Of all the social media platforms out there, Instagram is probably the most underutilized by financial advisors and agents. Many argue that there’s just not a market for financial content on Instagram, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Finance brands like Ellevest and SoFi have mastered the IG game, earning them hundreds of thousands of loyal followers, brand ambassadors, and yes, customers. As with all social media, it’s more than just memes and hashtags – it takes real effort, believe it or not. To succeed on the platform, what you really need is a good, solid Instagram strategy. And we’re here to help.
What to Know Before You Get Started
Now, it is important to acknowledge that Instagram is not the right tool to reach every audience. It is especially effective for reaching younger clients like millennials, but that doesn’t mean that there are no older demographics on the app. Since it was purchased by Facebook in 2012, older adults and baby boomers have grown to a small but not insignificant portion of the app’s user base.
You should also know that Instagram requires a different kind of content than you may share on other platforms. While Facebook and LinkedIn are good for long-form, text-based content, the opposite is true on Instagram. Users write captions (and they can certainly be long when appropriate), but the primary form of media is photos and videos. You cannot post to Instagram without a photo or video.
The strictly visual nature of Instagram makes it a great place to share content that doesn’t fit on other networks. You should keep your LinkedIn professional and work-related, but Instagram is great place to “let your hair down,” so to speak, and share content that is more fun and casual.
Another great feature of the app is the use of hashtags. With over 1 billion monthly active users, hashtags allow you to reach an audience outside of the people who follow you. This can be invaluable for goals like brand awareness.
How Financial Advisors Use Instagram
Because Instagram is a photo/video-based platform, you should aim to share eye-catching content. Instagram is a great place to post office and event photos, image carousels, and short videos.
Let’s say you host a client appreciation event with a great theme or turnout. This is definitely something you should share on Instagram. It will show your followers (and visitors to your profile) how you treat your clients and how much fun you have together.
Instagram is also a great place to share bite-sized pieces of info. Whether that’s a multi-panel infographic or a one-minute video breaking down the basics of a relevant financial concept, it’s an excellent way to connect with and educate clients and prospects.
How to Create an Instagram Strategy
1. Before you create your Instagram strategy, you need to consider your goals for the platform. As we said above, Instagram is a great network for building brand awareness, increasing reach, nurturing relationships, and creating general interest in your practice. But if you’re hoping to generate sales from Instagram, you may need to manage your expectations.
2. When it comes to content ideas, don’t be afraid to look at your competition. That doesn’t mean steal posts, but it can be helpful to see what works for others before you waste time and resources on posts that will fall flat.
3. Research your audience’s interests. This can help inform what kinds of content may work best for you If you’re going for a younger demographic, they might enjoy memes and funny posts. Think of fun ways you can tie general advice into relatable concepts. This is definitely a trial-and-error strategy for many users, and it might not work for you and your audience.
4. Instagram’s algorithm rewards accounts that are active. That means be consistent in your posting. Once daily is usually a good rule of thumb, but never post just for the sake of posting – make sure your content has a purpose before you share it.
Instagram is a great platform for experimenting. The “stories” feature is an excellent way to show goings-on in your practice as they happen. Story posts are only live for 24 hours, or you can save them to your profile as highlights. The app also offers a “live” function, similar to Facebook Live.
When you post to “the grid” (your feed), keep in mind how your posts will look next to each other. Patterns, large photos, and other effects can make your account stand out and look more appealing to visitors. (would be nice to include a screenshot of the quote pattern once it’s live)
The most important thing to understand is that Instagram is whatever you make of it. If you put in the effort to create an Instagram strategy, post relevant content, and share thoughtfully, you’ll have a lot better luck seeing the results you want.1105063-0321