In a bid to improve the digital experience of their users, banks have leveraged social media to keep customers updated and also handle feedback and complaints faster.
Every day, more banks are making social media a priority and are producing digital content that allows them to engage as well as get instant feedback from their customers.
Remarkably, 11 Nigerian banks made the global list of top 100 banks in English speaking countries that utilized social media for their business in the third quarter of 2019.
Even though social platforms have been around for almost forever, it was only recently that commercial banks decided to join the bandwagon and grow their social following. As a result, the top commercial banks, have rapidly expanded their social following, and in many cases, the number of followers has more than quadrupled.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn are some of the most popular social media platforms in Nigeria, but for our metrics, we will be focusing on the first three.
Here is a ranking of Nigerian banks with the highest social media followers;
1. GTBank: Taking the top spot is Guaranty Trust Bank with the most social media engagement. Guaranty Trust Bank is the most social bank with the highest number of Youtube views and subscribers, Instagram followers, Twitter followers and Facebook page likes.
The Segun Agbaje-led bank has 1,676,773 followers on Twitter, 720,151 on Instagram, and over 6 million followers on Facebook. GTbank is a social media savvy bank and it constantly puts out relevant and relatable content on its social platforms.
2. Zenith Bank: The Jim Ovia-founded bank is the second on the list with 1,324,373 followers on Twitter, 494,838 followers on Instagram, and 6,087,385 followers on Facebook. Zenith Bank, now run by Ebenezer Onyeagwu recently emerged as the Most Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria in the Banker Magazine Top 500 Banking Brands 2021.
3. UBA Group: Third on the list is the United Bank for Africa (UBA) with 817,196 followers on Twitter, 318,686 followers on Instagram and 2.8 million followers on Facebook.
The bank is also known to make use of A-list celebrities like Wizkid to help endear its numerous services to target audiences. UBA currently operates in 20 African countries, the United Kingdom and France. It is also the only African bank with a commercial deposit-taking presence in the United States.
4. First Bank: Coming in fourth place is First Bank with 579,996 followers on Twitter, 697,801 on Instagram, and over 2.8 million on Facebook. It would be recalled that Access Bank acquired Diamond Bank in early 2019, and this might have contributed to the rise in its number of social media followers. Tier-1 bank, First Bank recently launched virtual payment cards which is a suitable alternative to cash or cheques to foster financial inclusion.
5. Access Bank: Led by the charismatic Herbert Wigwe, Access is fifth on the list with 1,324,373 followers on Twitter, 494,838 followers on Instagram, and over 2.6 million followers on Facebook. Access Bank recently became the first full-service bank to acquire merchants who will accept American Express Card payments in the country after partnering with American Express.
6. Stanbic Bank: The bank has 310,103 followers on Twitter, 122,909 on Instagram and over 1.1 million followers on Facebook. By the end of 2020, Stanbic Bank recorded a profit after tax (PAT) of N83.211 billion with gross earnings of N234.446 billion.
7. Union Bank is seventh on the list with 221,587 followers on Twitter, 106371 on Instagram and 1,058,653 on Facebook. Founded in 1917, Union bank remains one of Nigeria’s oldest banks.
8. Fidelity Bank: With 196,773 followers on Twitter, 134,040 on Instagram and 1,038,239 on Facebook, the bank ranks in the eighth position. Fidelity bank has become one of the top financially stabled banks in Nigeria with a strong presence in all the states and major cities in Nigeria.
9. FCMB Bank: The Ladi Balogun-led bank ranks ninth on the list with 147,927 followers on Twitter, 152,119 on Instagram and 1,634,836 on Facebook. FCMB was the first bank to be established in Nigeria without government or foreign support.
10. Sterling Bank: On the tenth position is Sterling Bank with 118,244 followers on Twitter, 106,773 followers on Instagram and 641,131 followers on Facebook. Formally established in 2006 through a merger of five banks and now led by Abubakar Suleiman, the bank has maintained a significant presence on social media. It refers to itself as Nigeria’s most DISRUPTIVE bank and brags about its speedy responses to enquiries & issues resolution. Of course, we can’t forget the Bank Wars which they initiated and got a lot of Twitter users amused.
It is quite commendable that Nigerian banks have finally come to the realisation of how important the effective use of social media can help their brand and are seizing the opportunity to build on this.
Amazing that what used to be an afterthought for banks is now given special priority with experts being employed to manage these social media accounts. Also, the banks now set aside a huge portion of their marketing/communications budget to care for social media strategy.
Banks, today have had to drop their very official image and become more social, as well as conduct more social engagements on social media, so as to improve the popularity of their brands amongst the young people who form the group of the most active users on these platforms and also, the majority of their customers.
Even though these banks have fully embraced the usage of social media, clearly, some banks are better than others at utlizing social media.
However, more banks need to observe trends and move towards building consumer-focused brands so that they can engage with their customers and provide information through social media.