Your weekly round-up of the hottest stories worldwide, served with a slice of topical social media analysis and a dollop of Friday fun.

The Sizzle: Facebook. The Fri-Up: RBS. The Sauce Squirrel-Horse.

The Fri-Up: RBS: How to cover the social trail of an £8.2bn loss.

The UK’s much maligned, part tax-payer owned bank, RBS has had another bad week. Announcing the largest annual loss since the financial crisis, they then rushed out a press release on their determination to become the UK’s most trusted bank. Unfortunately, this came after it was reported that they would be receiving a further £13bn of taxpayers money.

The beleaguered bank had already been in the firing line just before Christmas, thanks to IT failures leaving customers red faced at checkouts and petrol pumps, unable to pay for goods with their RBS cards.

So what impact might all this have on their social media standing? We take a look at our long running RBS query to see.

Fig 1. History graph to show mentions of RBS over the last 6 months.

History graph for metions of RBS.  

Nov 1: Government reveals that they will not split the bank to put aside ‘toxic debts’. Shares plummet 7%.

Nov 25: RBS is accused of a culture of ripping off small businesses. Chancellor George Osbourne is apparently shocked.

Dec 4: RBS listed among banks braced for huge EU fines over Libor rate-rigging scandal

16th Jan: RBS fined £324m for Libor rigging.

27th Jan: Rumours start to circulate surrounding RBS’ projected annual losses.

27th Feb: Losses officially announced.

The spikes in our history graph make for pretty grim reading for RBS’ PR department, but are spikes in conversation the whole story? To look further into the social story, we’ve looked at the top hashtags close to mentions
of RBS for the last six months, followed by that social media measure to end all debate … the EMOTICON TEST.

Fig 2. Top hashtags associated with RBS.

  Fig 2. Top hashtags associated with RBS. 

The top hashtag table is pretty convincing. There’s nothing to see here, its all fun and games – Rugby to be precise! The six month scandal has been well and truly smothered as far as hashtags are concerned with RBS’ sponsorship of the Six Nations rugby tournament.

Let’s move on to the emoticon test.

Fig 3. Top emoticons associated with RBS.

  Top emoticons associated with RBS.

Top of the table is the smiley face closely followed by the good old smiley face with the nose! Two out of two for RBS so far. Third place is a little more worrying, but as the winks kick in lower down the table, for a bank that announced a loss of £8.2bn for the last year, it’s looking surprisingly good!

What do you mean bankers are emoticonless?