In July 2016 ASB Securities announced on their blog, that they would be making several changes to their website over the coming months including implementing a number of “enhancements and updates”. Their announcement provided a few clues as to some of the functionality they will be releasing, including:
- Merging the ASB Securities website into their main asb.co.nz site
- Creating a newly integrated look for a smoother user experience for all devices i.e. desktop, smartphones and tablets
- Updating their search algorithm to give better website search results
- Launching some new tools to assist their customers analyse the market and provide better quotes
- New videos in their YouTube library to help their customers with making better investment decisions.
It’s been six years since ASB Bank last underwent a significant transformation in their brand, so I thought it would be timely to share with you some of the ways up until now that they have been using social media as an effective component into their overall online strategy.
In 2010 ASB changed things like simplifying the text written in their terms and conditions, their business cards, to the types of television commercials they ran. They even changed their font face and the t-shirts their staff wore. They realized how important it was for them to make a more meaningful connection with their customers. So they refocused their brand and their messages and became more focused on what their customers were wanting to hear.
They have been early adopters of social media and have benefitted from engaging on a variety of social media channels. They currently have accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, Weibo and a blog for their customers to read. ASB is a prime example of an organization that knows how to use social media effectively, promote their brand, and even won a few awards too!
ASB Bank may not be the largest bank (they currently have 1.3 million personal, business and rural customers) nor are they the oldest bank (they opened in 1847) but they do have a reputation for being the friendliest, having a strong involvement in the community and creating amusing television commercials (who can forget those Goldstein ads?) But for me, their greatest asset is in their innovative use of social media which really sets them apart from other banks and large organizations. Did you know that in 1999 ASB was the first bank in New Zealand to offer internet banking on mobile phones? ASB bank is leading the way in terms of their innovative use of customer-driven technology and their strategic usage of social media.
ASB Bank Demonstrates Social Media Web Best Practice On Facebook
ASB’s social media team have developed an effective method of interacting and engaging with their customers. As of July 2016, they have received 147, 833 likes on their Facebook page and I know it’s not about the numbers, but when you read some of their recent postings on their timeline/wall you can see their genuine call to action with their customers. Each customer who has posted a comment has received a timely response, they’ve let their customers know if there is a system outage demonstrating their openness and transparency, they publish content which encourages two-way interaction, they post regularly (sometimes a few times a day) on information that is relevant to their customers e.g. money tips or latest offers or community events they have been involved in, or about to participate in. The tone of voice they write in is both personable and friendly, creating a genuine approachable and engaging relationship with their customers. They’ve posted links back to their blog which has articles that are relevant to their customers
ASB was the first New Zealand bank (and first bank worldwide) that launched the ASB Facebook Virtual Branch, which enabled their customers to chat face-to-face on live video with banking specialists. In 2012, another first for a New Zealand bank, they launched in collaboration with Facebook, the Facebook Friendship Payments App.
ASB Bank’s Twitter Account
ASB only launched their Twitter account in February 2009. Since then they have 18, 300 followers, received 731 likes and tweeted 19,300 tweets. Their tweets are similar to the messages they post on Facebook, and although they have a much smaller number of followers compared to Facebook they still get the message across in the 140-character limit. ASB Bank understand they need to follow others as well and so follow 4,232 others. This is a good ratio between the number of people who follow them and the people they follow. This tells me the social media team understand the importance of creating an audience, and know the message is not solely about them but what would interest their customers.
The types of tweets for them that receive the highest response rate and form of engagement is when they tweet an announcement of a system outage. Customers reply to find out when the system is back on and when the issue is likely to be resolved. This gives customers a sense of trust and transparency letting them know what is happening when. And because each ASB social team member signs off with their initials, it allows the customer know a different person is responding to their query with each tweet at various times throughout the day. Like Facebook they respond fairly quickly and use that same friendly tone.
ASB Bank On Instagram
ASB launched their Instagram account in 2012, and in four years have achieved 3,773 followers. Although it’s not about their day to day banking services, the images they post are generally related to their involvement in the community, demonstrating to the public their friendliness and approachability. They have published many images showing their sponsorship of national sport teams (particularly the All Blacks, tennis) and special cultural days like: Māori Language Week, Diwali and Chinese New Year and other cultural performances. It’s good to see them active in the community.
Their images look natural and snap-like, not necessarily taken through the lens of a professional photographer. They usually receive one or two comments on each image and have a large number of likes. ASB post less frequently on this social media account (compared to their Facebook and Twitter accounts) only once or twice a week.
ASB’s YouTube Channel
ASB has uploaded many videos on money tips, business banking tips, home lending and mortgages, their involvement in community events and their television commercials. They currently have 3,729 subscribers on this channels and have allowed subscribers to post comments, which they have respond to. Looking at the number of times some of these videos have been viewed indicates their popularity. In their new website makeover, they have promised new additions to their video library.
ASB On LinkedIn
ASB have created a LinkedIn profile for its past and present employees. To-date they have 20,080 followers with a lot of information relevant for new graduates and links back to their blog. Their employees regularly keep their profiles up-to-date and are seen commenting on new technology releases or inspirational talks others have given. It’s a good platform for new graduates to read about new prospective opportunities when they are seeking employment with ASB and for current employees to connect with potential professional development activities.
ASB Launches A Weibo Account
In February this year, ASB launched a Weibo account in order to build a better connection with their Chinese speaking customers. Although not the first organization that New Zealand (Air New Zealand and Tourism New Zealand joined two years earlier) they have joined China’s fastest growing social media channel. They have seen an opportunity that New Zealand’s population of Chinese migrants which is set to increase over the next 12 years (according to Statistics New Zealand). The population is set to grow to 920,0000 in 2025 and between 1.1 – 1.3 million by 2038. With ASB getting in early, it shows they are responding to the demographic population changes and connecting with them.
ASB Bank have a well-thought through social media strategy that is consistent across all of their social media channels which connects and resonates with their customers. ASB has the largest online social media community and utilize the all their social media platforms with plenty of social media best practice. In my opinion a website should receive a new website makeover every five-six years. Although functionality and styles change, ASB have clearly demonstrated the need to stay ahead of their customers and given them what they want before they know they want it and go elsewhere to find it. Congratulations ASB I am looking forward to seeing your new website makeover and your use of social media is an excellent example for others to follow.