Social media has been a marketing boon for many brands across almost every industry, but simply setting up a Twitter profile or Facebook Page doesn’t guarantee any kind of success. You have to do the work, and you have to do the time.
Still, sometimes even that isn’t enough. Not every brand works well within social media, and smaller businesses are always going to struggle to stand out and build a large, engaged following. For example: banks. Banks aren’t sexy. Banks aren’t exciting. And banks aren’t able to woo you with sales and giveaways. So, and certainly for your common or garden local bank, social media is and always will be a hard sell. And the numbers don’t lie, as a new study has revealed that more than one in five U.S. retail banks have completely abandoned their Twitter profiles.
This data comes courtesy of The Financial Brand, who analysed the profiles of 314 U.S. retail banks on Twitter, which represents about 20 percent of all banks on the micro-blogging network. Banks with protected accounts or those that had never tweeted were ignored.
And the results? A total of 67 banks (21.3 percent) were found to be dormant or completely abandoned, which was defined as not having sent a tweet for six weeks. This wasn’t for want of trying – the study noted that the average bank quit Twitter only after sending 128 tweets over a period of 21 months.
Foster Bank holds the record for sticking with Twitter the longest before quitting, being active from April 2008 until March 2012, before finally throwing in the towel after almost four years.
Most of the banks observed joined Twitter in 2009, but the poll noted there was no advantage in having been an early adopter on Twitter, certainly in terms of follower growth.
The study concluded that official verification was the only way to ensure a massive spike in follower growth. However, as only big banks can afford to pay for the (very expensive) promoted tweets and other marketing services that guarantee Twitter’s verified tick (and of course have follower-accumulation benefits in and of themselves), it seems probable that smaller banks are always going to struggle to generate any meaningful return from Twitter, which means that this cycle of abandoned accounts from local branches and other niche financial services is almost certainly going to continue.