American Century Investments released their sixth annual social media study this week and the survey results clearly demonstrate that financial advisors are wise to use Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter and other social media sites to showcase their talents to prospective and existing clients.
“Determining return on investment of social media and other marketing approaches can be a challenge, so this year, we wanted to ask advisors whether they were seeing a difference in how social media furthers their client relationships,” according to Brent Bowen, corporate communications director for American Century. "And how effective, in particular, is LinkedIn?”
A total of 300 advisors completed this year’s survey. Of those, 43% confirmed that their use of social media platforms delivered a return on investment. Even more impressive is the fact 17% of the advisors (approximately 51 people) generated business in excess of $1 million thanks in part to their social media efforts. Another 81 advisors picked up clients or got new money from existing clients due to social media.
While Facebook has the most users in the advisor space, LinkedIn seems to be adding the most value with Twitter coming in a distant third when it comes usage.
The use of social media, especially LinkedIn, with financial professionals continues to grow, according to the study.
“Facebook continues to be the most widely used social media vehicle (75% report having an account), but close behind is LinkedIn (70%). Twitter is a distant third (37%),” the American Century study reported. “The impact of LinkedIn on advisors’ business is clear,” said Bowen. “We found that LinkedIn has helped 74% of financial professionals in developing expertise or building their business. In fact, this year, we saw an 11% increase this year over last in using it for brand building purposes, which further underscores its utility for advisors.”
So, if you’re worried about using social media because of compliance concerns, don’t be. The study makes it clear that advisors south of the border have found a way to make it work.
“These concerns aren’t surprising, given the fact that companies and home offices have increased their scrutiny as advisors and society as a whole are more focused on social media,” Bowen said. “But that focus also could mean advisors are finding compliant ways to participate.”