There is a great deal of variation in how much credit unions spend on social media, leading to a great deal of ambiguity.

Based on a survey from Kasasa several years ago, 56% of banks and credit unions spent less than $1,000 per year on social media but planned to increase it. In fact, that same year, 43.1% of the surveyed credit unions and community banks said they wanted to increase that spending.

Some experts have broken down credit union social media spending based on associates. Analysis from the 2014 data found that credit unions spend $8 to $16 on marketing per associate, with a median of $12.52.

Take a closer look at credit union social media spending to see how much your credit union should budget to get the results you want.

Every credit union has a different budget and approach. How much credit union social media spending should you commit to? Here's a helpful guide to get you started.

Examples of credit union social media spending:

Credit union social media spending refers to how much of the advertising budget goes to social media. It can include:

  • Buying pay-per-click or pay-per-view ads on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and other platforms
  • Purchasing third-party tools to help with analytics
  • Paying an in-house employee to manage social media, either by hiring someone new or adjusting the responsibilities of current employees
  • Paying to outsource social media management
  • Paying photographers to produce images for social media

Major Trends Influencing Credit Union Social Media Spending – The Connection Between Spending and Results

To get an idea of what various marketing budgets get your credit union, go back to that Kasasa survey. The credit unions and banks that spent less than $5,000 listed their largest expenses as social media ads and social media templates and then content creation. For those that spent more than $10,000, it was third-party tools.

There was also a distinction between the budget and the time spent on social media. While credit unions and banks that spent less than $5,000 on financial institution marketing for social media averaged one to five hours a week, those who spent more than $10,000 averaged over 11 hours.

Average Marketing Budgets for Credit Unions

To help put credit union social media spending in perspective and give you an idea of the average, consider a 2019 Financial Brand study that found that on average, credit unions allocated 0.12% of their assets for their marketing budget. Importantly, this is for the entire marketing budget, not just social media marketing.

That study found that larger credit unions tend to spend a lower percentage of their assets on marketing, while smaller ones tend to spend a greater percentage, averaging about 0.09% and 0.13%, respectively.

The budget will also vary on factors such as the name recognition of the brand, the local market’s competitiveness, and the aggressiveness of your brand growth strategy.

If you are curious about the average marketing budget per member of a credit union, data from 2018 shows this is between $12.96 and $20.19 on average. There are extreme outliers at either end, spending as little as $0.05 per member or as much as $203 per member. A more important figure is the average amount invested in marketing for each new member, $281.

Average Social Media Budget as a Percentage of the Marketing Budget

Since those figures are for the marketing budget as a whole, what about social media spending in credit unions? The CMO Survey from June 2020 found an average of 18% of the overall budget is dedicated to marketing.

Given the rise of social media, experts in the field suggest spending 20% to 30% of your credit union’s total digital advertising budget for social media marketing, with most companies spending around 15% to 25%, regardless of industry.

How to Decide How Much to Spend on Social Media Marketing

Within that range of 20% to 30%, you will want to consider a few key factors to determine where your credit union social media spending should be:

  • Your goal for digital marketing (such as increasing member growth or loan growth)
  • What do you want your audience to do after seeing the ads?
  • Do you have online account openings? If so, is this driving membership growth?
  • How many and which channels you will use
  • Whether you will outsource social media marketing

Every credit union has a different budget and approach. How much credit union social media spending should you commit to? Here's a helpful guide to get you started.

What to include in your social media marketing budget.

To make the most of your social media marketing budget, keep the various ways to use the funds in mind, as well as some useful tips.

Prioritizing Platforms – Start where members (or potential members) are.

When prioritizing which social media platforms to prioritize, start by thinking about where your members are most likely to be. Consider that 82% of members of credit unions are on Facebook, and make that platform a priority.

Target current members. 

The first step for credit unions on Facebook is to target your current members, offering them additional products. When targeting current members, think carefully about what products and offers are most likely to appeal to them.

Finding other people to target.

You can then use Facebook’s “lookalike audiences” feature to target those who are similar to your current members already in the database.

Be genuine.

As you create social media content for your credit union, focus on creating genuine content that helps you connect with viewers.

Be creative and bold. 

With so many ads on social media, you need to stand out with bold messaging that can give viewers fear of missing out if they don’t click on the ad.

Try various types of content.

There are numerous types of content that you can share on social media, and for the best results, your credit union should use a combination of them. Consider:

  • Tips and tricks, including videos and infographics
  • Staff profiles to humanize your team and seem more relatable
  • Behind the scenes photos
  • Member testimonials
  • Promoting your blog posts and other content
  • Memes or quotes relevant to your credit union or the financial industry
  • Promoting other local businesses
  • Ask questions to boost engagement
  • Occasional promotions of products and services – but not for more than 20% of your posts

Track your advertising dollars. 

You need to confirm that your credit union social media spending is delivering a strong return on investment, so make sure you track your efforts. It is surprisingly easy to set up conversion tracking with tools like Facebook Pixel and Google Tag Manager.

Don’t forget about the rest of digital marketing.

As you create your budget, don’t forget to also allocate for other types of digital marketing, such as email marketing, SEO, content marketing, paid search, and mobile marketing.

Why credit unions can’t afford to ignore social media.

You could ignore credit union social media spending, but you would be missing out on potential opportunities to get new members and to encourage your current members to use more products or services.

Most Americans use some form of social media.

Start by considering that 72% of Americans are on social media. This means that using social media gives your credit union access to a wide audience that may be largely untapped.

Engage with members

 Paying someone to maintain your social media pages gives you another opportunity to engage with your members. Facebook is the most commonly used by credit unions and other financial institutions for this purpose, followed by LinkedIn and Twitter.

Provide a relatable voice.

Having a social media presence also helps your credit union seem more relatable and connected with the community. You can even use that relatable voice to bring more financial knowledge to your followers.

Show your knowledge 

Depending on the type of social media content you post, you can use it as a chance to show that your credit union is knowledgeable. This will encourage members to believe that you will know what is in their best financial interests, increasing the chances that they spend or invest more money with you.

Why credit union social media spending matters and how to decide.

When it comes down to it, you will need to decide how much your credit union is willing to spend on social media and how you weigh the risk of this type of marketing budget compared to other marketing methods. There is no correct answer, as every credit union is different.

As you work out how much you want to spend on social media at your credit union, take advantage of other risk-free promotion methods, such as reviews. Podium lets you harness the power of reviews from members to promote your credit union. You can get more reviews when you sign up for Podium for free. These reviews can help you kick-start your social media strategy.

Jeff Moss
Jeff Moss AVP of Financial Services Enterprise Sales

Jeff Moss is a credit union and bank professional at Podium, the leading messaging platform that connects financial institutions with their members and prospects.

Adapt the way you do business. Press send.