Cashing In: Leveraging Social Media for Financial Institutions

Banks and social media have at least one thing common – nearly everybody uses them. As social media usage continues to rise, financial institutions are pivoting their marketing strategies to include social media marketing.

Advertising on social media allows you to market to customers you may not have gotten the chance to interact with previously. By creating engaging, relatable, and resourceful content, you could cash in on social media’s benefits for your financial institution, too! Continue reading for content tips to get you started.

Engaging Your Current and Potential Customers


Giveaways are a great way to increase the awareness, reach, and engagement of your social content. Besides looking fun and generous to your audience, this serves an essential purpose. The more attention your posts get from users, the more social networks recognize your page as engaging, which increases the likelihood of users seeing your other content more often. Prizes can range from gift cards to an extra deposit in a customer’s account to tickets for a local event.

Seasonal Events/Milestones

Keeping your content fresh and up-to-date with holidays, milestones, and events helps your customers see the potential in your services. Look at the months ahead and what services you plan to promote. Are there any services that coincide with certain times of the year? For example, an individual who has their first child on the way may think to start a college fund for their child when they see other children graduating in the spring.

Testimonials/Internal News

These days your social media is often the first impression that a potential customer has of you and your business. Sharing reviews, testimonials, internal accomplishments, and news helps humanize your company and allows your current and potential customers to see themselves in your brand. Individuals want to support the voice and the people behind the brand, not just the best deals anymore. Help them see that you helped John Smith get pre-approved for his first home and that you can help them too. Likewise, sharing internal celebrations and news helps you promote your company culture and make others want to be a part of it, whether as a customer or a fellow employee.

Relatable Content/Guides

While it’s important to promote the services you offer, it’s also important to share content and resources that your customers will find insightful to show that you are on their side and want them to achieve financial success. Sharing relevant and timely articles can help you achieve this goal. For example, sharing a “How to Budget for Christmas Presents” article as we head into the holidays or sharing relevant information to paying off student loans around college graduation time. Most importantly, when sharing outside articles, you want to make sure that they are credible sources. Penny Hoarder, Nerd Wallet, and Kiplinger are good places to start.

Paid Social Media Ad Campaigns

In addition to creating engaging feed posts, running paid social media ads are a great way to promote your financial institution with measurable and monetary results. Whether your initiative is to increase brand awareness, website visits, or drive conversions, paid social media advertising provides you with options that best fit your goals. Facebook provides priority to paid content, further increasing your chances of reaching potential customers.  Not sure where to start with paid advertising or what metrics you should be focusing on? Check out our Social Media Metrics Guide for Beginners blog.

The Technical Stuff 

Special Ad Categories

When boosting your posts or running ads on Facebook as a financial institution, you have to run them as a “Special Ads Category,” or they will not be approved. The two most likely categories that will apply to your content will be “credit opportunity” or “housing opportunity.”

Audience Targeting Limitations

When venturing into paid social media advertising for financial institutions, it’s vital to understand the limitations this industry faces compared to others. You are not allowed to target your audience by age or interests. You are permitted to target by location only.  


Financial institutions are subject to specific laws and regulations regarding advertising that many other industries don’t have to face. Be sure to check with the Compliance Department to be sure that you are following the specific guidelines, such as FDIC and FHEO disclosures. An effective way to ensure that you comply is to create a subtle, graphic overlay to place on your images where required, like shown below.


With various social media networks and strategies to reach your current and potential customers, cashing in on the benefits of social media marketing for your financial institution has never been easier. 

For more ways to earn your customers’ interest across social media, contact Online Optimism’s team of social media experts today!