Social Media Attitudes Shifting Among Advisers

As financial services companies enter the new year, LIMRA finds their use of social media is rapidly shifting to include more business development. 

A new analysis from LIMRA reminds advisers of the important opportunities presented by social media platforms—especially when it comes to maintaining regular client contact and identifying potential new business.

“Once considered a novelty platform likely to generate compliance headaches, the financial services industry has embraced social media as a practical communication tool at both the adviser and company level,” LIMRA says.

LIMRA researchers point to the evolution of their “Silver Bowl Awards” program as proof the industry is fundamentally rethinking its approach to social media platforms. The awards program recently selected its third annual crop of winners and is solely dedicated to recognizing “excellence in financial services social media.”

“In the beginning, categories acknowledged the best use of Facebook, Twitter, etc.,” LIMRA explains. “In 2015, because social media use was quickly moving into key business areas, LIMRA re-positioned the awards to reflect accomplishments such as, best use of social media for customer service, consumer education, and effective use by agents and advisers.”

Each year more impressive applicants line up for consideration, LIMRA says, and put simply, advisers are coming at social media platforms in a way that was more or less unthinkable in years past. After conducting interviews with its latest crop of Silver Bowl Award winners, LIMRA further predicts even more social media integration in 2016 “across marketing initiatives and as an effective business tool in other areas such as recruiting and customer service.”

NEXT: What the leaders are focused on 

According to LIMRA, leading advisers and financial services companies have taken to heart that social media fits the demands of today’s “omnichannel” consumers, “who want a seamless experience whether they contact a company by phone, online or in-person.”

Beyond just using social media as a communications platform, for example, one company told LIMRA they have merged their social media presence across some 17 states, in order to start building a more holistic national brand identity. Another individual adviser told LIMRA she “credits social media with 90% of her new wealth business.”

In a related finding, other companies told LIMRA they view social media campaigns as a tremendous opportunity to add more value to their traditional marketing campaigns without adding significantly to costs. “As a primary way for people to connect, share ideas and build relationships, social media has become a critical way for companies and advisers to join the conversation where it’s taking place,” LIMRA concludes. 

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