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03/09/2016

Using Selfies to Market Your Financial Institution

Mark Arnold Mark Arnold March 9th, 2016

If an ordinary picture is worth a thousand words, how many words is a selfie worth? Retailers that have used selfies to promote their businesses will say they are more valuable then words. They can actually change the face of your marketing efforts (pun intended).

Once thought of as an internet fad, selfies are now a global craze. Infogr.am reports that over a million selfies are taken globally each day. About a third of those selfies get posted on Facebook. If you’re not using the selfie as a marketing tool for your financial institution, you are missing a golden opportunity to expand your digital footprint and connect with consumers on a more intimate level. Here are some ideas for using selfies as a marketing tool.

Promote Products

One of the life long challenges financial institutions have faced is finding creative ways to make financial services and low interest rates look exciting to consumers.

A rate board just doesn’t have the same appeal as a photo of the latest fashion trend, gaming system or menu item. But a photo of what your customers or members do with their loans might. Have them submit selfies in front of the home they bought with a mortgage loan from your financial institution, in the pool they installed with their home equity loan or in the car (not in motion) they bought with an auto loan.

Encourage them to be creative

If they paid for it with your help, let them help you promote it. The one with the most “likes” could win a free monthly payment. This summer selfie contest sponsored by a tour company may give you some good ideas to get started.

Show the human side of your brand

The growing use of online and mobile banking channels creates a challenge for financial institutions to connect and establish relationships with consumers. Traditionally, branches are used for this purpose, but what percentage of your consumers never step foot inside a branch office?

Don’t just show off your products. Show off your people. Post occasional selfies of employees doing their jobs, celebrating a milestone with a customer of member, celebrating a new loan or account with a consumer making deposit with a caption like, “XYZ financial institution is where I keep my money, too.” Consumers like doing business with companies whose employees like their jobs.

Promote an event or a cause

One of the best ways to increase attendance at an event your financial institution is hosting is to post photos on social media as the event is happening.

Consumers get even more enticed when other consumers are posting those pictures, because now they are missing out on someone else’s fun. Set up a selfie station at your next event, similar to the photo booth concept. Have consumers take selfies and post them to your social media site in exchange for a free ticket in a prize drawing, a free snack item or one of your marketing promotional items. It’s amazing what people will do for a keychain or a koozie. The stakes are even higher when they know their selfie is helping you raise money for a good cause.

However you choose to use selfies (and other pictures) to market your financial institution, remember that basic marketing principals still apply. You should have a clear goal of what you want to accomplish with your promotion. The campaign should relate to your products, services and brand and cater to a targeted audience. Contests should be simple to enter with prizes that entice participation. Use only one social media platform and hail the power of the hashtag. Create one or two hashtags that consumers have to use on their photos and be sure some version of your financial institution’s name is in one of them.

When used wisely and creatively, selfies can add new life to your marketing campaigns while helping more consumers engage with your brand.