Drawing a Crowd (Facebook)

How three community banks are making a big impact and attracting fans on Facebook

Facebook is an electronic bulletin board of ideas that updates as a streaming News Feed. In the last Social Media Matters column, I talked about Facebook basics and how to start engaging fans. In fact, one of the first questions that every social media marketer asks is: How do I create content that is really engaging?

The answer varies from community bank to community bank. Some use Facebook to promote products; some decidedly do not. Others may instead chose, for instance, to post videos on their accounts.

Here are examples of three community banks generating different types of Facebook content in different ways that are engaging their local fans.

Local engagement

Bank of Ann Arbor in Michigan has a whopping 15,000 likes and counting (view its page here)! The community bank has generated this much interest by providing local Facebook content. The bank does this particularly well when it posts content about local charity events and mentioning other local companies in its posts.

How could your community bank take a similar approach? Consider this scenario: If your community bank is helping out a local food bank and the food bank happens to have a presence on Facebook, consider including the “@” symbol in your post (which should be placed right before the name of the Facebook page you want to link your post to). This will alert the charity about your post, and it may also get your post on that organization’s page as well (depending on their privacy settings).

Trivia trove

Sometimes it doesn’t hurt to add some fun and trivia to a Facebook page to attract followers. For instance, Community First Bank in Harrison, Ark., offers followers engaging questions that pertain to its bank; local history; or general, just-for-fun facts (view its page here).

Once you figure out an appropriate approach to trivia questions, feel free to use the Questions function on Facebook to prompt fans to view new trivia your bank posts. This function could also be especially useful if you wanted a quick and informal poll about a new product or just wanted to see what customers think about a topic.

Holiday spirit

Paducah Bank in Kentucky celebrated the winter holidays all over its Facebook page in December (when the screenshot above taken). Using all the available space for its profile photo to promote a holiday season campaign, the community bank definitely made a very positive visual first impression.

So feel free to use all the space on your community bank’s Facebook page to highlight campaigns or special promotions. But also keep in mind that Facebook automatically crops thumbnail photos into a square.

Paducah Bank successfully used the square format for its “12 Days of PB” in its thumbnail photo. Note that a thumbnail photo on Facebook is a smaller version of a profile photo that appears with all Facebook posts.

Ann Chen is ICBA’s communications coordinator.