Three Case Studies in Banks’ Creative Use of Social Media

Tuesday, March 12, 2013, 1:00 AM | 1 Comment

Some will argue that promotion via social media is not for banks or any other type of similarly ‘serious’ company. However, the three examples below just go to show that the exact opposite is true. The powerful tool of social networking platforms can be geared toward promoting just about any type of product or service, so long as it’s done right.

  1. Break-ups are never fun – or are they?

    Back in February 2011, one Australian bank started a social media campaign that literally took the entire world by surprise. It started out with a Tweet, which most followers might have thought was a mistake from a bank employee posting under the official handle instead of his personal profile.

    It was followed by more than sixty YouTube videos, in which employees from the same bank were ‘breaking up’ with other bankers, in support of a similar point that had been made via the initial Tweet.

    Banks’ Creative Use of Social Media

    The campaign then expanded to most channels, including outdoor media and creative events (such as three actors dressed up as waiters and interrupting a banking executives’ meeting with a sung announcement of a break up).

    The campaign, which went viral in no time, also had a dedicated blog. It became the top trending subject on Twitter in Australia and eventually won a Lion in Cannes 2011 for its innovative use of media.

    And all this just because one bank wanted to make sure the entire world got their point: they were ‘breaking up’ with three other banks with which they had been previously affiliated. Of course, they cited irreconcilable differences – and even ended one break-up note with the classic line ‘It’s not you, it’s me’.

  2. Client Support Live and Online

    A recent poll of U.S. banks has revealed that 48 per cent of them will not discuss bank products or services on their social media profiles. Most likely, this is because some institutions fear negative feedback and assess such communication as too risk-laden to engage in online.

    At the same time, however, some banking decision makers have understood that sometimes it pays to open your organization up to risks. Australian bank Bankwest allows client support questions on its profile and responds to all feedback in a timely manner.

    Not only has this made a lot of information more accessible to their fans, but it has also strengthened their credibility as financial experts. As for negative feedback, there isn’t any in sight – just pictures from bank-affiliated events that users are sending in, accompanied by thanks.

  3. Charitable Bank – An oxymoron?

    In earnest, banks are currently topics for discussion for all other reasons aside from good-will and charity. This impression has definitely been augmented by the global financial crisis, which did away with whatever traces of trust in financials that consumers at large may had still been holding on to.

    With the GFC confirming the cliché that banks will crush dreams more often than helping turn them into a reality, some banks felt it was imperative for them to do something in order to change this.

    One successful story in the charity department comes from the Bank of America, whose Building Opportunity Facebook page proves that sometimes banks care enough to make dreams come true. The page basically capitalizes on something that many banks engage in, i.e. charity work to benefit communities throughout their area.

    However, unlike most banks, Bank of America decided to make their work known and dedicated an entire Facebook page to their charity branch. The key aspect to note here is that the page places focus on generating communication with the users, not on self-promotion.

    They often inquire about their fans’ interest in training courses or inform them on local events related to charity, so as to keep the conversation away from overselling their own magnanimity.

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