Facebook Group vs Page: For Credit Union Marketers

Understand the value of Facebook groups to your marketing strategy

Many credit union marketers have difficulty telling the difference between a Facebook group and a Facebook page. Is there a tradeoff between using a Facebook group vs page? How are they different and which way should I go? If we were to conduct a digital marketing audit of the average credit union, Facebook groups would probably be absent from the mix. To clear things up, here are six compelling differences between Facebook groups and Facebook pages along with a few solid reasons to add a Facebook group to your credit union’s digital transformation roadmap.

#1: Facebook Pages Are Required for Facebook Advertising

Businesses are required to have a Facebook page to run an add on Facebook’s network. If paid Facebook advertising is a part of your lead generation strategy your business must have a Facebook page.

#2: Facebook Groups Create Deeper Relationships With Users

Facebook groups engender a deeper connection with your members and prospects. A Facebook page’s potential strength in building awareness is more than offset by a reduction in engagement behavior. Human psychology suggests that we are less willing to bare our souls in public comments, but we are more likely to open up about challenges in a private community like a Facebook group. Once you understand your member’s problems more deeply, your credit union is in a better position to serve them.

#3: Facebook Groups Deliver Better Visibility

Facebook groups provide better visibility because Facebook algorithms can decrease your Facebook page’s reach by as much as 98%, meaning that if a thousand people like your business page 980 of them are not going to see your content in their Facebook feed. With a Facebook group, everyone gets to see your posts. New group posts and post comment updates are sent to group members through automated desktop and mobile notifications increasing your opportunity to engage with those in need of help.

#4: Facebook Groups Help You Grow Your Mailing Lists

You can grow your email list faster with Facebook groups than you can with your business page or blog alone. Depending on the size of your group you can take advantage of your Facebook group’s increased member engagement and interaction to funnel hundreds of people into your email list weekly in a way that your business page simply can’t match. If you share a webinar recording or free whitepaper as a mailing list lead magnet, your Facebook group members are much more likely to opt-in to your mailing list because the trust level is through the roof.

#5: Facebook Groups Are More Profitable

Facebook groups are more lucrative than Facebook pages because the private nature of Facebook groups triggers the twin heads of digital marketing success namely engagement and visibility in a way that a Facebook page simply can’t do. Private Facebook groups are one of the best ways to share valuable insights and stimulate interaction that translates into heightened excitement and buzz for your brand, all without spending a dollar on advertising.

#6: Facebook Groups Are Great For Member Research

Because members are in a safe space, Facebook groups represent a powerful opportunity to check the pulse of your member base and test your business assumptions. Before launching a product or service share designs, project briefs or ideas with group members to meter interest. Posting surveys in the group is an effective way to zero in on credit union member needs and pain points that you can design solutions for. What is even better is that your research activity stands as proof of your empathy and puts on full display your willingness to collaborate with would-be and existing members on solutions to real problems.

At the close of the bell one tactic is not necessarily better than the other, so the Facebook group vs page conundrum doesn’t really exist. Each path has its inherent strengths and weaknesses. For example, advertising is a proven way to grow your Facebook group’s membership, but you can’t take part in Facebook advertising without a Facebook page. Done right, one hand washes the each other as part of a comprehensive digital marketing strategy for your credit union.

To learn more about Facebook and social media marketing tactics for credit unions browse our social media content.

Website Accessibility Strategy & Credit Unions

Website accessibility strategy overview

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a core piece of civil rights legislation banning discrimination on the basis of disability. Title III of the ADA mandates that businesses remove structural barriers and other impediments that curb access to an establishment including website access and usage by visitors with disabilities. This post will present key factors influencing an effective website accessibility strategy for credit unions.

Why It’s Important

In 2010, the US Department of Justice’s Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking announced that the department aspires to update Title III of the act to cover website accessibility. A final ruling is expected to be delivered in 2018, defining the official standard for website accessibility and detailing specifically what businesses will need to do to comply with the law.

Because of the sensitive nature of their data, credit unions will fall under a higher degree of scrutiny than less regulated businesses, so it is critically important that credit unions comply with a law that will be more tightly interpreted going forward.

Preparing for the inevitable

In August 2016 the Department of Justice ruled against the University of California at Berkeley in a lawsuit because the college’s YouTube channel did not utilize captions that would assist the hearing impaired. The DOJ recommended that UCB and other companies who serve the public adopt the second generation of the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), a fact that leads web accessibility experts to believe that the 2018 ADA amendment will be based on the WCAG 2.0 AA standard.

The WCAG Standard

Comprised of four overarching principles and 12 guidelines that include acceptance rules, the WCAG 2.0 framework comprises a set of testable criteria and technical benchmarks that align with the charge to design high-quality web and mobile experiences for people with disabilities. To achieve WCAG compliance, a business’s applications must adhere to the following principles.

Governing Principles

  • Perceivable: Information and user interface components must be provided to users in ways they can discern (applies to visual and hearing impaired)
  • Operable: User interface components and navigation tools must be clearly workable (applies to keyboard, mouse and other reasonable assistive technologies)
  • Understandable: Data presented including instructions along with the operation of the user interface must be clear and coherent.
  • Robust: Content must be comprehensive to the extent that it can be understood with certainty by a wide variety of the most common assistive technologies

WCAG Guidelines

The full detail of the standard can be found by reading the WCAG documentation, but below is a brief overview of the guiding rule set.

Perceivable

  • 1.1 Present text alternatives for images, videos or any non-text content so that it can be converted into an articulation people with disabilities can interpret, including large print, braille, speech, symbols or simpler language.
  • 1.2 Provide alternatives for time-based media (text and audio transcripts, captions, alternative text, etc.)
  • 1.3 Create content that can be presented in different ways (for example simpler layout) without losing information or structure.
  • 1.4 Make it simpler for users to see and hear content (separating foreground and background contrast)

Operable

  • 2.1 Make all UI components accessible from a console (keyboard or related assistive tool)
  • 2.2 Give users adequate time to consume and use the material presented
  • 2.3 Avoid presenting content in a way known to result in seizure
  • 2.4 Include navigational support so the user always knows where they are

Understandable

  • 3.1 Ensure text content is clear and reasonably understandable
  • 3.2 Certify that web pages use clear and predictable functional patterns
  • 3.3 Assist users with error correction

Robust

  • 4.1 Make sure content and components are accessible to commonly used assistive technologies.

Credit union website accessibility compliance will become a fundamental part of the regulatory environment in the months to come. Consider a website accessibility strategy as part of the new website basics framework.

Forward-thinking credit union leaders would be wise to immediately retrofit their websites, update mobile applications, and retool digital design workflows to meet the WCAG 2.0 AA standard. These steps alone will help mitigate risk and provide an optimal experience for customers including those with disabilities.