How Standard Chartered India Built A Food Network [Facebook Case Study]

Facebook case study on how Standard Chartered India created a foodie network to engage with fans on Facebook and also to promote about it's credit card.


Facebook case study on how Standard Chartered India created a foodie network to engage with fans on Facebook and also to promote credit cards. 

Standard Chartered PLC, a British multinational banking and financial services company, headquartered in London, has an old relation with India. The name Standard Chartered comes from the name of two banks and one of them is The Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China. In fact, the Chartered Bank opened it’s first overseas branch in India, at Kolkata on 12 April, 1858. ((According to Standard Chartered India ))

Today the bank that is spread across 70 countries, is also one of the preferred banks. In due course of time, the bank has adapted itself  to the times and today has a presence on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. In addition to this, the bank made sure that it had individual presence on social networks for respective countries. However, it was facing challenges in establishing a social presence as the bank dedicated to Indians.


The bank that has been an early adopter in the social space, had two major problems in creating a presence in the Indian social media arena:

1. The bank had little or no presence on social media.

2. The bank also wanted to promote credit cards via social media.

So the bank had a clear objective that they wanted to engage with Indians on social media but at the same time they wanted to promote their credit cards too. However, it was not ready to do a hardsell on social media.

Social Media Strategy

The brand had the choice of opting for a safe road by creating a presence on social media and engage with regular happenings of the bank, deals, etc. Like we have seen other banks doing and in fact Standard Chartered has been doing the same in countries like HK, Singapore, etc. But the bank chose to touch the hearts of Indians on social media in a very different way.

After studying the Indian market, it found out that food was the second choice after shopping in terms of spends through credit cards. Thus the bank chose to be a food explorer on social media and launched a Facebook page – India Food Explorer (IFE).

Launched a year ago in the month of March, the community today stands as a food lover’s community. Choice of Facebook was a rational move since Facebook is the network where Indians are spending time right now and Facebook is all about images and fun. IFE aimed to be a foodies community and at the same time a fun-loving one too.

India Food Explorer Facebook Page

The Facebook page is today a community of more than 600K fans. IFE as a community on Facebook made sure that they aligned to their objective and also kept the content aligned all the way.

The content shared on the Facebook page is focused towards providing fans with suggestions for food joints, etc. The bank also made sure that it provided lucrative deals which could then be availed by fans using their Standard Chartered credit cards.


In addition to this, the page admins have made sure that the content is mixed well and rational queries are addressed.


The brand has clearly met one of its objectives that is building a massive foodie community within a years time. The fan base is more than 600K and it has reached 52 million people on Facebook. The community has also made sure that it has the leading presence in India followed by our neighboring countries. Cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Hyderabad are the top five cities in terms of fan support for the IFE community.


The age group that the community has attracted most is between 18-24 years.


Content related to food and occasion have got more appreciation by fans in terms of likes and comments. Along with that, recipe posts have been appreciated more by women.

However, it is not clear how successful was the bank in creating sales through the credit cards. Facebook Offers is something that the bank should consider to measure this objective of the community.

Final Thoughts

Over the time, Indian banks have shed their traditional approach to engage extensively on social media. We have spoken about this trend in the past and Standard Chartered is also opting for the same route. The bank’s intention to build a network for foodies and then market it’s products is a smart move.

I am impressed by the Facebook presence especially with the content. I believe now it’s time for the bank to explore other networks to expand it’s wings on social media. Twitter has been lagging behind and the bank should think of using it effectively. Customer support via Twitter could be a good option.

Using other networks like Instagram for certain contests would be a cool idea. Recently Zomato did the same since Instagram is recalled as a place to find lovely pictures about food. So the bank should spend time thinking on how it can drive this initiative on other networks too.

I am impressed by the Facebook campaign run by Standard Chartered India as it adds up as a good case study for banks on social media. How do you see this move?