Private banks 'amateurish' on social media - assetinum

Private banks 'amateurish' on social media - assetinum

Private banks have amateurish social media strategies, often failing to establish anything more than a token presence on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, according to research from investment portal assetinum.

For its report, assetinum examined the world's 50 biggest private banking and wealth management institutions' social media activities and scored them out of 100.

A third of the companies studied do not have active profiles on Facebook, including Goldman Sachs, an investor in the social networking giant. Of those that do, half did not react to a test request by assetinum, suggesting "insufficient interaction," says the firm.

Twitter accounts have been set up by 42 of the 50 banks but often this is mere "tokenism" with only 26 reacting actively to users that tweet them. Barely half have up-to-date YouTube channels and only 15 use the medium to talk about wealth management issues. An impressive 49 have LinkedIn profiles but only 14 present additional content and eight cultivate interaction with users.

Assetinum also found that only 19 banks have their own blogs with just six of these offering any interaction with users. Less than half have sites optimised for smartphones while just 14 have apps.

Overall, the companies scored an average of 43 out of 100 possible points, although several received respectable totals of over 80, led by Citi, Société Générale and ABN Amro. Generally, smaller players scored worst, with Rothschild, Bank Sarasin and Bank Jacob Safra making up the bottom three.

Whether consumers want to communicate with financial providers through social media is moot though. A separate survey of 2000 people from the UK, US, Spain and Germany for BT and Avaya shows only five per cent see social media as an appropriate forum for financial conversations and some 60% wouldn't use Twitter, Facebook or similar sites to resolve customer service issues in banking.

Comments: (2)

Brett King
Brett King - Moven - New York 27 March, 2012, 22:31Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Finextra stated "Whether consumers want to communicate with financial providers through social media is moot though" citing issues with whether consumers want to talk to Financial Service providers via social media.

The research referenced focuses on whether customers would engage financial service providers to discuss a product via social media. However, this is not how social media works, so the answer is predictable. 

Research that focuses on customers trusting the brand or engaging for customer support, shows a mass adoption willingness. Which is exactly the opposite of what the editor is trying to imply here i.e. that FIs don't need to worry about social meda "it is moot"...

FIs do need to be very concerned about openly engaging with the customers through whichever channel the customer chooses. If you don't support social media properly already today, you are at a significant disadvantage from a brand engagement and credibility perspective.

Matt White
Matt White - Finextra - Toronto 28 March, 2012, 09:30Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Finextra is not "trying to imply" anything here; unlike some of our readers we have no skin in the game that would necessitate us taking a particular stance. There also seems to be some confusion over the definition of 'moot'; to clarify, it means open to argument, debatable. I think that's an appropriate word to use in this instance and it certainly doesn't imply that Finextra thinks "FIs don't need to worry about social media", only, to labour a point, that this evidence suggests there is a discussion to be had.

Interestingly, for our commentator, that BT/Avaya survey also found that "73 per cent of customers in the UK — and a similar number in Germany, Spain and the US — see their local branch as the most vital link with their bank in the future – second only to cash machines".