Is Your RIA Harnessing the Power of Instagram?
It wasn’t too long ago that social media for RIAs and IARs was forbidden. Life seemed easier “way back when”, right? Once financial advisor social media use was approved by the SEC, early adopters gravitated to Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook to establish business accounts with each platform.
But what about Instagram?
Given the nature of Instagram, which differs from the other platforms, financial advisors and RIAs have been much slower to adopt Instagram into their social media strategies.
Why is that? Here are some possible barriers to entry:
- Instagram is all about posting highly editorial content that is visually appealing and graphical. When you think about financial planning and wealth management, those topics don’t scream super-creative, and/or sexy editorial-type content. Just sayin’!
- Most content that RIAs and financial planners post on social media is related to specific blog articles or market reports. Again, not editorial-type content.
- It can be confusing to know what type of content to be publishing on the Instagram platform-Stories, Posts, Reels? Oh my….
- The frequency of creating new content is also an issue. What is too much content? What is not enough content?
- Building a following, especially organically, can take a long time on social media. Most firms don’t have the time or inclination to do this.
- Hashtags are a very important part of Instagram so knowing which ones to use and what to create can be very confusing and time consuming without an implementation strategy.
While it sounds daunting, your financial advisor practice can launch a successful Instagram strategy!
HOW TO GET STARTED-BUSINESS OR PERSONAL?
The majority of financial advisors and RIAs are using a business profile on Instagram vs. their personal accounts. Over 90% of all Instagram users follow a business(es) so having a presence is important.
A recent study by SproutSocial showed that 71% of businesses have an Instagram account. The average age of Instagram users is also increasing, giving your RIA firm higher odds of engaging with your target audience(s):
% of Instagram Users Age Group
47% 30-49 years old
23% 50-65 years old
8% 65+ years old
If your firm is looking to grow a younger client base over time, Instagram is rich with potential prospects.
WHAT TYPE OF CONTENT SHOULD MY FIRM BE POSTING:
RIA firms who are having success on Instagram are posting content related to their team, including local community activities, charitable involvement, event sponsorships, team building, and client events. This type of content really personalizes your firm for followers. They want to know what your company culture is and if that fits in with their own culture and beliefs.
POSTS VS. STORIES:
Here’s a quick breakdown on Posts vs. Stories:
Posts are what you see in your Instagram feed. This is where you can showcase your content as well as provide a description/story about the image as well as use specific hashtags that are relevant to the post. Your posts will reach a much larger audience (up to 85%) than Stories.
When you create a Post, you can:
- Single image/photo
- Create a carousel of images associated to a topic (multiple images that a user can click through)
Carousel posts had the highest interactions (likes, comments, shares), followed by single image posts and then videos.
Stories are short video clips and/or static images that you can post for your audience to review. Unlike Posts that remain on your profile for an indefinite amount of time, Stories are only available for 24 hours before disappearing off the platform. Stories can be a great way to share fun, quick clips about your firm or events that are worth sharing.
HOW FREQUENTLY SHOULD MY FIRM BE POSTING?
The good news is that you don’t have to post daily in order to build your Instagram account. With that being said, you should create two posts per week and up to 10 Stories per week. This will be a good start to building your Instagram account and followers.
While there are many other components to consider when building a financial advisor social media strategy that includes Instagram, it is doable and can reap many benefits for your firm over time. If you don’t have the time or resources inhouse to deploy this effort, there are financial advisor digital marketing agencies who can help implement this for your firm. You should look for an RIA agency that specializes in helping firms grow their social media presence with customized, original content.