Banks See Growth on Twitter & Instagram As Facebook Falters – The Financial Brand

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By Garret Reich, Editorial Associate at The Financial Brand
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Digital marketing budgets in the banking sector continue to ratchet up as financial marketers refine their strategies in more and more access points to customers — particularly on mobile devices. Worldwide digital advertising spending totaled $521.02 billion in 2021, which is projected to climb 68% to reach $876 billion by 2026.
Even with all the excitement over the metaverse, social media is still a major force in the digital marketing game. Social media advertising spending is forecasted to account for a third of all digital ad spending in 2022 — possibly getting as high as $173 billion, according to SproutSocial.
Social media is a valuable tool for banks and credit unions to get products, financial education and their brand right in front of customers on a daily basis. Roughly half of the world’s population is on social media.
TikTok is growing, and bankers might wonder if that’s the newest marketing channel to try. It’s particularly appealing to reach Gen Z and younger Millennials. Yet, it’s not where most bankers are operating yet and continues to rely on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram to reach customers — both potential and current — via social media.
Social media can be expensive. Here is how much the average ad is per social media platform, according to WebFx:
A TikTok ad, by contrast, starts at $10/CPM (cost per 1,000 clicks). The minimum campaign ad spend is also $500.22, according to the Influencer Marketing Hub.
Below are more stats, facts and insights pulled from The Financial Brand’s Power 100 Social Media Rankings for banks and credit unions for the second quarter of 2022.
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The banking players atop The Financial Brand’s rankings have held onto their dominating positions, even while losing followers in some channels and seeing stagnating growth in others. Out of the top 100 banks and credit unions in the Power 100 database, the top 10 banks and credit unions alone comprise a combined 42% of all the Twitter followers, Facebook likes, and YouTube views.
The #1 bank on Facebook — State Bank of India — claims 13% of all the top 100 banks’ Facebook likes.
The top 10 banks on YouTube accounted for over a third of all new YouTube views in the second quarter, which beat out the number of total YouTube views the top 100 credit unions have.
Only four of the top banks on Twitter lost followers: RBL Bank, FAB, Chase (Kenya) and Netspend. On the other hand, nearly two out of five top credit unions on Twitter dropped more followers than they gained.
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Although the State Bank of India still claims over a tenth of all Facebook likes in the top 100, the Indian bank still lost over 50,000 Facebook likes between Q1 and Q2 of 2022. The bank’s tumbling fall seems to be indicative of a trend across the industry as a whole: banks are struggling on Facebook.
Overall, banks on Facebook improved from quarter to quarter, up 943,000 likes since the first quarter. However, the top 10 banks lost 19,556 likes cumulatively in Q1, whereas the bottom 10 banks on Facebook inched up 1,759 likes altogether.
Although credit unions aren’t strong players in the Facebook game, they are performing better from quarter to quarter than banks — especially among the top credit unions on Facebook. For example, Navy Federal — with 1,179,973 total likes on Facebook — added 1,225 new likes in the second quarter, and claims 24% of all followers on the top credit union list.
If Navy Federal was a bank, it would be No. 32 on the list of top banks on Facebook.
Key Fact: The top ten banks in the Power 100 have 43% of all Facebook likes. Four of the top ten banks on Facebook are headquartered in India, three in Nigeria, two in the United States (Capital One and Chase) and one in the Philippines.
The threshold for inclusion in the top 100 banks on Facebook is much greater than that of the top credit unions on Facebook — 142,475 likes for banks vs. 16,016 for credit unions. Yet, the gap between the top and the bottom of the banks on Facebook list is significant — with a nearly 18 million like differential between State Bank of India and Canadian bank Tangerine.
Despite the decline in Facebook likes among the top 10 banks, the channel still dominates social media for financial institutions:
Key Fact: Only 39 banks have more than one million likes on Facebook. Navy Federal is the only credit union to hit that milestone.
Twitter appears to be a strong contender as a social media outlet for banks. Only four of the top banks on Twitter finished the second quarter of 2022 with fewer followers than they started with. Another eight didn’t budge.
Credit unions didn’t fare so well on Twitter, where 37 of the top credit unions lost followers, although 19 of those shed only ten or fewer. Only one credit union won over more than 1,000 new followers: Vystar Credit Union.
A Leader on Twitter: Zenith Bank, based in Nigeria, became the fourth-ranked bank for the quarter, adding the most Twitter followers at 100,000.
The average top bank on Twitter added 9,525 new followers. The top 10 banks added on average 20,720 new fans and the bottom 10 came in around 500 new followers in the second quarter.
Key Fact: The top 10 banks on Twitter make up exactly half of all the followers of the top 100 banks. It’s nearly the same among the top credit unions, which claim 49%.
The top 100 banks on Twitter tweeted 40,631 times in the second quarter of 2022. This means the average bank is sending approximately 406 new tweets every three months, translating to roughly 135 tweets a month and 33 tweets a week.
Credit unions tweet far less — less than half as much as banks. From the first quarter to the second quarter of 2022, the top credit unions tweeted fewer than 20,000 times.
YouTube metrics are inherently different from every other social media outlet. Views are a strong metric to measure the growth of a YouTube page. It doesn’t require a like, a comment or engagement of any sort outside of opening a video and watching it.
In the second quarter, the top banks on YouTube nabbed over 400,000 new views, ultimately breaking the six billion view threshold of total views for the top 100 banks. The top 100 credit unions have yet to garner 500 million YouTube views cumulatively.
A Little Context: The YouTube account with the most views is a music label called T-Series, based in India, which has roughly 196 billion views and 220 million subscribers.
The top 10 banks on YouTube attract over half the views of all the top 100 banks, with over three billion in total. Yet, the minimum views that a bank must have to make the top 100 list is shy of three million, while a credit union only needs a fifth of that — roughly 660,000 — to make the list.
The bank at the bottom of the top 100 banks on YouTube has a ways to go to make it to the top of the list. Bank of Queens — based in Australia — has 2.7 million views and would need 578 million to best State Bank of India, the top YouTube bank in addition to being top Twitter bank.
The margin between credit unions at the top and bottom of the YouTube list, however, is far slimmer. AmeriCU, even though it lost 12,762 views in Q2, is only 14 million views away from Desert Financial at the top of the list.
Key Point: The only way a YouTube account can ‘lose’ views is if a bank or credit union deletes old videos. The views associated with the deleted video are lost.
Instagram is far less used by banks and credit unions than other social media channels. The top ten banks on Instagram posted 20% less than the top banks tweeted on Twitter. For credit unions the comparable figure was 11% less Instagram posts versus tweets.
Only nine credit unions lost Instagram followers in the second quarter and the only bank in the top banks on Instagram to drop instead of gain new followers was Heritage Bank, based in Nigeria. But overall, banking use of Instagram is growing slowly. The top 100 banks on the app added 370,900 new followers — a 3% growth rate quarter over quarter. Similarly, the top credit unions on Instagram grew 5.6% to 521,466 followers cumulatively.
Growth doesn’t always correlate with a strong return on investment, however. The top banks on Instagram average nearly 60 followers per every post, while the average credit union struggles to get five Instagram follower for every post.
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