Financial services firms are becoming more sophisticated in their use of social media channels, with many banks now using multiple profiles on Twitter and Facebook to target different audiences or provide specific services, according to research from Corporate Insight.
The US-based research house says that 45% of the banks tracked by the firm have two or more profiles on Twitter, while 38% maintain two or more Facebook pages.
Corporate Insight found that on Facebook, financial institutions most often utilise their secondary accounts for recruiting purposes, posting information about internships and career opportunities. Secondary pages are also being deployed used to promote specific products and services, highlight charity programmes and social campaigns, and extend the reach of popular marketing campaigns and advertising personalities.
Multiple profiles do not dilute a firm's ability to attract fans and followers to individual pages, says Corporate Insight. The two companies with the most individual Facebook pages, American Express and Capital One, each have five pages, of which six rank among the top pages hosted by a financial services firm, based upon number of fans. Bank of America offers six Twitter profiles, more than any other firm Corporate Insight tracks, but three of these are among the top 20 financial services industry profiles based on number of followers.
"By using multiple Facebook pages and Twitter profiles, firms can offer content to their fans and followers that is better suited to their needs or interests," says Alan Maginn, senior analyst at Corporate Insight. "This can increase the impact of a firm's communication and improve relationships with core constituencies."
While Corporate Insight lauds the trend, a recent report by L2, a digital think tank at NYU Stern, says the fragmentary approach adopted by financial institutions may be doing their brands a dis-service. L2 found that only 28% of financial institutions have a Facebook page for their overall brand, preferring to create separate pages around episodic marketing programmes and sponsorships.
Says L2: "Because their Facebook strategy has not been anchored around brand pages, the number of "likes" in retail banking trail behind those of other industries."