Social media use by advisers of all ages is skyrocketing, according to a survey from Putnam Investments. In this year’s findings, more than one-third of advisers (40%) use four or more networks for business, up from 25% last year. A growing number (69%) cite social media as playing a significant part in their marketing, a rise of 13 percentage points from last year.
The median increase in assets gained through social media activity is $1.9 million, up from $1.2 million in 2014. Advisers look to different social platforms for different business-building functions: LinkedIn to improve their referral network and connect with other financial professionals; Facebook to enhance client relationships and build a professional brand; and Twitter to expand professional knowledge and help establish a thought leadership platform.
While LinkedIn continues to be the dominant network for business use by advisers, business usage of other networks is growing more rapidly. Nearly three-quarters of advisers (70%) use LinkedIn, up from 64% in last year’s study. Nearly half use Twitter (42%) and Facebook (47%). Advisers increasingly get their business news and information from social sites, and they equate the sites’ credibility with that of traditional news sources.
If you’re wondering what the typical social adviser—one who has gained assets by using social media—looks like, Putnam says it is a male, with the following characteristics:
- 44-year-old wirehouse adviser
- Lives in the South or western part of the U.S.
- Active on five social networks
- Has 10 years of experience
- Runs a book of business of $80 million (median)
Current social media use by financial advisers is broader, deeper and more results-driven, according to Mark McKenna, head of global marketing at Putnam Investments. “We are seeing advisers across the industry—including those affiliated with major wirehouses, independent firms and RIA shops—recognize the present and future potential of social media engagement with clients, prospects and other crucial constituents,” he says.” This is a medium that is evolving rapidly for advisers and offers tremendous promise for the years to come.”
Putnam’s research was conducted online in July by Brightwork Partners among 817 financial advisers nationally who have been advising retail clients for at least two years.
A link to an infographic with some of the study’s findings is on Putnam’s website.