It’s an awkward pairing: advisors’ hesitance to push through compliance worries and jump onto the social media bandwagon, and the incessant message that advisors must adapt to social media or risk dying off like dinosaurs.
Whether you're using social media every day, a little bit, or not all, it's undoubtedly an ongoing source of curiosity among those in the insurance industry. How many advisors are really using social media, and are they seeing significant results? Which networks are they using and how? What’s the most successful social network for financial advisors — and why?
The answers to those questions (and many more) were uncovered recently when Putnam Investments partnered with FTI Consulting to poll 408 American financial advisors on their social media behaviors and success (or lack thereof).
While many in the industry question the role social media can play in boosting advisory businesses, one thing is common throughout the extensive research devoted to this topic: Most financial advisors are using at least one social networking tool for business. In the case of the Putnam survey, “most” meant three-quarters of the respondents. Forty-nine percent of advisors acquired new clients by using social media, and 29 percent of those advisors gained over $1 million in new assets.
Here are a few of the survey’s findings that are particularly interesting:
- How advisors are using social media in different ways and on each platform (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+);
- Which network is cultivating the most success for advisors and their businesses;
- Why the top network is so successful;
- Which tools and features advisors are capitalizing on that network.
Here are the findings:
Here's the profile of a typical advisor who's using social media on a daily basis:
- Is a fee-based, independent broker-dealer;
- Has more than 10 years of experience; and
- Has a typical client portfolio of less than $1 million.
The typical assets he or she gains from new social media clients? Under $500,000. His or her book of business? Less than $150 million.
Here's how the typical social media-savvy advisor uses each network:
However, the study showed there is still room for improvement when it comes to using LinkedIn to its fullest potential:
- 59 percent of advisors have increased usage only because they now have a better understanding of how to leverage LinkedIn for business;
- 39 percent of advisors want reduced compliance requirements; and
- 22 percent of advisors want more education, training and tools.
Why do financial advisors use LinkedIn more than Facebook, Twitter and Google+? Here are the top five reasons why participants said they favor LinkedIn over other social networks.
Yes, advisors chose LinkedIn as their top social media platform, but what features on LinkedIn are advisors using to achieve their networking and business goals?
Want to see the Putnam survey's comprehensive results? Click here.