Benchmark analysis: Social media in the UK banking sector

Updated: Apr 14

How are UK banks using social media?

Dave Wallace and the team at NMD+, a London-based creative, data and technology consultancy, have launched a quarterly social media benchmark on a sample of UK banks with the aim to identify those companies that are using social most engagingly and productively, and reveal the overall state of social media in the industry.

Banking on social

The increased reliance on digital channels has required a technology transformation, but now it needs a cultural change. Banks have to find more productive ways of digitally engaging with customers. From using data, through to developing content and personalising experiences, banks must think and act like media businesses.

The social media platforms excel at customer engagement and provide a window into possibilities. As a way of determining how ready the banking industry for embracing change, we decided to understand their use of social media today. We aim to run this benchmarking exercise quarterly.

To do this, we have looked at a selection of UK banks and developed a benchmarking tool that we use to score each bank that we analysed. The benchmarking tool looked across a range of parameters including followers, engagement, design content and focus and to try to minimise subjectivity we weighted the benchmark based on some audience research that we undertook.

What we have seen is that social media has become an intrinsic part of every bank’s operation that we looked at. Every bank has a presence on the key channels.

The figures for followers are not trivial; HSBC has, for example, reached over 2,000,000 followers on both their Facebook and LinkedIn page.

Banking Followers Graph
Image source: NMD+

Which banks currently stand out

Challenger banks, including Starling, Revolut and Monzo are the trailblazers for utilising social media to create engagement with customers.

Of the traditional banks, HSBC is the best performer. They have a high number of followers and high levels of engagement.

RBS, First Direct and Nationwide score poorly; their social media platforms are the least utilised with low engagement. 

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Which platforms are a key focus

Facebook and LinkedIn dominate in terms of followers as might be expected from the audience and profile of the banks themselves.

Banks on social platforms table
Image source: NMD+