from person to person. So when you’re a credit union president is out in the community or connecting with people individually. Or if you have a lender or someone on your team who is out in the community, trying to sell what you’re offering, you know, that’s establishing trust and expertise and one sole way, and then you can help other people learn about what it is that you do. And so someone might choose to follow you for a specific reason. Maybe they’re interested in buying a home from your credit union, and they know and they’ve been working with one of your staff members, but they really just are not sure and maybe they’re a first time homebuyer or maybe they This is their third home. And so when you think about you know, establishing those thought leaders at your at your credit union, you might want to think maybe we want to put these five leaders in the right place to succeed and help other people learn about their respective specialties and amplify their personal brand, but then keep that overall business branding there with them too. So it’s one of the things you know, we’ve seen it seen a switch from these these past couple years. And these these personal profiles, you know, is really what we’ve seen credit unions move to and not that you you should still solely be focusing on your, your credit union brand as well. But you can share that content from those individual leaders too.
Ben Pankonin 9:24
Awesome. Awesome. I had a question come in, but I’m gonna I’m gonna hold it for just a little bit, I think I think you might get to it. So when we talk about who the thought leaders are that you follow, you know, what, what is it that you think of? And how do you think about these questions? You’ve got a few questions here about, about maybe why you follow them. But how do you think of the answers to these questions?
Dani Chaney 9:49
Yeah. So I think you know, what we’ve been talking about are good examples. You’ve probably been thinking about this now and you’re listening and you’re we’ve gone through some of these examples, and you’re probably you have a picture of someone in your mind that you’ve chosen to follow. And I think most often you’ll find like, I like to follow other writers mainly because I like what they’re talking about, I identify with what they’re talking about, I find their content interesting. You know, as an APA style advocate, I like to follow other people who are talking about what’s been happening and, and changes and things that are happening in writing in their opinions really matter to me. So I’ve sort of followed a group of people around that. And you know, I also love to follow lifestyle brands and sports and things like that. And so I’ve diversified what I follow. And then I jump in on things that might be relevant to that. The businesses that we work with to see how how does that relate back to them? or How could they jump into this? How could they make this current to their respective business? So I have personally made a list of those people and you can always add them in a group or make sure you’re looking at their pages. But really, at the end of the day, you’ve chosen to follow them because you identify with something is that they’re that they’re saying?
Ben Pankonin 10:54
Yeah, you know, I was thinking as you were saying that about some of the people that I like to find one of the, you know, one of the types of people I like to follow on Twitter, in particular is the snarky people. Yes, like I do kind of like a good snarky Twitter profile. Yeah, I’m all for that. I do like to follow it. It doesn’t always fit our brand, right. It’s not necessarily a voice that I would advocate very frequently works really well for a credit union.
Dani Chaney 11:24
Ben Pankonin 11:24
But I do like to follow them.
Dani Chaney 11:25
Ben Pankonin 11:26
And so I also think there could be some BD folks out there. I’ve seen a few that that might be the business development folks at a credit union that do have a good healthy amount of snark that you have to be careful. But that can be fun. Yeah. I actually saw one not that long ago where they were having a little golf contest. I think I tweeted it out timely with the Masters going on where they were stacking golf balls in their office, and it was just funny because they overlaid some sound on the top of it. But they ended up sort of like it was just a really cool way to see some people were in lending, just kind of sharing a little bit about something. They were passionate about golf. And then they brought it into their office. And it was just a really fun way to Yeah, see that? Yeah. Now another one that I’ve seen are people that break the trend of social media. So sometimes I get asked, like, what’s the exact right amount of text for a Facebook post, right? And then all of a sudden, I will see somebody that breaks that model. And they break it in a really meaningful way. So I’ve seen some people that are outside of the normal demographic of people use Facebook, right? So maybe an older generation that decides they’re just going to post it like a letter on Facebook, and they become just great thought leaders there because they they kind of break that trend. Right?
Dani Chaney 12:49
Yeah. And I think those are the people that they’re the ones to follow into watch and they’re bringing innovation, especially to as credit unions are thinking about putting their leaders on that space. They’re really challenged. You know, what, what will my audience engage with? And how do I get them excited about what I’m saying? Whether it’s golf balls or or home loans or whatever that might be?
Ben Pankonin 13:08
Yeah. Well, we’ve seen some credit union leaders that have said, you know, maybe and so the question that I had come in earlier was, you know, what, if the executive or the person who’s identified as the thought leader, should be the thought leader, doesn’t really want to participate in social media? What do we do there?
Dani Chaney 13:29
Yeah, I would say, you know, one of the the main things is to find out why And usually, you know, when people are pretty resistant and thought they might not want to share personal things, or maybe that they just don’t have time, or they don’t know how or maybe they see it as too much of a time commitment. And so I would say, you know, find out what those challenges are and then figure out a way how to make that easier. And so we talked a lot about about ghostwriting earlier. You know, you think about all the ways that you can generate content and, you know, using your waste resources from the credit union brand itself and commenting on some of that sharing community things, people are already out there producing a lot of content that that leader could engage with. So it’s about mixing and engaging with that. But then also staffers are taking pictures, you know, you can have someone go straight for that account. You can use tools like social insurance to make the process easier to approve and publish to your respective social channels. So I would definitely say first figure out why. And then, you know, have a conversation about maybe that isn’t the case anymore, you know, if it’s something that was considered five years ago, and now, you’re just starting to really talk about, you know, putting individual profiles on these channels, figure out a good way to do it internally. And then really challenge that and then they’ll see it grow and see people get excited, and usually those people are out in the community doing things. So I think you can change the mindset of that and it’s time to re approach that if maybe you haven’t considered it before.
Ben Pankonin 14:57
Yeah, you know, I’ve used social media in a lot of different avenues. And you know, one of the things that I’ve done is, is worked with people that maybe weren’t, didn’t want to participate in social media. But at first, they just didn’t want to listen to social media, right. And so one of the things that I’ve used is I’ve used Twitter to do that sometimes where I’ve said, you know, my dad, who’s now 70. He said, Well, you know, what, what should I do with Twitter? Right? And he’s actually pretty witty, was a great writer. And and so he was like, Well, why don’t you watch a lot of sports, you go out, track a hashtag during a live event. And I would say whatever the live event is that you can watch. Watching a Twitter hashtag during that live event, gives you an interesting perspective of what other people who are also watching that enjoins you with that community, and it can be a really great way for you to start to think about that. And you can do that on other channels as well. You can do that on Instagram. You can do that on Facebook, but I think that Twitter is that channel that you can do that in a very approachable way. And there’s so many stalkers on Twitter. Yeah. So there’s so many people that just listen for a while. And maybe that’s one of your next steps. Yeah. And there are so many opportunities to follow hashtags and participate in Twitter chats and to involve yourself either personally, or from a business perspective, and following some of those financial base hashtags. So I definitely encourage you to contribute to conversations to follow those conversations and to figure out how you can position yourself in that space. I like it. So now thought leadership, as we talked about thought leadership, it’s not the only thing you’re doing right. Yeah. So we’re not just sort of promoting this one person?
Dani Chaney 16:36
Yeah. So that’s one of the things that you know, we want to reiterate is thought leadership should just be one part of your content cycle. You know, I work with a lot of banks and credit unions, and we like to diversify content. So your your people just don’t want to be told these high level things that are going on. Don’t forget that they need to know about your products. That’s ultimately how you know if you’re using respect to people that will sell that’s that’s how they’ll sell and don’t forget about that lifestyle based content, you know, what are your spring savings tips? You know, relate that back to financials, how could you be providing people value as they’re thinking about, you know, Home Equity, lines of credit or things like that and, and get them either in the branch or put a CTA in there that gets them, you know, it’s relevant content, and it’s seasonal content. And then don’t forget your community as well. So promote your local events, encourage you know, people to engage back with you. So it’s important to mix this this existing content calendar that you have, and then introduce new aspects into that such as thought leadership, and then always prepare for discussion in the comments. So one of the things that we like to say is, if you know that something is going to be announced, and you know that there’s going to be a conversation around it, make sure that you’re you’re allotting for that and you’re communicating back with people. So if you start establishing yourself as a thought leader, people will talk back to you and that’s ultimately Don’t forget to talk back to those people.
Ben Pankonin 17:58
Yeah, I think that’s a great comment is that thought leadership oftentimes goes bi directional, right? So oftentimes, it’s a mentoring role. So if I think of thought leaders that I follow in the real world, I really have cherished some of those moments where I’ve caught up with them. Maybe it was somebody in the industry that I’ve caught up with at a conference. And I said, I really respect who you are and what you do. And when they took that few minutes out of their time to share with me, so when I think about it that online, we’re mimicking a lot of that responsibility. So when we can do that online and give them that same respect and feedback, that becomes really valuable exchange. Yes, for sure. I like it. So now, we’re going to kind of transition a little bit into what does it take to establish Yeah, one of those people as a thought leader, what does that take to to really become a thought leader? So first of all, we kind of need to identify who might be a possible thought leader. Yeah, from within your credit union. So some of those, obviously, logically based on title, right, yes. Whoever’s leading your your credit union easy one.
Dani Chaney 19:06
Yes, that’s your easy one.
Ben Pankonin 19:07
Yeah. But but sometimes it’s it’s not always that simple, right? Sometimes we might have a leader who says, Hey, you know what I, I might be the official leader, but this other person is a little bit more forward in the community or, you know, maybe they’re more involved with certain of those activities. So maybe that makes more sense.
Dani Chaney 19:26
Yeah. And think about your marketing director, those those people are likely out in the community. These people can exist all over, like you said, business development people, a lot of people those are connected in with your communities as well. We do a study every year and we found that those who are lending have thought about a change and regulation to allow those individual profiles and a lot of people are thinking about a change in policy and that as well. So did want to include some some information here about times are changing. Like we said, when we started eventually, you know, it’s just your brand to start, but 50% of people have made that change and more people are thinking about it to put the right things in place to make it happen.
Ben Pankonin 20:06
Right, right. No, I like that. And you know, we’ve got a few potential channels here. Some of those being Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn. You know, Instagram can be a great example of one of those channels. Specifically, if you’re active with nonprofits, right? So if you’re a community builder, in whatever way that makes sense to you, getting out and taking photos can be a great way to exercise thought leadership, and let people know that, hey, we’re trying to lead in this community. Right. I also try to do that, you know, in our own community. We have certain individuals who are just heavily engaged with nonprofits. Yes. So I think of my friend Brian, who came over to our office not that long ago. We’re working with a number of nonprofits and so he his sole job is interacting with nonprofit leaders, yeah, and trying to bring them together and unify them, he is clearly the thought leader in our community for that. So one of the things that you know, we want to do is we want to exchange some of that I want to prop him up and celebrate the good work that he’s doing. In addition, you know, he wants to celebrate some of what we’re trying to do is Yeah, and so that’s, it’s been a great way to think about it is that good thought leaders often engage with other thought leaders. Yeah, so so when I engage with Brian not only resource sharing audiences, because if I tweet something out with Brian’s photo in it and celebrate what he’s doing, I’m sharing that with an audience that cares about the good work he’s doing in the community. But but also he recognizes that, you know, working with some of the business leaders in our community benefits the nonprofit’s
Dani Chaney 21:51
Yeah, and I think too you know it this is an important part to say like know your audience. So some communities are really active on Twitter, other really active on Facebook Like you present at Instagram, maybe it’s time to be thinking about that as well. So I think you you brought up a good point and connecting with your communities, but also knowing where they are. You want to make sure you’re talking in the right places.
Ben Pankonin 22:10
Yeah, like that. Now, we also want to think about the topics, right, what our thought leadership topics that would be great for us to be communicating about.
Dani Chaney 22:19
Yeah. And we provided some here. So just in there are some examples here as well. What is your personal knowledge? If you are an expert at something, you should be sharing those things? What are some hashtags that you can be participating in? We included Money Smart Week, you know, this is a great one, not only from a credit union, but also from an individual standpoint. You know, if you’re, if you’re on the home lending side, maybe you want to be saying, you know, top 10 tips for buying your house this spring. So it’s producing that content that, you know, is is an area that your customers are interested in. It’s it’s going to that target market of people, it’s something you can post a lot about. And it’s it’s not only that, but you’re providing that thought leadership and you’re addressing they’re concerned. So maybe you’re finding out that the last 10 people you may have sold a home to, they all had the same concern. And maybe that’s the the rate fluctuation, how their loan process works. Maybe they’re just, they don’t know how to prepare for that. Maybe it’s your market, maybe your market is really hot right now. And people just are not as prepared. So knowing that this is a great time where people are going to buy homes, prepare that content now and make sure it’s it’s, it’s what your audience wants to hear about. And and you’ll find that there’s a lot of things to be posting about in that respective area.
Ben Pankonin 23:32
Yeah, like that. Now, you know, one of the ways that I try to find a metric to is, as I’m looking at content, if I think about something that has called me, it has made me feel moved. Right. So it almost gives me an emotional response, then I feel like I better share about that. Right, right. So So if I go to a board meeting for a nonprofit, and our executive director shares one of those stories of what’s happening in the community and then all of a sudden, I feel like wow, like that impacted me like I’m I’m rocked like I feel like I should share this. Those are often posts that become very effective, right? Also, if I meet somebody that I feel like isn’t inspiring the character that can be a really moving characteristic. Yeah, storytelling is a great one to be thinking about and can spur a lot of content from that too. Cool. I like that. So now when we’re following and sharing content, you know, obviously, we want to be conscious of of our demographics, where we’re located, what types of hashtags might work in my area. So I am thinking about, you know, things like, you know, in our community, it’s hashtag lnk. That that’s sometimes relevant. Yeah. There’s also hashtags for the weather. Yes. All sorts of fun stuff.
Dani Chaney 24:51
Yeah. So yeah, I would definitely you know, you’re thinking about building your audience. That’s usually the hardest part about getting started, but once you follow the best way to get started just by following those other industry leaders, you know, we’d mentioned participating in those conversations, finding the right hashtags, finding the right days that people are talking about that what what is what was actively searched about, you know, how can you utilize your existing credit unions, blog or relevant topics and use hashtags and financial tips and things like that? And how can you get people talking about those topics and excited about what you’re talking about? And then to think about, you know, the backward way of that is thinking about it, from the perspective of the credit union, have the credit union share posts from your thought leaders in that space too. And that will help amplify your messaging as well.
Ben Pankonin 25:39
Sounds great. So now, when we think of, you know, each of those individual conversations and how they ultimately build trust in our community, yeah, I think is a critical question to think about. How does content itself build trust? I mean, we know that narratives carry weight to talk about stories telling when we hear a narrative, it naturally builds trust. So when we’re crafting a narrative as a credit union, we want to be conscious of that. You know, I use other nonprofits a lot of times as ways to think about that as well. Right? So when I go to that nonprofit fundraiser, and we get to the end of the night, and somebody has shared the story that is deeply meaningful for how they have been impacted, I feel compelled to give Yes, there’s actually been a lot of studies on that, that say, hey, a deep narrative that connects you if you can see yourself as an actor in that story, begins to build trust. So how do we do that?
Dani Chaney 26:39
Yeah, with our content, I think you just made a really good example of that. It’s storytelling. It’s if you can share stories from the people who have benefited from what it is that you do, whether it’s your credit union at large or if it’s those first time homebuyers or if it’s those people who have been with your credit union for generations. So your first showing, I do have these customers they are loyal to me this is this is how you know, we always talk about the key photos. And so when someone buys a house from you, obviously, you’re going to be posting a picture of people holding a key that shows volume, we know you’re selling houses. And so that can show people that you are actually selling volume. But I think in terms of establishing trust, you’re posting content, that’s a value to people, people are engaging with it, and you’re giving them something that makes them feel like the next time that I need to buy a home or to to do home equity in my home, I need to contact this person because I saw how he’s helping people in our communities, because he helped my neighbor, he helps you know, someone in our our area really take that next step. And I have have seen his content and I really identify with this person and want to move forward with them. So I would say yes, start with storytelling. That’s the easiest part. get people to rally around you leave you reviews. I think that’s one of the great ways to establish trust, but then really give people something of value. And I think that’s really where you take it. The next step further is if you can give them something that they don’t know. And you they feel like they’ve received value from you, they’re more likely to trust you. And so then when, of course, again, when they see your volume of what you’re doing, you’re obviously making an impact in your community as well.
Ben Pankonin 28:13
Yeah, yeah. So I think there’s a lot of really positive ways to talk about those narrative stories when we draw someone in and show them you know, that previous slide, we had the car example. Yeah, we’re, you know, it’s not just about, Hey, you got this money for a car. It is the opportunity that that car presents, right? You know, I, I’m somebody who doesn’t switch out my cars very often. So I drive them pretty pretty far. Yeah. I just traded one out a while ago, there was a sense that I was sentimental about my previous car, right. Like there was a sense of, here’s where I had been. But then there’s also this hope of where I might go, right. And I think when we draw a story that ties those together and says we know you’ve been through a lot with that previous car. But we know that you have an eye on the future for where you might go, we began to draw a narrative connecting our character, right? The person who’s going to who’s going to borrow money for that next car between what they need to get over, which is that they need to get over the sentimental fact that they can trade in that old car. Yeah, that was my problem. But But also, you know, there were some repairs that had to be done so so like, that got me over part of it. But I also was able to see that the future with my new car, and better electronics could be something that would be exciting, right?
Dani Chaney 29:40
Yeah. And those people have decided to make an investment just like you’re making an investment in your computer community, they’ve decided to choose you. And so I think it’s it’s making those people happy about that choice, and then making those people leaders to tell their friends about you. I had this really great experience. I was so nervous about getting my next car or the financing and I really just didn’t understand, and this person really helped me through this period.
Ben Pankonin 30:04
So I think when we combine a narrative framework with who we are in him as a member, which ties us into the deeper value and belonging that we get, it begins to build a trust in a community that becomes pretty valuable. So when we connect with those thought leaders, you know, it’s, you know, we’re connecting with similar thought leaders, right? So we, we want to connect with people who, who are not just like us in the sense that we’re living in the same community, but also share some similar values and things like that. I always tell people that, you know, it’s it’s not social media accounts don’t run themselves, right. There’s a dead, right. I think our jobs would be a lot easier if they did, but but there’s somebody behind the social media accounts. So sometimes when we’re running a campaign, for instance, with a credit union, I’ll say well who runs the other social media accounts? Do you know anybody who runs some of the other social media accounts? Maybe it’s somebody at the Chamber of Commerce, maybe it’s somebody at a car dealership, maybe it’s somebody who’s a realtor, things like that. The way we connect with other people who are running influential social media accounts, become really effective as an amplification. Right?
Dani Chaney 31:21
Yeah, exactly. And, you know, like you said, they’re not just in your space, they’re in your community, make sure that you’re following them, you’re engaging with them. If you’re hosting an event, make sure that you can amplify that and get that from there. And then we talked a little bit too about about paid here, you have a lot of opportunities to do a lot with what we call lookalike audience. So you can find people and if those people are your target demographic, for example, whether that’s a chamber of commerce or a nonprofit in your local area, those are likely local people following that account, you know, you can target that audience with what’s called a look alike audience and put $25 behind that to really help amplify what it is that you’re doing. So would definitely take advantage of of paid social opportunities to, to boost to different parts of your community.
Ben Pankonin 32:06
Yeah, I like that. So, so part of it is that, hey, just because we’re doing great content marketing, I’ve had question earlier that said, Okay, so we’re doing great content marketing, you know, how do we get that to be more viral essentially, as a comment, right? Well, part of that is influenced by paid is what you’re saying?
Dani Chaney 32:25
Yes. Yeah. It’s it’s hard, you know, when you first get started, or and I think that is one of the biggest obstacles as well. We just, we don’t have the time to grow our channels, or, you know, we want six people on there, but we just don’t have the resources or time to build them up. Well, you’d be surprised what some paid investments can do and what events in your community and then you know, take some of those events offline, you can do a lot to really take advantage of that. But paid advertising is definitely an easy way and $25 in your community could really make a difference, especially if you’re targeting one area.
Ben Pankonin 32:56
Right, right. So we can also do pay to promote individuals, right? So we can say, Hey, here’s our bank presidents statement on something and have their photo in it. So one of the questions that we had to start the webinar was, how do I get people bought in to being thought leaders, right. And one of the ways that we found that’s kind of unique is if we’re replacing traditional advertisements, let’s say the newspaper if we were looking at moving some, some dollars from newspaper into social, one of the challenges we face is that the people who read the newspaper know what’s in there, right? So if I’m an executive at your credit union, and I say, Hey, I’m reading the newspaper, I saw the ads last week that we placed in there, I can see those and I can see that we were involved. But if you place an ad on social media and I happen to sit outside of your demographic, I’m not going to see that
Dani Chaney 34:00
Right, and you will get better analytics as well. So that’s another thing to mention is that some of that traditional media doesn’t give you quite the analytics that you want to see. But what’s great about social is those analytics are automatic, and you can course correct if it’s not working. So I think what’s really great about that is you can add an additional 25 miles or maybe it’s your messaging that people aren’t resonating with, and you can a B test. So one of the first things that we always say is it’s hard to get started and paid, but once you know your audience, and you know what they respond to, you can do it really well. Right, so that the other thing we can do is we can put those individuals into our ads, so we can use photos, perhaps of your of your credit union president and say, Hey, here’s the statement, right? And what happens is a couple things. One, they might see their own ad, but two, they might have others who saw that ad and reference that and that can be a great way to tie that back into the relationship.
Ben Pankonin 35:00
Because ultimately, you know, that’s what we’re what we’re building is relationships across the boards.
Dani Chaney 35:05
Ben Pankonin 35:07
I think those become really important as we start thinking about how we engage with other thought leaders. Now, we also want to leverage those company accounts, right? So we’re boosting some of those. We’re also used me in here as an example again,
Dani Chaney 35:22
yes. So make sure that you’re sharing. We know we talked a little bit about this, and it saves you time. So if you’re like, I just cannot produce this much content. I don’t have enough things to say. It will boost your reach to share what your credit union is doing. And it’ll establish your credibility. You know, people are saying, oh, they’re connected with this institution. And then by we’d mentioned before, ask them to share your content to make sure it’s two ways and they’re amplifying what you’re doing and you’re amplifying what they’re doing. And your messages really come together to to really humanize that. So you’re adding you know, those people are getting started, your credit unions, engaging with them and then you’re amplifying all of them. Person personalities forward. And I think that really is a great mix of promoting, at the end of the day what your credit union is doing, what you’re involved in, in your community, and then how those respective people are, are thought leaders now?
Ben Pankonin 36:16
Yeah, no, I think those are, those are super relevant. And you know, I use this example, which is, hey, when, you know, the, the accounts can go both ways, right. So, so social insurance tweets out might mention me. But then, you know, when I have something that I see, social insurance is tweeting out, I will also retweet. Exactly So yeah, I think the way that those feed off of each other can be really valuable because they are somewhat different audiences. Yep. You know, even though, you know, I’m in a role in which, you know, a lot of my network is tied in with with what we do. It’s not It’s not the only network that I’m tied into right now. There are people who, who might follow me and don’t follow social insurance? actually quite a few. So you know, the way I share that can be relevant. Right. So I think those were pretty well, you know, and then, you know, when we think about how we establish thought leaders, I think we also want to think about how we, how we develop events and interactions. And some of that is completely offline.
Dani Chaney 37:25
Yes, and this is a fun one. This is one of my favorite things to talk about, too. So you think about your lead generation process right now. I mean, your your people are out in your community, learning about them learning about their needs, they bring those back to your credit union and you’re figuring out how to reach those people and how to build those relationships. So you know, you by creating opportunities for For instance, if you’re hosting an event in town where you might want to talk about you know, spring home buying or financing for your next vehicle. You’ll want to make sure that you can advertise those events online. Social media. And that’s a really great way to amplify those messages. But then you can do a secondary version of that on social media. So maybe you say, I’m doing this event in person. But if you can’t make it, I’m going to be talking about this later tonight. And I’m going to use Facebook Live or I’m going to start a Twitter chat, or you know, we’re a couple of members from our team will be available, you know, to take your questions after this. So we say offline and online, so you’re already probably doing these events in your community. If you’re not taking pictures or live tweeting them, or talking about what is the CTA for some of those, the people attending, I think you know, that next CTA could be Hey, you know, we’re on Facebook, or I’m on Facebook, and you might want to follow my page. And we’re going to be following up on this topic here next week, or I’ve been posting about this topic this week. You know, it’s really been on my mind for some extra tips we’d love if you would take a look at our social pages and follow them and get them in that cycle to see your thought leadership content. So the next time you do an event, they’re there and they know who you are.
Ben Pankonin 38:56
Yeah. So like a friend of mine runs the is president of the downtown Rotary Club here in our town.
Dani Chaney 39:04
Ben Pankonin 39:04
And, yeah, she loves social media. And what ends up happening is she will post every time they have a club, right? Yeah. And so if you’re missing that club meeting, you feel like you were still a part of it. But she also then will host some things and say, Here’s what’s coming up. By the way, here’s what you missed out on. Right? Yes. And I think when we see those events that were like, Oh, I missed, I missed out on that one. There was a group that met I wasn’t a part of it. It also gives us that great opportunity for the rest of our staff to say, hey, you were at the rotary club meeting, right? Did you see what happened? And do you think you could post about it online? Yeah. And so we become a little bit part time journalists. Yeah. And if we, if our staff becomes a little bit part time journalists, then we start to just get that amplification effect that people say, hey, look, I noticed that your credit union is there. Yeah, they’re everywhere in the community. And that’s really what we want to have start happening.
Dani Chaney 40:04
Ben Pankonin 40:05
Dani Chaney 40:06
Everyone has, you know, the fear of missing out on something really important, or hearing about something when it’s too late, maybe, you know, they, they, I’ve had a really, you know, maybe they’re saying, you know, I wish I would have known about your credit union a couple months ago when I went through this. And then that’s really telling them your differences. So the next time around, you can be there for them, and they can know what your what you can give to them.
Ben Pankonin 40:27
Yeah. Well, and it gives you that Top of Mind awareness that allows you to see, hey, there was something that happened. I didn’t get in on that, but I wanted on the next one. Yeah. I think that’s a great way when we start talking about membership and this key value propositions that we’re displaying. That’s part of it. Yeah, no, hey, here’s what we did. And here’s what we were part of. So now it also talks about developing content for other sites. Yeah. What sort of other sites
Dani Chaney 40:59
Yeah, so we talked a little bit about you know humanizing yourself like what are the local publications in your community so we put on here you know city magazines lifestyle publications, where are those places in your community? And can they do a feature on on you how how you’re invested in your community how your thought leaders are invested you know, we all know all the things that our teams are doing and and how can our How can your credit union you know, be positioned in that that space you know, think about the your customers are reading you know, financial blogs and things that they’re doing Can you or staff members be posting on medium and promoting it that way, this will not only help you you know, build that connection, but will help you be able to write some of that longer form content and those you know, perceived thought leadership channels and you know, those city magazines and lifestyle publications and features can can really do justice, and then you know, help you promote those on social media as well.
Ben Pankonin 41:55
Yeah, I like that, you know, I was just had a friend asked me two days ago, said, Hey, I just got asked about a sponsorship. And it was a newspaper type of sponsorship. And he said, Is it worth it? And my first question was, well, is it going to be online? And he said, he said, I never thought to ask that question. It’s, I mean, as a print publication, that was random. I said, Well, if it’s online, you realize you can advertise that even though it’s a paid sponsorship. And you can get an amplification on that. Yeah. Because now all of a sudden, your reach is so much larger just by your network validating that you were present in a news article. And he said, Oh, that is that is actually the question that I haven’t asked. And so it’s interesting to see that because he said, that really shifts my mentality to how I think about sponsorships like this because really, it’s more of a validation of who I am, than it is reaching the subscription base.
Dani Chaney 43:00
Have that newspaper, right? Yeah. And when it goes digital that allows you to share it or amplify it. And it can do so much in traditional media as well. You know, don’t forget that some of your your target audience is getting those local publications and they’re invested in reading them. And they’re on tape, coffee tables and things like that. And you can take advantage of that too. But yes, digital, it’s all digital now. So you actually get amplified into areas.
Ben Pankonin 43:24
Right. Yeah, no, I think that’s, that’s so critical when we’re thinking about these is you know, every once in a while I’ll these newspapers as an example, and one of my very first jobs at a newspaper, so I am not highly critical of newspapers, and I really want great journalists in all of our communities. However, we have to think about it in you know, how, what’s our reach, and, and how are we connecting with our potential prospects? And so I think that’s just some great things to be thinking about is, Hey, is there a way for me to pull that online? Is there a way for me to get get an amplification of what existed in newsprint because, quite honestly, there’s still something to seeing yourself in the newspaper. Yes. And yeah, people think it’s a big deal when you ended up in the newspaper, right? So yeah, yeah, I think those can be really great. You talked a little bit about humanizing and making connections. But, but really thinking about your why I think is yes, where you’re at.
Dani Chaney 44:23
Yeah. So we’ve covered this in the beginning. And now we’re back here. And we’re really we want you as you get started to remember your why. So again, you know, you need to know how you make connections in your community, what you can do to humanize those people and those leaders that your community. When you do this, you engage your audience in a new way. You’re getting them excited about the thought leadership content that you’re producing, you’re mixing it with your community content, you’re putting in your lifestyle content, you’re posting about something that you can post about over and over again, think about content series, things like that. You’re establishing trust in your space, and you’re helping your community learn about what it is your Credit Union does and you’re sharing your story by establishing that expertise and reminding them, you know, the next time you think about this where your credit union.
Ben Pankonin 45:08
Right. No, I think that’s a great way to summarize a lot of what we’re trying to do here is really helping helping others to be engaged in what it is we care about. So you know, with that, I think this is a great example. And Danielle, thank you so much for putting this together. Yeah. I think it’s great to see how we can think of ourselves as thought leaders, how we can empower other people to be thought leaders. And and really, you know, how we can as a whole think about this membership model as some way to really help others feel included and part of our brand.
Dani Chaney 45:48
You’re exactly right. Yeah, I’m excited, you know, to send us any questions you have any ideas that you have. We’d love to hear what your credit union is doing. And we’d love to talk to you a little bit more about content and we’re always here to help as you get started and as you establish those leaders, and yeah, thank you so much for joining us today.
Ben Pankonin 46:05
Yeah, thanks for joining with us and we’ll continue doing these webinars will drop your reminder but feel free to send us a note. If you have questions or you have other ideas for upcoming webinars. We’re always open to that kind of feedback and helps us really make sure that we’re staying on task and relevant to the questions that you have. Thanks again.