Over the last year social media has no doubt been integrated into most marketing strategies. From national brands to local businesses, the value of the medium is undeniable. But while many companies use it for customer support or advertising purposes, Citibank is really getting social.

Today the bank launched a Facebook app that lets users team up to use ThankYou Points – a free rewards program where consumers earn points for purchases. Points can be used among friends or family for charity, a group gift, or even a personal goal. Additionally the company is giving away 2,500 free rewards points to the first 4,000 customers to sign up.

Last year Citi introduced a service that allows customers to transfer points to one another through the bank’s homepage. “Now we’re delivering it to where customers are every day,” explains Ralph Andretta, head of Citi’s loyalty programs and co-branded cards.

To get started, consumers have to download the ThankYou Point Sharing App on Citi’s Facebook Page. From there, a rewards pool can be created by naming a recipient and its purpose – be sure the recipient is someone trusted, as he or she maintains control of the contributions. Consumers can then promote the team’s goals by inviting others to contribute through links on their Facebook profiles.

It’s important to note that while the app can collect personal information from Facebook profiles, Citi is not sharing any account information with the social network.

The Next Web pointed out an interesting use case that combines Citi’s app with Facebook’s recently released Suggested Events feature. Individuals can use the social network to promote and raise funding for specific events, such as networking or industry related meetups.

Citi is certainly kicking off the year with a great socially integrated campaign. It will be interesting to watch its progress and see how consumers interact with the app. Small businesses and brands can really benefit from Facebook apps. If you haven’t already, start brainstorming some ideas and determine if it’s the right fit for your community.

[Via: Yahoo! News, Image credit: Ken Banks]