Top 10 Most Followed and Top 10 Fastest Growing Financial Institutions on Twitter (EMEA, Q1 2011)

In March 2009, I started tracking the financial institutions (FIs) on twitter(only 54 accounts back then!). It will always be a work in progress, so please don’t hesitate to get back to me to flag any missing initiatives.

My Visible Banking Social Media Watch Series (twitterfacebook, blog, youtube) gives me access to some fascinating, and unique, insights which enable me to provide second-to-none pramatic recommendations to my clients. On regular basis, I also share some of those key stats and insights with my blog readers, my twitter followers, and my facebook fans.

As part of our Visible Banking Twitter Watch Series we are now tracking over 1,400 accounts from financial institutions in 70+ countries: banks, credit unions, insurance, credit card, and financial services & investment firms.

I invite you to check my Top 10 Most Followed and Top 10 Fastest Growing Financial Institutions on Twitter (GLOBAL, Q1 2011).

Top 10 Most Followed Accounts (Growth) – EMEA
Please find below the Top 10 most followed twitter accounts in EMEA with their month on month and quarterly growth rates. The data was collected on 1st April.
VBTW-EMEA-Top10-Followers1. @DavisCup (BNP Paribas), 2. @BNPPARIBASOPEN (BNP Paribas), 3. @Rabowielrennen (Rabobank), 4. @Rabobank (Rabobank), 5. @Buergschaft (Buergschaftsbank), 6. @Deutsche_News (Deutsche Bank),7. @BarclaysWealth (Barclays Bank), 8. @INGnl_webcare (ING), 9. @shine2010 (ABSA Bank), 10. obrasocialCM (Caja Madrid).

The Netherlands is leading the way with 3 accounts in the Top 10. France and Germany closely follow with 2 accounts each. South Africa is the only country outside Europe in our Top 10.

BNP Paribas’ @DavisCup is the only account with over 10,000 followers. Interesting to notice that 4 of those accounts are dedicated to sport (football and cycling), 1 is dedicated to social activities and only 1 is focused on customer support.

Special kudos to Rabobank for being the only financial institution with two accounts in the Top 10, and having the most followed corporate account (@Rabobank) in EMEA! I invite you to watch my recent interview with Robert Lommers, Online Communication Specialist at Rabobank.
Again, please feel free to flag any missing accounts.

Top 10 Most Followed Accounts (Activity) – EMEA
Please find below the same Top 10, but this time with their average volume of daily tweets.
I find it interesting to somehow link the growth of an account back to its content strategy: frequency is important, so is syntax (hashtags, words, appeal) and “call to action” (links).

Contrary to the Top 10 Global, here you don’t find any spammers! 😉 Overall 50% of the accounts have a low-decent level of activity between 5-7 daily tweets on average in Q1. 30% of the accounts show a very low activity with 1,3 tweets or less a day on average in Q1.

Two exceptions: unsurprisingly Caja Madrid‘s twitter account dedicated to its social and charitable work is more active with over 12 daily tweets and ABSA’s twitter account dedicated to last year’s football world cup in South Africa is not active anymore.

On average, the Top 10 EMEA produced 4.5 tweets a day in Q1 which compares quite poorly against the 16.6 daily tweets from the Top 10 Global.

Excellent news. Again, those low figures demonstrate that very few European financial institutions have even started to leverage twitter yet. It is still possible to differentiate yourself simply by putting together a smart twitter strategy.

Success: Content Strategy, Following Strategy, Promotion, KYF
I strongly believe in the value of tracking and benchmarking how twitter andfacebook are used in financial services. Providing a list of twitter accounts or facebook pages is not enough.

Financial institutions must appreciate that if creating a twitter account is super easy and fast, building a strong presence and engage with “the right tweeps” on the most popular microblogging service is challenging.

Your success lies in your ability to produce interesting content on regular basis and make sure your content will be picked up by the tweeps you are targeting. This is assuming that you know who you are targeting? By the way, do you know who is following you?

Then you have to make sure to promote your twitter account on your own online assets, which will make your presence more official and reassure the tweeps,

What is Your Strategy on Twitter?
To maximize your chances of being successful you need to:
1. Understand how your peers have been using twitter in the last few years,
2. Identify your influencers (detractors and champions),
3. Design and implement a content strategy (which includes among other aspects: distributing existing content, relaying content from trusted sources and thanking your followers),
4. Promote: maximize the visibility of your twitter account(s) on your own online assets, including your public website and your other social media profiles like your facebook page(s),
5. Design a following strategy and a response strategy
6. Know Your Followers (KYF): it is critical to understand who is following you, who are your most influential tweeps… In order to enhance your response strategy and start building stronger, trusted, relationships with them. The better you know your followers, the better you can REWARD them.

I appreciate this approach requires a bit of time and guidance, but it is what’s required if you want to make the most of twitter. And please don’t conclude that twitter or social media is not for your financial institution simply because you didn’t see much traction since the launch of your account. In most cases, you haven’t even started to really leverage this new communication channel.

Two of the most “successful” approaches on twitter are: focusing oncustomer service or establishing your financial institution as The content aggregator / The curator for a specific topic (especially in B2B).

We at Visible Banking would be delighted to help you and your team better understand and leverage social media in a pragmatic way.

So please don’t hesitate to call me (0044 7736 446 357), send me an email (, or DM me (@Visible_Banking) to book a meeting and talk about twitterfacebook,customer reviews, social media & social commerce in banking, financial services and insurance.

What do you think?

Written by Christophe Langlois

Based in London for almost a decade, Christophe is an entertaining fintech marketing keynote speaker and a trusted advisor to the global financial services industry on the topics of digital marketing, innovation and B2B social media.

Christophe has contributed to over 140 events in 18 countries.

Currently, Christophe is advising a number of fintech startups on marketing and growth hacking and he is the Chief Marketing Officer of The Fintech Power 50, an exclusive annual programme helping fintech scale-ups to accelerate their growth globally.

Christophe's views on are his own.

Top 10 Most Followed and Top 10 Fastest Growing Financial Institutions on Twitter (Global, Q1 2011)

Social Media & Financial Services at EFMA’s “Customer Intelligence & CRM” & “Online Banking: the e-volution” Events (10-13 May, Paris)