ANZ Bank – how smart Social Media strategy builds customer engagement

j2condon    October 13, 2015

Organization Name :  Australia and New Zealand Banking Group  (  ANZ )

ANZ logo

Industry :   Financial Institution / Banking Industry

Web References :,,,,

About ANZ

Founded in 1835, ANZ Banking Group is a publicly traded company based in Melbourne managing assets of AU$772 billion.  It is one of the five largest companies in Australia and the largest bank in New Zealand.  Global in scale with operations in 34 markets across Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Pacific, Europe , America and the Middle East and over 50,000 employees.

Consumers, Banks & Social Media

Becoming a leader in social banking is strategy that ANZ Chief Executive Mike Smith says ” addresses a fundamental shift in the way people find and consume information and how they expect organizations like ANZ to communicate “.  To make this happen, ANZ is investing in social media both in marketing budget spend and acquiring people talent with clear mandate to address social media opportunities across their business. This strategy is multi pronged : ranging from making personal banking easier to reaching new customers and raising focus on making quality content easily accessible.  ANZ has done some brilliant work using Social Media to raise customer engagement and enhance customer experience by creating interactive platforms that encourage thought sharing  between ANZ and their customers.

ANZ Social Media Privacy Policy

As to be expected with any corporation today and maybe even more so with a financial institution, customer privacy is paramount. The ANZ Social Media Policy is direct, transparent and easy to understand. Very much an adult talking to an adult tone to the policy that is respectful and straight forward in its commitment to customers and of ANZ expectations of their customer.

The ANZ Strategy

Personal Banking –  Put Consumer First

In work and life, people gravitate to pursuits that they enjoy and bring them pleasure. Managing your banking not high on the pleasure scale for most people.  ANZ set out to remove the hassle from banking and to understand not only what to engage customers on but how to engage these customers. So what do banking customers want ?  They want banking transactions to be fast and easy. Consumers expect mobility and flexibility and to bank where and when it suits their lifestyle. ANZ recognized this and brought their consumers mobile technology tools like like their goMoney app adding convenience and simplicity to personal banking process.  To address fast real time service, if customers are conducting time consuming transactions, ANZ sends text with tips to speed the process.

ANZ listened to their customers and with customer first thinking has made banking easier for current customers who have in turn helped attracted new customers.  Customer complaints are down 10% yearly and ANZ customer satisfaction is at 83 per cent.  ANZ helps their customers have more time for the fun stuff and that builds real consumer loyalty.

 Customer Acquisition –  Make the Message Relevant

As a full service global financial institution, ANZ caters to wide spectrum of customers from personal banking to large corporations.   ANZ uses multiple social media platforms to build engagement and connect with new customers     (  60,000 Twitter followers and 192,00 likes on Facebook.).   An example of more progressive thinking around personal banking customer acquisition is ANZ’s use of Instagram.  Targeting specific audiences through relevant content shows that ANZ understands and embraces that consumers are all different.  Highlighted below are three distinct consumer groups that ANZ spoke to in relevant terms.

Launched in 2014 as part of ANZ support of  the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, ANZ turned Melbourne ATM’s into Gay TM’s.  The creativity shown here reflects the progressive diversity in ANZ marketing approach and is reflective of the target audience.  ANZ makes a clear statement in a fun engaging way that their brand is proud to be associated with this event.




ANZ has also utilized Instagram to elevate its sponsorship reach of the Australian Open tennis tournament. One of the four global tennis majors, the Open is one of Australia’s biggest annual sporting events and attracts huge viewership.  Tennis sponsorship is pricey and the domain of big brands. Through this sponsorship, ANZ also benefited from the huge social media reach of the biggest stars in tennis ( as noted in the above link ).  So from celebrating the Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras , ANZ switches gears to connect with the tennis community specifically and the larger sporting audience in general. These audiences are not mutually exclusive just evidence of target marketing.

Targeting a younger audience ANZ created video content showing the emotions involved with getting your first job.  Everything from proud parents to excited, sometimes stunned young adults realizing that ” I got the job, what do I do now ” moments are captured.  These moments are real and ANZ did a great job of packaging a cool and sometimes nervous time in everyone’s life without over selling their services. With total views approaching 1MM across the different ” I got the job ” clips, ANZ would appear to have made clear connection with their target.  When you think of banks, you don’t think fun. Nice job by ANZ injecting humor into the banking world.



The Strategy –  Lead in Accessible Content

ANZ recognized an opportunity to provide value added services to a focused target audience by making smart financial content easily accessible on line. The primary target  was to engage influencers in the financial community. ANZ wanted a medium to create dialogue with policy makers, business leaders, and shareholders. In order to be credible with a discerning target audience,    ANZ hired leading financial pundits in Australia to lead their move into content space.

The result is ANZ BlueNotes.   An ANZ owned media property, with content primarily generated by ANZ ( tagged accordingly ) that allows personal relationships to be built with readers through their site. Described as a “ thoughtful approach to thought leadership “, Blue Notes objective is to provide  quality thought provoking content that offers insight and opinions in an easily accessible forum.   The target audience here is savvy and internet jaded. They don’t want another attempt to sell them. They expect content to engage them, educate them and then they determine if the relationship becomes commercial.

BlueNotes is really the child of our social media strategy. To have an effective social media strategy, we had to have a great content strategy to run alongside that. BlueNotes is the content engine for social engagement.”

Paul Edwards, Group General Manager Corporate Communications, ANZ

The more wide hitting customer benefit of BlueNotes is that it has become a key learning resource for ANZ employees.  By having constant access to information on banking trends and new ideas, ANZ staff at all levels are more confident in managing consumer questions and offering informed advice.

So while BlueNotes does not generate large mainstream viral traffic for ANZ, it does round out a very sound Social Media strategy.

Lessons Learned

  • Starts at the Top :  ANZ is strong example of senior leaders buying into Social Media as priority – then investing accordingly behind the project
  • Understand Your Customer –  would seem common sense but maybe not so common –  research, listen and listen some more to confirm what is really important to customer before building your  Social Media plan
  • Pick Your Battles :   easy to get off target with the many applications of Social Media –  sound strategic plan behind a few core objectives worked for ANZ –
  • Content is King :  if your content is not rich enough to stop people and make them want to engage with your message, then start over –  constructive candor within your organization critical when managing content

ANZ Head Office , Melbourne, Australia

ANZ Head Office


To contact the author of this entry please contact:

If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted here, please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Programme Director, Social Media for Business