Why Most Banks Suck at Using Pinterest

Banks Suck on-Pinterest


How Financial Institutions can Benefit from Using Pinterest

At this moment, there aren’t a lot of financial institutions that are on Pinterest, which is really a shame given that about 80% of users are women, and 50% of those women have children.

What’s very fascinating is that 85% of all purchasing decisions are made or influenced by women. What’s also a whopping statistic is that 91% report that advertisers don’t understand them.

This could be part of the reason why banks are failing at using Pinterest effectively. According to an article by Financial Brand, it suggests that most banks should not even bother with Pinterest at all since it offers very little if any ROI. I think this is a big mistake that the banks are making, while others like JJ Hornblass, who wrote an article on Bank Innovation, suggests that it can be a huge pay off.

I think banks are ignoring Pinterest because they simply don’t understand it enough, and how their female audiences are interacting with such a discovery channel and social network.

So how can banks use Pinterest effectively to help them not only increase their brand awareness, and get a return on ROI?

Create Pins that Focus on Students and Their Financial Concerns

A lot of young female students that are about to head into college or already attending are are using Pinterest, according to Modea, 17.3% users are between the ages of 18-24.

I’m sure many of them would like to know how they can apply for student loans easily, and how to ensure that their loans are interest free. Here’s a graphic that’s on Wells Fargo’s website.

Wells Fargo Student

Wells Fargo, who are notoriously bad with their Pinterest account, because they have no pins, would probably get more traffic and leads to their site if they created a pin that stated, “Learn how to get a student loan…Interest Free.” If you’ve hung around Pinterest, you know these kinds of informational pins can be very helpful to young students.

Another interesting topic that would apply to a younger demographic that banks can provide information on is, “How to Get Your First Credit Card.”

Create Pins that Focus on Brides and their Upcoming Life Stages

I don’t know if this is an exaggeration, but it’s almost impossible to find a bride to be in North America that hasn’t used Pinterest in some way to plan or be inspired for their own wedding. There’s so many brides to be and many of them know planning for their wedding and their honeymoon can be costly.

One of the ways that banks can expand their reach, brand awareness, and loyalty is by offering interesting financial tips on how to prepare for a wedding. Since weddings can get expensive or there may be unexpected costs that arise, banks can use Pinterest to inform brides to be about the the advantages of having a line of credit.

But what’s also expensive is what comes after the wedding.

What about paying or saving money for the honeymoon?

What about life insurance in the case that the spouse has an unexpected accident?

What do new couples need to know about buying a home and how can banks help?

What about buying a new family car?

A great financial institution will realize that at some point that brides to be will be going through all those different phases, and heavily influencing these purchase decisions. So why not provide educational pins that will help customers make better financial decisions?

Notice how this Pinterest account by TD Bank has nothing to do with educating and helping their customers make better financial decisions.

TD Bank Pinterest

The Financial Industry Should be Able to Get ROI within a Year

Banks not being able to cash in on activities and getting a ROI is just plain silly. And here’s why. Let’s look at the example of Pet Plan insurance. This is a pet insurance company that was able to increase their requested number of insurance quotes by 12.5% and 35% increase in page views through the use of Pinterest.

Yep, people on Pinterest were interested in making sure that their pets received pet health insurance. Do you know how many followers they have on their Pinterest account? 10,000 at the time of this writing. When the statistic above was reported, I believe they had around 7,000 followers.

Contrary to conventional knowledge, the number of followers doesn’t determine the success of a Pinterest campaign.

Petplan Insurance knew that the best way to connect with customers was to educate them about how to improve the health of their pets and at the same time provide entertaining pins.

Pet Plan Insurance

This did two things for the company. One, it allowed them to connect with customers not on a transactional basis, but through an emotional connection, and two, when pet owners’ pets were healthy this meant that Pet Plan Insurance was more profitable. This was a win win.

What’s more Important than Pets? Children

Children. Children are so important to parents, and with over 50% of the female Pinterest users being parents, why are the banks shying away about how to properly save for a child’s future education?

The biggest challenge is that banks aren’t creating the educational material that DOES matter to their female consumers. Instead, mothers are turning toward mommy bloggers for information about their children.

Banks should be focusing on providing educational content such as ways that mothers can save money during the first year of their child’s birth. Or educate moms on how to plan on their next family trip by creating a designated savings account just for that purpose.

A great example of an educational content board on Pinterest is Home Depot’s “#DIHWorkshop,” which stands for do it herself.

Home Depot

Banks are Spending Too Much on Paper Advertising

Banks will spend a lot of time and money on brochures and printing material to educate their customers, but they need to move into the digital space where mothers are hanging out.

If a pet insurance company can do all that to get people to get insurance quotes for all the work that they do, why can’t banks do the same.

Most banks fail because they don’t repurpose their content for a different marketing channel. Instead they cling to their own ways on how things should be done, and that it should be in a print. Banks need to convert into online magazine styles of providing information and provide helpful financial tips that mothers can use in their daily lives.

Banks Need to Create Blogs

While state, national and international laws regarding certain financial regulations may prevent certain things to be written, there are still some universal principles that should be written before someone else does.

There are so many different topics that banks can blog about that would work out great on Pinterest and make the banks an incredibly trusted resource. After all Pinterest is now the second most used tool for social sharing for publishers.

Here are just a few that would do very well on Pinterest.

1) How to financially save for your next family vacation.

2) How to get the most out of your credit card points

3) How to plan for retirement

4) What’s in store for the economy in the next 5 years

5) Do you have your child’s college tuition saved up?

6) How much will 500 a month get you when you retire?

The number of topics can go on and on, and when banks are able to provide education and give customers information that they truly need, only then will they see success on Pinterest. While the banking institutions have their steady ways, it’s only a matter of time before educated and digitally savvy consumers will go with the banks they feel a online and offline relationship with.

What’s your opinion of banks on Pinterest? Do you feel that they are using Pinterest effectively or do you give them a thumbs down?

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Written by Vincent NG

I’m a social media marketer, particularly for Pinterest, It all started back in 2010 when Pinterest was in beta. It was the fastest independent website to get 10 million unique visitors in the U.S. This really struck a chord with me, and it was then that I knew that Pinterest was going to be a powerhouse in the world of digital and social media marketing.