Grow your business using social media

Strategies and expertise to build and strengthen relationships

The Social Advisor

The Putnam Social Advisor Survey of 1,021 financial advisors nationally currently advising retail clients and doing so for more than two years, conducted online in November and December 2018 in partnership with NMG consulting. This is the sixth annual iteration of the survey.

See what advisors are saying throughout by clicking the icon.

ADVISORS USING SOCIAL MEDIA FOR BUSINESS

More and more people are using social media platforms to connect and transact many aspects of their lives. Buying financial products and services is no different, as there is a greater audience for doing financial transactions via social media.
National full-service brokerage advisor, age 35
Financial advisors using social media for business

From the periphery five years ago, social media has evolved into a critical tool for business development and client service for almost all advisors. Advisors today are seeing more and more success from their social media initiatives and are more confident in and enthusiastic about social media than ever before. More than nine advisors in ten (92%) who use social media for business say social media has helped them gain new clients, up from 86% in 2017.

SOCIAL MEDIA HELPED GAIN NEW CLIENTS

A client thanked me for my services on their own Facebook page and tagged me in it. I replied, and one of their Facebook friends also replied in less than an hour and asked if they could contact me via private message. The rest is history.
Female advisor, age 53
Social media helped advisors gain new clients

Investible assets of clients gained from social media activity are trending up, while the average new account size is holding steady. However, the median age of a new client gained through social media jumped to 40 from 35 last year as social media matures beyond its youthful origins and develops traction with older (and potentially higher asset) prospects. In the 12 months preceding the survey, the average asset gain was $1.4M ($0.5M median).

ASSETS GAINED THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA
TREND BY ASSET RANGE

In August after I posted an article on LinkedIn, a prospect direct messaged me and we talked back and forth for a few days about where he was financially and where he wanted to be by the time he retired. We set up an appointment within a few days, and he said he felt like he knew me already and was comfortable discussing his goals and risk tolerance right off the bat. I took over as his financial planner and added over $500K to my book of business.
Female advisor, age 51
Assets gained through social media trend by asset range

We define high achievers as advisors who have used social media to grow their AUM by 10% or more. Their reported gains through social media are about three times the average for all advisors — $15.3M vs. $4.9M.

The high achievers

The high achievers

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The survey shows that advisors’ comfort levels in using social media for basic practice management activities like prospecting and client communication is increasing year over year. And the number of advisors who consider social media to be an important part of how they go to market has risen dramatically since the survey’s initial iteration.

ADVISORS USING SOCIAL MEDIA TO:

Social media sets forth a trend of global instant communication — something that has and will define the coming decades.
Bank advisor, male, age 58
I have been promoting my business on Instagram, and a prospect reached out to me via direct message to discuss her inheritance. It turns out she had gotten over $300K in funds and also needed to settle a dispute over the estate. So not only did she need to receive financial advisory from us but legal advisory from others. She is now a permanent client of ours, all thanks to Instagram.
Female advisor, age 23, independent broker/dealer
Advisors using social media

SIGNIFICANCE OF SOCIAL MEDIA TO CURRENT MARKETING EFFORTS

More and more individuals are becoming increasingly comfortable with social media. Typically, the vast majority of our customers have been an older demographic and have not used social media in the past. Over the course of the last couple of years, they have become more comfortable and have used it more.
Female advisor, age 46
Significance of social media to current marketing efforts

Based on our analysis, there are three best practices for advisors looking to leverage social media to grow their book of business:

1. Take an active approach. Advisors who actively network, prospect, and communicate on social platforms are seeing measurable results. Of those who maintain passive presences, none reported gaining new assets in our survey.

2. Commit time and resources. Nearly half (47%) of advisors told us they plan to add team members with dedicated social media responsibilities, and 80% of high achievers are paying for a premium level of service on a social network.

3. Get training. Advisors who engage in online or in-person training are seeing greater gains than those who rely on hands-on learning or on family, friends, and colleagues.

The Putnam Social Advisor Survey 6.0

The Putnam Social Advisor Survey of 1,021 financial advisors nationally currently advising retail clients and doing so for more than two years, conducted online in November and December 2018 in partnership with NMG consulting. This is the sixth annual iteration of the survey.

Download the data deck.

See what advisors are saying throughout by clicking the icon.

NETWORK ADOPTION TREND

Not only are my clients on LinkedIn, but some of my biggest mentors are located here too. It is also just a more professional locale than a site like, for instance, Snapchat.
Wirehouse advisor, male, 44 years old
Facebook has more people like my clients than like my competition. LinkedIn, for example, is a lot of people just like me looking at other people just like them.
Independent advisor, age 65
People are moving away from Facebook because of all the security problems and moving to Instagram.
Female advisor, age 65
Network adoption trend

Survey respondents were unequivocal in their opinion that social media has changed the nature of how they work with and help their clients. The speed at which prospects become clients has been greatly accelerated by social media. Communication — and opportunities — occur in real time, on the channels where clients are most present and comfortable. More than two-thirds (67%) say they have more frequent communication with clients as a result of social media (up from 59% in 2017) and nearly six in ten (57%) say decision making is faster and easier (up from 50%).

Social media has changed the nature of my relationship with my clients

A client of 20 years and I recently connected on LinkedIn, and we started having more conversations and communication — our relationship took a more engaged turn after connecting. Shortly thereafter, I was contacted by someone in his LinkedIn network. We had several exchanges, and shortly after that I had a new HNW client.
Male advisor, age 56
A neighbor heard that I am an advisor and was interested in investing and retirement. He found my business through referencing my name on LinkedIn and contacted me, and we talked immediately. It was quicker through social media than coming to my door one block away.
Bank advisor, female, age 42
Social media has changed the nature of my relationship with my clients

Interestingly, a high percentage of advisors classified themselves as "social media experts." While this level of confidence is encouraging, we compared advisors’ fluency against our own benchmark to determine their level of expertise and their place along our Social Media Maturity Cure.

FLUENCY IN SOCIAL MEDIA

I’d like more training on how the platforms work, as they are constantly changing. Tutorials provided by each network would be great. The more people understand a product, the more that they will use it.
Female advisor, age 56
Fluency in social media

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While the percentage of advisors not using social media for business continues to hover around 16%–17%, the number of advisors who use no social media for business or personal purposes is dwindling. Of advisors currently not using social media, we saw a dramatic uptick in the number who said they were certain or likely to start using social media for business in the next three years.

ADVISORS NOT USING SOCIAL MEDIA FOR BUSINESS

Advisors not using social media for business

LIKELIHOOD OF USING SOCIAL MEDIA FOR BUSINESS IN NEXT THREE YEARS

Social media has initiated a trend of global instant communication — something that has and will define the coming decades.
Bank advisor, age 58
Likelihood of using social media for business in the next three years

For an in-depth look at more survey findings, download the data deck.


Grow your business using social media

Strategies and expertise to build and strengthen relationships.

FOR FINANCIAL ADVISORS

Partner with Putnam to learn about an active approach to social media.


Creating and optimizing your social media presence

Learn how to establish and optimize a profile that will build your brand to attract prospects.


Developing your LinkedIn network

Best practices for developing and growing your network and how to retain assets across multiple generations.


Prospecting and generating revenue using social media

This advanced session presents actionable strategies using wealth management and money in motion opportunities that can lead to asset gains.


Your Putnam team can help you further improve your use of social media.