Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 7, 2011 05:28 PM
Like the act of Tebowing before her, Los Angeles gallery owner Kristen Christian managed to create a sensation extremely quickly by using social media.
Christian is the founder of Bank Transfer Day, which took place on Saturday, Nov. 5. The idea, for those of you who’ve been under a rock recently, was for people who are fed up with the actions of big banks (read: Occupy Movement activists and almost everyone else) to take every last penny out of those banks and stick it into a small community bank or credit union where actual face-to-face service might be a reality.
Nearly 80,000 people had signed up via the movement's Facebook page and Twitter feed as of Friday to say they’d be making the switch, according to the Village Voice. The Christian Science Monitor estimated that before the day even hit, almost 850,000 people had already made the switch; ABC News estimated about 1 million customers were making the switch.
The Monitor also notes that "a handful of regional banks and credit unions" had taken to Twitter "to promote themselves as alternatives to the biggest national banks that are the target of the protest."
One example: “Thinking of making the switch? Use our switch kit,'' Webster Financial Corp's Webster Bank tweeted on Friday. The bank used the #BankTransferDay hashtag to help its efforts and also used Facebook earlier in the week to try and find new customers, the publication notes.
Another Twitter hashtag that made the rounds: #bankodus. There were even some credit unions and co-ops that extended their usual hours on Saturday to try and give new customers every opportunity to celebrate the first-ever Bank Transfer Day, the Monitor reports.
Until early in 2012 when banks fill the world in on their fourth-quarter earnings, it won’t be known what kind of damage Bank Transfer Day really did to its targets, but it wasn’t likely enough to make a big dent in their profits. However the numbers shake out, Bank Transfer Day could remain as yet another example of how everyday folks can make powerful statements just by changing simple everyday actions.