Report: Top 20 Australian Retail Banks Most Active on Social Media

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Nov 2016 - Jan 2017
By Yvette Chegwidden, staffer. 15 February, 2017
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The Dubs research and social media director, Andrew Frith, took a deep dive into the retail banks with the highest activity levels and greatest reach across four key social platforms: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn from 1 November 2016 to 31 January 2017.

The methodology for determining the top 20 measured Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn followings, Facebook likes, and YouTube subscribers, as well as the frequency of each company’s social activity (number of tweets/retweets, number of Facebook and LinkedIn posts, as well as number of YouTube videos published).

The Big 4 did well in reach metrics but often scored lower in activity metrics, with at least one falling below the median score in all social media platforms’ activity measures except YouTube.

“The surprise perhaps is that although the Big 4 (ANZ, CommBank, NAB and Westpac) have the largest reach, they do not have high activity rates,” Frith explains. “Even though they have large audiences, they are conspicuously not talking to them. This is possibly due to the winds of negativity that have battered the banking industry over the past few years, and may indicate a policy of keeping their heads below the parapet.”

Perhaps as a means of combating current public opinion, CSR activity has emerged as an important content pillar across social. As with our other reports of this nature for superannuation, health insurers and life insurers, Facebook remains the primary social platform for retail banks, followed by Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. Unless otherwise mentioned, most of the brands analysed in the report replicate Facebook content across Twitter.

Here we examine a snapshot of the top 10 banks social activity while in-depth data on the top 20 is available in the full report.

[Full disclosure - ANZ, CommBank, Westpac, TM Bank and RaboDirect are clients of The Dubs]

#1 ANZ

ANZ took out top honours for their social reach and activity. The brand engaged consistently across all four platforms and were above the median score for measures in both reach and activity. ANZ also led for using social media as a customer service tool, posting 12 customer service posts during the three-month report period compared to the average of 5.15. With consumers increasingly expecting to be notified via social media of important situations such as system outages or upgrades, ANZ is also on top of this.

#2 NAB

NAB’s Facebook content reflects the brand’s heavy commitment to sponsorship across soccer and AFL. It is also a promotional tool directing traffic to their well-executed content marketing platform, More Than Money. NAB also performed well on LinkedIn and is using the platform to promote its content-rich digital destination news.nab.com.au, as well as More than Money. NAB LinkedIn posts were well received with each post receiving several hundred likes and multiple comments. NAB has invested significantly in YouTube content which definitely stands out - their More Than Money videos are clocking view counts up to 428,361.

#3 Commonwealth Bank

On Facebook, Australia’s second-oldest bank primarily focuses on their sponsorship of the Australian women’s cricket team, the Southern Stars, system updates, and product promotion such as CardlessCash and CommBank app. The brand is doing well on LinkedIn with interesting and consistent content that’s a little out of the box for the traditionally conservative banking industry. For example, there is an article about The Importance of Rewiring Ourselves Through Disruption and Understanding. There’s also a component of future-casting with articles around topics such as the future of payments, and robotics. We can speculate that the brand perhaps feels safer in this environment where they’re not exposed to the same level of backlash and negative critique that Facebook and Twitter invite. The bank’s YouTube channel has a substantial amount of well-produced videos around home buying, CSR, Innovation, and the bank itself. The channel has collected a respectable 7460 subscribers.

#4 Bank of Melbourne

Bank of Melbourne punched above its weight, pushing Westpac into fifth place, and scoring two first place measures in both Twitter and LinkedIn activity. Notably, Bank of Melbourne were the only bank using Twitter in creative ways including serialised content, and multi-part tweets that make the most of creative assets such as infographics.

#5 Westpac

Westpac placed nineteenth for Facebook activity with most content efforts hingeing on Sponsorship and Conversational messages. Westpac posted more YouTube videos than any of the other retail banks, uploading a substantial 68 videos during the three-month period compared to an overall average of 15.7.

#6 Bankwest

Much of the brand’s Facebook content hinges on CSR activity such as the bank’s participation in the Food Rescue Food Carts program, and system updates. Bankwest also promote original content including their Future of Business report, which generated negative commentary the brand opted not to respond to. Bankwest was most active on LinkedIn, ranking third in activity on that platform, and predominantly posting infographics and videos. They’re also one of the few banks where Twitter content deviates from Facebook, with the former adopting a tone of personal shout-outs, and consumer finance news and trends.

#7 Bendigo Bank

Bendigo have made fantastic inroads on Facebook. Playing to their grass roots, community bank strength, Bendigo showcases CSR initiatives they support across Australia through individual branches. This is a clever strategy from one of the smaller banks that doesn't have the budget and reach of the Big 4 but which has nonetheless carved out a space that they now own. Bendigo Bank posted sponsorship content approximately three times per week, receiving up to 3.5K views.

# 8 AMP

AMP only fell below the median measure for LinkedIn activity, after scoring close to the median for most measures. They were quite active on Facebook and posted the most amount of educational posts – 23 compared to the average of 4.5 - of the surveyed banks.

#9 CUA

CUA placed second for Facebook activity and third for Twitter clearly indicating the brand have embraced social media. They take advantage of their sponsorship of the Brisbane Heat cricket team, posting the largest amount of sponsorship posts of all the banks. CSR activity is also promoted across both Twitter and Facebook. YouTube would appear to be a low priority for CUA at the moment. They are however highly active on LinkedIn with content ranging from thought leadership pieces to financial literacy articles.

#10 ING DIRECT

ING DIRECT uses Facebook to promote product and CSR initiatives such as their Dreamstarter 2017 crowdfunding program, and the Twenty Save-enteen campaign, which encourages people to set and achieve savings goals. On Twitter ING DIRECT promotes staff activity and internal training. The company also had the second highest number of retweets, showing they are monitoring the platform. LinkedIn content focuses on smart articles on topics ranging from technology to career and, again, CSR activity.

For a copy of the full report please contact Jo Hurl.

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Yvette is one of the Aussie minorities in the office. A former magazine journalist and editor, she is a two-time Logies' red carpet survivor who transitioned to digital just before the print ship sank. She has created for content for brands both big and small and her hobbies are varied and include both wine and cheese.