Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Oklahoma Community Banks Build Twitter Base

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Oklahoma Community Banks Build Twitter Base

Article excerpt

The state's community banks are more likely to use social media such as Twitter to connect with their communities than to overtly pitch financial products, bank officials said.

"We're a small community bank, so we mostly want to get out information about what's happening around us, like county fairs and town events," said Jennifer Bynum, the social media manager at Legacy Bank in Oklahoma City. The bank also has branches in towns including Newcastle, Blanchard, Marlow, Duncan and Binger.

"It's also helpful to let people know about nonprofit activities that we're involved in, like the Rethread program to collect donated coats for children before the winter," she said. "We're using Twitter and Facebook to let our customers know where they can bring coats. We'd rather do things like that than promote our products. ... Not to say that we wouldn't let people know about our products if it was important, but it's more of a community outreach effort."

A recent review of the industry's Twitter use by TheFinancialBrand.com marketing company identified the 400 top English-speaking financial services companies ranked by Twitter followers. A Bank of America account tops the other banks with 31,016 followers. Chase Bank is next with 22,184 followers on Twitter.

The number of followers per company drops off quickly to fewer than 10,000 with Citibank at 12th and fewer than 5,000 with RBC, the Royal Bank of Canada, at 26th.

The first Oklahoma-based bank on the list is Arvest Bank at 48th with 2,249 Twitter followers. Bank of Oklahoma follows shortly thereafter at 63rd with 1,808 followers. Legacy is listed at 168th with 296 followers.

Only about a dozen Oklahoma banks even made the list, which ends with Texas-based First Financial with a single Twitter follower. The list was published by TheFinancialBrand.com in early October. The lack of a strong Oklahoma presence doesn't necessarily reflect poorly on the state, Oklahoma Bankers Association Vice President of Communications Jeremy Cowen said, because there are just as many small banks in other states that also are not communicating with their customers - in other words, it is an industrywide shortfall. …

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