Ask a Socia Media Guru – part II


By Ann Chen

This interview with Michelle Shangraw, senior vice president, retail banking director and social media coordinator with Mercantile Bank in Grand Rapids, Mich., is the second of two parts. Read the first part here.

Q: What is Mercantile Bank’s most successful Facebook campaign?

A: We were very happy with the success of our ArtPrize Facebook Campaign. ArtPrize is an international art competition hosted in Grand Rapids, Mich., that runs 19 days in September and October.

Q: What made that particular campaign so successful?

A: We had interactive touch-screen kiosks that took digital pictures of the people who attended our venue. People were able to immediately upload pictures to their Facebook page with a tag that they had checked in at Mercantile Bank’s venue. The photos were also automatically uploaded to Mercantile’s Facebook page. As a way to showcase what we were doing, we also randomly selected images and transmitted them to three digital billboards around the city.

Q: What kind of challenges did the bank overcome to get this campaign going?

A: The biggest challenge was figuring out how to transmit the images from our Facebook page to the billboard vendor to display on the digital billboards.

Q: What was the campaign’s biggest success?

A: The kiosks were such a hit that we have had a number of nonprofit organizations and businesses contact us inquiring about being able to use the kiosks at their own events. We have been partnering with various organizations since the start of this year and have had a great response.

Q: How did you know that Facebook was the best place for this campaign?

A: ArtPrize is heavily promoted via social media, making this campaign a perfect fit. All of the voting is done via the ArtPrize website so most attendees are comfortable with technology and social media.

Q: What kind of advice do you have for other community bankers who may be considering a similar project?

A: Give yourself enough lead time to implement the campaign. Social media was only one aspect of this campaign and proper planning was essential. I would encourage others to be open-minded and flexible. Our project evolved over time based on many discussions, meetings, ideas and input from different people looking at the project from different views.

Ann Chen is ICBA’s communications coordinator.