Most investors use social media, but many say they have trouble connecting with their financial advisors through these online tools, a recent Finect survey found.
Finect, an online social media platform for advisors, says 87% of investors polled late last year used social media. However, 27% of these investors said they were unable to find their advisors via social media, and 22% believe their advisors do not use social media.
Of the 13% of investors not using social media, 46% say they would be more likely to use social media if it helped them connect in real time with a financial advisor.
“With this survey, investors are sending a loud and clear message to the financial industry: We’re open to talking on social media. We’re likely to listen and engage — if we can find you,” said Jennifer Openshaw, president of Finect, during a call with the media.
What keeps advisors and clients from connecting online?
Several investors said they felt connecting with their advisors via email or phone was “safer” than interacting with advisors via social media. Some also prefer not to use social media for investing and other business processes.
Yet most investors who connect with their advisors on social media, 64%, tend to be somewhat, generally or very satisfied with the level of access to their advisors.
When it comes to how investors want to interact with advisors using social media, they draw a sharp distinction between professional and personal information.
Their strong preference is to receive information on investing and personal finance rather than lighter communication that focuses on an advisor’s travel or lifestyle choices.
Plus, investors want to use social media to ask their advisors questions, not to chit chat.
“Advisors have a huge opportunity to reach new investors this way,” said Leslie Marshall, director of social media for Morningstar. Advisors just need to “think of new ways to connect with them.”
Amy McIlwain, president of financial social media, notes that prospecting via social media can be highly effective.
“You can check on LinkedIn to see when people are switching jobs, which is when there is money in motion with 401(k) rollovers, for instance,” McIlwain said. “Then you can congratulation them” and request a meeting.
It’s fine to post photos of a new office or a new client associate, social media experts point out, as a way to building stronger relationships.
“And sometimes these posts can get a client to check in with an advisor and set up an appointment,” she said.
In other words, social media tools can serve as helpful touchpoints between advisors, clients and prospects.