The Intersection of Social Media and Word of Mouth

 In May 2012, the Credit Union Journal included an article on social media. The article was based on Erik Qualman’s work on social media and ‘socialnomics.’ Socialnomics is the intersection of social media and word of mouth. According to Qualman, every product and service will eventually be rated and even people will be rated. Social media tools, such as Twitter, can be business tools. Qualman encourages companies to listen in on conversations and everyone ‘from CEO down’ should be using these tools because the feedback can touch all areas. Qualman continues on to emphasize that it starts with listening and identifying what people are saying about the credit union, its people, and/or its products and services.

That is exactly what we are doing at Allegacy—utilizing our social media tools (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, blogs) to listen to our members. We then take the opportunity to interact with our members, identify needs, and offer appropriate solutions.  

As part of our member experience emphasis, we are listening to our members’ compliments and identifying an employee each week as the ‘Friday Favorite.’ When a member sends us a note about an employee who has gone the extra mile, we are highlighting the employee internally and externally (via social media). This is exciting for a number of reasons. First, it allows the member to know that we appreciate their feedback and take pride in providing outstanding member service. Second, it allows the employees to see the how important member experience is to our organization and gives them an opportunity to see their ‘name in lights.’ Third, it provides an opportunity for other members and Allegacy’s Facebook ‘friends’ to share and/or comment on the post as well.

Positive feedback, such as Friday Favorites, gives us an opportunity to react to our members’ when they say they ‘love’ or ‘like’ something. And, when the feedback is not as positive, it also gives us an opportunity to evaluate and adjust accordingly.

So, if you are not already using social media strategies to capture member feedback, I encourage you to do so. You must be prepared to sift through all of the data captured. When you review and analyze the data, you can listen, interact, and use the tools to live out your mission. At Allegacy, our mission is to ‘help our members make smart financial choices’ and our social media tools provide additional delivery channels to do just that.