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Four Ways To Grow Your Bank’s Instagram Following in 2022

Four Ways To Grow Your Bank’s Instagram Following in 2022

Eric Cook by Eric Cook

Chief Digital Strategist

Contact author Full biography

Full biography

Eric considers himself a “recovering banker” of 15 years, who for the past eleven years has focused his efforts as a digital strategist, helping his clients (mostly community banks) better understand and leverage the power of the Internet as a strategic business tool. An award-winning web designer with WSI, the world’s largest digital agency network, Eric is a two-time contributing author to the best-selling book Digital Minds – 12 Things Every Business Needs to Know About Digital Marketing. Consistently rated in the top five digital marketing books on Amazon, the book is in its second edition and available in three languages.

A sought-after, nationally-recognized speaker in the financial services industry, Eric is a member of the National Speakers Association and loves sharing his knowledge to help educate and inspire others. He is the co-creator of a weekly webinar show called Free Webinar Wednesdays, founder of the Banker Education Series webinar series, and serves as a faculty member at several banking schools around the country where he teaches bankers about digital strategy, online marketing and social media. He is a WSI Certified LinkedIn Professional and holds undergraduate degrees in business administration and psychology. While working full-time as a community banker, Eric earned his MBA and completed the three-year Graduate School of Banking program in Madison, WI in 2003.

Professionally, Eric helps his clients in all areas of digital marketing, which includes mobile-responsive web development, search engine marketing and optimization, social media strategies, e-mail communication, and “big-picture” digital strategic planning. He’s the co-founder of DigitalRCP.com, a service created to help businesses understand their risk when it comes to operating in today’s digital world. When he’s not helping his clients succeed online, he can typically be found on one of his many bicycles training for his next mountain bike/triathlon race or spending time with his wife and two (very spoiled) golden retrievers.

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Summary:

In an Internet age dominated by younger audiences, it is imperative, now more than ever, for banks to have an Instagram presence that sends the right message. You want your feed to be factual, but with enough eye-catching content to make that “Followers” number rise - especially if this demographic is on your radar as a target audience.

But how do you balance these goals for your bank? Read on to discover how to start growing your Instagram following today!

First - Find Your Niche

As a bank, you are already situated squarely in the financial sector of social media. Chances are, most of your followers either utilize your banking services already or learn financial strategies from your content.

However, you can still find your own lane that can help you stand out. Maybe your approach is particularly simple for first-time homeowners with personal attention and “hand holding” through one of life’s more complex financial transactions. Or maybe you have a good deal of expertise in helping businesses with your commercial banking specialties.

Whatever your strengths may be, making the decision (and commitment) to capitalize on them is the first step in finding your footing on Instagram. Your content should appeal to whatever makes you unique. Lean into your individuality and fight the urge to be “all things to all people”!

Example:

Niche Example

Above: CommunityBank of Texas, N.A. proudly displays its niche in the description of its Instagram channel - a clear focus on being a local business bank.

Second - Clean Up Your Look

If you’ve already posted plenty of content to your Instagram page, now is the time to double-check everything you have hanging around there.

Start by making sure your bio and header look the way you want. Your username should correlate as closely as possible to your brand name, and your profile picture (PFP) should include a company logo or notable icon. Your bio should list you as a financial institution and include statements about your particular niche, city, and/or unique credibilities that your competition may not have. With the remaining characters, try to include a call to action that points to the website link you have added.

If you’re just getting started - or maybe you’ve got dozens of posts out there already - it’s also a good idea to check to see if you’ve got some design consistency. While not every post has to have the exact same layout and design, building some relevance and familiarity with your posts will help to lend a bit of professionalism to your profile. Plus, when people start seeing your posts in their feed, they’ll start to recognize your brand and give you even more “top of mind” awareness down the road.

Example:

Profile Example

Above: FNB Community Bank provides a creative description of their bank with the use of “money bag” emojis, but also creatively has put the Highlights feature (mentioned next) to use.

 Third - Strategize for Results

Now that you have the basics knocked out, it’s time to take the next steps toward putting out new content that generates a following. Coming up with a plan before you hit “post” can save you time in the long run.

Some ideas for your next campaign might include:

  • Posting content that is intended to be shared. Getting the word out about your bank on social media is great, but having your followers help spread your brand is even better. Ads, contests, and giveaways are all simple types of shareable content. Interactive content, which can include “comment below” taglines, or other simple calls to action, are incredibly effective at gaining conversions.
  • Tell a Story. You can record up to 60-second videos as Stories that you can then save as a Moment to your profile. Get creative with the categories for your Moments and give visitors to your profile a reason to stick around and learn from you. Financial literacy tips, home purchasing advice, credit repair, cybersecurity, etc. all are great topics that a bank can share (and act as a credible source of information).
  • Utilizing Reels. That small circle around your profile picture may just be the big break your Instagram page needs. Instagram Reels can serve a high number of purposes. You can post a poll, share a TikTok, or simply point followers to your main page. Not only that, but Reels are easily re-postable, making them the perfect platform for your newly shareable content.
  • Re-posting relevant content. Who said you have to do it all yourself? Reposting content from experts in your field, affiliated brands, or even pop culture icons can make your bank appear more knowledgeable and relatable.

Examples:

Branding Example

Above: Community Bank, N.A. has created a number of posts with a similar graphic style, using their corporate orange color and a slightly angled footer area with reverse text for consistency.

Highlights Example

Above: Community Spirit Bank is one of the best bank examples of the Highlight feature. When visitors stop by, it’s super easy to check out a variety of past Stories in a number of creative categories.

And Finally - Support the Bank’s Goals

Coming up with an effective plan for your social media content can be exhausting, especially if you intend to differentiate your strategies across separate platforms. It’s a good idea to ensure that you’re on board with the “bigger picture” of what the bank wants to accomplish and come up with creative ways to support the long-term goals.

But it’s important to note that doesn't mean posting only your advertisements (since nobody really wants to see those). Maybe think about fun ways to reinforce the advantages of owning a home or tips for business owners, all the while making them fun and interesting to check out (assuming these are the bank’s goals).

If you’re ready to upgrade your bank’s marketing, without any of the hassle or worry, turn to the experts here at WSI. We’ve been in banking and digital marketing for 30 years (yup, that’s a long time) and our experts can help come up with an individualized plan that meets your bank where you’re at, and on your budget.

Contact us today for the peace of mind that only comes with decades of experience!

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