Only a small group of the world’s leading banks have finally grasped the opportunities of social media such as Facebook and Twitter. This is a main finding in a new analysis of the social media presences of the world’s top 50 banks, conducted by Swiss research company MyPrivateBanking. In the ranking Citibank comes out as winner with an outstanding 47 points out of a maximum of 50. Runners up are BBVA of Spain and the National Australia Bank (NAB) with 44 points each, followed by Crédit Agricole and Deutsche Bank with 43 points.
According to the report,“Social Media for Banking 2012”, this small group of social media leaders in the banking sector have each managed to build an excellent social media presence reaching across all the important social networks and across global markets, and also including their own websites. A success built on an integrated global social media strategy, in most cases executed by a globalvteam of social media specialists. Following behind this group of social media leaders are the social media discoverers. A group which includes about 40% of the analyzed banks and is defined according to MyPrivateBanking by their offers of some basic elements of social media, for instance a Facebook presence or a Twitter stream to communicate with their customers and the general public. But these banks have failed so far to build an integrated and strategic approach to social media. Quality between the various presences varies substantially and the messages often conflict.
Although social media have been around for a number of years now, a disappointing third of the benchmarked global banking players still only attain half of the maximum points or even less. This substantial proportion of leading banks worldwide, labeled as social media laggards by MyPrivateBanking, miss out on leveraging the new opportunities provided by social media. They only present on some social networks and even then design and content often leave a lot to be desired.
“We see a widening gulf between a handful of banks worldwide, leveraging social media extremely well to serve existing as well potential customers, and the majority of banks still struggling with the new platforms”, says Steffen Binder, Research Director of MyPrivateBanking. “These banks need to catch up fast or they will lose a new generation of clients”.
The critical weaknesses that the MyPrivateBanking report identifies for more than two-thirds of the banks are:
• The majority of banks evaluated are still lacking an integrated and strategic approach to social media. For instance, only 16 banks have meaningful content on all the analyzed leading social network;
• In most cases, social media are not up-to-date. For instance, social media on bank websites are only in seven out of 50 cases fully up-to-date, defined as the latest content on each blog or videocast etc being no older than 1 week;
• Facebook, as the most important social network, is still the weakest link for most banks. On average, banks reach only 60% of the total possible points for their Facebook presence in the MyPrivateBanking benchmark.
In order to catch up with the leaders in social media development, MyPrivateBanking recommends that the top management of every leading bank should beinvolved in determining the right strategy. Once a clearly defined strategy is in place, a dedicated social media team is needed to execute it, ensuring that the message the company wants to send is communicated in a effective way across all channels and markets. MyPrivateBanking’s report makes clear that each bank must have a presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube and Google Plus and that these presences require frequent updates with lively comments, videos, photos and other content to captivate the user. In addition, increasingly, users expect direct customer support through social networks like Facebook and Twitter, where they’re posting questions and complaints and expecting timely responses.
Taken as a whole, the analysis in the new report demonstrates a clear overall improvement in social media use by banks compared to the results of previous MyPrivateBanking surveys (myprivatebanking.com), but still a lot remains to be done. “For the vast majority of banks, room for improvement is still extensive and the quality of online presences fails to match the importance of social media as a communication tool by a wide margin”, comments Steffen Binder, summing up the current state of social media in the banking sector. “The good news for banks is that, in social media, changes requiring relatively little effort can achieve big improvements.”
The top ten list of banks with best social mobile presences is as follows: CITI Bank, Banco Bilbao (BBVA), National Australia Bank, Credit Agricole, Deutsche Bank, ING Bank, Rabobank Group, Standard Chartered, Wells Fargo, BNP Paribas
About the Report
The report “Social Media in Banking 2012” analyzes in detail the strengths and weaknesses of the social mobile presences of the 50 largest banks worldwide. In total almost 250 social media presences were evaluated along 33 criteria; for each bank and it's social media presences the quality of the content and functionality as well as the integration with the website is rated. For further information on the report please check our website.