You may think that social media is mostly used by the younger generations, by Gen X and millennials. The data says otherwise, however. Approximately seventy percent of boomers are on Facebook — and this is according to an article published last year by AdWeekso the percentage may have increased slightly for 2015.

Although different groups likely use social media differently — for example, most boomers aren’t going to be posting images of the super fun electronic music festival they attended last Saturday — the fact that this demographic is online and interacting on social media means a lot for your business, especially from a branding standpoint. To establish a meaningful brand in today’s tech-savvy marketplace, you must have a social media presence. So we asked: When you say the word “retirement“ on social media, what brands come to mind? In other words, which financial services brands are most easily recognizable to the public?

Here, in no particular order, are our findings, a group of financial services companies that are visible and well-liked, according to each company’s social media presence. (Please keep in mind that the follower count numbers are constantly changing due to the nature of social media.)

transamerica

Transamerica Retirement Solutions

Founded in 1930 in San Francisco, California, Transamerica Corporation includes various life insurance companies and investment firms. It was acquired by Aegon in 1999.

Easily recognizable by their iconic pyramid building in downtown San Francisco, Transamerica has spent considerable time nourishing their social media presence. And it shows. They have social media profiles in all the main networks — LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ — as well as smaller platforms, like Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram and Tumblr. 

Here are their numbers:

Facebook: 513,258 likes

Twitter: 58,100+ followers (Note that Twitter only provides an approximate number of followers for accounts over 10,000 followers.)

LinkedIn (group or company page): 32,280 followers

Google+: 208,379 followers

YouTube: 4,079 subscriptions; their most popular video is “Investing for retirement,” posted eight monhts ago, with 622,516 views.

Instagram: 2,328 followers

Pinterest: 1,800+ followers (Note that Pinterest only provides an approximate number of followers for all accounts.)

Tumblr: They have a profile, but the follower count is not available, as Tumblr doesn’t publicly reveal follower numbers

Approximate estimate of total social media reach: 820,224 followers

 

prudential

Prudential Financial

Originally called “The Widows and Orphans Friendly Society,” Prudential was started in Newark, New Jersey in 1875 by John F. Dryden. The company is easily recognized by their logo, the Rock of Gibraltar, a promontory on Gibraltar in the Mediterranean. Prudential is a Fortune 500 company that provides insurance, investment management and other products.

Lately, Prudential has been focusing its efforts on educating the public about planning for retirement with their aforementioned “Bring your challenges” marketing campaign. Their social media profiles are also associated with this campaign, except on LinkedIn, where they have one page for this campaign and another for their company.

Here are their numbers:

Facebook: 353,681 likes

Twitter: 68,100+ followers

LinkedIn (group or company page): Bring your challenges page: 7,528 followers; Company page: 81,218 followers

Google+: No profile

YouTube: 5,883 subscriptions; their most popular video is “The Prudential dominoes experiment,” posted one year ago, with 6,396,839 views.

Instagram: 1,516 followers

Pinterest: No profile

Approximate estimate of total social media reach: 517,926 followers

state farm

State Farm

While not typically associated with retirement, State Farm does offer plans, education and planning services for this milestone. Founded in Illinois in 1922 by a retired farmer, George Jacob Mecherle, the company today is a Fortune 500 company.

State Farm’s social media postings revolve more around property insurance, and other tips for safety, than around retirement or financial planning. That said, they have a few TV ads about retirement, so maybe they’re starting to pay attention to this area.

It is also interesting how they have created a separate Twitter handle for “Jake from State Farm,” a now-famous meme from their “State of unrest” TV ad that aired a few years ago.

Here are their numbers:

Facebook: 1,819,592 likes

Twitter (company account): 75,500+ followers

Twitter (Jake from State Farm): 36,700+ followers

LinkedIn (group or company page): 158,365 followers

Google+: 222,593 followers

YouTube: 19,907 subscriptions; their most popular video is “Magic jingle buffalo,” posted four years ago, with 964,375 views.

Flickr: 323

Instagram: No profile

Pinterest: No profile

Approximate estimate of total social media reach: 2,332,980 followers

ameriprise

Ameriprise Financial

An American financial services company, Ameriprise was originally called Investors Syndicate when it was founded in 1894 by John Tappan in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Today, the company provides wealth and asset management, insurance, annuities and estate planning services.

Ameriprise’s social media presence is mostly about how to plan financially for the future, with links to relevant articles, posts that ask important questions of their followers, and inspiring quotes.

Here are their numbers:

Facebook: 120,489 likes

Twitter: 3,463 followers

LinkedIn (group or company page): 62,055 followers

YouTube: 1,485 subscriptions; their most popular video is “Two perspectives, one retirement,” posted 10 months ago, with 259,754 views.

Google+: No profile

Instagram: No profile

Pinterest: No profile

Approximate estimate of total social media reach: 187,488 followers

voya

Voya Financial

Originally called ING U.S., a subsidiary of ING, the Dutch multinational banking and financial services corporation, the now rebranded Voya Financial is an American retirement and insurance company based in New York.

Voya is committed to becoming “America’s Retirement Company,” as they state on their home page. That commitment is being reinforced by a marketing campaign that spans both traditional and social media channels. On social, they mostly post about insurance, retirement and financial planning topics. You’ll also see a lot of babies in their posts. While this may seem like a ploy to get more likes – who can resist a cute baby photo? – in reality, it is part of their latest marketing campaign titled “Born to save.”

Here are their numbers:

Facebook: 205,724 likes

Twitter: 59,500+ followers

LinkedIn (group or company page): 30,704 followers

YouTube: 1,302 subscriptions; their most popular video is “Butterfly Ad, short,” posted one year ago, with 1,388,212 views.

Google+: 147 followers

Instagram: No profile

Pinterest: No profile

Approximate estimate of total social media reach: 297,377 followers

 massmutual

MassMutual Financial Group

Founded in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1851, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, also known simply as MassMutual, is a mutual life insurance company that also offers retirement plans, annuities and other lines of insurance.

Their posts vary by social media network. For example, on Facebook, they seem to post more about their internal blogs and white papers, directed at helping consumers navigate their financial lives. On Twitter, they not only promote their internal blogs, landing pages and white papers, but also post interesting articles from around the Internet.

Here are their numbers:

Facebook: 150,040 likes

Twitter: 13,800+ followers

LinkedIn (group or company page): 35,669 followers

YouTube: 3,710 subscriptions; their most popular video is “Dad,” posted seven months ago, with 8,893,704 views.

Google+: 464 followers

Instagram: No profile

Pinterest: 699 followers

Approximate estimate of total social media reach: 204,382 followers

fidelity

Fidelity Investments

Headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, Fidelity Investments was founded in 1946. Today, the company has $2.1 trillion global assets under management and serves 24 million individual customers, according to its website. It provides brokerage services, financial education, investment, retirement products and planning, and even life and long-term care insurance.

On their social media accounts, Fidelity promotes internal blogs, events, webinars about financial education and other interesting data related to the stock markets and how it might impact retirement accounts.

Here are their numbers:

Facebook: 174,057 likes

Twitter: 170,000+ followers

LinkedIn (group or company page): 247,560 followers

YouTube: 4,865 subscriptions; their most popular video is “We don’t just manage money. We manage people’s money,” posted six months ago, with 729,526 views.

Google+: 5,776 followers

Instagram: No profile

Pinterest: No profile

Approximate estimate of total social media reach: 602,258 followers

john h

John Hancock Financial

Acquired in the early 2000s by the Canadian-based financial services company Manulife, John Hancock was originally founded in 1862 and named after John Hancock, a patriot of the American Revolution. Headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, the firm provides life insurance, mutual funds, 401(k) plans, long-term care insurance and annuities in the U.S.

Their social media presence expands on this story, presenting a more human side to the company. Profiles feature interesting stories related to upcoming holidays — say, Veteran’s Day — and educational initiatives that the company is currently participating in in its community.

One of the main cause marketing campaigns that John Hancock Financial spearheads is their sponsorship of the Boston Marathon. In fact, their official Twitter handle is @JHBoston26, which sounds more like a regular user than an official Twitter handle for a national company. On this Twitter handle, they strive to motivate, inspire and concentrate on posting relevant stories about athletes and other marathons around the country. They also won a LIMRA 2014 Social Media Bowl award for this campaign, which was created with the intent of helping Boston recover from the devastating impact of the 2013 marathon bombings.

Here are their numbers:

Facebook: 12,797 likes on their official page; 991 likes on John Hancock Investments

Twitter (company page): 23,100+ followers

Twitter (Boston Marathon page): 35,000+ followers

LinkedIn (group or company page): 27,096 followers

YouTube: 527 subscriptions; their most popular video is “2013 Boston Marathon: Defending champions return,” posted two years ago, with 250,845 views.

Google+: No profile

Instagram: No profile

Pinterest: No profile

Approximate estimate of total social media reach: 99,511 followers

merrill

Merrill Lynch

Originally an investment firm, Merrill Lynch was founded in 1914 at 7 Wall Street in New York City. Today, it is the wealth management division of Bank of America, which acquired it at the height of the 2008 financial crisis.

Easily recognized by their logo, a bull, Merrill Lynch doesn’t have an official Facebook page, which is both interesting and a bit bizarre, since Facebook is the main focus of many brands these days. On Twitter, they have one of the highest follower counts we have ever seen for a financial services firm. Maybe the fact that they don’t have an official Facebook page is the reason why their Twitter follower count is so high, because they are concentrating on growing and nurturing that specific audience.

The company does seem to have a bit of a social identity crisis, however; some of the content that they post links to Bank of America pages. That said, their Tweets do provide interesting tidbits about investing and financial management.

Here are their numbers:

Facebook: No profile 

Twitter: 382,000+ followers

LinkedIn (group or company page): 348,750 followers

YouTube: 2,834 subscriptions; their most popular video is “Health care and the data revolution,” posted one year ago, with 803 views.

Google+: No profile

Instagram: No profile

Pinterest: No profile

Approximate estimate of total social media reach: 733,584 followers

empower ret

Great-West Financial

This company’s heritage dates back to 1891, when Jeffry Hall Brock founded Great-West Lifeco Inc. in Winnipeg, Canada. In 1906, Great-West Life opened its first U.S. sales office in Fargo, North Dakota. Fast-forward a few decades to 1979, and the U.S and Canadian operations split, with U.S. headquarters currently located in Greenwood Village, Colorado.

Today, the company specializes in offering insurance, retirement and other financial services. But here is where it gets a little bit confusing. Great-West has an official company page for LinkedIn, but all of its retirement offerings are housed within another brand, which launched about a year ago, called Empower Retirement. It seems as though Empower Retirement is their consumer-facing brand, while their Great-West brand is more for financial professionals.

On social, their story unfolds, especially on Facebook and Twitter. There, Empower Retirement posts educational material about finance and retirement, with blogs and white papers. However, their Twitter is also focused on their love of all things Denver, such as the Denver Broncos NFL team.

Their YouTube channel seems to have just launched; they only had two videos at time of publication.

Here are their numbers:

Facebook: 3,403 likes

Twitter: 13,600+ followers

LinkedIn (group or company page): 7,706 followers on GW company page; 11,764 followers on Empower Retirement page

YouTube: 28 subscriptions; their most popular video is “Thinking further ahead: Season tickets,” posted two months ago, with 1,713 views.

Google+: No profile

Instagram: No profile

Pinterest: No profile

Approximate estimate of total social media reach: 36,501 followers

pacific

Pacific Life

Specializing in annuities, life insurance and mutual funds, Pacific Life was founded in Sacramento, California in 1868 by Leland Stanford. The railroad tycoon had been governor of California for one term (two years back then), before becoming a California State Senator. He also founded Stanford University as a memorial to his only son.

Easily recognizable by the breaching whale on their logo, it is interesting that Pacific Life’s following on social media isn’t bigger. Their posts are a mix of articles from their blog, retweeting mentions by their followers on Twitter, and publicizing their many, many community and foundation initiatives to help non-profits.

Here are their numbers:

Facebook: 10,713 likes

Twitter: 1,752 followers

LinkedIn (group or company page): 9,829 followers

YouTube: 281 subscriptions; their most popular video is “Pacific Life ‘Protect your future,’” posted eight months ago, with 259,986 views. 

Google+: No profile

Instagram: No profile

Pinterest: No profile

Approximate estimate of total social media reach: 22,575 followers

the principal

The Principal Financial Group

Founded in 1879 by Edward Temple as the Bankers Life Association in Chariton, Iowa, The Principal Financial Group offers businesses and individual clients financial guidance and other products. They are headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, with offices around the world.

On their Facebook page, while their number of likes isn’t mind-blowing, the engagement they have received on their posts is. They post an interesting mix of articles about visualizing retirement, as well as fun social events that cater to social media users. Their latest:

“What’s something thrilling you want to do in retirement? Share in the comments below by Oct. 31. We may have an artist draw it for you! #SeeYourRetirement.”

That post alone was liked by 7,807 people, and shared 559 times (you can see it here). The post has a very cool drawing of what seems like one of the Facebook users on her retirement dream, which is to travel and stay in haunted hotels.

Another post from the same campaign gathered 50,865 likes, 2,137 shares and 1,085 comments. Talk about having high engagement on social media!

Here are their numbers:

Facebook: 30,159 likes

Twitter: 12,400+ followers

LinkedIn (group or company page): 33,497 followers

YouTube: 2,386 subscriptions; their most popular video is “Financial challenges,” posted one year ago, with 1,501,932 views.

Google+: 218 followers

Instagram: No profile

Pinterest: No profile

Approximate estimate of total social media reach: 78,660 followers

northwestern mutual

Northwestern Mutual

Originally called the Mutual Life Insurance Company of the State of Wisconsin, Northwestern Mutual was founded in 1857. The company claims that even though future dividends aren’t guaranteed, they have “paid a dividend every year since 1872” on their website. In 2000, they changed their name to Northwestern Mutual, since they now also offer other products, not just life insurance.

According to Fortune magazine, Northwestern Mutual acquired LearnVest, a financial planning startup website, for $250 million in March of this year.

On social media, the company balances a mix of posts, varying from financial literacy articles from their blog to white papers, inspirational quotes, seasonal posts and their cause marketing campaigns.

Here are their numbers:

Facebook: 56,879 likes

Twitter: 10,400+ followers

LinkedIn (group or company page): 99,328 followers

YouTube: 1,568 subscriptions; their most popular video is “A foundation for life,” posted five years ago, with 80,900 views.

Google+: 466 followers

Instagram: 979 followers

Pinterest: 330 followers

Approximate estimate of total social media reach: 169,950 followers

axa

AXA

Headquartered in Paris, France, AXA was founded in 1817 under another name, but its roots in the U.S. go all the way back to 1859, when Henry Hyde left the Mutual Life Insurance Company of New York to start his own firm, the Equitable Life Assurance Society of America. In 1992, AXA acquired Equitable. (An interesting fact about Equitable is that they supported the American College in launching the CLU professional designation program in 1927.)

AXA seems to have been gaining ground on the social media front by posting a mix of articles from their blogs and from around the Web, as well as interesting stories about their employees, thus humanizing their brand.

Here are their numbers:

Facebook: 40,983 likes

Twitter: 15,600+ followers

LinkedIn (group or company page): 33,933 followers

YouTube: 336 subscriptions; their most popular video is “From a gift to a legacy,” posted two years ago, with 123,860 views.

Google+: 8 followers

Instagram: 2,182 followers

Pinterest: No profile

Approximate estimate of total social media reach: 93,042 followers

 

See also:

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