Facebook Calculator Drives Auto Loans for Chicago Credit Union
by Mary Wisniewski
JUL 17, 2014 4:20pm ET
As financial institutions struggle to find revenue-generating social media strategies, a Chicago credit union has achieved a surprising level of success from a simple tool: a loan calculator app on its Facebook page. Calcubot, the name of the calculator tool that connects to one running on its website, has helped generate nearly $1 million of auto loans for Alliant Credit Union since its November debut.
The tool, which lets people determine their monthly loan payments and optionally share them with friends and family, drove 478 prospects to Alliant's online auto loan application within the first four months, when the credit union actively promoted the tool on its website's homepage and through posts written on its social media channels. The credit union plans to prominently feature Calcubot again in coming months to grow sales leads.
"We are looking to increase engagement with social media and to drive more traffic to loan applications," says George Balchev, manager of digital channels for Alliant, an $8.1 billion-asset financial institution.
Alliant Credit Union, which has more than 270,000 members, created its Facebook page in 2009 and now counts more than 13,000 page likes.
Calcubot, created by a Berkeley, Calif.- based company called Shastic, estimates loan payments once a person enters in information like the selling price and down payment. It directs those interested to websites where they can apply for a loan.
Research shows the majority of U.S. car buyers use Facebook in their research.