The banking sector has acknowledged that it has not done enough to exploit marketing and promotional opportunities via social media networks, according to a new report.

The report, by media consultants, MHP Communications, entitled ‘Social Media – Catching up with the Banks’, paints a picture of an industry in which uncertainty and relative indifference towards social media have both played a part in this neglect.

More than half the banks canvassed by MHP said confusion over their legal responsibilities regarding the use of social media, had stifled their ambitions in this direction.

A majority of banks surveyed meanwhile advised MHP they simply did not believe social media was as effective a platform as achieving exposure in more traditional media such as newspaper and television.

The only social media site to figure relatively highly in the banks’ estimation was Twitter; and this was ranked only fifth in terms of importance; with trade press coverage and blogs deemed as the most crucial avenues of exposure after newspaper and television coverage.

Despite this reluctance to exploit social media thus far, however, 73% of banks surveyed said they now wanted to become more involved in these channels, with 16% claiming to already having a social media strategy in full operation; 28% saying that they are now in the early stages of acting on their social media strategy; and 41% advising that they are currently developing a social media strategy.

Only 3% said they had no intention of adopting a social media strategy, whilst 13% said they had not yet given the topic any consideration.