Are you using #hashtags to attract new members? Being active on social media can help your credit union get the business it wants.

The number of Americans on social media channels is the highest it’s ever been, with various platforms connecting people to the businesses and brands they care about. According to the Pew Research Center, an estimated 68 percent of all U.S. adults use Facebook, with 76 percent reporting that they check the site daily. Twitter, which is used by 21 percent of American adults, helps connect individuals to various news and industry updates.

Members of the financial services industry initially were unsure about branching into the realm of social media, particularly due to concerns about compliance and reporting regulations. Despite these hesitations, however, the industry has embraced social media and realized its potential for engaging with various target audiences.

It is evident that social media is an effective way credit unions can communicate with current members, but what about attracting new ones? If your branch is looking to grow its member base, consider these five tips:

1. Create engaging content that makes social media users want to interact with you. Content that comes from your company culture shows potential members the people behind the computer screen. Use language that invites people to interact with posts, such as encouraging viewers to “learn more” or asking questions they can answer.

2. Maintain customer support that is responsive and personal. Potential members may have questions about signing up with your credit union, your operating hours or location. Ensure staff members routinely check social channels to respond to customer support inquiries, which lends credibility to your branch.

3. Promote posts through paid ads. Facebook ads are easy to set up and much more affordable than other marketing ventures. You can target your message to reach a certain audience – even those not listed as currently belonging to a credit union.

4. Make employees brand ambassadors that act as an added voice to your credit union’s marketing strategy. Getting employees to like, share and comment on social media posts builds awareness around your credit union. Also, having staff members contribute to Facebook and Twitter is a fun way to show the culture of your company and make the branch more inviting to potential members.

5. Use giveaways and promotions that reward new members. Incentivizing people is a great way to build new business, whether it’s a free product giveaway or a discounted sign-up fee to join your credit union. These campaigns can also help organically grow the reach of your branch’s social channels by having users share posts or pages with their Facebook friends or Twitter followers.

Social media is an ever-changing tool that allows business to engage with new audiences in nuanced and targeted ways. Companies looking to harness the power of social media should research what the best course of action is for their audience and develop a strategy that fits their needs. Potential credit union members are out there – perhaps just one tweet away.