5 Dynamic Examples of Financial Institutions engaging with the Facebook community
Banks, often held back by industry regulations, are rarely considered innovative when it comes to social media. But Facebook has become the perfect place for financial institutions to loosen their neckties, roll up their sleeves and show some personality.
The Facebook community connects on a personal level, rather than learn about policy updates. This is a challenging feat for those accustomed to banks’ traditional platforms of communication. Thus given below are the examples of five dynamic financial institutions which engage with their customers through the Facebook community.
1. Citi Bank:
Citi astutely uses its Facebook presence to build community by asking questions (often location-themed) like “Has your city hosted any major sporting events?” This creates friendly conversation and interaction that is not otherwise naturally facilitated by a bank.
“Banks aren’t really the most trusted institutions right now,” says Frank Eliason, Citi’s SVP of social media. “We look to social media to try to change that perception, and we try to do it in a very human way.”
While Eliason admits much of what he does with Citi’s Facebook Page is experimentation, he’s found huge success posting content you wouldn’t ordinarily expect from a bank. For example, Citi ran an exclusive Beyonce video that you could only see on Citi’s Page.
“Most importantly, we recognize that it’s OK to learn and it’s OK to try new things,” Eliason says.
2. HSBC Bank:
HSBC Students‘ Facebook Page, the bank’s first foray into the social network, launched alongside a major scholarship competition in summer 2010. The bank invited students to submit 90-second videos about how they intend to make their mark on the world. After rounds of community and official voting, the bank awarded eight students with £15,000 toward their university studies.
This summer, the bank promoted the competition exclusively on Facebook and received enormous community participation, including 3,000 comments on the videos and 40,000 votes.
“We certainly had challenges getting it up and running, but it has had a very positive impact on the brand,” says Helen Gentry, who leads HSBC Students.
3. J. P. Morgan
J.P. Morgan‘s Facebook Page offers career advice to financial industry newcomers, whom the bank may one day hope to employ. The bank periodically posts tips on going through business recruitment.
Students and young people on Facebook, who are hoping to enter the financial services industry, come to associate J.P. Morgan with its helpful career tips. These service posts strengthen the bank’s image in the eyes of potential employees and their peers.
4. Wells Fargo
It is hard to believe that we can actually see the word “Huzzah” coming from an official Wells Fargo account? Well, the Facebook post above is proof there is a place for big banks to use slang expressions of their excitement. We also enjoy their casual “Hey People!” greeting. Wells Fargo speaks like friends and thus garner excitement in people to want to be a part of their lives and community.
Big news, such as transitioning the last remaining Wachovia branch into a Wells Fargo, could have elicited a dry, press release-style posting. Facebook is not the place for that form of announcements. Wachovia told this story perfectly — by showing a visual of the last of 36,500 signs switching over.
5. Bank Of America:
Banks don’t always have a reputation as champions of charity. But that’s all the more reason they should share their awesome work with the Facebook community. Building Opportunity from Bank of America is a Facebook Page dedicated to the institution’s philanthropic arm.
The Page serves as a forum to discuss community projects, stemming from prompts posted by the bank, such as “What kind of job training programs are in your area?” While many financial institutions are involved in charitable work, those projects are often not on the average customer’s radar.
Facebook is a great way to tell your community about side projects — and strengthen your brand in the process.