WASHINGTON (2/26/13)--Nearly one in three credit unions that once had an active presence on Twitter have abandoned their accounts, according to a survey released Monday by marketing research firm, The Financial Brand.
The survey does not answer the question of why they've stopped tweeting. However, the numbers give several clues that indicate a Twitter following may not yield the marketing potential that many assume it does.
The credit unions surveyed with still active Twitter accounts averaged about 400 followers, 20% of whom are from inactive or spam accounts. The average credit union with such accounts added about 100 new followers last year and sent roughly 500 all-time tweets, with 200 of those sent last year.
"While some of the larger banks and credit unions have been able to find traction on the world's No. 2 social media network, the overwhelming majority have enjoyed little to no success," said the company (thefinancialbrand.com Feb. 25).
As a group, credit unions' Twitter audience is about 0.79% of their aggregate membership. In other words, a credit union can expect, on average, one follower for every $1.5 million in assets, or one follower for each 126 members.
In 2011, about 3.1% of the credit unions with accounts resurrected an account they had previously abandoned, only to abandon it a second time.
Many followers of Twitter are "deadwood"--fake followers such as spam accounts or inactive ones. The average percent of Twitter deadwood for all credit unions is 18.2%, with 4.2% of them fake followers and 14.67% inactive, said The Financial Brand. Anyone anywhere can follow a financial institution's Twitter account, including social media self-promoters (5% of the deadwood), consultants and industry insiders (another 5%) and other credit unions and banks (5%-15%), it said.
That means the average credit union on Twitter will have potential marketing value from 50% to 60% of their followers.
The survey was conducted during the fall of 2012 and is based on 350 credit unions or roughly 5% of all U.S. credit unions. For more details from the survey, use the resource link.