Our client, Listerhill Credit Union, is in the throws of searching for their second Young & Free Alabama Spokesperson to find a worthy replacement for Chris Anderson.
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I'm very impressed with Mike's segments. He has been cranking out a couple of interview videos a week. You should definitely check out the CUbroadcast website and watch some of the other segments.
Thanks for the invite Mike, I really enjoyed the conversation.
A common question that our clients ask is, "How do our young adult marketing and social media efforts compare to other banks and credit unions?"
I typically answer with something like, "Oh, you are doing awesome!" This isn't necessarily enough info to satisfy their curiosity, so I decided to do some heavy duty investigation, document what I found and share everything with all of our clients and blog readers.
As I began to work through the project, I decided to break the findings down into two separate reports—one for Canada and one for the U.S.
First up, Canada! I’ve added my opinions and graded each financial institution based on how they are doing with products and services for young adults, marketing to young adults, social media activity, and finally, how they are doing with integrated product marketing.
Five largest Canadian banks
• RBC (Royal Bank of Canada)
• TD Canada Trust
• Scotiabank (Bank of Nova Scotia)
• CIBC (Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce)
• BMO (Bank of Montreal)
Other banks with substantial operations in Canada
• HSBC Bank of Canada
• ING Direct Canada
• ATB Financial
• Canadian Western Bank
Ten largest credit unions in Canada
• Coast Capital Savings
• Servus Credit Union
• Meridian Credit Union
• Envision Financial
• Conexus Credit Union
• Steinbach Credit Union
• Assiniboine Credit Union
• First Calgary Financial
• Affinity Credit Union
Co-operative marketing programs
• Desjardins Group
• Central 1 Credit Union
This is a living document, as I intend to add to it and update it periodically. If you have additional information or corrections to share about any of these financial institutions, please add to the comments.
+ Download PDF (3.7M)
I will publish the U.S. counterpart within the next month.
It's the start of a new year, so I thought I would give an update on how Young & Free is doing in infographic form!
I couldn't be more pleased with the growth and momentum that Young & Free has gained in the past year and 2011 is shaping up to be even bigger and better. Our team has been heads-down busy with the planning and execution of our next four regions. Expect to see them live within the next four months.
If you haven't seen it yet, we have a new comprehensive Young & Free section complete with videos. Check it out when you have a moment.
Thanks for everyone's continued support and interest in Young & Free.
Something fired my brain up about 20 minutes into the first CUWCS speaker, Robbie Wright's presentation. He was expanding on a blog post he wrote in June of this year which stated, in part, "nothing important happens in the credit union blogosphere."
Obviously, as I am very active in the blogosphere, Twitt-o-sphere, Facebook-o-sphere—and at times have an inflated opinion of my contributions in this arena—I was in VEHEMENT opposition. Then I listened further (listening being something I appreciate more fully, being involved in many credit union 'spheres) and realized he had a point of sorts.
He said "important stuff is never really talked about online." He also mentioned a few things that flew at high speed OVER my head, such as member business lending cap and partnerships between some anagrams that sounded pretty important. One or two members in the audience spoke up to share stories of credit unions using social media platforms—such as Twitter—successfully as a marketing channel. I'm not going to go there, because there are both amazing and amazingly bad examples of social media use in every industry, not just ours.
What I am taking away is this: Let's all agree that social media is an amazing way to TALK to each other. Twitter specifically let over 130 people participate in the conversation during #CUWCS, which in turn kept those 130 networks informed and interested, and so on. The majority of the people who follow me on Twitter are there to 1) immerse themselves in my witty and insightful 140isms and share the same back with me; or 2) politely following me back for my follow, because unless one is a creeper, that is the Twitter etiquette. My use of Twitter is much more information sharing than sales, although I am the business development person for Currency.
So let's try using this platform for important conversation and sharing!
I'd LOVE to see Robbie (just to get things rolling) start up a Twitter # chat on those important things he says are not being talked about. How about the second Monday of every month around 11 a.m. Pacific time, called #importantstuff? I hereby promise to show up for that, hopefully to learn something, but also to lend support to the important stuff getting talked about. For those of you who are too shy to admit they don't have a clue what I mean by a "Twitter # chat" or how to participate, here's a super easy how-to:
- Go to www.twitter.com
- If you need to, create a new account. If not, sign in. (If you use a Twitter app or client, set up a #importantstuff stream)
- In the search field, enter "#importantstuff" and click the search button.
- Near the top of the results page you'll see a button that says "Save this search." Click that button.
- Click on the Home page link. In the "Search" drop-down list (under your status field, 4th in the row beside "Timeline", "@Mentions" and "Retweets" if you're using the new Twitter) select #importantstuff
- Read and participate
- Nothing there? Nice, you're early. Come back at 11 a.m. Pacific time on the second Monday of the month
See? Easy-peasy, right?
There are a lot of websites out there—including ours—that focus on the credit union industry, and I assume the things people are comfortable talking about. If a number of people out there feel these sites aren't talking about the important stuff, then let's find a way to talk about the important stuff.
Who's in? I am—what do you say, Robbie?
In celebration of International Credit Union Day, we hereby proclaim the start of a ridiculously awesome online talent contest just for credit union employees!
Last winter, we had so much fun with the Lookin' Like a Fool with Your Money in a Bank Music Video Contest, we figured that it's once again time to hold another online video contest! And in the tradition of really long contest names, we present to you: the Why Gen Y Live Ultimate Break Room Bling Out Credit Union Online Talent Show.
The grand prize is a flat panel TV and a Nintendo Wii for your branch break room!
Here's a video that explains everything.
I began collecting RSS feeds in Google Reader in 2006 or 2007. I subscribed to any blog that seemed mildy interesting or had something to do with credit unions, banking, marketing or technology. Google Reader was an easy solution to keep up with new posts on my laptop and phone. But there was a point when Google Reader became largely unusable for me with too many unread items and too many feeds that didn't hold my interest. I used to be in Google Reader multiple times per day but that faded as Twitter became the way for content to find me.
I had some time today, so I decided to tackle my digital hoarding and relentlessly unsubscribe in an attempt to make my Google Reader usable again. I unsubscribed to any blog that hadn't posted within the last 60 days or blogs that didn't appeal to me anymore. I nuked at least 400 feeds. I was amazed at the number of credit unions that have given up on their blogs. I have to agree with Jeffry Pilcher in his assersion that most credit union and bank blogs aren't the greatest!
I was also surprised at how many industry bloggers have given up on their blogs as well. There are a few strong industry bloggers left, but there are dozens that no longer post. I think it's a sign of the social media times—it's tough to dedicate time to quality long-form writing (I say this looking directly in the mirror). Easier mediums like Twitter, Posterous and Tumblr have definitely taken over.
I'm glad I took the time to purge and I look forward to getting only the stuff I really want pushed to me again.
How has your blog consumption and blog creation changed over the past couple of years?
When you work in marketing and advertising, surrounded by fun co-workers and fun clients, on an incredibly fun and innovative product (Young & Free) it's hard not to let that spill over into contest entry for a wildcard speaker’s spot (as evidenced by our most recent campaign video).
But we want to clarify something—our presentation isn't going to focus on funny videos and bacon, it's going to delve into research we are doing with Gen Y'ers in regards to their use of social media platforms.
We are asking a cross section of young people across North America about:
• Which platforms they use
• What they actually use them for
• What they would never use them for
• And how they perceive businesses interjecting in those spaces
(just to name a few)
We will be compiling these results and sharing 3 practical ways that Credit Unions can take this information and implement a social media strategy in these spaces that will be relevant and get results.
So here’s what you need to know: yes, half of us are young and both of us are silly, but we're going to deliver a fun presentation that will leave the audience with some insight into how Gen Y is actually using social media and share information on how credit unions can get involved and get bottom line results.
We’re really excited to have a conversation about this, and if you are too, you can vote for us here:
Voting closes Friday at 2pm PT.
All the best,
Nala (and Cheryl)
Ontario joins (in order) Alberta, Texas, South Carolina, Alabama Tennessee, Mississippi and St. Louis to become the eighth Young & Free region in North America.
It's great to have a second region live in Canada! And it's not just any region—Ontario is by far the most populated province in Canada with over 13 million residents! Or put another way, 40% of Canada's population.
Ontario is our second region in North America and first region in Canada to undertake the Young & Free program as a collaborative initiative. The majority of our programs have been single credit unions representing a small section of their home state or province. This is unique partnership between two like-minded, non-competing credit unions that serve Southwestern Ontario. It’s exciting to see collaboration between two well respected credit unions. By coming together, they are able to share the costs and amplify their reach.
Nala and I travelled to Ontario in March and shot the CEO launch video while we were there. Jack Smit and Jim Lynn had a fun time working with each other and did a great job!