National Australia Bank has stepped up competition with the Commonwealth Bank in the realm of social media, with fresh numbers showing a surge in Facebook activity in July.
NAB’s Facebook fans increased by 29,850 in the month to a total of 46,887, data compiled by the social media consultancy The Online Circle shows.
Through the five-week survey period NAB had an average of 29,569 fans, with an average engagement rate – the percentage of fans actively talking about the brand – of 28.9 per cent, driven by a round of promotions.
“NAB has exploded on the scene this month with the second largest number of total fans and a 175.2 per cent growth in their fanbase [in July] . . . second only to the Commonwealth Bank,” said Alan Long, a senior account director at The Online Circle.
NAB’s average fan count, combined with its third-placed online-only UBank average of 13,821, gave the banking group an average of 43,390 fans, or about one-fifth of the Commonwealth Bank’s industry-leading share of 199,708 fans.
The number of CBA fans rose by 33,074 in July, or 18.4 per cent. But CBA’s engagement rate was only 6.4 per cent.
NAB has a team of seven dedicated social media staff, covering everything from customer service to campaign promotion. The bank said it keeps customer service interactions within the social media channel they begin in.
“We have empowered our social media team to have conversations with customers in the same way they speak to them – over-the-phone or face-to-face,” NAB’s general manager of digital services, Chris Smith, said.
CBA, by contrast, has 14 people working in social media with additional staff on call.
Although CBA has the most social media followers of any Australian bank, they represent less than 2 per cent of the bank’s customer base.
“While we’re happy with [our leading status] we’re also not happy with it,” CBA’s general manager of digital and social marketing, Andrew Murrell, said. “We think we should have at minimum a million users if we have 9-10 million customers and a significant portion using NetBank every day.”
Overall, the number of Facebook fans for banks and the financial sector rose 27 per cent in the month to an average of 280,806, beating the rise in the travel sector of 11.3 per cent to an average of 358,672.
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