If You Can’t Beat ‘Em…
Bank of America seems to have learned a valuable lesson from the recent social media outcry against their proposed $5 monthly debit card fee: If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.
That’s right, Bank of America is mounting a huge social media promotional campaign to save face and restore the luster of its public image. This is good news for customers who have been looking for more and better ways of communicating with Bank of America, and it bodes well for every consumer as companies gradually learn the lesson about just how powerful a weapon social media can be.
Bank of America no sooner announced it was charging a $5 monthly fee to debit card users than Facebook campaigns sprang up to combat the move. Social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Google+ were awash in complaints being lodged against Bank of America. People were angry. Not just Bank of America customers but anyone who felt financial institutions routinely take advantage of customers, forcing people to do their bidding with no regard to what is (perceived as) right, were suddenly spurred to take action.
When the Occupy Wall Street movement formed the push-back against Bank of American gained momentum and the company found itself inundated with complaints. There was a huge movement to convince people to close their accounts at ALL major financial institutions and instead open accounts at smaller local banks or credit unions. This, coupled with the complaints, seemed to be the last straw for Bank of America which ended its controversial $5 monthly debit card fee last week.
This week, however, they have started their social media campaign, aimed squarely at the same people they recently alienated…
Bank of America, still reeling from the outcry its recently nixed plan of charging account holders $5 per month for debit card use, is using social media marketing to boost perception.
According to CBS, the company has launched aggressive paid and unpaid Facebook marketing campaigns to highlight some of its positive efforts.
While some have questioned the honesty of the company’s tactics, it’s clear that they are succeeding. A campaign that places a photo of people building a home has appeared as an advertisement asking Facebook users to “Click ‘Like’ if you believe community is important in America.”
The user will then have Liked Bank of America on Facebook, as the company highlights its credit being used to build houses and help families buy their first homes throughout the country. Whether or not the campaign is ultimately successful, the value of social media marketing as a critical component of brand management and positive web visibility is clear. Businesses of all sizes are using the channel to reach new customers and generate discussion about their company.
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