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Why Financial Firms are Pivoting Towards Instagram

As top college grads are swayed by Silicon Valley allure, firms like Goldman Sachs are taking their social media presence to the next level

In an age where companies can’t afford to be offline, even financial giant Goldman Sachs launched an official Instagram account in September 2018. What could an Instagram account from Goldman Sachs possibly feature? They post everything including key research findings, notable speakers at the firm, and even unique hobbies of their employees.

But who exactly is the audience for this?

It’s not their clients, but rather for their future employees. According to a recent Business Insider article, financial firms have been struggling recently recruit top Millennials and Gen Z, so they have begun adopting social media in order to engage these younger generations.

This is a crucial move for financial institutions that want to ensure they will maintain their competitive edge in the years to come. This is especially for Goldman Sachs, whose workforce is comprised of over two-thirds Millennials.

“Instagram gives us an opportunity to connect with the general public by sharing insights into topics on the minds of our clients, as well as providing an intimate look into life at Goldman Sachs, and we think people will find there’s a lot more to our firm than simply being a financial services company,” said Amanda Rubin, Goldman’s Global Co-Head of Brand & Content Strategy.

Why change to focus on Instagram?

The move to Instagram might also be due to some changing statistics about recent college graduates. A Harvard Business School study of 2017 graduates found that only 5% of that year’s graduates were pursuing a career investment banking and sales and trading, the traditional focus of firms like Goldman. That compares to 10% in 2011.

Gen Z is shaping up to be a very practical generation when it comes to money, and so it’s no surprise that they’d be swayed by technology companies and the Silicon Valley model, where graduates may be lured by the promise of better hours and big stock options packages. The Harvard study also found that 16% of graduates said they were going into technology, an increase from 11% in 2011.

Other prominent banks, including JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America also use Instagram to connect with their younger audiences and potential employees. But it’s not enough to just set up these social media accounts and hope the top applicants will come to you and – more importantly – stick around. Financial firms need to understand what their Millennial and Gen Z employees need and expect from a workplace, and be willing to meet them more than halfway if they want to retain a solid workforce for years to come.

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