Practice Management

Social Media Has Become Critical for Advisers’ Marketing Efforts

Today, advisers are spending equal amounts of time on social media and networking.

By Lee Barney editors@strategic-i.com | October 13, 2016

Eighty-five percent of advisers are using social media, up from 75% in 2014, according to the Putnam Investments 2016 Social Advisor Study, based on a survey of 1,018 financial advisers. In addition, 80% of advisers are winning new clients via social media, up from 49% in 2013, and 85% of advisers say that using social media expedites the time it takes to win new clients over.

Seventy-three percent of advisers are using LinkedIn, up from 64% in 2014; 54% are using Facebook, up from 36% two years ago; and 44% are using Twitter, up from 27% in 2014. Advisers say that social media has helped them attract an average of $4.9 million in new assets. Fifty-six percent said it helps them work more efficiently. Advisers also report that they are spending equal amounts of time personally networking and on social media, with each effort averaging 10 hours a week.

For advisers with $100 million or more in assets under management (AUM), 35% said that social media is an important part of their marketing efforts, and slightly more than the average among all advisers, 82%, have used social media to woo new clients. For this group, social media has helped them attract an average of $8.3 million in new assets.

As Putnam Investments says in its report summarizing the findings of its survey, “Advisors Are Social,” “The question is no longer whether social media can function within the confines of closely regulated communications and transactions—but, rather, how social networking strategies work best in tandem with traditional methods to optimize adviser reach, influence clients and cultivate a successful practice. Notably, advisers who adopt multiple advanced features, including paying for premium access or content placement, are far exceeding the asset gains of their colleagues who are taking a more passive approach to social networking. As social media platforms continue to proliferate and evolve, a presence on social media is now ‘table stakes’ for advisers.”

William Connolly, co-head of global distribution for Putnam Investments, describes the importance of social media this way: “In our ongoing dialogue with financial professionals, it is eminently clear that social media’s role as a critical conduit for advisers in reaching the marketplace is going to continue to deepen and evolve for the foreseeable future.”

Brightwork Partners conducted the survey for Putnam in July. The full “Advisors Are Social” report, which includes links to tutorials on how to use LinkedIn, Twitter and social media and other forms of technology in general, can be downloaded here.