Social Media Statistics: By-the-Numbers, September 2012

Below are some interesting statistics on social media usage. Feel free to share your favorite social media statistics in the comments section or Tweet @bankingdotcom.

  • 20: The percentage of US newspapers that now have online paywalls, twice the number that did one year ago. (Source: News & Tech)
  • 139: The number of Fortune 500 companies with a public-facing corporate blog in 2012, a five percent increase from 2011. (Source: UMass)
  • 24: The percentage of U.S.-based small businesses who claim to currently use social media in a “strategic and structured way.” (Source: eMarketer)
  • 63: The percentage of Pinterest users that are age 35 or older. (Source: Pingdom)
  • 129.7 million dollars in projected US mobile advertising revenue for Twitter in 2012. (Source eMarketer)
  • 235,000,000: The number of people who play games on Facebook each month. (Source: Facebook)
  • 65: The percentage of U.S. grocery retail executives who said they plan to use social media tools like Facebook and Twitter as part of their marketing arsenal within the next five years. (Source: eMarketer)

It’s no secret that smartphone growth is growing rapidly, but a Nielsen snapshot shows that teens and young adults lead growth in smartphone adoption. Read more here.

FI Spotlight: Vantage Credit Union

We got the chance to interview Eric Acree, executive vice president at Vantage Credit Union (VCU) about the TweetMyMoney program VCU launched in 2009. VCU was early to the social scene when they launched TweetMyMoney, the world’s first banking-by-Twitter service, on September 28, 2009. The service is available exclusively to Vantage members and is free of charge. With TweetMyMoney, members can monitor their account balances, deposits, withdrawals, holds and cleared checks with simple commands. Members can also transfer funds within their own account to different account types (checking to savings, checking to loans, etc.).

We chatted with Eric to learn more about the program:

Q: Where did the idea for the campaign come from, and how have you seen it grow over the past three years?

A: The idea for TweetMyMoney came out of an internal online brainstorming session between some technology staff and business staff (all participants were social media users as well). At that time, we did not have a ton of money available to hire a firm to create a mobile app, but we desperately wanted to provide something to our members. So, we were discussing possible ways to create a mobile banking solution for little money. There was much discussion on how we could possibly use SMS technology, which then led to ways to possibly use Facebook and Twitter. The Twitter platform provided the perfect opportunity for us and we were already familiar with it. Not everyone uses Twitter and not all Twitter users are comfortable using TweetMyMoney. So the growth of the service (when compared to more traditional/mass market mobile banking solutions) has been relatively small. However, we have several hundred members who use the service a lot, on a regular basis. It’s important to note that Vantage is currently developing more traditional mobile banking apps and plans to offer them to members late this summer. We will have a native mobile banking app for the iPhone, Android and iPad.

Q: What (if any) benefits do members receive from using TweetMyMoney versus SMS banking notifications?

A: There isn’t much difference between the two technologies since TweetMyMoney operates in a similar way to SMS. From a cost standpoint, using TweetMyMoney is a much cheaper option for Vantage since we did not have to invest money into a SMS infrastructure. For members who are Twitter users, the benefit is using a familiar technology to quickly and safely obtain information about their accounts. Obtaining information via TweetMyMoney is faster than using a web page (or even a mobile app) since TweetMyMoney does not require the same log-in steps.

Q: How have you addressed security concerns/questions around using Twitter to send and receive confidential banking information? Do you get many member inquiries about security concerns over using Twitter, or are they excited to have a new way to access financial information?   

A: Like other technology innovations launched in the past, TweetMyMoney quickly generated a lot of passionate commentary and opinions in the technology blogosphere after we announced its launch. We have incorporated several security layers and measures to ensure it is safe to use. When members use TweetMyMoney, the information contained in their tweets, as well as the information sent back to them, is generic, e.g. transaction commands, dollar amounts, dates, account code types, etc. In fact, most of this type of information is sent to millions of people every day by virtually all financial institutions in the form of e-alerts. If a member’s Twitter account was somehow compromised, all a hacker would see is this generic information, which is useless to the hacker. The key point is: no account number, nor other sensitive personal or account information, is displayed in TweetMyMoney. All the sensitive information is kept safe at Vantage behind the online banking firewall. Vantage also implemented a new security feature called Correspondence Authentication Codes inside our online banking service. So, every outbound electronic communication originating from Vantage (including tweets from TweetMyMoney) contains a unique code for each day of the week, thus ensuring the message is authentic when the member recognizes their unique code. Members can view and change these codes from their user profile section of our online banking service. In summary, we have taken extraordinary steps to ensure TweetMyMoney is safe. We ran its design and security controls by an industry-leading firm that has an exceptional track record in their line of work. They provided an unbiased opinion and helped validate our approach before we launched TweetMyMoney. Just for the record, in the nearly three years of the TweetMyMoney service being live, we have experienced ZERO security problems. Not one single security breach of any kind has occurred with TweetMyMoney.

Q: Vantage CU is socially savvy, with Twitter, Facebook and YouTube channels. What platform do you see the most member engagement on? Are members more interested in interacting with Vantage CU via Twitter or Facebook?

A: We are active on our Twitter handle and Facebook page. Our YouTube channel has few subscribers and we plan to utilize this platform more in the future. But, we see the most engagement with our members via Twitter.

Q: Final thoughts before we wrap up this interview?

A: The real beauty of TweetMyMoney is we have devised a safe and innovative way to communicate important financial information via an unsecure social media network. TweetMyMoney was our first (and boldest) mobile banking step, but we are excited to be bringing the native mobile banking apps for iPhone, Android and iPad users later this summer.

Want to see more of TweetMyMoney? Check out VCU’s videos about the program or connect with VCU on Twitter.

Social Media Statistics: By-the-Numbers, July 2012

It’s been a few months since we published a social media stats post, and there has been a lot of social activity this summer! Below are some interesting statistics on social media usage. Feel free to share your favorite social media statistics in the comments section or Tweet @bankingdotcom.

  • 250,000,000 The number of accounts that have upgraded to or signed up for a Google+ account (Source: Google)
  • 17: the percentage of cell phone owners who do most of their online browsing on their phone, rather than a computer or other device (Source: Pew Internet)
  • 3.6 billion dollars in gross revenue is projected by the end of 2012 for video sharing platform YouTube (Source: Citi)
  • 52: the percentage of all cell phone owners who use their phones while watching television (Source: Pew Internet)
  • 18: the percentage of teens who would stop communicating altogether if their favorite technological channel of communication disappeared (Source: AWeber)
  • 7.56: the average percentage of traffic to Facebook Pages from external referrals (Source: PageLever)
  • 41.7: the percentage of the top 10,000 websites that have some form of Twitter link on their homepage (Source: Pingdom)
  • 36.6 billion online content videos were viewed by US Internet users in May 2012 (Source: comScore)
  • 152,000,000: the number unique US visitors to in May 2012, placing the social network in second place behind Google (Source: Nielsen)

Curious if LinkedIn Groups are useful? Here are some tips on how marketers can benefit from participating in LinkedIn Groups.

Social Media Statistics: By-the-Numbers, January 2012

Below are interesting statistics on social media usage. Feel free to share your favorite social media statistics in the comments section or Tweet @bankingdotcom.

  • 52.1% of all sharing on the web is driven by Facebook, with Twitter generating just 13.5 percent of all shares. (Source: Clearsping)
  • 256% increase in mobile data usage by teens in the US age 13-17 over the past year. The average teen used 320MB of data per month on their phone. (Source: Nielsen)
  • 3% of adults say they get news and information about local restaurants, bars and clubs from social media, while 38 percent claim to use Internet search engines. (Source: Pew Internet)
  • 49,000,000 the number of US visitors to the Google+ platform in December 2011, a 55 percent increase from November. (Source Hitwise)
  • 82% of the world’s online population are reached by social networking sites, representing 1.2 billion users around the world. (Source: comScore)
  • 79% of European online adults engage with social media, 86 percent of US adults do the same. (Source: Forrester)
  • 19.7% of the total Facebook user base is located in the United States. (Source: AllFacebook)

Curious what social networks your financial institution should focus on in 2012? Check out this infographic.










* Graphic provided by:

Image: tungphoto /

Social Media Statistics: By-the-Numbers, December 2011

Below are interesting statistics on social media usage. Feel free to share your favorite social media statistics in the comments section or Tweet @bankingdotcom.

  • 1,000,000+ RSVPs in the past year to events via professional social network Linkedin (Source: LinkedIn)
  • 81% of small businesses now use social media, up from 73 percent earlier this year (Source: Constant Contact)
  • 66% of US adults use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn  (Source: Pew Internet)
  • 2,400 advertising partners for Twitter, up from 600 in June 2011 (Source: Twitter)
  • 53% of young adults ages 18-29 go online for no particular reason on any given day  (Source: Pew Internet)
  • 42.6 billion videos were viewed by the US Internet audience in October 2011, an all-time high (Source: comScore)
  • 3.5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every day (Source: YouTube)
  • 60% user growth so far in 2011 for professional social network LinkedIn (Source: LinkedIn)
  • 50% of US adult cell phone owners have apps on their phones, up from 43 percent in May 2010  (Source: Pew Internet)

Banking Industry Leaders Discuss Findings of Intuit Financial Management Survey

*This blog was originally posted on Bank Marketing Strategy by Jim Marous. Jim is a marketing services leader focused on building strategic solutions for the financial services industry. You can follow him on Twitter @JimMarous or connect on LinkedIn.


In conjunction with the release of Intuit Financial Services’ 4th Annual Financial Management Survey, hosted a Twitter Town Hall yesterday, bringing together financial industry leaders to discuss loyalty and channel migration as well as some of the challenges and opportunities facing the banking industry. The following is a recap of the very robust one hour dialogue. (The complete transcript can be found using #IFSsurvey on Twitter)

The Town Hall discussion began around the issue of customer loyalty and the finding that many consumers thought their financial provider was not ‘in touch’ with their needs. Given the events of the past week, where many large banks reversed decisions around the implementation of fees due to highly vocal negative sentiment amplified by social media and credit union trade group support, most participants believed that banks are not leveraging current insight and technology to make better decisions and provide value added service.

Tobin Lee (@Tobin_Lee), Intuit Financial Services spokesperson stated, “It is time for a banker mindset shift; cultivating deeper relationships, more meaningful engagement and stronger advocacy for growth”. Campbell Edlund from EMI (@EMI_mktg4sales) added, “These findings provide a very strong argument for a communications plan around the customer lifecycle”.
The already robust dialogue really took off as the discussion moved to the acceptance and utilization of banking channels (especially mobile and tablet banking). Bradley Leimer (@leimer) from Mechanics Bank in the San Francisco Bay area believed mobile strategy will be the key to future engagement due to the portability and ‘always on’ nature of the device. He also believed that the correlation between mobile banking and smartphone use (41% of respondents owned a smartphone) could indicate a lower engagement with financial technology in general for non-smartphone users.

Edlund added that while there is currently a higher penetration of smartphones than tablets, tablets can not be ignored by banks since Oracle found that tablet ownership is expected to increase significantly in the next year. She also warned that we need to be cautious not to get ahead of the acceptance curve. . . “we always underestimate inertia”. Brett King (@brettking), author of Bank 2.0 and founder of Movenbank went a step further stating that within 3 years all bank websites will need to be built for tablets first. He also believed that branches will continue to diminish in presence and utility (according to the study, 27% of respondents still visit their branch once a month in addition to ATM visits).


Mark Zmarzly (@BankMarketing) did not believe bricks and mortar would completely go away, but definitely felt the relevance of branches will change. “It’s easy to say branches will go away, but is that realistic? They have to evolve, but customers will never let them become 100% irrelevant.” King responded that with the drop in branch transactions, the economics of the branch are not working. I (@jimmarous) illustrated the model of Boeing Employees Credit Union in Seattle, where only 2 of the 40 branch network have tellers, while the installation of multiple ATMs at offices and around the city have an average of 10,000+ transactions each. 94% of the transactions at BECU are done electronically, according to Howie Wu (@howie_wu) from the credit union.


“Relevance is the key to banking for tomorrow,” stated King. “By 2015, mobile will be the #1 day-to-day channel, OLB #2 with the branch network being #5. The challenge for mobile and online will be developing great customer journeys”. King doesn’t believe these journeys exist today and believes the goal should be to have banking so pervasive that it is not tied to a branch, device or website, but is everywhere customers are.

Edlund pointed to the retail industry as a forerunner for what we will see in financial services. “Social and tablets will change the landscape in banking as they have in retailing”, Edlund stated. (During the Twitter Town Hall, there was even a discussion of the integration of TV as a channel for banking). Representatives from EMI in Boston (EMI_mktg4banks) emphasized that we will continue to see a blurring of all channels with social media providing some of the glue for enhanced communication. Gamification and location-based rewards were also seen as a key elements of engagement by Leimer and Edlund.

A conundrum was discussed with regard to the needs of small businesses where checks still prevail and the need for branches. King believed that we will see significant attention paid to mobile payments for businesses in the next couple years, while I added that tablet apps for business are also being developed to respond to the needs of the business community. NFC was also seen as a game changer with regard to the need for branches for small businesses. Bob Williams (@bob_williams) from Harland Clarke believed that, while check usage is definitely dropping, there are much greater efficiencies today than in the past with RDC and other electronic tools.


It was clear from the Intuit research that was just released, the Bank 2020 research released in April, and the discussion during the Twitter Town Hall today that there is significant disruption in the banking industry with regards to channel support and device utilization. The consumer movement to new banking channels is mirroring the movement to more sophisticated devices such as smartphones and tablets. Many consumers are NOT choosing one device or channel over another, but are using multiple devices depending on their personal needs.

Consumer desire for an integrated banking experience without friction will need to be supported by banking organizations in the future. Distribution networks (whether tangible or intangible) will need to support an expanding array of capabilities that may include integration within retail or social sites as opposed to standing alone.

As I stated to the participants of the Twitter Town Hall at the end of today’s discussion, “If banks are not prepared for the channel migration that is already underway, they may experience the impact of ‘Bank Transfer Decade’”.

Note: A summary of the findings of Intuit Financial Services’ 4th Annual Financial Management Survey and recently released related research is available in my previous Bank Marketing Strategy blog post.

If you weren’t able to join us, what are your thoughts around the impact of channel shift away from the branches and towards other media? Will we see the elimination of branches completely? Will another device or technology unseat smartphones and tablets?

Leave us a comment below, or Tweet at the author @JimMarous. to Host Twitter Town Hall on November 3rd

In conjunction with Intuit Financial Services’ 4th Annual Financial Management Survey, which will be released next week, we’re hosting a Twitter Town Hall on Thursday, November 3rd. The Twitter Town Hall will discuss the survey results and how they tie into current banking trends, including mobile banking adoption, consumer attitudes, what consumers are looking for in online banking tools, customer loyalty and more.

The Twitter Town Hall is open for all our readers to join and participate in the conversation. To join us and/or learn more about the event, see below

Steps to Join:

  • Twitter Town Hall: Go to Log in using your Twitter ID.
  • Enter the hashtag to join the conversation: #IFSsurvey



  • Date: Thursday, November 3rd
  • Time: 10:00 am PST/1:00 pm EST
  • Hosted by: Staff (@bankingdotcom) and Al Ko, Senior Vice President of Consumer Solutions for Intuit Financial Services (@financeworks)

If you are planning on attending the Twitter Town Hall and interested in receiving the key findings of the survey in advance, please email the editors at Additionally, if you are interested in submitting a question prior to the Twitter Town Hall, DM us on Twitter.

We hope to “Tweet” with you on November 3rd!

Social Media Statistics: By-the-Numbers, October 2011

Below are interesting statistics on social media usage. Feel free to share your favorite social media statistics in the comments section or Tweet @bankingdotcom.

  • $400,000,000 in ad revenue is projected for Twitter by 2013, up from $139.5 million in 2011 (Source: eMarketer)
  • 7,432,307 job changes have been tracked by LinkedIn since 2009 (Source: LinkedIn)
  • 68% of social media users go to social networking sites to read product reviews (Source: Nielsen)
  • 59% of B2B purchase decision makers use a smartphone to research potential purchases (Source: eMarketer)
  • 58% of social media users go to social networking sites to learn about or research products (Source: Nielsen)
  • 1,600 advertisers are now using the Twitter platform for advertising (Source: Twitter)
  • 53% of active adult social networkers follow a brand, while 32% follow a celebrity (Source: Nielsen)
  • 40% of social media users access social media content from their mobile phones (Source: Nielsen)
  • $1.23 billion will be spent by US advertisers on mobile advertising this year, up from $743 million in 2010 (Source: eMarketer)

Interested in hosting a giveaway on your Facebook page? Check out these tips from Social Fresh.

Social Media Statistics: By-the-Numbers, August 2011 Part II

Below are interesting statistics on social media usage. Feel free to share your favorite social media statistics in the comments section or Tweet @bankingdotcom.

  • 1 trillion page views for Facebook in June 2011, making it the most visited site on the web (Source: Google Ad Planner)
  • 65% of adults use social networking sites, up from 61% in 2010 (Source: Pew Research)
  • 71% of companies surveyed said they block employees from visiting social networking sites at work (Source: Proskauer)
  • 54% of people surveyed indicated they feel some level of addiction to their social network of choice (Source: Webroot)
  • 44% of companies surveyed said they had policies in place to track employees’ social media use in and out of the office (Source: Proskauer)
  • 14.7% of the top one million websites in the world run WordPress, up from 8.5% in 2010 (Source: WordPress)
  • $3.08 billion will be spent by US marketers to advertise on social networks in 2011, a 55% increase over 2010 (Source: eMarketer)
  • 16,000,000 mobile users in the US watched TV or video on their mobile phones in June 2011 (Source: comScore)
  • 69% of women use social networking sites while 60% of men do the same (Source: Pew Research)

Last week’s earthquake on the East Coast created a Twitter frenzy. Here is an animated map of the Tweets from Tuesday, August 23.

Social Media Statistics: By-the-Numbers, August 2011

Below are interesting statistics on social media usage. Feel free to share your favorite social media statistics in the comments section.

  • 89% of US companies use social media for recruiting (Source: Jobvite)
  • 71% of online Americans use video sharing sites, a 5 percent increase over 2010 (Source: Pew Internet)
  • 69% of travel companies have seen traffic growth from Facebook; 46 percent have seen the same from Twitter (Source: Tripl)
  • 34% of US cell phone owners have shot video with their phone, while 26 percent have watched video on their phone (Source: Pew Internet)
  • 27% of time spent on Facebook is spent on either the Homepage or Newsfeed, with just 10 percent spent on apps (Source: comScore)
  • 20,000,000 visitors world wide for Google’s fledgling social product, Google + (Source: comScore)
  • 500,000 merchants have signed up for location-based social network Foursquare (Source: Foursquare)
  • 80% of advertisers renew their campaigns with Twitter (Source: eMarketer)

Working on building your Twitter following? Here are 10 tips from All Twitter.