ING Group’s Shiny New Facebook Campaign

Why do we need banks?

Find a simple answer to this question and you’ll be on your way to acing the ING Next Generation Banking challenge – a deceivingly formidable challenge being hosted entirely on the ING Careers Facebook page.

The Challenge: Kids aged seven to 10 will pose financial questions to ING’s followers in a series of videos that will run until February 15. The company believes that, by finding answers that a child can understand, they will achieve a bit more transparency. Interesting strategy from a financial public relations perspective and we thought it deserved a deeper look.

The Contestants: Through the Careers page, ING connects with college students and recent graduates from around the world who are passionate about financial concepts and considering employment at ING. The company has tasked these potential bankers with explaining the specific financial topics to children. Users join the discussion by logging in, watching the children’s videos and posting simple explanations to their questions in the comment boxes.

The Payoff: The underlying goal in this for ING is recruiting. The company has created a fun, interactive way for prospective employees to show off their ability to develop financial literacy. After all, if you can explain banking to a kid, the parents will be a breeze, right?

It’s an interesting test backed by a very solid social media strategy:

A Creative ‘Ask’

Explaining financial concepts to children is so difficult – how can you not try? Basing a social media campaign around an engaging topic is the first step to having success. Facebook users are seeking fun and creative ways to interact with businesses online. You need a good hook to get through the noise. In a recent post, offered 5 Easy And Actionable Ways To Engage Fans On Your Facebook Business Page. Their number one tip? Ask A Question.

The Right Reward

After you’ve thrown the hook in the water, there’s no harm in adding a little incentive into a social media campaign. The catch is finding the appropriate bait. In this case, the students and banking prospects that participate are offered two possible rewards for engaging:

  • Appear  in a special children’s book published by ING and
  • Recognition by a multinational corporation and potential employer.

Notice that neither prize involves a steep financial commitment on behalf of ING. Every campaign should consider the needs of its audience and what kind of value it adds to their lives. In recruiting, the prospect of a job may be the only bait needed.

Drive Business Results         

Any effective social media strategy will drive real results for the business. Increasingly, companies are realizing the value of Facebook as a human resources tool. A post titled, “HR: You Can’t Do Your Job Without Facebook,” reminds us that “soon we will have a nation of workers that cannot imagine a world without Facebook.” As users engage with a company’s career page on Facebook, they are getting a feel for the company culture, learning about the basic services that they offer and interacting with potential co-workers. This type of environment is the new norm and should be leveraged to attract top talent. Get started here with a few tips for recruiting on Facebook.

As financial companies begin to seek out new, innovative ways to use social media strategies to drive business results, financial public relations professionals will need to provide creative counsel and solutions that make sense. Following campaigns such as these are a perfect launching point to develop your own thought leadership. Regardless of ING’s success, they began with the right framework; now let’s see how their audience reacts.

We’ll be checking back on this one. In the meantime, we wonder: are banks warming up to social media? What other campaigns have we seen?

Image courtesy of redvers

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