Social networking has become so common and broad-based in its use — there are now more than 500 million Twitter users and more than 1 billion Facebook users — that banks have no choice but to incorporate social networking into their marketing efforts.

"There won't be any turning back on the growth on social media and there will be a slow gravitation toward services delivered in the channel," says Michael Versace, global research director, IDC Financial Insights. "Social media will continue to force service industries like banking to find ways to engage with customers," Versace says.

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