Hacking Customer Attention: Leveraging Social Media for Insurance and Finance

Financial services marketing expert Dr. Robin Kiera reveals how banks and insurers can harness social media and behavioral economics to create compelling content, build customer relationships and drive sales in the digital age.

Financial services marketing is undergoing a profound transformation in today’s digital age. Traditional strategies are losing their effectiveness as consumers increasingly turn to social media for information, entertainment and engagement. To shed light on this shift and provide actionable insights for financial marketers, Jim Marous of The Financial Brand sat down with Dr. Robin Kiera, a renowned expert in the field and author of the new book “Attention Hacking: The Power of Social Media Selling in Insurance and Finance.”

With years of experience working in both insurance and banking, Kiera has become a thought leader and influencer in his own right, amassing a substantial following across platforms like

TikTok, LinkedIn and Twitter. In this Q&A, he shares his wisdom on how financial institutions can harness the power of social media to build trust, educate consumers and ultimately drive business growth.

Q: Why are traditional marketing strategies losing their effectiveness in the financial services industry?

Dr. Robin Kiera: The world has changed — and consumers are no longer paying attention to the same channels they once did. People are increasingly skeptical of traditional advertising and are turning to social media for more authentic, engaging content.

If you’re still relying on TV ads or billboards to reach your audience, you’re missing out on where they’re actually spending their time and attention.

Q: How can financial institutions meet customers where they are on social platforms?

Kiera: It’s all about understanding your target audience and tailoring your content accordingly. You need to be present on the platforms where your customers are active — whether that’s TikTok for younger consumers or LinkedIn for B2B relationships.

But more than just being there, you need to create content that resonates with their interests, needs and preferences. That might mean educational videos on financial topics, entertaining skits that showcase your brand personality or thought-provoking posts that spark conversation.

Common Pitfalls in Financial Services Social Media Marketing

Q: What are some common mistakes financial institutions make when it comes to social media marketing?

Kiera: One of the biggest pitfalls is handing off social media to an agency that doesn’t truly understand the unique challenges and opportunities of the financial services industry. They might create content that looks nice but fails to connect with your specific audience or business goals.

Another mistake is relying on inexperienced interns or junior employees to manage your social presence. While they may be digitally savvy, they often lack the strategic vision and industry knowledge needed to drive real results.

Q: What’s the key to developing a successful social media strategy for financial services?

Kiera: It starts with having a clear understanding of your target audience and what they want to see from your brand on social media. From there, it’s about creating a consistent, professional approach that aligns with your overall marketing goals.

That means investing in the right talent, whether in-house or through a specialized agency and giving them the resources and support they need to execute a data-driven, customer-centric strategy.

Platforms and Tactics for Success

Q: Which social media platforms hold the most promise for financial services companies?

Kiera: It depends on your specific audience and objectives, but in general, we’re seeing a lot of success with TikTok for B2C engagement and LinkedIn for B2B relationship-building.

TikTok has become a powerhouse for reaching younger consumers with creative, authentic content, while LinkedIn remains the go-to platform for thought leadership and professional networking in the industry.

“One of the biggest pitfalls is handing off social media to an agency that doesn’t truly understand the unique challenges and opportunities of the financial services industry. They might create content that looks nice but fails to connect with your specific audience or business goals.”

Q: What types of content tend to perform best on these platforms?

Kiera: Educational and entertaining content that provides real value to your audience tends to generate the most engagement and trust.

That could be short videos explaining complex financial concepts in simple terms, behind-the-scenes glimpses into your company culture, or even humor-driven skits that showcase your brand’s personality. The key is to create content that people actually want to watch and share rather than just pushing promotional messages.

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Balancing Personalization and Automation

Q: How can financial institutions deliver personalized experiences on social media while still scaling their efforts?

Kiera: It’s a balancing act, but one that can be achieved through a combination of data, technology and human touch. By leveraging tools like customer relationship management (CRM) systems and social media analytics, you can gain valuable insights into your audience’s preferences and behaviors.

This allows you to create targeted content and campaigns that resonate with specific segments while still maintaining a consistent brand voice and strategy.

Q: What role does human connection play in social media marketing for financial services?

Kiera: While automation and data are essential for scaling your efforts, human connection remains at the heart of building trust and loyalty with your audience. That means having real people behind your social media accounts who can engage in authentic conversations, answer questions and provide personalized support when needed. It also means showcasing the human side of your brand through employee spotlights, customer success stories and community involvement.

Q: What are the key metrics financial marketers should track to gauge the success of their social media efforts?

Kiera: It depends on your specific goals, but some important metrics to consider include reach, engagement rate, click-through rate and conversion rate. Reach tells you how many people are seeing your content, while engagement rate indicates how actively they’re interacting with it through likes, comments and shares.

The click-through rate measures how effectively your content drives traffic back to your website or landing pages — and the conversion rate tells you how many of those visitors are taking the desired actions, such as filling out a form or making a purchase.

Q: How can financial institutions tie their social media metrics to broader business objectives?

Kiera: The key is to align your social media goals with your overall marketing and business objectives from the start.

That might mean using social media to generate leads for your sales team, drive traffic to your website, or increase brand awareness and consideration among a specific target audience. By setting clear, measurable goals and tracking the right metrics, you can demonstrate the tangible impact of your social media efforts on the bottom line.

Lessons from Writing ‘Attention Hacking’

Q: What were some of the key insights you gained while writing your book on social media marketing for financial services?

Kiera: One of the biggest takeaways was the importance of quality over quantity when it comes to social media content. In the early days of social media, you could get away with posting frequently and seeing results, but now the competition for attention is much fiercer. To stand out, you need to create truly exceptional content that provides value and resonates with your audience on a deep level.

Q: What advice would you give to financial marketers looking to thrive in the digital age?

Kiera: My top recommendation would be to start building your short-form video content strategy now. Platforms like TikTok, Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts are only going to become more important in the coming years and financial institutions that can master this format will have a huge advantage in capturing attention and driving engagement. But more broadly, it’s about embracing social media as a core part of your marketing strategy and investing in the talent, resources and creativity needed to succeed in this new landscape.

“One of the biggest takeaways was the importance of quality over quantity when it comes to social media content.”

Q: In your own social media presence, you’re known for your unique, engaging personality. How important is it for financial brands and professionals to showcase their authentic selves on these platforms?

Kiera: It’s absolutely crucial. People don’t want to engage with faceless corporations or bland, generic content. They want to connect with real human beings who have opinions, emotions and unique perspectives. That’s why I always encourage financial professionals to inject their own personality into their social media presence.

Of course, you have to be mindful of compliance and regulatory concerns. But there’s still plenty of room to be yourself, to share your passions and interests and to create content that reflects your authentic voice.

When you do that, you’ll find that people are much more likely to trust you, engage with your content and ultimately do business with you.

Q: As you look to the future, what trends or developments in social media marketing are you most excited about for the financial services industry?

Kiera: One of the biggest opportunities I see is the rise of video content, particularly short-form video on platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels. These formats are incredibly engaging and allow financial brands to showcase their personality, creativity and expertise in a highly accessible way.

I also think we’ll see a lot more focus on community-building and two-way engagement on social platforms. It’s not just about broadcasting messages anymore – it’s about fostering genuine conversations, soliciting feedback and creating a sense of belonging among your audience.

Finally, I believe we’re just scratching the surface when it comes to the use of data and personalization in social media marketing. As tools become more sophisticated, financial institutions will be able to deliver even more targeted, relevant content to individual users based on their specific needs and interests. That’s a huge opportunity to build trust, loyalty and long-term value.

The Bottom Line

As Dr. Robin Kiera makes clear, social media is no longer an optional extra for financial services marketing – it’s a critical channel for building trust, educating consumers and driving business growth.

By understanding the unique challenges and opportunities of platforms like TikTok and LinkedIn, developing a strategy that balances personalization and automation and measuring success against clear business objectives, financial institutions can thrive in the digital age.

But success won’t come easy – it requires a commitment to quality content, authentic engagement and continuous learning and adaptation. As Kiera puts it: “you need to be where your customers are, delivering the content they want in the format they prefer.”

For financial marketers willing to put in the work and embrace this new paradigm, the rewards are substantial: deeper customer relationships, increased brand loyalty and a powerful engine for sustainable growth.

For a longer version of this conversation, listen to “Hacking Attention: Mastering Social Selling in Banking,” an episode of the Banking Transformed podcast with Jim Marous, available here or wherever you get your podcasts. This Q&A has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Justin Estes is an award-winning writer, strategist, and financial marketing expert with expertise in banking, investments, and fintech. His clients include the NYSE, Franklin Templeton, Credit Karma, Citi and, UBS, and his work has appeared in Forbes, Barrons and ThinkAdvisor as well as The Financial Brand.

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