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    4 Ways to Increase Instagram Engagement During COVID-19 [9 Bonus Templates to Use]

    4 Ways to Increase Instagram Engagement During COVID-19 [9 Bonus Templates to Use]

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    According to Hubspot, an average image on Instagram gets 23% more engagement than Facebook with the same image. What this means for you is that people are more likely to interact with your posts on Instagram than on Facebook, and with its average user age leaning towards younger crowd it is definitely a channel your marketing strategy should concentrate on.

    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic there has been a clear spike in online use and Instagram story impressions. So why not take advantage of this increased traffic to grow your financial institution's Instagram audience and engagement.

    Here are 4 ways you can increase engagement on your financial institution Instagram account during this pandemic

    1. Use content to support local businesses and gain insight from the community

    Support local yourself first. Whatever community initiative you are doing, whether to motivate employees through free lunches, or running contests on social media to drive engagement with current customers or fans, purchase the prizes from local businesses to reward employees and members.


    For example, Allegiance CU in Oklahoma City, OK gave away $25 to their employees to purchase lunches during the pandemic, and they encouraged staff to purchase from local restaurants. The Employees really loved it and thought it was a great idea! And they showed their love online.

    Write content relevant to current times. A great idea for a blog post can be concentrating on local causes and help that is available from your credit union and other organizations. You can research various things going on in the community to either get help or give help. Share those resources through a short shareable list on a blog and share on your social media channels.

    Carolina Trust FCU has put together a great blog to feature a few ways people can support local businesses:

    ctfcu local
    Ask where to help. Create a question post on Instagram asking people to respond regarding the problems their local community is facing. Follow up with suggestions to give possible ideas for local businesses to collaborate with your financial institution. Maybe consider an online webinar or Facebook Live series with local businesses and advertise it to your email list to help spread the word and give back locally. 

    Share ways for local businesses to survive. Facebook is now offering ways for businesses to easily set up digital gift cards. Encourage local businesses to take advantage of opportunities like this and support them by purchasing local business gift cards to host giveaways for contests.

    In order to run successful contests make sure you have specific rules, simple methods for entry, and a way to either generate leads, gain insight, or get user-generated content that can be used for future marketing or social media content.

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    Develop Instagram/Facebook story vision board posts. These are posts that people can fill out with their personal preferences. These are great to get insight on your members feelings, thoughts and preferences in a fun and engaging way. 

    To make it even easier for you... CLICK here for NINE free Instagram Story templates for your financial institution to use for social media engagement.

    2. Help and support healthcare and essential workers through referrals

    First Responder Social Media Contest IDEA: Set up a landing page with a form for people to nominate their current healthcare/essential worker superhero. Every entry will get a surprise Thank You note with a gift from the credit union.

    (Maybe it can be a $10 gift card to a local business or a meal from a local restaurant to support your community AND thank the amazing heroes of today’s crazy times).

    Make social media posts about thanking and supporting the healthcare/essential workers. You might consider encouraging local artists to submit designs for thank you notes to be shared on social media, or use some of the existing ones that are on platforms like Canva.com. 

    Local Superheroes Instagram Template

    Alter your product offerings to tie in a giving back aspect. For example: Maybe you could promote donations for every Auto or Home Refinance for the next three months. Your financial institution could promise to donate $XXX to a local food bank, hospital, or other charity. 

    Here is an example of how Dove is thanking the Healthcare workers and donating for the cause: 


    3. Encourage people to stay home by providing ideas/resources to use time productively

    Write a blog about ways to help parents homeschooling with financial education for kids at home. Include ways they can spend time with free activities using materials they might already have at home. You can also provide ideas for gardening or houseplants.

    According to a recent marketing strategy email from Brandwatch Consumer Research, there have been 160k posts on social related to houseplants just in March of this year!

    Run a contest or social media challenge for the best 'chalk the walk' art photo, best homemade piggy bank challenge, or any other contest that drives user generated content in a fun and engaging manner.

    Again from Brandwatch Consumer Research, there is an increase in social users sharing and looking for more good news.

    good news stats

    In order to play on this trend and spread some good vibes, encourage a gratitude challenge or run polls/questions and story ads about people sharing what they are grateful for. 

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    4. Motivate employees by engaging them in a fun way and use that as content on social media

    Do a #dontrushchallenge  on Instagram by asking employees to submit their videos in credit union gear. It will take a little bit of coordination upfront, but it can be a really fun project with employees working from home. Here's a fun Instagram video example for inspiration...

    Do live interviews of employees and behind the scenes pictures of working from home content to humanize your financial institution and encourage employees to share the same on their personal social media networks. 

    Don't Forget:
    - Ideally your Instagram post should have around six hashtags related to the post.
    - Direct Message Influencers to create a relationship beyond just Instagram Story tags.
    - Be responsive to comments and re-share the stories you are tagged in.
    - Don't forget to use stickers that brings your stories to the front. Current trending stickers include: Stay Home, #ThanksHealthHeroes, Thank You Hour.

    All these ideas can easily be implemented on your bank or credit union's Instagram account. Test out different ways and comment below to let us know ideas we forgot or which engagement strategies worked best for your financial institution!

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