Smaller Banks Win on Instagram Stories

By Emma Fitzpatrick  

After surveying more than 9,000 people around the world, FIS found only 23% of people believe their bank is meeting their expectations. That’s less than one in four.

What do people want that they’re not getting?

In that survey, many banks fell short on personalized banking. Yet, that’s a quality mid-to-small banks have in spades—and it’s one of your biggest advantages, especially for younger adults.

When millennials and Gen Xers dreamed up a better bank, they wanted “a place that had the knowledge and advice they were looking for; that could educate them on how to best protect their assets and use them wisely; and could be a guide that could help them design a sound budget.”

You can give younger adults their dream bank by creating a place they feel they belong while also sharing insights. Best of all, while doing that, you’ll also leverage personalized banking.

The solution? Humanize your bank on social media—something Instagram Stories are particularly well suited for. Build a digital community. Answer the questions you hear most, and prove that you’re a bank that will meet people’s expectations. Here’s how.

Why Instagram Stories?

As a quick refresher, Instagram Stories are those circles at the top of your Instagram feed that show photos or short videos that disappear after 24 hours. Often, users post raw, unedited content on Instagram Stories while saving the more stylized, perfect pictures for Instagram itself.

Instagram Stories is the place for your bank to be real. Plus, as a small-to-mid-sized bank, you have the upper hand here. Bigger banks must work hard to get that content (or create Stories that seem genuine enough)–then they have to pass rounds and rounds of approvals.

You, on the other hand, can set the necessary guidelines with your social media compliance team, and get started! Plus, you get to be an industry leader and innovator, since not many banks are publishing Instagram Stories regularly.

And lucky for you, people love to watch (and often watch all the Stories you post) because they’re so engaging. It’s like they’re right there, listening to their bank teller answer questions. Or if you have the same person creating Stories daily or weekly, that person becomes your viewers’ banking insider, whom they can also go to for help and trusted advice.

What should I post there?

Follow these three golden rules to get started on Instagram Stories.

1. Show who you are.

Again, the goal here is to humanize your bank, which you can accomplish in two ways. You can designate a person to be the “face” of your brand. And, you can introduce the viewers to members of your team.

Take them behind the scenes—as much as reasonably possible at a bank. Introduce them to the people customers meet when they walk into the bank. Show them why your security team is the best at protecting their assets. Ask your staff why they love what they do.

In essence, you want your audience to like your team and learn to trust these people. You want to capture that feeling you get when you walk into your hometown bank—and share that feeling with your all your online followers.

Need inspiration? Watch the stories NASA or Shop Bando creates.

2. Become a teacher.

After introducing your followers to the team, help them learn how to live a financially better life. Start by answering the top questions you hear, like “How do I stop getting this overdraft charge?” You can even ask people to send you their topics to make it easier for you.

Then, delve into the more complex areas, such as how they can protect their assets and create a sound budget. One day a week, share a simple tip that people could use to save $1 a day—and show them the power that daily dollar has over the next five years. Another time, walk them through how to make and stick to a budget. Or explain what your mortgage lender looks at before making a decision.

Look at the Instagram Stories of A Color Story or Amazon.

3. Connect.

Now that you’ve made an impression and passed on wisdom, build a community. Highlight your customers. Ask them why they bank there. Share their pictures. Ask and answer their questions—all the time.

This is without a doubt the hardest content to create, so you likely won’t do it as often. But, it is the most powerful!

For more ideas, check out GoPro or Airbnb.

Emma Fitzpatrick is a Philly-based freelance writer and marketer, whose specialties include content marketing, social media marketing, and short, snappy writing. Pick her brain at [email protected].