Central banks of Russia, Armenia tip their toes into social media

The Bank of Russia and the Central Bank of Armenia have begun communicating through their newly-launched social media accounts.

The Bank of Russia launched Twitter and Facebook pages in late May. The Central Bank of Armenia established an official Facebook page earlier this week.

"Vast numbers of citizens today use these new media sources, in addition to traditional ones, to receive information. In recognition of this trend, the BoR Board decided that the Bank of Russia create its Twitter and Facebook pages," said Marina Ryklina, Head of BoR Press Service.

"It is essential that we not only inform citizens of the functioning of the Bank of Russia, but also get their feedback. Social media should therefore become an effective tool for us to build public relations."

The Bank of Russia has already operated a YouTube page to post videos, while the Central Bank of Armenia has built a followers' base on its LinkedIn profile.

Engaging in social media is certainly not an easy task for the world's central banks. Even more challenging it is for them to build, and crucially maintain, a successful presence in that online environment they neither own nor control. A central bank is a control freak by definition, and the lack of control has for years been a key reason for central banks' unease about social media.

The announcements by the Bank of Russia and the Central Bank of Armenia are yet another sign that traditionally conservative central banks are increasingly embracing social media.

My argument has long been that it is becoming increasingly untenable for central banks to ignore social media much longer.