How to kick start your social media strategy — Commonwealth Bank focusses on Facebook

Commonwealth Bank leads by example on Facebook

Bank bashing may be somewhat of a national pastime. But that hasn’t stopped the Commonwealth Bank from attracting more than 100,000 ‘fans’ to its Facebook page a year after launching its page on the social network.

Facebook forms part of the bank’s social media strategy to create a community of customers and interact with them online. The bank’s chief marketing officer, Andy Lark, said the aim of the Facebook page was about customer support.

“We're less interested in the industry echo-chamber and more interested in building bridges to customers in new ways,” he said in a statement, claiming an engagement rate of more than 20 per cent.

“Social platforms, Facebook in particular, provide an opportunity to support and serve customers in new ways. We are now one of the top banks in the world when it comes to online, and this can be seen not only through our success on Facebook, but our monthly NetBank figures.”

According to Lark, about 1.7 million Australians log onto NetBank each day.

The bank has focussed on a content strategy that includes:

  • Community Seeds — a program whereby ‘fans’ were invited to give away more than $125,000 to six community organisations by voting via the Community Seeds Facebook tab.
  • Facebook Deals — the bank partnered with Facebook for the Australian launch with a campaign to open a savings account and receive free movies passes for a year. The deal sold out in three days.
  • Thank You — In October, the bank invited customers to ‘choice gift’. They were given the choice of an EMI Music voucher, a Gloria Jean’s voucher or a movie voucher as part of CBA’s win as the 2011 Money Magazine Bank of the Year. The campaign sold out in three days.
  • Centenary Time Vault — Fans were sent on a two-week treasure hunt with a question on the Bank’s history posed each day for a chance to win $2000 per day.
  • Hussy’s Lunch Time Legends — the bank’s current campaign whereby it posts an episode of “Hussy’s Lunchtime Legends” on Facebook each lunch break of the Test matches. The episodes test the audience with a video question delivered by Hussey about his favourite all-time great cricket moments, with daily prizes up for grabs.

The bank’s customer service team also responds to any banking enquires via its Facebook wall in real time, extending its customer service model beyond traditional phone and branch interactions. And late last year, the bank enabled customers to pay each other in Facebook using its CommBank Kaching iPhone application. It’s part of the bank’s multi-layered commitment to real-time banking, according to CIO, Michael Harte.

The bank is now looking to duplicate its Facebook success on other social media platforms.

“We see our online leadership with the likes of Commbank Kaching and investment in other channels such as Twitter and Google+ — as critical service and support channels, as ultimately being the springboard to social success,” Lark said.

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