This blog post is written by Michael Dolen, the man behind Credit Card Forum.
Depending on the source referenced, the financial services industry takes second or third place when it comes to online ad spending in the US (as you can probably guess, the retail industry always takes the numero uno).
Not surprisingly, many companies in the financial services industry are forking over a chunk of that change to their social media budgets. But what works and what fails?
First, let’s go over three major successes…
Most Muscle = American Express
In terms of social media presence, AmEx is clearly the winner. During 2011 they had 4 of the top 10 Facebook pages within the financial industry, based on number of Likes. Not to mention, they also had the two most followed Twitter accounts within the sector.
How did they accomplish that? Well a lot of it can be contributed to their first-mover advantage. By that, I mean they were arguably the first financial company to fully embrace Facebook during its early years. So they’ve taken social media seriously from the get go. Also they’ve had some tantalizing promotions, such as the one I’ll talk about next…
Best “Like” Bribe = American Express
Being that they have the largest presence, you probably won’t find it surprising that AmEx has crafted some of the most successful “bribes” to get people to Like their page.
The most famous being their Small Business Saturday promotion. It’s the first Saturday after Thanksgiving and it has been taking place for a few years now. In exchange for enrolling your AmEx account (any credit card from them qualifies) you will get a $25 statement credit for making a purchase of $25+ at a small business on that day.
In other words… $25 for free. No wonder it’s so popular.
Now technically speaking, you don’t have to enroll in this promotion through Facebook. However in 2011 when I logged into my AmEx Blue Cash account and clicked on the promotion, I was re-directed to the Facebook page for it (instead of a page on AmEx’s own website). So the easiest and most publicized route to enroll was by visiting their Facebook page… and naturally that led to a lot of Likes.
Best Product Presence = Chase Freedom
Okay so if AmEx has the most brand presence, which individual card gets the most love?
With all the TV commercials they run, you already know the Chase Freedom has a lot of marketing muster behind it. But did you know the card has its own Facebook page with almost 500k Likes? To put that in perspective, Visa‘s and MasterCard’s pages only have about 150k and 200k, respectively.
The fact that the Chase Freedom card has more of a presence than huge companies like Visa, MasterCard, and Bank of America is interesting, to say the least.
Which companies need improvement?
I’ve gone over 3 examples of what credit card companies are doing right, but what are they doing that’s not so pretty?