Sunday, September 25, 2011

Using Facebook to Direct Community Contributions

First State Bank in Texas launched a social media-based contest to benefit local PTA groups. Through the use of a voting competition on Facebook, First State Bank will determine how to donate $8,500 to PTA groups in communities it serves. Along the way it will significantly increase the number of consumers that will track First State Bank's activities on their Facebook stream.

The contest will run for approximately a month. At the end of the month, the top three PTA groups will receive a portion of the $8,500.

According to First State Bank's Chief Lending Officer, the Bank's goal "is to help raise some money for the schools and get some interest in the bank." In just over two weeks the Bank has gone from 800 "likes" to over 7,800, making this a successful campaign for attracting consumers to the Bank's Facebook page.

Along with the rules of the contest, First State Bank provides participating PTA groups with the following tips for earning "likes" in their favor:


  • Make posters to hang in your school or community.
  • Tell your friends, neighbors, and relatives about the contest.
  • Ask them to vote daily!


  • Vote for your favorite school PTA / PTO every day between 9/15 and 10/15.
  • Set a reminder on your phone or calendar so you don't miss a day!
  • Use your social networking tools to tell everyone you know.
  • Post it on your Facebook page!
  • Tweet it!
  • Text it!
  • Assist your child in sending out emails or making phone calls to long distance relatives to get their votes.

School Staff

  • Ask faculty members to share a link to the contest on their own Facebook page after they've voted.
  • Include contest information in your weekly school newsletter and on your website.
  • Tell students about the contest during morning announcements.
  • Make an announcement to parents at your next PTA meeting.
  • Challenge each student to ask at least five relatives or neighbors to vote for their school.
  • Enlist a group of students to hold up signs about the contest during morning drop-off.
  • Keep a computer in your school's front lobby to give staff and parents easy access to voting. Put a sign next to it, asking people to log on to Facebook and vote.
  • Get the students and staff excited by giving them daily updates on how many votes the school has.

While these types of contests can be very effective in earning "likes," the challenge for banks is what to do once the contest is over.  Without subsequently engaging these individuals in meaningful ways, the first thing that will happen is the un-liking of the bank.  As such, any such contest should contemplate how the contest fits into the bank's overall social media strategy to maximize the time, energy and money put into the contest.


  1. Great bank! They help schools :) I also have my page to get donations from people who are willing to help us buy my daughter's hearing aid. :D

  2. Interesting to see a community bank with 8 branches use FB and increase its followers so dramatically. Now the true test will be if they can deliver relevant content on FB in the months/years to come for all their new fans.

  3. @Julie: Exactly! Attracting the "Likes" is the easy part. How you engage on an ongoing basis is the tough part. Every bank's approach is different but regardless, it requires understanding what drives those individuals at a personal level. Bombarding them with marketing is not going to do it.

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