How important is a P2P platform’s Twitter following?
TWITTER is often a go-to source to build a crowd and communicate directly with consumers but does a big following necessarily mean more business?
Of the Peer-to-Peer Finance Association (P2PFA) members, Funding Circle’s UK Twitter account has the largest number of followers at 33,400.
The business P2P platform joined Twitter in February 2010, before it launched in August of that year. Since then, it has built up a loan book in the UK of £2.2bn.
But if Twitter followers do actually correlate to actual investment, then Zopa may be underperforming as it joined Twitter in November 2008, has 15,100 followers and has built up a similar-sized loan book of around £2.2bn. It has been lending for longer than Funding Circle, having launched in 2005.
The third leg of the big three, RateSetter, has amassed more followers than Zopa over a shorter time having joined Twitter in August 2010. RateSetter has 17,700 followers and a loan book of £1.8bn.
Recent P2PFA member Folk2Folk has the fewest followers of the P2PFA members at 1,341 but has only been around since April 2013 and joined Twitter before launch in December 2012.
It may actually be punching above its weight in terms of its social media presence though, having built up a loan book of £140m.
Similarly, Lending Works, launched in 2012 and often seen as the platform biting at the hind legs of the big three, joined Twitter in November 2013. It has amassed 1,833 followers, but has still built a respectable £50m of loans.
On the business lending side, ThinCats also does pretty well despite having comparatively fewer followers. It joined Twitter in April 2013 and has just 1,764 followers, but a loan book of £229m.
Meanwhile, the P2PFA’s only member focused on invoice finance, MarketInvoice, which joined Twitter in August 2010, has 10,700 followers and has loaned £1.2bn against invoices.
In the P2P property space, LendInvest beats Landbay when it comes to Twitter followers and lending.
LendInvest has gained 9,221 followers since joining Twitter in 2012 and has a loan book of £978m.
In comparison, Landbay joined Twitter in August 2013 and has 2,062 followers and a total loan value of £44m on the platform.
Obviously, platforms will use other marketing and social media tools to attract investors and borrowers.
But as consumers increasingly rely on technology for their finances, whether it translates to transactions straight away, it is probably better to be part the social media crowd, however small, rather than on the outside.