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How central banks use social media to reach out to the public

LiveMint logoLiveMint 01-09-2017 Gopika Gopakumar

Mumbai: Social media is becoming an important medium of communication for central banks around the world, given its potential to reach a wider audience.

Regulators who have traditionally been “cautious and conservative” in communicating with the public, are opening up “gradually and cautiously and increasingly” using social media to connect with the public, said Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in its FY17 annual report.

A study of 24 major central banks on their use of social media showed regulators preferred to communicate through really simple syndication (RSS) feed or via email alerts, the report said.

The study also revealed that a majority of central banks use Twitter to send alerts for information already disseminated through the website, even as they are not very active in responding to public tweets.

YouTube is the third-most popular social media with 18 of 24 central banks using it for consumer awareness and education, the study showed.

The study also highlighted that LinkedIn, Instagram, Flickr are also catching the fancy of some for connecting with the youth.

Around one-third of 24 central banks surveyed use LinkedIn for recruitment purposes and sharing ideas among central banks.

Among the 24, central banks in Europe are the most active users of social media. While Swiss National Bank uses Facebook to seek feedback on its monetary policy, Bank of England uses Pinterest, Podcast and Soundcloud, apart from other popular platforms. Bank of England also organises various public awareness programmes and quizzes for students on Facebook.

While central banks in African countries have shown strong presence in social media, South East Asian central banks are relatively new entrants. For instance, Bank of Japan has minimal social media presence except on Twitter.

Some central banks like RBI also use mobile apps to engage with the public. The official apps of Bank of England and Czech National Bank provide information about security features of bank notes, while those of Federal Reserve and Bank Negara Malaysia give latest news and announcements.

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