Canadian Banking’s Social Stance

With only five major banks operating in Canada and 99% of adults currently being served by one, acquiring new customers – a key determinant for bank sustainability – rises to an art form. Canadian banks must actively court and convert a customer from another bank where they already have a relationship. So, how are our neighbors to the north wooing customers away from their competition? One way is by leaning in and leveraging the power of social media

Like their U.S. counterparts, Canadian consumers spend significant time on social – nearly two hours of the six hours a day they spend online. Given that the #1 rule of marketing success is to go where your customers are, Canadian banks are excelling at staying connected with current and potential customers, and two are raising the bare for all of banking, in country and beyond. 

Scotiabank’s startlingly human-centric and ultra-hip social approach leaves an impression. With an emphasis on real people and straightforward, jargon-free and highly engaging language, the third largest Canadian bank uses authenticity and real value to “make life affordable, easy and fun.” Across all its social and digital channels, Scotiabank tells a compelling and unique story, reflecting who its audiences are and beckoning them to be part of the bank’s experience. With campaigns targeted to high-value customers – like women business owners – the bank feels like a fresh, smart and fun neighbor. 

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Also visually striking, Bank of Montreal’s social channels dive deep into credibility and ubiquity. With a striking blue and red palette, the bank radiates royalty, but without all the stuffiness. BMO balances the authority of a long-standing bank with a true approachability that feels made for real Canadians. The brand also taps into the power of video – proven to boost engagement – with mini-documentary vignettes and stories that bring in real people doing real things with their real money. 

With social media, “a brand’s mission – its reason for being – is on display and up for discussion, according to Chelsea Hinkel, marketing director for Adrenaline. “Shared [media] is an external expression of brand promise, demonstrated through conversation.” As one of the main means to creating conversations and delivering value directly to consumers, social media demonstrates real values in a way that other channels just can’t. 

To learn more about powerful social media strategies that make deeper audience connections during COVID and beyond, email