Banks, budgets, and beauty bloggers

I’m scrolling through Instagram, as you do, and I get to thinking about sponsorships and the fact that Social Media Influencer is now a job title (explain that to your grandmother). Which leads to me wonder where are the banks and other financial companies in all of this? If it works for L’Oréal, would it work for Citigroup?

Take a lifestyle blogger for example. Look at their Instagram account. They’ve got millions of followers and one of those perfectly curated, envy-inducing feeds. Now look at their sponsors. Huge beauty, fashion, and fitness companies pay them (and pay them a lot, apparently) to fill their posts with branded products. Sometimes it’s a seamless fit, sometimes it’s not (hello, detox teas), but either way we’re taking it all in. And it sticks with us right to the checkout counter.

When we follow someone like that we’re not just learning what’s trendy this season, we’re absorbing a set of values.

What if one of those values was financial responsibility? What if more social media influencers talked about how they manage their money? So instead of just showing you their collection of Chanel bags, they showed you how to afford your own?

There’s a YouTuber, Chase Amie, who has a great video on exactly that. No one follows her because she knows how to budget, they follow her because they admire her lifestyle. It just so happens she has that lifestyle because she’s driven in her career and knows how to manage her money, both things she’s open about in her videos. Now someone who started following her because they envy her closet finds themselves learning about why they should open a savings account. None of it’s sponsored, just stuff she talks about naturally. Pretty cool, right?

What a great way to reach people that would benefit from financial advice but aren’t likely to Google ‘how to invest’ on their lunch break. If banks, robo-advisors or lenders found a way to genuinely collaborate with these social influencers it could open them up to a whole new audience.

I’m not exactly sure what this would look like, or if it would work, but it sure is interesting to think about.

P.S. In lieu of a somewhat-passably-relevant stock photo… Please enjoy this snap I took of the Flatiron building in New York while I was waiting at a crosswalk. It was a thousand degrees and smelled like garbage. It was beautiful.