Social Currency

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SAN DIMAS, Calif.-CUs need to do a better job at sales in 2012, but not in the traditional sense, one observer is suggesting.

Financial Service Centers Cooperative (FSCC) President Sarah Canepa Bang is a proponent of social currency, and said CUs have to begin planning now for leveraging the concept. "Amex, Citibank, even BofA have recently come up with social currency programs that credit unions should have developed. We're falling behind. Social currency has credit unions written all over it. It's in our lexicon-members, not customers."

Canepa Bang reminded that social currency is one interaction leading to another. "Social currency for men could be talking about sports, attending an event and being a fan. For women, typical social currencies are jewelry, shoes, where-did-you-get-that-dress kind of thing. Twitter's social currency is telling us what you're doing-and if we like it you'll get more followers. foursquare's social currency is telling us where you are. Finding a social currency that will entice people to interact with you is what it's all about."

Canepa Bang realizes CU may see social currency as far less important than other issues, but believes that's a mistake.

[W]e have to get more creative and more transparent in our selling. Forbes, I believe, says it's better to have advocates than followers, which is very much in tune with the Net Promoter Score. By making the CU's brand more social you can encourage further interaction with the credit union."

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