The secret for top performing banks on social media? Be human.

Published by Engagement Labs on April 24, 2015

The aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis created a negative perception of big banks and how they were viewed by their consumers. Seeing them as large, monolithic establishments, with reckless behaviours, customer distrust was at an all time high. We used our eValue tool to look at the top scoring banks from each country and look at the different strategies they used in creating impactful content to engage with their customers.

jump to USCANMexico


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It’s not surprising that many banks have steadily invested more time and dollars into their social media presence. However, it’s not just about having a social media presence, it’s about how brands are talking to their audience. Using our eValue tool we looked at banks across Canada, US and Mexico and determined the top ranking bank from each country based on their Facebook eValue score. The banks who came out on top were those who leveraged their Facebook channel to humanize their brand, through immediacy of responses and a personal level of engagement with their audiences. As our data shows, banks who aren’t willing to use their social accounts as a tool for their customers to interact with them, are missing a big part of the puzzle.


Response quality on eValue propels TD to victory in the US


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As pointed out in our previous blog post, TD’s dominance on social media is largely due to their vigilant stance on responding to comments on their brand channels. From diffusing negative posts to thanking followers for their kind words, their moderation team is constantly keeping an eye out for any and all activity.

But as much as their strategy focused on vigilant responding, the quality of their responses also played a large part in helping them take the top spot amongst US banks.

This focus on substance is indicative through TD’s response quality score, which is based on the moderator’s response type (Is the moderator responding with a like or a comment? Are they responding by bringing new content to the conversation, such as a link or a video?) and response reception (Has the response engaged further discussion? Has it been liked, retweeted or shared?). Outscoring the other 9 banks in the eValue response quality category, it is clear that TD not only responds to their customers in a timely manner but has created a social presence that humanizes their brand.

Whether it be positive,

or negative,

The moderator team’s responses were personalized, having the individual moderator signing their names along with their replies that are written in a friendly tone.

Real human connection goes a long way in making your customers happy and it seems that TD kept that in mind when developing their social strategy.
 

RBC’s brand impact score trumps all in Canada


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Community based posts, grassroots style, as well as sports related content are clearly a recipe for success in the social media landscape (e.g. UPS who was the winner of our Media Madness tournament on Twitter). RBC’s victory as the top bank in Canada on Facebook took a unique approach in connecting with consumers.

Instead of merely posting banking and financial content on their social feed, RBC casted a wider content net in posting about the many sports events, initiatives and causes they are involved with such as:

“2015 RBC Heritage Golf tournament”

“Free the Children”

“Day of Pink”

and their own “Blue Water Project”.

Along with that, RBC also posts content that highlights the banks’ involvement in grassroots efforts to highlight small businesses and help the local community.

Its no surprise that this type of content is creating greater impact on their brand social channels. A recent Ipsos Reid survey showed that 84% of Canadians claimed they would switch brands based on a cause association. Additionally child specific, environmental and physical health causes were among the top 5 causes that Canadians were most interested in supporting. These posts help paint a picture about the RBC brand going beyond its role as a bank and understanding what’s important to their Canadian consumers allowing them to connect with the brand on a more personalized level taking the conversation beyond the topic of banking and finance.


Leveraging active user base to eclipse competition in Mexico


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For Scotiabank Mexico social media engagement propelled them to the top, from number of users in their online communities to highest number of moderator comments. Firstly, it’s worth noting that Latin America dominates social media usage based on users across North and South America. 97.5% of Latin American internet users use a social networking channel such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+ vs 67% of US users. Based on the data collected on their brand Facebook channel through eValue we saw a 14k increase in fans within the March 16, 2015 to April 5, 2015 time period our data looked at.

Considering the massive increase of fans we took a deeper look into the reasons for this growth. A high active user base of 14% can be one attribution, compared to TD US’ 2% and RBC Canada’s 7%. But another reason for this spike can be attributed to the engaging content they post. The time-frame we measured overlapped with two key events – the Easter Holiday and the CONCACAF Champions League. Leveraging these two events in their social posts they were able to engage their audiences around events they were already very much interested in. The below post garnered over 3,000 likes, playing off the Easter Holiday weekend and encouraging customers to use their Scotiabank Credit card while shopping overseas with an added benefit of no interest for 6 months.

Below is an example of how our eValue tool measures the most engaging posts within a selected period. As you can see Scotiabank Mexico excelles in likes, comments and shares.

Scotiabank Mexico also had the highest number of admin comments. The below post demonstrates their dedication to children and community – helping children grow thorough soccer (football). A customer commented on the post asking if their banks were open during the Easter weekend. The bank responded and provided a link to branch hours and even went a step further in providing an online option. The customer then asked if he could make a loan payment using that method and they responded again telling him exactly where to go to make the payment.

Another customer in the exact same situation as the gentlemen above then posted a comment asking if she could make the payment on the Monday after the holiday (and avoid late fees), the bank let her know a late payment would be reflected on their account.

An engaged community as well as active social media moderators have enabled this bank to rank amongst the top.


Conclusion  

Through this post we have demonstrated that social media presence is not just about pushing information to your followers, it’s about engaging with your fans. We saw this with Scotiabank Mexico and their ability to create impactful content around events that were meaningful to their customers. With RBC and their use of cause related social strategy through heartwarming content and community based programs that engaged their audience. And with TD US creating a highly personal interaction with their community. These three banks are all working to give their followers a personalized, human experience that offers solutions, not excuses, and goes beyond their core business of a financial institution.

 

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About eValue™:

The eValue™ score measures the effectiveness of a brand’s overall social media performance on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram and provides a score from 0 – 100. It’s the aggregate of the three subscores including Engagement, Impact, and Responsiveness that work together to create one top-level KPI. Our subscores are calculated by using hundreds of sub metrics which are then benchmarked against a hand-picked database of 75,000 verified brand accounts on each channel.

Engagement: Measures the level of interaction generated by your content and how well your community reacts to it.

Impact: Measures how many unique users have potentially been exposed to a piece of content posted by the channel’s admin through organic, viral and paid reach.

Responsiveness: Measures the rate, speed and quality of your responses to fans.