Seventy-four percent of U.S. financial advisors in a new study used social media to initiate new business relationships or onboard new clients during the coronavirus pandemic, Putnam Investments reported Thursday.
The new research found that 55% of advisors who initiated new client relationships said they had increased their use of social media during the public health crisis.
“When it no longer became feasible for advisors to hold in-person meetings due to stay-at-home and social distancing orders, many professionals turned to social media to help clients and prospects weather the financial and emotional impact of the crisis,” Mark McKenna, head of global marketing at Putnam Investments, said in a statement.
“Advisors’ active use of social media during the pandemic has been critical to their success, not only in communicating with prospects and referrals, but also in advancing their ongoing relationships with clients.”
The survey was conducted online from June 9 to June 23 in conjunction with NMG Consulting among 252 financial advisors across the U.S. who have advised retail clients for more than two years and have used social media for business.
Advisors Adapt to Environment
According to the study, advisors have proven adept at managing their practices through the pandemic by finding additional ways to engage their clients, including greater use of social media.
Some four in five respondents said they expected to keep the changes they had made to their communications methods largely intact in the future.
“It is encouraging that some of the changes advisors made to how they use social media in their practices during the pandemic will become foundational for their communications with clients on a go-forward basis,” McKenna said.
The study found that nearly three-quarters of advisors relied on direct messaging through key social network platforms to communicate with clients and prospects. Of those, 94% reported that they had gained new assets.