Social media “Power 100” financial institutions revealed — How do you stack up?

By Amy McIlwain

Financial Social Media Marketing

So which companies were strong enough to rank in the top 20 of the Power 100? How are they so successful? Let’s take a look.

Didn’t think social media was competitive among financial institutions? Think again! Recently, The Financial Brand and Social Media Explorer released the top 100 social media power rankings for banks and credit unions. The “Power 100” score, as they call it, measures Facebook likes, Facebook engagement rate, Twitter followers, tweets sent, YouTube views and YouTube subscribers.

Over 750 financial institutions, namely banks and credit unions, were considered for inclusion for the premier edition of the “Power 100." Five hundred candidates made the cut. This competitive database will be updated every quarter, with the next public release scheduled in early July.

So, which companies were strong enough to rank in the top 20 of the Power 100? How are they so successful? Let’s take a look.

How are the points calculated?

The innovators of this system strove to be subjective when creating scores. The points are weighted to consider three factors: 1) the approximate value of each social channel, 2) the range and averages for the financial industry, and 3) the ease/difficulty of growing an audience in each channel. Here’s a snapshot of the point system:
  • 1 point for every 1,500 Facebook likes
  • 1 point for [Facebook ‘talking about’] x [Facebook engagement rate] ÷ 20
  • 1 point for every 500 Twitter followers
  • 1 point for every 1,000 tweets sent
  • 1 point for every 15,000 YouTube video views
  • 1 point for every 50 YouTube subscribers
What are some common practices of the top five?

After taking a peek at the top 20 financial institutions, I developed a curiosity about what common (or unique) practices the top five institutions utilize on social media. I analyzed some of the top performers on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Here are some interesting themes and strategies I unearthed:

Chase: Out of all institutions, Chase has the strongest Facebook presence, with over 3.8 million likes and over 1,500 “talking about this.” Here’s a primary strategy they use:
  • Community-oriented: Imagine if Chase’s Facebook page was called “Chase Bank” and contained posts about opening checking accounts and applying for auto loans. Boring. Everybody already knows why banks exist.
Their actual Facebook page, which is called “Chase Community Giving,” is unique for its philanthropic focus, community-orientedness, and overall effort to engage users with their posts. They don’t explicitly encourage users to join their bank; they facilitate community and exude their values. They do all of this while keeping a fun, lighthearted tone.

CaptialOne: CapitalOne has a dominant YouTube presence, with nearly 3,000 subscribers and well over 3,000,000 views. As you may have guessed, they don’t simply post videos about banking. Ick. Antithetically, their videos center around March Madness®.
  • Celebrities and major sports events: This is what is written in their “about” section: “Capital One is an Official Corporate Champion of the NCAA®. Catch up-close sports and entertainment action from the Final Four®, cheer your favorite team to the top of our #RallyCry leaderboard, and watch classic March Madness outtakes from Charles Barkley and Alec Baldwin.”
How fun is that? Many of their videos are about basketball, Charles Barkley, and Alec Baldwin. Here’s an example:

BofA: BofA is very established in the Twitter world, with several accounts with over 100,000 followers. Many financial institutions have one account that encompasses all realms of their business. On the contrary, BofA has a unique tone, message, and feel for multiple facets of the corporation.
  • Multiple Twitter accounts: The accounts BofA has are as follows: @BofA_news, @BofA_community, @BofA_careers, @BofA_tips, @BofA_help, and @BofA_speakers. All of these accounts contain unique posts that meet the needs of a wide variety of people.
As a financial advisor, consider this strategy with Twitter handles. Not all prospects and customers need or want the same information on social media. How can you meet various needs with different Twitter themes and handles? How can you transform your social media presence to attract followers and build community?