In the “Independent Advisor Outlook Study” conducted by Charles Schwab in July, advisers were first asked which social media sites they use and for what purpose. LinkedIn, the site used by over 75 million professionals to “exchange information, ideas and opportunities,” was the clear winner, with 51% of respondents already using it for professional and/or personal use. Facebook came in second, with 45% having an account (however the majority uses it strictly for personal use). Thirty-five percent of advisers use YouTube; again, mostly for personal use. Fourteen percent of respondents use some sort of personal blog and 10% have started using Twitter.
Perhaps the debate over social media will be centered on what exactly is the use of it. The vast majority of respondents replied that they were “Skeptics” or “Tentative Users” when asked the question, “How would you describe yourself in terms of using social media in general?” Thirteen percent described themselves as “Eager Learners,” 10% as “Early Adopters,” and 2% as “Evangelists.”
The numbers are rapidly fluctuating however. For earlier reporting on the use of social media among financial advisers, see “Advisers Use Social Media to Drive Growth, Connect with Clients.”