Author: Sanja Ožić Paić
HOW CAN SOCIAL MEDIA WORK IN FAVOR OF A BANK?
Today it’s impossible to avoid social media when trying to represent your brand, they have almost taken over the communication with the client, and not even banks are immune to the appeal. However, there is a bit of a problem – word “bank” is not usually associated with fun and easy to consume content, which is by definition identified with social media. On the contrary, banks and financial institutions are considered to be sort of “necessary evil” followed by negative perception. Those banks that are brave enough for the endeavour of approaching the segment of young people, high-schoolers and students, are faced with a few additional challenges. They have grown up WITH the social media and are very demanding when it comes to the content they choose to consume. Besides, personal finances are not their major concern (to whom it may anyway) because they don’t have a steady income.
Hrvatska Poštanska Banka is the biggest bank in Croatian ownership that marks constant growth in number of clients past years, mostly thanks to their business policy that implies continuous investments in research and development. Bank has increased the number of their offices, ATMs and new innovative services (e banking, internet banking). Main priority of such investments is very simple – to enhance client’s experience.
OUR CHALLENGES – GOALS
Challenges we faced are self-implied, first of which is to achieve that person at the doorstep of real life, even starts paying attention to something with “bank” in its name? How to employ the “biggest bank in Croatian ownership” part? How does Facebook fit into that and how to be different?
From the challenges we derived our goals – to move away from the usual banking communication style, to achieve the recognition of the HPB brand, to present the complex content in an attractive and motivating fashion, to lower the communication barriers with the young segment and to encourage their engagement. In other words, we were looking for the way to stay away from the trap of too much promotional content and at the same time not to be the caricature, because the bank needs to communicate trust, security and safety. We wanted to differentiate our client from its competition through adding value to the followers and to create the sustainable followers’ base while having them interact with the brand.
While figuring out our approach to creating social media strategy for our client HPB, we had few guidelines in mind:
- low level of financial literacy (and that applies to the most of population)
- promotional content saturation
- need to distinguish from the masses
First and most obvious thing is that the name of the Facebook page does not have the name of our client. It is rather implied through profile and cover photo – visually. The name of the page is “Moj pun novčanik” (My full wallet) with the emphasis on the word “My” which (together with visual solutions) implies non formal communication approach.
Second, we kept in mind the idea that content should predominantly be non-promotional, that is the one which isn’t directly connected with the Bank or its’ services. The content varies from interesting facts, original infographics to fun and humoristic citations.
Thirdly, we have developed unique visual identity of the content which can be seen through the usage of house colour – red, and logo of the Bank which we modified to look like an emoji.
Fourth, to amplify the engagement of the page visitors we have regularly organized creative contests in the collaboration with our client and the response is great.
Fifth, all posts are promoted by targeting specifically the audience who might find the content of an individual post interesting.
And best for last, we have created the web persona for our client, HPB – Financijski savjetnik (Financial advisor) in the form of an illustration who “looks over” the page. It is his role to give advice about personal finances, thus indirectly promoting the HPB services, to provide interesting facts and information (general and finance related). Illustrations of our Advisor are created every week in compliance with HPB, and their main purpose is to educate on how to manage ones’ everyday life (including personal finance), but also on some interesting everyday things that can be easily used in conversation.
Within the first month of taking over HPB’s Facebook page we have achieved growth in the number of followers for 1018, and the trend have continued in the following months. Today page has more than 21 000 followers.
Positive trends can also be noticed in interactions (reactions + comments + post shares) which have grown (within the first month) by 158%. Growth of the post engagements is present in all of the following months with the increase in the interactions elements.
We take communication with the clients very seriously, whether if their questions are about the services, advice on financial questions or even criticism. Since we have 24/7 response policy, we have a response badge on with the average response time of 8 minutes.