Ignoring Twitter can cause banks to lose Gen-Y customers

As more financial institutions are utilizing Twitter – or, in the case of an Australian bank, opening an entire social media office – consumers are responding.

With growing social media habits and wealth among social media users, utilizing Twitter and other online platforms can help a bank not only create loyalty among customers but also find new ones. For many Gen-Y investors, or people between the ages of 23 and 35, having accessible and constant information is the norm.

A recent study found that while only about 9 percent of overall Twitter users follow their bank, 20 percent of Gen-Y investors, or those between the ages of 23 and 35, do. And Twitter users are much more likely to do more research about financial options than non-Twitter users – 65 percent of bank Twitter followers seek out recommendations on which financial products are best, compared with 15 percent for non-Twitter followers.

For banks, tweeting about personal finance tips and managing money can keep users engaged, since the study also found that Twitter users were much more likely to rely on their personal bank than a competitor. Investing in customer management software and case management software can also help banks keep track of what their customers are looking for alongside social media tools.

Currently, banks and other financial institutions are not known for being tech-savvy compared to other businesses. Bank of America currently has about 63,000 followers, while Citi Bank has about 116,000. Compared to Amazon or Best Buy, which both have over 300,000 followers, smaller banks have some catching up to do. And since social media has only added users in the past few years, investing in good customer service techniques through Twitter or Facebook can help any business stay competitive.

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