What Banks Can do With Twitter

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27 March 2009
Jacob Jegher
I seem to be hearing a lot about Twitter these days. Maybe it's because I cover Web 2.0 and social media at Celent. Or maybe Twitter is just getting a lot of press/media coverage. It's probably a bit of both. For those who are in the dark, Twitter is a tremendously popular micro blogging site. On Twitter, one can send out "tweets" which are basically short status updates. These updates are available for other users to see and appear in the feed of those who are your "followers." Updates can be about anything - a link to an interesting article you read, linking people to your blog, updating people about an event or city you will be visiting, or just announcing what you had for dinner. Let's face it - posts on Twitter can either be helpful or horribly useless to both the sender and receivers. It's important for Twitter users to understand how they can tweet productively. Now for the interesting part - Twitter can be used for much more than personal use. Corporations, senior executives, marketers, etc. can use Twitter as a channel to stay in contact with customers, prospects and the general public. Banks are no exception and many are out in full force on Twitter. What should banks be doing on Twitter?
  • Marketing. New product announcements, press releases, events should be promoted on Twitter.
  • Building and solidifying relationships. Twitter can have a more personal feel to it, particularly if messages are exchanged. Customers value individualized attention and appreciate having their questions answered.
  • Solving customer service issues. Why not provide a way for customers to reach out to you? Twitter is another channel that can be used by customers to message someone at their bank. It's certainly not going to take over for the good old telephone, but it is a quick way (if the bank uses it in a timely manner) to assist customers.
What are banks doing on Twitter (a few examples)?
  • Ask_WellsFargo - A Wells employee answering questions about products and dealing with customer service issues
  • chasebank - Occasional product promotion
  • 1stMarinerBank - A bit of everything. Even smaller banks are using Twitter!
  • Wachovia - Customer service, links to Wachovia blog posts, (2420 followers as of the time of this post!)
  • INGDIRECT - Tips, customer service, links to articles. Often refer issues to their customer support telephone line
  • BofA_help - Customer support
Others are developing strategies (WellsFargo is a good example). They have reserved their name so that squatters don't grab it but are still trying to figure out how they want to use Twitter. I am not suggesting that Twitter take over for other channels. In fact banks should have support on their primary channels down-pat prior to embarking on experimental adventures. Twitter is a great way to communicate as long as it is used properly and in conjunction with other channels. Analysts can use Twitter too! On a side note, I have recently joined Twitter and plan to use it to broadcast what I am working on, what conferences I will be at, etc. If you would like to follow me on Twitter you can find me at jjegher.


  • [...] birthdays, addresses - you get the picture. Twitter can be a great tool for banks (see my post on What Banks Can Do With Twitter), but it can also present great danger to unsuspecting customers. This is where customer education [...]

  • [...] communicate with customers, market products and solve customer service issues (see my blog entry on What Banks Can Do With Twitter). It’s a great idea and has made many customers quite happy, particularly if they get an [...]

  • [...] flurry of banks have joined Twitter and setup their presence in an effort to communicate with customers, market products and solve customer service issues (see my blog entry on What Banks Can Do With Twitter). [...]

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Asia-Pacific, EMEA, LATAM, North America