Hello and welcome to the top 5 Facebook Pages for Australian Banks (includes one Community Bank) (Australian edition). I have investigated how the banks are using social media to turnaround negative sentiment around banks and engage with communities of interest (young families, small business, investors etc). I’ve included not only a prioritisation of each of the Big Four Banks but why and how they are allocated each place: maybe stick around and read my notes underneath each one. Please note: As usual I have ordered these according to my own Social Media Audit data, NOT Facebook’s “most followers” ranking.

Methodology: Ranking Top Facebook Banking Business Pages (Australia)

COMPILING: Pretty simple. I wanted to see how each of the Big Four banks with the largest Credit Union

  • Commonwealth,
  • NAB,
  • Westpac,
  • ANZ
  • And CUA (Credit Union Australia) for good measure.

Smaller banks are doing much much better on the community building front with less resources but that is often the case with small business vs the Big Guys. Let’s stay with the big banks for this audit.

ANALYTICS: I only used Facebook’s own apps as the investigative tool, no paid 3rd party tools were used and so it’s all Facebook reporting not guesswork. Specifically: Number of Subscribers, Amount of Engagement (last 7 days), Number of Posts (last 7 days), how many Admins the Facebook Business Page has and how many are in which countries (of course Facebook doesn’t reveal the Admins names so don’t panic!). I looked at the number of current Active Facebook Ads for each Page and whether the Facebook Page was future-proofing with a Facebook Group for Banking, Financial Services and Communtiy. [These analytics are publicly available, do not require me to be an Admin of the Facebook Business Page and do not require a 3rd party free or paid tool. ]

CAVEAT: I did however use a calculator to figure out the engagement percentage (number of subscribers divided by engagement) though this is not ideal as engagement (particularly with the competitions component) is often with non-subscribers. But I’m not an Admin of these Facebook Business Pages so it is what it is.

What is the SilkCharm Score?

Well my online name, Twitter, Instagram etc is SilkCharm. And the Score is made up of everything in the chart plus more. Maybe not quite “Facebook algorithm datasets are over 80,000” more, but quite a few more.

Criteria for a Social Media Audit of Facebook Pages
How many Facebook Page Subscribers (Likes, Followers)?
Number of Facebook Posts plus Engagement (7 Days) & % of Engaged?
Number of Admins, How many admins in each country?
Social Media Diary with a Competition? Meme? regular programming?
How many Active Ads is the Page running? Increasing Engagement?
Future Proofing (Facebook Version 5) with Brand Groups?
Increasing Social Reach with Edumarketing, Online Courses ?
Leveraging targeting – Core Audiences/Preferred Audience?

I am not touching on a lot of the “basic” data sets as these are Top pages – rotating header images/videos, correct size images, leveraging the Lexicon™ Deep Text™ keywords, optimising Story Type (text vs images vs videos) and so on are the responsibility of the Agency that these banks are paying to manage their social media and therefore is well managed. That’s the theory, anyway.

STUDENTS If you are attending my 2 Day Facebook and Instagram Marketing Course (Sydney) or 3 Day Advanced Social Media Professionals (Sydney, Adelaide) we’ll go through the tools indepth and it will be up to you to decide to share or not share with other attendees… but be aware this is publicly available anyway.

Social Media Audit of Australian Bank Facebook Pages

5 ANZ Bank SilkCharm Score = 25/60

ANZ Australia Bank Facebook Page AuditResultsSS
Number of Likes/Subscribers360,0004
Number of Articles/Posts in 7 days01
Engagement in 7 days66,0004
% of Likes vs Engagement19%4
How many Facebook Page Admins193
How many Admin Countries?12
How many Ads (Active)3502
Programming ScheduleNo1
Future Proofing with Groups (FBv5) /groupsNo1
Voice (asks generic questions) EventsNo1
Leveraging targeting – Core/Preferred Audience?No1
Calendars: Content, Engagement, Influencer, &etcNo1

Laurel Papworth’s Observations:

Ads or in Flux? This is either a Facebook Business Page to just hand ads off: Zero posts, 350 Ads, 19 Admins not posting organically OR ANZ are in the process of changing either their Social Media Agency or their internal policies OR they are lying low due to the banking inquiry and arrests currently going on. The only posts I could see went back to mid September and were purely Crisis Comms (payroll processing downtime). This places the Admins in an uncomfortable position of CoI (Cost of Inaction) being abnormally high. If you don’t engage, build relationships through the good times, you just get angry customers when things get rough e.g. systems down. Not a lot to recommend this Page at the moment, we might have to revisit it later if they ever get a clear core audience psychographic sorted. I was tempted to give a few more points for the LGBTIQ cover (now gone) and a couple of posts on wheelchair tennis but unlike Westpac rescue helicopter they came across as an afterthought.

4. Westpac Bank SilkCharm Score = 35/60

Westpac Facebook Page AuditResultsSS
Number of Likes/Subscribers243,8003
Number of Articles/Posts in 7 days03
Engagement in 7 days35,4005
% of Likes vs Engagement15%5
How many Facebook Page Admins525
How many Admin Countries? (languages)24
How many Ads (Active)1303
Programming ScheduleYes2
Future Proofing with Groups (FBv5) /groupsNo1
VoiceYes3
Leveraging targeting – Core/Preferred Audience?No1
Calendars: Content, Engagement, Influencer, &etcNo1

Laurel Papworth’s Observations:

Programming Guide Feel Good Friday is a great idea. Choosing a day of the week and a time to post a “feel good” story is excellent programming and an integral part of a content/engagement/influencer etc social media calendar. I would go hard on this storytelling. The customers are not accepting the lack of Apple Pay (now that Commonwealth, ANZ and NAB have Apple Pay) so this intrudes on every discussion that Westpac initiate and the canned responses are not helping (I’d throw ACCC to the wolves personally but hey ho, banks are in a different game than individual brands 😉 ) Voice Westpac have a strong values voice – the Rescue helicopter is popular and makes the occasional appearance on the main Westpac Facebook Business Page – but with zero posts this week, those 50 odd Admins are clearly focussing on ads and maybe Customer Service comment management rather than building Brand love.

HOMEWORK: Content Creation

HOMEWORK: ANZ Australia AND Westpac both had zero posts in the last week. I simply don’t understand this: it’s as if there has been no content creation in the last month. No newsletters with articles, no blog posts, no press releases, nothing that could be scheduled a few weeks or months ahead. No brand ambassadors doing amazing things that could be re-shared from their Facebook Business Pages, no joint venture partners winning in business, no awards and no tips for mortgage payers, or small business or investors from great Financial Facebook Business Pages.

So your homework is this: what are ten posts that would take no time to upload and schedule from both “owned” media (bank’s own news) and from “found” media (brand ambassador or joint venture partner Facebook Pages)?

NO TRASHTALKING Facebook Admins have to work within the limitations of their employer. Agencies work within the limitations of client contracts. Marketing staff work within limitations of the culture of the bank. So no trashtalking of Facebook Admin staff who are posting/scheduling to the best of their employer’s ability, not their own!

3. CUA Credit Union SilkCharm Score 38/60

CUA Facebook Page AuditResultsSS
Number of Likes/Subscribers78,5004
Number of Articles/Posts in 7 days24
Engagement in 7 days3,3003
% of Likes vs Engagement4.20%2
How many Facebook Page Admins234
How many Admin Countries?12
How many Ads (Active)144
Programming ScheduleNo2
Future Proofing with Groups (FBv5) /groupsYes5
Voiceyes3
Leveraging targeting – Core/Preferred Audience?No?3
Calendars: Content, Engagement, Influencer, etcno2

Laurel Papworth’s Observations:

CUA and Community Engagement As a “community” bank I would expect to see more community activity – and there are! For example, pregnancy posts (young families), digital banking (helping senior citizens mostly), Red Nose Day (social good) and health and exercise (young hipster dudes). Unfortunately this will confuse the Facebook newsfeed algorithm who will be unable to build a Preferred Audience (and then a Lookalike Audience) but this is not an uncommon problem for any brand that is a “Hall of Brands” (many products to many audiences). CUA have built a good foundation, have future proofed with at least one Facebook group and with a little focus, improved content calendar and sharper psychographics could leverage social to improve their market position. With less resources than Westpac, they just pull slightly ahead.

2. Commonwealth Bank SilkCharm Score 41/60

Commonwealth Bank Facebook Page AuditResultsSS
Number of Likes/Subscribers752,0005
Number of Articles/Posts in 7 days22
Engagement in 7 days31,3003
% of Likes vs Engagement4.16%2
How many Facebook Page Admins63
How many Admin Countries?13
How many Ads (Active)54
Programming Scheduleyes3
Future Proofing with Groups (FBv5) /groupsno1
Voice (helpful Customer Service)yes5
Leveraging targeting – Core/Preferred Audience?yes5
Calendars: Content, Engagement, Influencer, &ectNo5

Laurel Papworth’s Observations:

Brand Voice vs Comment Voice: this is where my scoring system – any scoring system – can fall down. Commbank should get a zero for Voice as every post is promotional. Yet the comments are not the ubiquitous copy and paste of “please call our customer service”. The Admins are responding very very well even though customers are replying on non-relevant posts their issues. Eg a post on Term Deposit has a story of a woman’s father passing and her challenge to get his accounts unfrozen. This is a classic issue of “customer need vs brand need” (Brand needs to promote products and services, customer wants customer service not marketing or sales). Note that there no doubt more promotional posts as this bank has the least paid advertising (only 6 active Facebook ads).

If Commbank are turning around negative sentiment around the Commonwealth Bank brand, they can thank the customer service staff responding on the comments, not so much the infrequent posts on the Page.

1 NAB Bank SilkCharm Score 52/60

NAB Bank Facebook Page AuditResultsSS
Number of Likes/Subscribers2336004
Number of Articles/Posts in 7 days65
Engagement in 7 days281,1005
% of Likes vs Engagement120,33%5
How many Facebook Page Admins494
How many Admin Countries?45
How many Ads (Active)1404
Programming Scheduleyes5
Future Proofing with Groups (FBv5) /groupsno1
Voiceyes5
Leveraging targeting – Core/Preferred Audience?yes5
Calendars: Content, Engagement, Influencer, &ectyes4

Laurel Papworth’s Observations:

A fairly common ploy amongst the top Australian social media channels for brands is, when in doubt, go with sports. That’s because when it comes to engagement, Sports works. By focussing on sport, particularly family and sport, young people and sport, the psychographic (Facebook target audience) is easier for the algorithm to find and deliver to. Reviewing the most popular post each week, there’s a strong “feel good” voice that delivers without grandstanding. FYI NAB do not get 120% engagement every week! CONSISTENCY: When I’m on the NAB page I can see clearly what their magazine is all about, it’s consistent on topic and on audience so the Facebook algorithm should have no problem optimising for that preferred target segment. For this reason alone, NAB stand head and shoulders above others and find it easier to consistently follow through on their strategy as they have a content diary with Voice working for them.

FYI NAB seem to have dropped their edgy cheeky “Virgin” style voice (remember Break Up with Your Bank Valentines Day??) which is a shame as I think it would really make the Facebook Business Page stand out if they bravely followed that one through to it’s logical conclusion on social.

HOMEWORK: Positive vs Negative Criticism – remove?!

Without pointing any fingers I just want to remind Brands that if you allow a positive comment or review ie. “the bank really helped me!” you must allow the negative comment or review “I found them really unhelpful”. It’s highly unlikely some of these banks have only positive reviews. I am of course referencing nd a Gov ACCC regulation. So for the Pages that only had positive reviews, your homework is to discuss:  Businesses and review platforms that selectively remove or edit reviews, particularly negative reviews, for commercial or promotional reasons may be misleading consumers. If the total body of reviews doesn’t reflect the opinions of consumers who have submitted the reviews consumers may be misled!

Summary of Top Australian Bank Facebook Business Pages

I was a little shocked that banks – which are content creating beasts – are not placing as much content up on Facebook as they could. From zero to six posts a week is simply not enough. This could be the nature of the vertical within the bank – they don’t share EDMs or blog posts or brochures across departments. Fiefdoms. There is also a missed opportunity to really work with community either at a B2B level or across the board. With the massive changes coming to banking in the next decade – hello Uber/Airbnb models, peer to peer lending, microlending, Facebook Libra, and more – I’d be getting my house (ok, bank brand) in order sooner rather than later. Gov will no more protect banks than they did Media when it comes to disintermediation.

What are the top Facebook Business Pages in Australia (Banks)?

  1. National Australia Bank (NAB)
  2. Commonwealth Bank
  3. Credit Union Australia
  4. ANZ
  5. Westpac
Top 5 Banks on Facebook (Australia)

Other Articles you might find interesting: My original Top 100 Facebook Business Pages in Australia, https://laurelpapworth.com/fanpages-list-of-top-100-australian-facebook-fan-pages/ then there is my Tourism list for travel Facebook Pages (Australian) Also look at a full report on more banks on social media from 2017(dubs.com)

I’ll be tackling Top Facebook Pages (Australia) in FMCG in the next week. Let me know which Pages I should look at and why! (Or hang around and see who I choose!). If you know anyone in the banking/fintech industry, or a group that focusses on social media and banking/financial services, please pass this on, and may you always wealthy in love and health as in money as you research social media, brands and community!