Most financial institutions understand that having a presence on social media can make a big difference in their bottom line—but it’s not enough to create a page and call it good. You need to keep up with the times and the trends, not only in terms of what kinds of content you produce, but where you publish it. In recent years, Instagram has become many users’ go-to choice when it comes to where they spend time scrolling.
Is your FI good with the ‘gram? We have some ideas about how to boost your brand on Instagram.
Embrace the 70-20-10 Rule
First things first: Never forget that the first rule of Instagram (and by extension, most social media) is to be, well, social. If you’re only using your Instagram feed to promote rates or special offers, you’re going to turn a lot of users off. Think about the reasons you typically spend time on social media.
“When we use social media, we typically want to see something funny, amazing or otherwise likely to take our minds off the mundane details of everyday life,” said Cooper Chwialkowski, digital media coordinator at Epicosity. “The users who come to your feed aren’t any different. Use that knowledge to your advantage.”
You can get away with doing a little hard-selling, but it’s all about proportion. 70-20-10, to be precise.
- 70 percent of your posts should be content designed to entertain and engage. Make your audience feel good about visiting. Make them laugh. Give them a story they can tell their friends.
- 20 percent of your posts should be re-sharing other users’ content. Giving your users a boost and highlighting their lives can send a strong message that you care about what they’re up to…and it can lessen the burden on your staff to come up with original content ideas. That’s a win-win.
- You can use 10 percent of your posts to directly sell to your customers or members. We know. That seems like a tiny amount, but you need to remember that the other 90 percent of the posts you make should prime the pump and build affinity so that when you DO sell, your users are more likely to buy.
Hook into trends; Reel them in
If you’re on Instagram but you’re not using the Reels function, you might want to reconsider. Instagram Reels—short (hopefully) entertaining video clips—typically get more user engagement than other types of Instagram posts. In fact, Instagram for Business recently reported that 90 percent of all Instagram users consume at least one Reel every week.
Here are a few ways you can make the most of your Reels:
- Tie into a trend. If there’s a viral bit of music or a sound clip that users are using in their Reels, don’t be afraid to jump in and join the fun. This is your chance to clue your audience in on the idea that, while you take serving them seriously, you’re also the kind of organization they want to spend time with.
- Be vulnerable. We know it’s tough sometimes to get buy-in to be vulnerable, but opening up to your audience in this way creates a shared connection through the growth of empathy. Be yourselves. “Tell the stories no one else can tell,” said Chwialkowski. “I know this sounds cliche, but your people are your biggest asset when it comes to social media. Find a few who are up for sharing—especially if they have a sense of humor.” Risk a little. Gain a lot.
- Get to the point. You only have 90 seconds to make an impression and an entire Internet competing with you for attention. Don’t waste a single second. Put your best content up front to encourage users to keep watching.
Support what your clients and members support
As an organization that makes dreams into reality, your FI has a special view into who and what your members care about. Instagram can be a wonderful tool to leverage that knowledge and demonstrate that your values align with those of your community.
If, for example, you notice that your clients support Habitat for Humanity, it could be a wonderful opportunity to join a build, document the process and share it in a series of posts (photos and Reels) on Instagram.
“This tactic takes a little bit of up-front research, but it’s one of the things that pays consistent dividends,” said Chwialkowski. “Not only will it help you plan your social media calendars, it’ll get you out into the community, which elevates your brand in its own way.”
If you take nothing else away from this blog, please remember: Social media channels like Instagram are meant to be social, first and foremost. Strive to make genuine connections with your audience. Try to produce entertaining (or at least endearing) content. Limit posts that make a hard sell. Your goal is to increase engagement and build affinity.