Most visitors to a bank or credit union page on Facebook are greeted by the all-too-familiar Wall — a series of updates, comments, feedback and exchanges that can frequently lean to the dark side. But there’s another, arguably better option.
With just a few clicks on Facebook, you can specify what tab you’d like visitors to first see when they hit your page. Using a customized landing page, you can create a more structured and strategically deliberate experience, focusing visitors’ attention on the topic(s) of your choosing.
Furthermore, when opting for a customized Welcome page over the standard Wall posts, you’ll have a wider range of visual tools at your disposal, making it easier to create more retail excitement. If you’re really ready to take Facebook to the next level, you could invest in your own application that you can promote on your landing page.
Hi There… Please Like Us – Assorted Banks & Credit Unions
Many financial institutions use giant banner ads on their Welcome pages. These ads invite visitors to hit the Like button, and frequently include promises of what fans can expect: exclusive offers, job postings, news, contests and promotions.
Analysis: This approach isn’t terribly creative, but It’s better than visitors getting overwhelmed by a bunch of random Wall posts. If you’re going to ask people to Like you, at least tell them why and give them reasons.
Promises access to exclusive offers, contests and “heaps more.”
BANK OF MELBOURNE
Beautiful, but why should people Like the bank?
Link, Like, Love – American Express
Visitors to the AmEx Facebook page are greeted with an ad promising instant rebates at “some of your favorite brands.” Click the “Get Started” button, link your credit card to the rebate application, then choose where you’d like to earn rebates. You can get $5 back when spending $20 at Whole Foods, $10 back on $100 in purchases at Best Buy, $300 back for $2,000 at Celebrity Cruises. You get the idea. There are hundreds of deals, but most are really coupons and not instant rebates (despite the ad’s claim that there are “no coupons”).
Analysis: With over 2.2 million Facebook fans, AmEx has no shortage of activity on its Wall. But that’s not what AmEx wants new visitors to see first. Instead they are promoting a unique, relevant benefit to card users that can only be obtained through Facebook. Smart financial marketers will find meaningful ways to “connect” with consumers through social media.
The Welcome ad could do a better job building intrigue and interest in the Link, Like, Love concept. The magnitude of the offer — that you can get literally thousands of dollars in savings simply for typing your AmEx card number into Facebook — is not expressed.
The best part about this promotion is the data AmEx yields. Not only can AmEx accurately track participation in its Facebook-related activities, the credit card giant is able to augment its massive consumer-spending database.
Nonsense Feedback – Ally Bank
Ally is using its Facebook page to complement its current ad campaign which encourages consumers to stop accepting nonsense from banks. After embedding its two most recent TV commercials, there is an area where people can rant about their banking irritations or say why Ally makes sense. The headline on the Welcome page says, “If you dislike banking nonsense, [Like button] Ally Bank.” Clever.
Analysis: This is a good approach to stimulating engagement and dialogue with Facebook visitors, and Ally deserves credit for integrating a consistent marketing message across multiple channels — from TV to Facebook. Most banks seem to treat Facebook as a standalone island
Money Personality Test – Citizens Bank
Citizens invites Facebook visitors to take a quick, five-question “Money Personality Test.” Complete the quiz and find out if you are a “Someday Saver,” “Rainmaker,” Occasional Splurger,” “Skillful Spender,” “Bargain Hunter” or “Strategist.”
Analysis: It’s hard to believe someone’s money management habits can be accurately summarized in one of only six categories, based on five semi-serious spending questions. It’s moderately interesting to get feedback on your financial lifestyle, but once you’ve taken the test, there is no further call-to-action. Visitors may be left thinking, “Yeah okay… so now what?”
Take a 5-question quiz to discover your financial personality.
Hotlink Buffet – North Shore Bank
North Shore’s Facebook Welcome page divides into four sections. There’s a banner ad at the top touting the bank’s 18,000+ free ATM network, followed by a bar with social media links (Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube and Foursquare). Below the social media bar is another pair of smaller banner ads, one for a calendar of community events and the other for its mobile platform.
Analysis: All the links take visitors outside the Facebook experience. Ads drive people back to the bank’s main website, and the social media links take people to other platforms. Visitors may wonder what the North Shore Facebook page is good for beyond its purpose as a portal to somewhere else.
Visual Interface – GTBank
Visitors to GTBank’s Facebook page can get a credit card, find a branch location, learn more about the bank’s community involvement or explore its products and services.
Analysis: It’s more visually appealing than a straight list of links, but the interface lacks structure — visitors have to hunt for what they’re looking for, and the type is pretty small. Fortunately, with only nine options, you can scan the options quickly. Two of the nine links aren’t working — a big no-no.
Rotating Ad – UBank
Up top, UBank invites page visitors to click the Like button. Immediately below that, UBank has installed a rotating five-frame banner ad where they promote (1) home loans and (2) tax tips, followed by (3) an invitation to give them feedback, (4) a teaser for their Money Box initiative, and (5) social networking links. Further down the page, UBank touts its savings Goal Tracker tool and Savings Calculator. There is a field of external links presented at the bottom.
Analysis: UBank is trying to create a more navigable experience — one that’s clearly focused on their branded tools and products. Inasmuch, their Welcome layout is more like a typical bank website interface than your average financial institution’s Facebook page. They are directing people’s attention to the things that they feel most distinguish them from competitors.
Team of Millions – Absa
Like the bank’s Facebook page, click the “Participate” button and take a picture of yourself. After massaging your image in the application’s slick interface, your face will appear in the massive “crowd photo” of Springbok fans — a South African rugby team Absa sponsors.
Analysis: It’s kind of a fun idea, and a low-risk way to increase Likes on the bank’s Facebook page.
Checking Account Promo – Santander Students
Santander has a special Facebook page dedicated solely to its lineup of student products. Visitors the to Santander Students page are hit immediately with a straightforward offer for a Student Current Account. The account includes three years’ insurance on gadgets, pays a nominal 1% on £500, plus there’s a drawing for one of five £1,000 cash prizes.
Analysis: No beating around the bush here. Santander gets straight to it with its checking account offer. After all, how many people are going to visit Santander’s Student page on Facebook that aren’t in the market for a student checking account?
This is another very trackable Facebook promotion. There are few metrics more meaningful than “number of new accounts opened.”
SANTANDER STUDENT CURRENT CHECKING ACCOUNT
3 Ways to Rock – Citi
There are three components to this contest. (1) Three weekly drawings for $500 in “Concert Cash.” (2) A talent challenge for an opportunity to jam with legends at the Rock ’n’ Roll Fantasy Camp. (3) Access to “a variety of entertainment” with a Citi ThankYou Card.
Analysis: It’s a contest. Anyone can bribe consumers with giveaways, any time. Just remember that people will do just about anything to anything to win a prize — anything free — including “liking” a bank on Facebook. It’s a great way to build the number of fans you have, but don’t count on much (if any) engagement from prize seekers, and don’t be surprised if/when they “unlike” you if/when they don’t win.