I got back from Sibos 2010 last week. For those of you who don’t know the event, it’s a financial services conference and exhibition that SWIFT runs on an annual basis. We’re proud to say that it continues to attract record numbers of people – nearly 9,000 last week in Amsterdam. The main reason – and we know this from our post-event surveys – that people come is “networking”. “Doing business” and “learning” come a close 2nd and 3rd but “networking” consistently tops the list.
So, given that so many people in financial services are willing to spend a week of their time – and a not inconsiderable sum on travel and attendance – each year to be part of the “networking” of Sibos, I was left wondering why the use of social media in financial services is still so relatively low?
I think a lot of this has to do with culture. Despite what recent headlines would have you believe, bankers are, for the most part, a pretty risk-averse bunch. They’re not naturally drawn to a technology or channel which may expose them or their organisations to public scrutiny.
Slowly but surely, it looks like that’s beginning to change though. This year’s Sibos was widely regarded as the year that Twitter finally started influencing the interaction at the event (indeed SWIFT’s CEO referenced it in his closing remarks) and the event also saw the first conference session specifically devoted to the use of social media.
You can download a copy of the report here but the key takeaways are:
- The most widely used social media among Finextra50 Companies is LinkedIn.
- Twitter is being used by 46% of the Finextra50 Companies.
- Company news, events, and new product information are the most commonly tweeted subjects.
- 8% of Finextra50 Companies have a Facebook account.
- 28% of Finextra50 Companies have company blog(s).
- YouTube channels are being used by 20% of the Finextra50 companies
What’s still lacking though, in my view, is real engagement and interaction. I’d like to see financial services firms embrace the true purpose of social media, not just add it to the list of channels to be populated.