The use of social media by banks around the world has come to a ‘plateau’ according to a new report by Efma and Wipro.

The research, conducted among 100 banks worldwide, found that banks are spending an average of below €500,000 ($648,300) per annum on social media. Less than 10% of the banks sampled spend €1m on social media.

Social media is largely managed by the marketing department followed by the branding and communications team.

The study found that banks are unwilling to use social media for transactional activities.

A representative from Efma said of the results: "The impression we have from speaking to banks is that this is not a priority for social media. Banks would prefer to encourage customers onto the bank’s website for transactions or product sales, where security can be guaranteed and a better level of service provided."

However, for those banks who invest in social media, the results can be rewarding.

For example, DenizBank released a Facebook user balance-check and money transfer app in 2012. The bank claims that 10% of its online banking customers have signed up to the service, it has aquired 140,000 new Facebook fans and generated over 3m viral impressions from Facebook ads.

DenizBank said: "The banking on Facebook project became one of the most successful PR activities in the history of the bank".

However, DenizBank are the exception. The majority of banks have reached a ‘plateau’ with social media. "While some banks are of course just catching up, the leading banks are still working out how best to use this channel in the future, conducting experiments, and looking for indicators from other industries," said Efma.

Social media has become a significant part of the consideration in any digital marketing strategy. However, banks problem may be a lack of direction and strategy to move forward.

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