You’ve seen them on Instagram feeds of celebrities and friends. Those fun, somewhat jerky videos that show people dancing or jumping or throwing money in a seemingly endless loop. If you aren’t familiar, those short video clips are Boomerangs. It’s a feature in Instagram that allows small movements to be turned into fun videos. You can also save them out of Instagram so they can be shared on Twitter, Facebook and other social sites.
The good parts:
They are attention getting. When done well, these are fun little video pieces that can highlight something fun your staff or members are doing.
They’re free. As long as you have your phone and the app, you’re ready to go.
People are willing to take part. Tell a group that you’re going to take a picture of them and you may hear a few grumbles. Tell them you’re doing a video, you’ll hear outright complaints. Tell them to do something silly so you can make a Boomerang, people tend to start coming up with fun ideas rather than fussing about being on video.
From a technical standpoint, they are videos so Instagram and Facebook will naturally place them higher in feeds.
They don’t really say anything. While a normal video, even a brief one, can get a message across about an event, promotion, etc, Boomerang, by its very nature, is simply a loop of the same activity.
They still have the same legal weight as a regular video. If you would normally get a member’s permission to post a video or photo image of them, the same rules apply for a Boomerang, no matter how silly.
They are silly. As mentioned in the first two points, this medium doesn’t lend itself easily to a strong, serious marketing message. While not everything you share with members needs to be serious, you must be careful that you aren’t sharing videos that make it seem like you aren’t taking their money or your jobs seriously.
So, should you use them at all? Sure! Just make sure you are keeping these best practices in mind:
Use them sparingly and strategically. If you are hosting a member appreciation day event and have people in and out of the branch all day, share away! But if you share multiple videos during a ‘regular’ day (or even week) of staff doing fun stuff, the message you’re sharing may not be ‘we love our jobs and working for you’ and may instead be ‘you’re totally missing out on this, we’re having fun instead of helping members.’ No one likes an inside joke or that “you had to be there” feeling, so don’t give it to your members.
Use Boomerang to enhance a message. Photos and/or additional video can provide context by giving members more information about the event or promotion you’re sharing. Having cookies and punch in the branch? Go ahead and Boomerang your staff (and members with their permission) celebrating. But add a video of someone telling members they can come by and enjoy the free treats so the message has purpose. With Instagram now allowing multiple photos and videos in a single post, you can share the message in a single post. Boomerang can be the thing that catches a member’s eye, but you need to make sure there is enough information for them to understand the reason why something is happening.
Mix it up. We all have those coworkers who are eager to participate in anything we do. They are great assets to the team and their enthusiasm is admirable. But if your videos (or pictures for that matter) feature the same three or four people time after time, you have lost the chance to show off all the different people and personalities that are part of your credit union. The quieter members of the team may not jump at the chance to be in a video, but Boomerang is a great way to include them without requiring them to speak to the camera or jump into the spotlight.
When it comes to your credit union’s video and social media strategy, Boomerang can be a fun addition and a useful tool for getting your posts additional reach. Putting a little extra thought into the situation you’re choosing to showcase, the people you are including and how a member may perceive the message can go a long way toward making the video more valuable. Remember, think before you Boomerang. And your members may just come back.