Well, this scenario is quite the anomaly in the business world, but it sure makes a great news story – and photo-sharing site/app Instagram (130 million users) pulled it off with what seemed to be relative ease. Actually, it was just a stellar, “why-didn’t-I-think-of-that” idea with some slick engineering at a great time in our online era. Timing with talent is gold.
So what does the recent Instagram acquisition by Facebook mean for credit unions? A lot – if you’re active on Facebook. With the social media world becoming more and more visual, it will be important to share your credit union’s story in a visual medium through photos and video. And, as luck would have it, Instagram does both of those wonderfully – all connected to its gazillion users.
Everybody loves a good picture or a compelling video. It’s that simple. And Instagram is one of the best apps around to share them with your friends, family, peers, and prospects. Even the company’s Founder Kevin Systrom calls it “visual crack”. (See Fast Company story in the July/August 2013 issue.) These visuals are a fantastic way to boost more life into your credit union’s Facebook page with new comments, likes, and shares. Who doesn’t want that?
If you’re a credit union marketers looking to enhance your visuals, here are a few reasons to employ Instagram:
1. Facebook integration – As previously mentioned, most credit unions participating in social media are on Facebook to connect with their members and reach out to prospective members in a social and educational manner. Great move. Creating compelling 15-second Instagram videos and those uber-cool, Polaroid-filtered pics ups your credit union’s cred in a big way on Facebook – especially to the generations coming up that are thoroughly addicted to Instagram (ahem, my 12-year-old daughter). So think ahead credit union marketers. Not only is Instagram tops in photo-sharing (and now videos), there’s a cool factor with younger generations who get it. And if you adopt Instagram to your marketing tools, you just might get them.
2. Show a product or service demo – Let’s face it, not everybody knows how to use remote deposit capture. So why not leverage Instagram’s new video capabilities to show members how easy it is with a narrated, step-by-step demo. Or, if you’re really bold, create a bit where you show real-life scenarios with actors or CU employees in which remote deposit capture can be used. Make them entertaining and fun. You can do this with any product or service at your credit union cost-effectively as well. Plus, they’re fun to produce and post.
3. Member success stories – You can use the video or photo features of Instagram for these powerful pieces. Take pics or shoot video of members getting approved for home or auto loans – perhaps in front of their home or with their new wheels. These types of testimonials make very powerful pieces for peer-type stories that are easily relatable and hopefully infectious.
4. Highlight special product offers, events, and promotions – Creating a cool photo or compelling 15-second Instagram photo to convey your credit union’s special offers, events, and other promotions is waaaaaay better than just text. You can even add hashtags (#RDClaunch or #MainStBranchOpens or #AcmeCUMobileLaunch or #AcmeCUdonates) to track the conversation sparked by the video or photo.
5. Invite members to submit their Instagram photos/videos – A productive way to garner audience participation is including them in your outreach efforts. Segueing from #3, member testimonials are because of their objectivity. This is where Instagram’s 15-second video capability can be of great use. Or if you want to use a pic with a short caption, that will work, as well. Create member contests for best Instagram photo or video related to an event or product at your credit union works really, well, too. Contests not only garner huge participation, but they increase interest from prospective consumers as well when they get wind of it. And, again, don’t forget about incorporating the hashtags so you can follow the conversation as well as everybody else.
6. Humanize your credit union – Ever since social media hit us in the face like a fire hose on full a few years ago, all the pundits have been talking how it “humanizes” your brand. Very true, as it creates a conversation with the masses like no medium has before. But nothing personalizes or humanizes you, your credit union, like a photo or a video that tells a beneficial story. My first thought is create a “behind the scenes” or a “day in the life of” series for your credit union so your members can have a greater bond with not just your brand but your staff. Even producing some quick “how to” videos are most beneficial to position you as a trusted resource. Hard to lose here. And no other app can do it better than Instagram.
7. Gen Y and Millennials – A slight repeat of #1:These guys are all over Instagram. For obvious reasons, so should you.
With Instagram’s massive and growing following – coupled with Facebook’s world domination in the social arena, the possibilities for credit unions are huge. Has your credit union created any Instagram photo or video campaigns? If so, what and what results did you see?
Originally published on CUES Inside Marketing July 18, 2013.