On either side of the Alabama-Mississippi state line are small, thriving towns like Red Bay, Russellville, Vina, and Fulton where watermelon festivals, Christmas parades, scarecrow competitions, and antique car shows are must-attend social events. It’s no coincidence that $185-million-asset Community Spirit Bank has branch locations in each of these communities; in fact, the 115-year-old institution has been integral in helping them flourish.
Sharing The Good In The Community Through Social Media
“Most banks say they’re community focused, but we live and breathe it,” says Emily Mays, Chief Administrative Officer at Community Spirit Bank. Between supporting and attending local business and school events, volunteering for nonprofit programs, training and supporting students at their student-led Branch in Red Bay, and transitioning their Fulton branch from an LPO to full service, Emily and Marketing Specialist Magen McLemore carve out time to share inspiring and engaging community moments on the bank’s social media channels.
Visit Community Spirit Bank’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn channels, and you’ll leave feeling lighter. And that’s the whole goal, according to Magen, who manages the bank’s social media channels. “We’re committed to sharing the good, whether it’s in our bank, our schools, our businesses, or our communities as a whole,” she says. “We ask, what’s the good today? Then we find it and share it in creative, fun ways.”
"We ask, what’s the good today? Then we find it and share it in creative, fun ways."
-Magen McLemore, Marketing Specialist
The Community Spirit Award Campaign Is Born
To hone in on this core mission and develop concrete content strategies for sharit it, the Community Spirit Bank team sat down with Social Assurance team. “Sometimes it’s just best to engage with a trusted partner,” says Emily. “Social Assurance has understood who we are from the very beginning. They just get it, so when we work with them on projects, we don’t find ourselves going back and forth constantly on the details.”
“Social Assurance has understood who we are from the very beginning. They just get it, so when we work with them on projects, we don’t find ourselves going back and forth constantly on the details.”
-Emily Mays, Chief Administrative Officer
The annual Community Spirit Award social media campaign was born, and the plan was simple: leverage the bank’s Facebook and Instagram channels to ask community members to nominate a person who demonstrates community spirit, whether through volunteer work, leadership, mentoring, or other good deeds. After the nomination period, a team of Community Spirit Bank employees would choose five finalists to be announced on Community Spirit Bank’s Facebook and Instagram; community members would then have the opportunity to vote via likes and loves for who they felt was most worthy of the Community Spirit Award. In addition to the honor and recognition of the award, the winner would receive $500 cash and a donation made in their name of $500 to a charity or nonprofit of their choice.
The Social Assurance content team set to work on the campaign—creating a contest timeline that would produce best results, geo-targeting posts to boost the campaign’s visibility and reach, curating a branded landing page to seamlessly collect the contest nominees alongside a short explanation and a photo of the nominee, drafting contest rules, and crafting engaging copy and graphics for each social media post—all submitted well before the launch date to ensure ample time for feedback and compliance approval. Contest assets were simply uploaded in Community Spirit Bank’s Social Assurance Marketing Platform—where the team seamlessly drafts, reviews, and approves content and marketing collateral—so the compliance team could easily review and approve all content before launch.
For Emily, the peace of mind of having the often time-consuming campaign logistics handled by experts is priceless. “We have a very small marketing department, and we simply don’t have the time to manage an initiative like this,” she says. “The Social Assurance team does all the heavy lifting; all we have to do is approve the content.”
The Community Spirit Award Campaign Goes Viral
As simple, well-planned and -executed campaigns often do, the Community Spirit Award drove serious results. The contest announcement garnered nearly 100 engagements, 23 comments, and 33 shares.
The entries, likes, shares, and comments didn’t stop coming, and the community’s excitement was palpable online–but also in the community.“I knew it was making a huge splash because people were bringing it up to me in public constantly,” says Emily. “Even people at my church were talking about it, and they’re not even in our markets!”
“Our staff was sharing the contest on their own social media like crazy,” says Magen. “You know it’s a great campaign when your teammates are so invested.”
“Invested is the right word,” agrees Emily. “When both your community and your team are invested in what you’re doing, it’s going to be a win.”
The Community Spirit Award campaign reached nearly 50,000 people—nearly 17 times the population of Red Bay—and garnered 20,000 engagements, 280 comments, and 320 shares.
The campaign gained even more momentum once finalists were announced on Community Spirit Bank’s social media. From a mentorship program coordinator at a local high school known as an angel among us; to an elementary school aid who adopted a young man in need of a home and gave him a wheelchair, a prosthetic arm, and a real haircut; to a local business owner who helps clothe, feed, and pay intake fees for a local nonprofit helping women recover from addiction; to an advocate who educates families on the importance of daycare awareness; it was obvious that, based on the onslaught of comments, shares, and votes, community members were genuinely inspired by the finalists’ stories.
Ultimately, the Community Spirit Award social media campaign reached nearly 50,000 people—nearly 17 times the population of Red Bay—and garnered 20,000 engagements, 280 comments, and 320 shares. Magen and Emily are certainly tickled by these numbers, but they also know it’s about something bigger—a goal Social Assurance is proud to support. “Data, numbers, and reach are all important,” smiles Emily, “but the ultimate goal is sharing the good.”
Interested in learning more about how Social Assurance works on campaigns like these for community-focused financial brands all over the country? Let’s chat!