Looking at the Facebook strategy used by Bank Transfer Day

The American version of the Arab Spring (2011) is underway as I write in late October 2011.  The encampment near Wall Street is now in its second month and there are Occupy encampments in other cities around the world.  One of the side actions is Bank Transfer Day, which is a call for people to transfer their money out of big banks into credit unions, and to do so before November 5, 2011.  The hope is to generate awareness of the role big banks played in the financial crisis, and especially in the questionable practices they followed in mortgage foreclosures etc.  (see http://politics.7gen.com/2011/10/would-transfer-day-make-any-difference.html and http://politics.7gen.com/2011/10/is-anger-against-bank-of-america-and.html)

The Bank Transfer Day movement was built through Facebook and Twitter and a website.  Hence it is an example of Social Media being used for what might be Social Good (depending on your point of view).

Bank Transfer Day joined Facebook some time before October 9, 2011.  By October 19, 2011 the page had 19,241 people liking it, and 14,288 people talking about it.

The Wall for this page only has posts from Bank Transfer Day, meaning they are not allowing others to post on their wall.

The posts talk either about the number of people who have signed their pledge, or about media interviews with the founder of the movement.

The Facebook page has a Notes section containing 8 or so Notes describing the principles and discussion of various criticisms of the movement.  These are very useful Notes and shows that the organizer put some careful thought into the call for action.

One meme about it is neatly summed up in this tweet:  Something tangible the Occupy movement could get behind more vocally: Nov. 5 is Bank Transfer Day.  An early criticism of the Occupy movement is they lack direction and goals.  Hence, Bank Transfer Day was a concrete action that they could latch on to and run with.

The twitter account has made very few tweets and follows 0 people and has only 887 followers.  The tweets are largely the same content as the Facebook page posts - references to media interviews, and counts of the people who signed their pledge.

Some hashtags were used on twitter so that the community could take up the cause together:  #louderthanwords and #BankTransferDay

The domain banktransferday.org simply redirects to a Facebook Event page.  An event with nearly 60,000 people attending ;-), and a whole bunch of conversation.  This is where the real conversation is happening, on the event page.  Some of the responses made by Kristen Christian (organizer of Bank Transfer Day) are copied as screen captures and posted on the Bank Transfer Day wall.  For example the question "Why not endorse Occupy Wall Street?!?" elicited the answer from Kristin

Kristen Christian My heart is with every member of the 99%, but I cannot condone the reckless and illegal actions that were recently taken at the recommendation of a select few organizers in NYC. BANK TRANSFER DAY is meant as a peaceful & legal exercise of consumer rights.

A screen capture of which was then posted in the photo album and elicited another stream of comments.