Following the employment upheavals of 2020, millennials and Generation Z have taken on a more active approach to their finances. Rather than just focusing on savings, they have begun looking for different avenues to grow their money. In fact, Reuters reported that the number of UK stockbroker accounts in the UK opened by those aged 25 to 34 jumped more than 250%. They mark this as a trend spurred on by the pandemic.
Investing for teens is a slightly different ball game to investing as a 40- 60-year-old. Firstly, a teen’s investment time horizon may feel endless, because retirement is over 40 years away. This can lead to some teens having high risk-tolerances. This has led to teens snapping up cryptocurrency books as well as stocks & shares books as all options are on the table.
Given the digital adoption prodded by last year’s restrictions and the younger generations’ natural proclivity to tech, it should be no surprise that social media is becoming the go-to for financial insight. Among these platforms, Instagram is fast becoming a resource for younger financial consumers and experts online.
Instagram’s cultural impact in finance
A Greenlight study reveals one-quarter of young financial consumers get their advice from Instagram. In the last few years, even more “traditional” financial institutions such as Barclays, Deutsche Bank, and the Royal Bank of Scotland have joined Instagram. Individual financial advisors are taking to the platform to reach a wider audience and build a following too. This has introduced a new era of finance, with companies becoming more personal and warmer — two characteristics that millennials and Generation Z look for in brands and companies.
Are you suited for the Instagram landscape?
While the allure of Instagram is that virtually anyone can join it, it is important to consider its landscape. As per Statista, Instagram’s UK penetration has resulted in the following numbers:
- As of April 2021, there are over 3 billion active Instagram users globally.
- There are currently 32 million users in the United Kingdom.
- In 2018, a quarter of the total male population in the UK was active on Instagram.
- In the same year, 30% of UK females were reportedly on Instagram.
- During the first quarter of 2020, 54% of UK respondents say they checked Instagram several times a day.
It’s also important to note that Instagram relies largely on a recommendation algorithm. This uses machine learning technology to recognise patterns in users. Recently, Instagram has also begun promoting posts depending on upload time. Despite being a primarily visual platform, hashtags also play a large part in a post’s success.
Tips for navigating Instagram as a financial business
Utilise a content calendar
Consumers looking for advice online look for relevant content creators. Posting too erratically and featuring random content are among the top reasons accounts get unfollowed. Therefore, there is much to be gained from creating a content calendar. This way, well-crafted captions and hi-resolution images can be prepared and plotted ahead of time. Using an Instagram scheduler can further streamline the posting process of this content calendar. By automatically uploading pre-determined posts, you can be sure there are no lapses in your feed. Maintaining an active (but not overly active) feed also ensures that you remain visible on your followers’ feeds as this is how Instagram’s algorithm works.
Use expert tools
Gone are the days of relying on MS Paint or MS Video editor to create a visual feast. By using a dedicated tool like an Instagram story maker from software giant Adobe, you can produce content that will rival the social media departments of corporate brands within days.
Diversify the content you post
To keep current followers engaged whilst attracting new ones, diverse and dynamic content is essential. Two content trends that do well on Instagram are influencers and Stories. According to Instagram, their short format Stories receive over 500 million views a day. Stories have among the highest conversion rates, largely because they’re not restricted by Instagram’s algorithm. Influencer marketing will also continue to grow, as 87% of people say influencers informed their decisions. Micro-influencers in the UK (those with followings between 10,000 and 50,000) are attracting significant engagement for being more approachable. By 2022, Forbes reveals that brands will spend around £10 billion ($15 billion) on influencer marketing.
Financial regulations still exist in social media
As much as it is important to sound more casual on Instagram, don’t forget that financial regulations still matter. As we mentioned in our past article about connecting on Tiktok, the UK’s financial regulations clearly state that unregistered and unlicensed individuals are prohibited from offering financial advice. Even shared personal experience must be carefully worded. To be safe, licenced financial coaches must state their credentials. At the same time, financial institutions leveraging influencer marketing would do well to provide communication guidelines. This reduces any chances of accidentally infringing on FCA regulations.
While society slowly begins to reconnect, the convenience of social media has made it a modern-day necessity. As Instagram elevates itself to become a platform for financial independence and stability, it’ll soon be commonplace for money experts to include social media in their own career strategies.