Almost every brand in America has a social media presence now. What’s more, social media efforts are paying off. But, social media is always changing. According to a study from the American Bankers Association, nearly 90% of banks are active on social media. Most of these banks use Facebook. But other platforms, like Instagram, are growing quickly. Banks on Instagram have doubled since 2017.

american banking association social media graph

Consumers Heavily Impact Marketing Efforts

According to the Pew Research Center, 72% of Americans use social media. However, GlobalWebIndex found social media usage fell by 6.8% in 2019. As a result, 2019 marks the first time where social media usage has slowed. Usage is plateauing and more companies are appearing on social media. Financial marketers must learn to differentiate. The environment will only get more competitive.


Financial marketers must take a data-driven approach. Why do social media users go to their favorite platforms? According to GlobalWebIndex, social media is used more for information and entertainment.

  • 40% of social media users go to their preferred platforms to keep up with new and current events.
  • 39% of users keep up with friends and family.
  • Lastly, 38% of users find funny or entertaining content. And most of these users are engaging from their mobile devices.

How Does this Apply to Financial Services?

Users on social media for entertainment are growing rapidly. For most 16-24 year-olds, social media is used for entertainment.

  • 47% of this demographic use social media to find entertainment content.
  • 46% use social media to kill time.
  • 43% use social media to keep in touch with friends.
  • Lastly, 42% use social media to stay up to date on the news.

Nichefire identified this change. Financial institutions that are leading on social media post more entertaining content. These posts get the highest quality of engagements. For instance, Chase focuses on making several entertainment posts for this reason. Chase features public figures or athletes that talk about financial literacy. Likewise, Ally Bank launched its Instagram account in March 2019 with “truth or dare” scenarios. Specifically, it is meant to spark conversation between couples about their finances.

This was not wasted effort. The GlobalWebIndex study reported that “more than a third of internet users say they follow their favorite brands on social media, while 27% follow brands which they are thinking of making a purchase from.” Keeping up with these trends can be hard and the competition is intense. But, the value of social media is still profound. Financial marketers should increase their social media efforts.

Does It Pay?

In addition, the American Bankers Association report showed social media is a small percentage of the total marketing budget. But, over half of the companies surveyed plan to increase social media spending. And, 8% of those surveyed reported that they planned to substantially increase spending.

Senior management will always be concerned about the return. The American Bankers Association survey found satisfaction with the return on social media efforts have grown from 44% to 69%. This is a major improvement.

Always track your social metrics to know if they’re paying off. 34% of financial institutions claimed they don’t measure their efforts. Some institutions will also look at the wrong numbers.

To Summarize

CEO of Gremlin Social, Doug Wilber, explained, “The challenge has been that many banks are trying to just leverage the metrics that come from the networks natively to measure the likes, shares, and how many retweets. I call these vanity metrics — how popular am I? And to me, that’s not necessarily the right way to approach it.”

Wilber elaborated: “The right way is to measure how the bank is using social as part of an overarching communications strategy, to put interesting and relevant content in front of the customer so that when the customer is ready to make a financial services decision, the bank is top of mind.”

Nichefire Understands Your Industry 

Nichefire is built to understand how your industry operates and how to position your brand on social media. With the power of AI, Nichefire analyzes millions of conversations, advertisements and content from thousands of companies in banking, insurance and healthcare. Allowing you to act instantly with better competitive analysis. Discover how Nichefire can help.

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