4 Finserv Social Media Campaigns Worth Noting

Social media has changed the way we consume advertisements: ad campaigns with particularly clever hashtags can stretch over years and evolve over time, like Coca-Cola’s #ShareaCoke and Calvin Klein’s #MyCalvins campaigns. And while watching the ads during the Super Bowl has long been an activity that rivaled paying attention to the game’s score, particularly clever ad campaigns—like this year’s Anheuser-Busch Super Bowl ad—have been earning increased attention and amplification on social channels over the past several years (Anheuser-Busch’s ad was viewed almost 30 million times online this year).

While companies like Brooks Brothers can hop into a social conversation with ease (like, say the time they pinpointed a Twitter conversation between two retired soccer stars, surprising and delighting social audiences) heavy industry regulation restricts financial services brands’ social activities.

But savvy brands understand that regulation is no reason to remain on the sidelines of social. All brands in regulated industries can learn from finserv brands that have overcome the common challenges of social (like safety and security) to master the delicate social balance of remaining compliant while also offering social audiences accessible, informative content about complex financial topics.

Here are four of our favorite social media campaigns from finserv companies, and why they work so well:

Vanguard: Keep Calm and Stay the Course

Finserv brands are used to being careful with words—an important skill, of course, for a highly regulated industry, but one that risks leaving them sounding too old-fashioned or stodgy to capture the attention of social audiences who skew younger and savvier, and with attention spans that last fewer than 8.25 seconds.

Millennial attention spans last fewer than 8.25 seconds.

 

A slogan created by the British government during World War II—“Keep Calm and Carry On”—has become a seriously popular meme—think Keep Calm and Use the Force, Keep Calm and Sparkle On—and Vanguard’s own play on the slogan is an elegant and effective ad technique for social audiences:

It’s investing advice in six words—a useful reminder, a comforting salve for everyone afraid they’ll never save enough for college or retirement. And their message resonated with their target Twitter audience, earning them 90 retweets and 150 comments since January.

Bank of America: MLB Memory Bank

To overcome the implicit bias social media users have against both banks and large corporations (and the negative reaction social media users tend to have when ads overtly sell either), Bank of America forged a brilliant, social-ready partnership with Major League Baseball. Their #MLBmemorybank campaign created a platform for baseball fans to share their favorite memories of the game (not to mention cleverly playing on the word “bank”). Fans were inspired by compelling stories of real baseball fans, like a married couple who has been “making baseball memories together” since 1952.

Bank of America’s reach was far: they partnered with MLB teams and individual players, for a total audience of 57 million followers. All partners included Bank of America’s handle in their posts:

 

The campaign, which continued throughout the 2016 baseball season and is still ongoing, has already snagged more than 56 million social impressions and 13 million video views—impressive engagement numbers for any brand, but almost unheard of for a finserv brand.

Synchrony Financial: What are you working forward to?

Synchrony Financial’s social campaign, “What Are You Working Forward To?” finds a clever way to encourage natural fan engagement while highlighting the brand’s offerings:

Synchrony explains that the campaign’s goal is to humanize their brand through the stories of real people. By including fans’ real stories in the campaign, Synchrony becomes less stuffy and is instead able to relate to their audience on an emotional level. And it’s working: Synchrony’s social media impressions on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube increased 88% post-launch and audience engagement with the brand increased an impressive 981%. Because of this campaign, their social audience has increased 55% across all channels.

American Family Insurance: Insure Carefully, Dream Fearlessly

The “Insure Carefully, Dream Fearlessly,” ad campaign is an ongoing one for American Family Insurance, the latest iteration of which invited fans to share their own dreams on social with the hashtag #DreamFearlessly. The campaign, which includes famous ambassadors like Jennifer Hudson and Kevin Durant, demonstrates that AmFam both encourages customers to dream big and supports them in their endeavors with concrete, on-the-ground assistance and advice.

 

The Dream Fearlessly campaign has been successful on social because it both humanizes AmFam and encourages audience participation. AmFam has said in the past that it prefers more realistic stories as a way of breaking through the clutter of insurance marketing, writes AdAge.

The campaign began back in 2015 and is still going strong today:

 

Each ad above aims to connect with social audiences on a human level—less like a distant (or even digital) banker or insurance agent and more like an old friend offering helpful, accurate advice in accessible language—that’s the biggest reason for their success, and that’s what other finserv brands looking for high social engagement numbers should aim for, too.

Looking for even more ways to excel with content as a finserv brand? Download our tipsheet on the topic. Hungry for ever more? Look into the ways that Spredfast can help you communicate with the next-generation consumer through social on their terms—while preserving the controls and maintaining the security you need.

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Jaime Netzer is Spredfast's Senior Content Marketing Manager, leading content operations. A Lawrence, Kansas native, she traded seasons for breakfast tacos seven years ago and hasn't looked back since. Also a fiction writer and journalist, Jaime tweets semi-regularly and reads constantly.