Recent studies show that the general public and financial services firms are focused on the use of social media. Financial advisors, however, have room to catch up.
“We found that nine out of 10 [financial services] companies currently use social media, and most agreed that compelling content is vital,” said Norah Denley, a senior analyst for distribution and technology research at LIMRA, in a statement in early August. “Posting content that provides value to an audience is just as important—if not more so—as reaching the audience in the first place.”
A recent Pew study, for instance, found that more than two-thirds of all adults who use the Internet on a regular basis rely on social networks.
To understand the industry’s response to this widespread rising use, LIMRA polled 53 large companies in both the United States and Canada. The highlights regarding social media use are:
- Facebook: 65% usage for building community; increasing use as a customer-service channel
- LinkedIn: Close to 70% usage for recruiting
- Twitter: 60% usage for brand awareness
- YouTube: 83% usage for brand awareness
- Google+: 58% usage for brand awareness and building community
“The most popular social media sites continue to grow in influence and a number of new sites are rapidly gaining attention,” LIMRA explained. “Financial services companies are still figuring out where they need to have a presence and where they can abstain.”
Compared with the general public and financial services firms, financial advisors appear to be much slower at adopting social media for their businesses, according to SEI.
SEI polled 200 advisors and found that just 28% said they use social media to promote their practices online; only 31% use it for social engagement. Furthermore, those who use social media do so in a limited fashion.
According to SEI, more than half of respondents said they are experimenting with social media via only LinkedIn profiles. And, close to a-third of those surveyed, 29%, said they have no online presence.
“Whether it’s a lack of time, resources or expertise, it’s clear most advisors haven’t fully committed to social media yet,” said John Anderson, head of practice management for the SEI Advisor Network, in a press release.