Online bank first direct has launched a new social media-based campaign which showcases customer opinions, good or bad, on a microsite.

While it isn’t quite as ‘brave’ as the Skittles decision to turn its site into a massive social media experiment (which it is still doing), it does at least link to it from straight from its homepage.

The firstdirectlive site has three widgets; one shows comments left on the site by users, another has live ‘feelings’ about the bank retrieved from around the web (above), while a words widget displayed single words gathered from social media sites:

The latter two provide a visual analysis of people’s sentiment towards the bank, and categorises positive and negative comments, while the talk widget displays customers’ comments. 

The microsite isn’t quite as open as the Skittles experiment, but customers can post negative comments, and these will be displayed on the site via the talking point widget:

It seems that first direct has a reasonably good reputation with its customers, judging by the sentiment analysis from the site, since mentions are around 75% positive, and, it reinforces the image that it is an open and transparent brand, so it seems a smart move.

Having had a quick search through Twitter for mentions of first direct, the bank doesn’t have too much to fear from a more open approach, as used by Econsultancy, though judging by this unofficial reviews site that gathers opinions about the bank from Twitter, the same cannot be said for parent company HSBC: