The Leaderboard: Most-used Social Media Platforms by CUs Posted on June 9, 2015 By Nathan Binder Recently, the Credit Union Times took a poll on the most used social media channels by credit unions. We thought it’d be fun and useful to break down the advantages and disadvantages of the most used channels. The top contender was Facebook (surprise, surprise). FB is essential to playing the game, but it definitely has its weaknesses. Let’s take a gander. Pros: When it comes to audience reach, FB has no competitors. It has over a billion users, and around 700 million active users. Any market you want to target, you can find on FB. Low cost of paid advertising- you can reach thousands of people for as little as $5.00 a post with FB’s paid advertising platform. Facebook makes it easy to organize and promote events so you don’t have to use third-party software, in addition to incorporating third-party platforms easily as well. Allows for direct interaction with consumers. Cons: A lot of the pros of Facebook are negated by a major con- traffic and clutter. Your highly-targeted promoted post may be great, but it also may have to compete against 10 other posts of the same nature. True FB success comes from building a following and having those followers continue to disseminate your information through earned media. Facebook is also constantly changing how they treat ads and advertisers- your entire plan may have to change on a dime if Zuckerberg doesn’t like the way things are panning out. Business page visibility is at 16% for FB, making growing a following of influencers difficult. After Facebook, comes Twitter. If not used correctly, Twitter can often have more disadvantages than advantages for marketers. Pros: 271 million active daily users. Ability to create viral campaigns through encouraged repetitive hashtag use. Easy campaign metrics through hashtag use. Great customer service tool for communication with consumers- make individual consumers feel special. Great for monitoring live reactions to events and announcements- you could see if someone is complaining about a lack of beverages at a branch opening, and immediately alleviate that. Cons: Facebook is a minefield of clutter, but their posting algorithms do make an effort to contain it. Twitter, on the other hand, more-or-less encourages clutter. An enormous amount of content is shuffled through daily, as people post every <140-character-thought they have on a whim. This means each tweet has a shelf-life of around 3 minutes, so most of your tweets will go out with a whimper. Your best bet is getting an overarching campaign to incorporate a hashtag that can be repeated to gain traction, and stick in people’s memories. The 140-character limit could be a con or a pro, depending on whether you’re a glass half-empty or full kind of person. Regardless, it definitely limits the content you can post. The third most-used platform was a bit of a surprise. It wasn’t Pinterest, or even Instagram, but YouTube. Pros: Google owns YouTube. YouTube is pretty popular on its own, so that’s one reason why it always shows up in search engine results, though Google per se may have a little to do with that. Either way, YouTube is awesome for SEO wizards. YouTube videos can give your ads a sense of home-grown authenticity. Educational YouTube videos always have a built-in audience: “How to apply for a mortgage; how to open a checking account,” etc. Cons: A lot of money can go into video production, with no guarantee anyone will ever see it. You can go the pre-roll route, but unless you go the Geico route, pre-rolls are usually met with annoyance and a skip as soon as possible. The comment section of YouTube can be pretty hazardous. Almost like there’s an internet task force dedicated to spreading derogatory messages on YouTube. You can disable comments, but then it seems like you’re limiting free speech. For complete, specialized plans dedicated to marketing through these individual platforms, drop us a line!