0.5% of your customer base will use twitter

Finally, someone has shown up with evidence that Twitter probably doesn't stack up for banks. Ron Shevlin, long absent from the blogosphere, describes the results of a quantitative survey his company has done on Twitter usage in credit unions. There's so real surprise- hardly anyone is interested in doing their banking via this new stunt.

Thank you Ron, for coming back to the blogosphere, however briefly, to give us this insight.

PS: Note to the Twitterati – yes, I am on Twitter (@bankervision), so clearly I get Twitter. Just thought I'd head off that potential comment before anyone utters it again.

8 Responses to“0.5% of your customer base will use twitter”

  1. JP BATIER
    June 5, 2009 at 11:34 am #

    i was wondering if the question is “should you twitte with your bank or vice-versa” considering twitter as a social network for corporate communications or general commercial dialogues or could we see it on a more private and practical way – media – tool by twitting with your account ?

  2. Joe Young
    June 5, 2009 at 1:22 pm #

    It is hard to measure the “soft” benefits of Twitter or any social media. I am all for surveys but I am questioning the research method applied by Ron.

  3. Ron Shevlin
    June 5, 2009 at 2:34 pm #

    Joe Young has every right to question the research method…but the more important thing I want to defend for now is the conclusion, not the methodology.
    My recommendation was specifically directed to US-based credit unions, and the recommendation was that they should not use Twitter as a channel to provide customer service. And not to use it as a channel to attract Gen Yers.
    I was also trying to get credit unions to think about their opportunity costs — namely, what OTHER opportunities they might have to attract new members and provide better service — before blindly jumping on the Twitter bandwagon.
    I will say this about the research methodology, though — even if the results of the surveys were off by significant percentage points, I don’t think it would have swayed by conclusions.

  4. Chris Skinner
    June 6, 2009 at 12:41 pm #

    Whatever your views James in thinking Twitter doesn’t work – it just doesn’t work for you, your bank and/or your customers.
    For others, it works brilliantly.
    It all comes down to how you want and who you want to engage with.
    Bear in mind that Twitter is still new and not everyone needs it, which is why Ron is saying that credit unions and others may find other communication channels better, whilst highly geared tech banks – like Wells and BoA – see this as another way to engage their hi-tech clients.
    Also, most Twitterati are old folks – over 35’s – and so Gen Yers don’t even come into this as they shun it.
    All in all, I find the dialogue perfunctory and ridiculous as Twitter/Facebook/Second Life are all just illustrations of how our planet is changing.
    These things may come / may go, but the model of evolution is the critical point as we are evolving.
    Meantime, your comments here just strike me as the same as those who thought the internet was just for pornography and gambling.
    http://thefinanser.co.uk/fsclub/2009/04/a-directory-of-social-finance.html
    http://thefinancialbrand.com/2009/06/03/twitter-for-financial-institutions/
    http://blogs.harvardbusiness.org/cs/2009/06/new_twitter_research_men_follo.html
    http://news.cnet.com/8301-13577_3-10253161-36.html

  5. June 8, 2009 at 5:02 pm #

    I’m not sure that members of US credit unions have anything at all to teach us. The last I heard, US credit unions were struggling with average age of members being about 47 and about 1% of the consumer finance market. They have no way to attract younger new members. They tried a Zopa interface, but didn’t have the liquidity to feed it. Isn’t the US credit union simply doomed to extinction?

  6. June 9, 2009 at 2:31 pm #

    I wouldn’t write credit unions off. Building societies are doing pretty well here. I appreciate Nationwide not charging me a fortune to use my card abroad more than I care about their lousy IT.
    Twitter has its uses, but I doubt talking to my bank is one of them. Group buying sites (like the late Wigadoo) would find integrating to it useful. But banks don’t tend to run “co-operative” services.

  7. June 10, 2009 at 7:02 pm #

    I’ve seen a lot of people try to come up with blanket advice for financial institutions on Twitter lately. Why does this debate have to boil down to absolutes? I really struggle when decisions are oversimplified to something along the lines of “Should banks use Twitter, yes or no?”
    Some people think Twitter is all about creating “conversation” and having one-to-one interactions/engagement, while others think it can be used for broadcasting/sharing information http://bit.ly/D01Lh
    Robbie Wright thinks Twitter should be used for practical, transactional- and informational banking. Some people (like Ron) disagree http://bit.ly/54LkZ
    Some banks see promise in providing customer service over Twitter. Others (again, like Ron), think this isn’t worth it, specifically for credit unions who could pursue more fruitful endeavors.

  8. June 10, 2009 at 7:44 pm #

    Actually why can’t I just spawn a joint bank account for a dinner club or whathaveyou whenever I feel like it? I could get a loan in an hour, surely that’s more of a risk.

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