According to the most recent Edelman Trust Barometer, financial services is the second-least trusted industry sector (behind technology, healthcare and even entertainment.)
So, it should not come as much of a surprise to learn that, when seeking financial advice, many consumers look elsewhere.
The irony is — when looking for financial guidance — many consumers turn to what Edelman’s 2022 study determined to be the least trusted industry: social media.
Finfluencers Your Customers Follow
The power of social media “influencers” is growing across all industries including financial services. Defined as a “new breed of influencer,”the ‘finfluencer – aka finance influencer, is a rapidly growing group of thought leaders who connect with followers through digital outlets and share tips, advice and insights into everything from money management to budgeting to investing.
Prominent on virtually every social media platform, the new wave of financial advice providers has grown so quickly, particularly on TikTok, as to merit its own category: ‘FinTok.’
We recently looked at the rise of finfluencers and how they are reshaping the way financial institutions (FIs), fintechs and other industry segments interact with consumers. Finfluencers continue to rise in number, leaving consumers with hundreds of options of voices to choose from.
So what does this rise in FinTok mean for FIs?
FIs seeking to understand Millennials, Gen Z and Gen Alpha (the demographic succeeding Gen Z), need look no further than the finfluencers. Many fintechs and forward-thinking banks are already leveraging this trend by working closely with finfluencers.
At the very least, finding and following these influencers on social media can benefit FIs by giving quick insight into the conversations and trending topics happening outside of their organization and within their target audience.
So, to help you get started, we put together a list of popular influencers to follow. (Although BillGO doesn't endorse the views or opinions expressed by these influencers, we do find them educational, entertaining and occasionally provocative.)
- Sasha Kennedy (@thebrokeblackgirl - 191K followers) is a financial activist that stands for equity and education. She has helped more than 70,000 African American women kickstart their personal finance journey through culturally relevant financial education. Dash was also named the 2022 Fini Awards Finfluencer of the Year.
- Haley Sacks (@mrsdowjones - 186K followers) The self proclaimed “financial popstar” uses memes, videos, a newsletter, events and a book club to teach a young and her predominantly female audience all they need to know about getting and staying rich. As Sacks says, she’s out to make keeping up with the Dow Joneses as fun as “Keeping Up With The Kardashians.”
- Steve Financial Freedom Coach (@calltoleap 893.4K followers) posts daily content on how to achieve financial literacy and ultimately reach financial freedom. As a former middle school math teacher Steve’s approach is to make money less intimidating and educate people about ways to achieve financial freedom much earlier in life.
- Humphrey Yang, (@HumphreyTalks - 3.2 M followers) is a personal finance Tik Tok’er and YouTuber covering any and all money related topics, from basic finance to financial mindset, self-improvement and productivity.
- Taylor Price (@pricelesstay - 1.2M followers) is a globally-recognized Gen Z financial activist and money mentor. After entering college and noticing a lack of financial education taught in traditional schooling, Taylor started a blog with the aim to “end the silent pandemic of financial literacy.”
- John Eringman (@JohnEFinance - 1.3 M followers) is a finance major turned finance creator who believes everyone is entitled to honest financial education. His journey started after seeing first hand most schools don’t teach financial literacy and decided to take it upon himself to learn and teach others along the way. Here to help his followers, he builds healthy financial habits with no gimmicks, sale pitches or get rich quick schemes.
- Melissa Jean-Baptiste and Shakira Wallace (@Millennialindebt - 41.4 K followers) teach their Millennial & Gen Z followers to build generational wealth and financial freedom offering daily content and extended video courses on topics like home buying tips, personal finance workshops and paying off debt.
- Vivian Tu (@yourrichbff - 1.1 M followers) found herself wondering why it felt like no one knew anything about personal finance including people working in finance. When the pandemic hit, she started seeing what she thought was poor financial advice going around during a time when people were desperate to make ends meet. So, like many, she took it upon herself to start providing financial literacy for free, in bite-sized pieces on TikTok.
- Tori Dunlap (@herfirst100k - 2.1M followers) is recognized as a career and money expert and “financial feminist” promoting financial education with the goal of financial freedom for all.
- Parii Bafna (@pariibafna - 319.1K followers) is making personal finance simple with daily content covering everything from how to grow your credit score to stocks to tips on how to manage your money in the day-to-day.
Lessons from the Rise of FinTok
As discussed in our previous influencer blog, younger consumers are starting to amass some wealth (despite facing headwinds brought on by today’s inescapable cloud of inflation). Now may be an ideal time for FIs to cultivate long-term relationships with younger consumers. And, taking advantage of social media and the power of influencers is a great way to get started ...
Here are four lessons FIs can learn from the growing popularity of influencers.
- Embrace new ways of communication — Rather than dismissing the rise in FinTok, FIs should look at the phenomenon as an opportunity to connect with a new and growing audience. Platforms like TikTok can provide a closer connection to users with the ability to respond to comments and engage with followers.
- Closing the gap in financial literacy — Despite the wealth of information that surrounds us, only about one-third of Americans are considered financially healthy. Helping consumers overcome financial challenges and achieve their goals is a great way for FIs to build trust, attain new customers and deepen relationships. And, leveraging influencers is one way to make that happen.
- Credible information from a reputable source — Many bank execs may be surprised to learn Gen Z still turns to legacy banks more often than they do neobanks. For incumbent FIs, this may represent a golden opportunity to act as a stable, authoritative voice in a seemingly never-ending stream of misinformation.
- Demand for Personalized Financial Help — A study from Oracle shows consumers under the age of 30 are most interested in personalized advice and help when choosing a banking provider. However, true end-to-end personalization requires developing strong cross-channel offerings within the customer journey, providing service, information and advice.
FIs that can successfully deliver on this multi-channel personalization will be well-positioned to win over customers.
BillGO’s latest eBook, Winning the Battle for Bill Pay, is packed full of insights into what consumers want in the bill pay technology their FIs provide. We invite you to download your complimentary copy of the eBook today.