Social media is here to stay and it needs to be part of every credit union’s marketing mix.

Though not all of your members are there (at least not yet), a significant portion of them are using these new tools as a way to connect with people and get information.

But there is a HUGE MISTAKE that virtually every credit union using social media is making, and it needs immediate attention if their efforts are going to succeed in having any meaningful impact.

Here’s how I discovered this problem.

Last Saturday I had the privilege of speaking at the West Virginia Credit Union League’s Volunteer Leadership Conference at the Stonewall Resort. During a session on Strategic Thinking we ventured online to take a look at the Facebook and Twitter presences of a few credit unions.

And that’s where I discovered the HUGE MISTAKE that credit unions are making.

The Mistake: Credit unions are not joining in the conversation on the weekends or in the evenings.

The Evidence: I follow over 500 credit unions on my Facebook account and reviewing posts for the previous 18 hours around 2 pm on a Saturday revealed a total of ZERO POSTS from any of them. And that has been my experience virtually every time that I have done this little experiment during a weekend presentation, or when I check in the evening during the week.

The Reality: Your members are online and checking their social media accounts at night and on weekends, not during the business day. If you are only putting out information during the day, you are missing the real opportunity to connect. In fact, based on casual conversation, it seems that many Facebook users don’t even take the time to review posts that were put up when they are not online.

The Bottom Line: If you aren’t connecting when they are live and paying attention, then chances are you are wasting your time, or at least achieving less impact than you would like.

Enough said.

ACTION ADVICE: Find a way to start connecting with your members via social media when they are actually online so that they are reading current information and can join in the conversation with you live…not with a time delay. Perhaps you can engage some volunteers who would be willing to provide leadership in this area…you provide them with the messages and they post them and monitor the conversation at night and on weekends. Or maybe you have some staff who are avid social media types who would be willing to handle this for you. Whatever you do, find a way to make it happen…and your social media efforts will yield bigger impacts.

It’s Your Turn…What do you think about this issue? Any ideas for getting this done effectively and efficiently? Any experiences worth sharing? Post a comment and let everyone know.