On Instagram, you don’t necessarily need a heavy posting frequency to attract a bunch of new followers.
Case in point: Bank of America.
BofA added 15,000 Instagram followers in the second quarter of 2023, the largest increase of any U.S. bank in our top 100 ranking for this social media platform. The newcomers bring BofA up to a total of 283,000 Instagram followers.
The Charlotte, N.C.-based megabank managed to grow its massive following by more than 5% while posting just 18 times during the quarter. This averages out to six times a month.
Its posting frequency is less than half that of its bank and credit union peers on Instagram. The total number of posts in the second quarter across all U.S. banks and credit unions we track on Instagram breaks down to an average of 45 posts per institution, or 15 posts monthly.
A Look at Bank of America’s Instagram Activity
BofA’s Instagram activity consists mainly of product marketing and financial education, along with posts that highlight its sponsorships.
Sometimes the bank sets out to prompt engagement, as with a post on June 7 asking people what kind of vacationer they are. The post consists of five panels showing different types of vacations.
It got hundreds of likes and 20 comments, although several were complaints and others were heart emojis.
Other types of posts generally get more attention. The BofA post with the most engagement for the second quarter — with more than 13,000 likes and 32 comments — was a gallery of three photos showcasing the bank’s partnership with the Los Angeles Dodgers. “We were honored to partner with the @dodgers to host our Bank of America Play It Forward Baseball Clinic. It was a great opportunity for local youth to learn skills on the field and in life from local pros @everettehtier, @therealjhair, @james_loney and @andreterrell13.”
Fintechs Give Banks a Challenge Even on Instagram
Instagram, which is part of the Meta social media family, is popular with consumers and marketers. The site has more than 1 million advertisers and 2.35 billion monthly active users, making it the fourth-largest social media platform, after Facebook, YouTube and WhatsApp. (Meta also owns Facebook and WhatsApp and launched a new platform called Threads in June 2023 to rival the floundering Twitter.)
Globally, the State Bank of India — the bank on Instagram with the highest following as of the second quarter of 2023 — boasts 2.6 million followers. Nigeria’s FirstBank ranks second, but its follower count drops off dramatically in comparison, to 1 million.
Digital challengers more than hold their own against the banks. The Brazilian fintech Nubank — which is not officially a bank so does not appear in our ranking of banks on social media — has 2.7 million Instagram followers.
Among U.S. banks, the $3.1 trillion-asset BofA is the one with the most Instagram followers, having dethroned Chase in the first quarter of 2023. Chase, the largest bank in the country with $3.7 trillion of assets, has 276,000 followers as of the second quarter, just 7,000 behind BofA.
The fintech Chime — which, like Nubank, is not officially a bank — has three times as many followers as those megabanks, at 933,000. Other digital players also have impressive followings, including Varo (102,000) and Aspiration (91,400). (Varo started out as a fintech but obtained a bank charter in July 2020.)
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And Now for the Ranking …
In all, there are 19 U.S. banks among the top 100 on Instagram. In the chart below, the U.S. banks that earned a spot on the global list are ranked compared with their peers in this country.
The ranking is based on the total number of Instagram followers for each bank, which The Financial Brand’s Power 100 social media database compiles quarterly. The database tracks more than 2,000 banks and credit unions globally on four social media platforms.
Ranking of the top U.S. Banks on Instagram
|Institution||Total Number of Followers||Number of New Followers in Q2||Total Number of Posts|
|TD Bank (US)||62,800||2,100||977|
|Bank of Hawaii||20,400||200||2,799|
See the global social media standouts:
More detail, including the full methodology, can be found on the FAQ page for the Power 100 rankings.