23 Things Banks & Credit Unions Say on Twitter

What do financial institutions have to tweet about? How do the most active financial institutions on Twitter keep their tweets fresh? Here are 23 ideas.

44,372. That’s how many new tweets were sent by the most active banks and credit unions on Twitter in 90 days. According to The Financial Brand Power 100 database, the top 25 U.S. banks and top 25 U.S. credit unions — those sending the most tweets between July and September, 2014 — sent a combined total of 44,372 tweets. That’s a lot of tweets.

But how are banks and credit unions spending their time on Twitter? What’s all the tweeting about? Although customer service accounts for the largest percentage of Twitter activity for many banks and credit unions, financial institutions aren’t just being reactive. They also pumping out volumes of proactive content, and interacting directly with their followers.

To highlight what financial institutions are doing with their Twitter feeds, we picked six in the U.S. — three banks and three credit unions — from The Financial Brand’s list of those who sent the most new tweets in Q3 2014:

  • US Bank — They used their @usbank account (15.9K followers) to send 1,222 tweets, with an emphasis on consumer education about money and the economy.
  • TD Bank@TDBank_US sent 2,300 new tweets in Q3. They focus on community and the environment (specifically trees, which is in line with one of the brand’s hallmark causes).
  • Silicon Valley Bank — They have 13.1K followers on their @SBB_Financial Twitter account, and sent 671 new tweets in Q3. Its Twitter account caters primarily to start-ups and entrepreneurs in the tech industry, building its brand not only on what has made its namesake famous but also on the tech business that’s growing in other parts of the world.
  • Oklahoma Employees Credit Union — With 3,292 followers @OECU sent 1,000 tweets in Q3, primarily in support of its community’s small businesses.
  • Texas Dow Employees Credit Union@TDECU sent 765 new tweets in Q3 to their 3,217 followers. TDECU likes touting its love for University of Houston football — and TDECU’s sponsorship of the stadium — in their tweets.
  • Consumers Credit Union@ConsumersCU has 1,136 followers, and sent 678 new tweets in Q3. They focus on their branches and employees, including its leadership team.

All of these institutions have solid foundations underpinning their Twitter content strategies. First, the Twitter feeds of these six banks and credit unions have all their working parts in order. For example, they’re skillful with hashtags, they retweet others, and they incorporate interesting images.

Second, even a cursory scan of their feeds shows an effort to address the needs and interests of key marketing segments, including small business owners/entrepreneurs, homeowners/homebuyers, students, parents and those planning for retirement. They are making a direct connection between their social media and their business objectives. Not only are these institutions prolific tweeters, but their material is typically very relevant to financial services, customers and branding.

And finally, each of these financial institutions tweets with a clear focus on consumers; beyond products and services: each capitalizes on its audience’s shared passions. And they do it with such consistency that each institution’s Twitter account has developed its own unique character and charm.

Here are 23 different ways that active financial institutions on Twitter like these keep their tweets fresh.

1. Small giveaways

These range from casual giveaways/contests with easy entries to “surprise and delight” experiences.

2. Bigger giveaways/sweepstakes

3. Giveaways and contests directly related to products

4. Advocacy

Banks and credit unions advocate for causes such as “shop local” and #womenintech, and even for their entire industry (#creditunions).

5. Recycled customer testimonials

Whether it’s retweeting a compliment from a customer or quoting testimonials gathered in other channels, financial institutions utilize consumer feedback in their tweets.

6. Acknowledgement of accomplishments

7. Appreciation

Good customer service is good PR. In these examples, banks and credit unions publicize some of their efforts to help and support customers.

8. Cross-promotion of other social channels

These tweets promote the financial institutions content on other platforms, such as Pinterest (the OECU example), blogs, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.

9. Updates regarding outages

10. Financial tips from the financial institution

The links in these tweets takes followers to the financial institution’s own websites or other digital assets.

11. Curated financial tips

The links in these tweets take followers to posts and articles published outside the financial institution’s sites and accounts. The content is written by financial experts and influencers. (The TD Bank example is different: It was written by a TD Bank expert but published by HuffPo.)

12. Branch happenings

13. Announce and honor new staff

14. Crisis communication

It can be important to address tragic events, like a TD Bank robbery that ended with the suspect shot and killed by police and the earthquakes that affected homes and businesses in Napa.

15. Job openings

16. Community visibility

17. Events and seminars

18. Good deeds

19. Pitches for products & services

20. Offers just for customers or members

21. Participation in existing conversations

By monitoring keywords and mentions, some financial institutions find opportunities to connect and converse.

OECU_someone-buy-me-a-car-please
TDECU_really-liking-the-new-tdecu-app-now-make-free-money

22. Conversation starters

23. Quotes and jokes

We’re generally not a big fan of tweeting quotes and making jokes, but when they can concentrate on financial services (even related subjects, like success) and when the tone of the account/profile allows, they can be used sparingly.

Takeaways

Despite the fact that financial institutions are still fighting to come back from loss of consumer confidence, people want to feel good about where they do business. Therefore, when customers and prospects have taken time to follow a bank or credit union on Twitter, the brand (and its content) should at least be likeable. But it goes beyond likeability. And it goes even deeper than the obvious enthusiasm the banks and credit unions cited here exhibit.

It’s really about humanizing the financial institution. All of the highlighted categories of content, in one way or another, speak to some aspect of humanizing the brand: they make the brand relevant, engaging, surprising (in a very good way), personable, entertaining, helpful, informative, etc. The bottom line is that a great Twitter strategy helps customers connect with their banks and credit unions.

When executive properly, social media posts add dimension and depth to the consumer relationship. In a marketplace where there’s so much competition and where loyalty is so highly coveted, the importance of that relationship is crystal clear.

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