Using Social Media to Win Hearts in Financial Services

Social Pros Michael Toner, Navy Federal

Michael Toner, Social Media Manager at Navy Federal Credit Union, joins the Social Pros Podcast this week to discuss focusing on culture to perfect social media strategy, how he puts content first and foremost in his engagement with customers, and his plan to harness the power of internal brand ambassadors.

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Full Episode Details

Members First

Michael has been working with Navy Federal Credit Union for only a few months, but already he sees the cultural differences of a credit union versus another financial institution. Navy Federal is the largest credit union in the world, with nearly 5 million members, and the member-owned mentality pervades Michael’s social media team’s strategy. “We put the members first, and that was something that really intrigued me, especially how that plays out in our social spaces.”

Navy Federal has an almost built-in community – the military community – so Michael’s team’s main goal is to just engage with that community in the online sphere.

Strategically, he tries to take the conversations his customers are already having in the branches and reimagine those conversations online. The idea is that this will keep Navy Federal top-of-mind and, as they say in financial services, top-of-wallet.

Over the past few years, NFCU has been establishing its social presence. Now, they want to focus more on measuring ROI to see how they can improve their efforts. Michael comes from an SEO background, so they brought him in to build up some closed-loop reporting to track activity within social.

Michael’s next step, now that he has the pulse on Navy Federal’s social media presence, is to implement a formalized employee brand ambassador program. Within the next year, he hopes to have 500-800 employees active on social media as NFCU brand ambassadors. This way the employees in the branches, who are already having face-to-face conversations with members on a daily basis, can take some of those conversations online.

With the support of the PR team, Michael strives to keep content primary in his social media strategy. Even the iPad app is distinct from apps of other financial institutions because it puts content first. Mobile banking needs are easily accessible, but the first thing a user sees when opening the app is actually content created by Navy Federal, usually featuring the story of a business or peer who has used NFCU with success. That way members are always connected to the community as a whole.

See you next week!

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