Many financial institutions suffer from low followership on social media. Think about your own social activity – how many banks and credit unions do you follow? Probably not a lot. Maybe the ones you bank with at most.
The truth is, financial institutions can bring value to their followers on social media, and many do. Chime, a relatively new online bank founded in 2013, currently has 522,000 followers on Instagram. Chase, one of the largest consumer banking institutions, is followed by nearly 4 million people on Facebook. These examples with vastly different target markets are proof that social media can be effective for financial institutions, if done right.
Social media for financial institutions isn’t a lost cause, but it does require a different strategy than other industries. It’s all about understanding what kind of content your audience is looking for. In our experience running social media for financial clients for more than 7 years, we’ve learned a thing or two about what works.
Here are 5 tips to make your social media content more relevant to your audience as a financial institution.
1. Know Your Demographic
When it comes to how people save, spend or invest their money, a lot of it has to do with their demographics. A 23-year-old recent college grad who just moved to a big city for a job is going to have vastly different financial concerns than a 65-year-old who's thinking about retirement. Before you go creating any content for your social media platforms, it’s important to understand who your current customers are and who you hope to attract going forward.
Chime, the new online-only bank mentioned earlier, clearly knows its audience. Being a non-traditional, mobile-focused bank, its target demographic is a young one and it’s abundantly clear when you look at Chime’s Instagram profile. They've got bright colors, memes and cheeky graphics about what your astrology sign says about your spending habits. This kind of targeted content can be done for any demographic, and it’s one of the most important considerations when it comes to which social channels you’ll engage with and what you’ll post.
2. Focus on Financial Tips
At PRIME, we’ve been partnering with a local credit union for several years, helping them through a digital transformation both in marketing and service. In analyzing our engagement for posts on Instagram and Facebook, we’ve consistently found that financial tips receive the most likes, engagement and click-throughs.
Why is that? Financial education brings value. As a financial institution, you have knowledge and understanding of an industry that most people find incredibly intimidating. When you offer sensible tips, translate banking jargon or explain difficult concepts, your followers will appreciate it because of the benefit they receive. And, they’re more likely to share it with others.
Financial tips can come in the form of a short tip, displayed in a static image, a link to a blog post that provides insight into budgeting techniques, or a video of a mortgage lender explaining the meaning of jargon like “escrow” or “APRs.”
3. Community-Oriented Content
Take a note from local credit unions and focus your social media content on individuals and communities. Chase Bank recently celebrated Cinco De Mayo on their Facebook by highlighting a locally-owned Mexican restaurant in California that uses the bank’s small business services. Likewise, when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down many banks’ branch locations, several gave back by delivering food to healthcare workers in the hospital and sharing it on social media.
Doing good in your community and highlighting beloved local establishments spurs a lot of engagement online. People love to share good news and support their favorite local businesses, and they’ll be glad their bank does, too.
4. Share Company Milestones
Social communities love to celebrate success. There’s a reason why posts announcing new jobs or promotions draw so much engagement on LinkedIn. Regardless of the social media channel, followers want to celebrate with you. Maybe you had an unprecedented increase in membership at your credit union this year, or you’re coming up on a 100-year anniversary. Whatever you’re celebrating, share in on your social media channels and you’ll see positive vibes and attention come your way.
For example, Navy Federal Credit Union goes as far as celebrating individual membership anniversaries on its social media channels. They use it as a way to highlight a member, celebrate their involvement in the CU, and provide a testimonial (we’ll get to that next).
5. Utilize Inspiring Testimonials
Testimonials and referrals are huge when it comes to choosing who to trust with your finances. When someone you know is banking with a particular institution, you’re more likely to look into that institution as well. Sharing testimonials on social media is also a way to tug at people’s heartstrings and tell a compelling story. Maybe your services helped someone buy their first home, or helped a small business get back on its feet after the pandemic. These relatable, human stories make wonderful social media content.
Testimonials can come from anyone: an average Joe customer, a prominent business owner, or an influencer with an even broader reach. All can be equally as powerful.
Struggling to make social media worth your time for your financial institution? Consider partnering with a digital marketing agency with experience in your industry, who knows how to make finances sexy while checking all of the compliance boxes. Reach out to us at PRIME to see if we’d make a good fit.
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