Social media success factors

For advisors using social media for business, the number of networks used and the frequency of activity are directly proportional to asset gains via social media. According to the Putnam Investments Survey of Financial Advisors’ Use of Social Media (2014), advisors who stated that they use four social networks and are active on social media almost every week attributed a total of $1.2 billion in new assets to their social media efforts, compared with $80 million gathered by the advisor group using only one network three times per month.

Advisors using one social network have a high use frequency, but those using multiple networks are experiencing greater success.

Cross-use of social networks

Among advisors who consider Facebook their primary network, 81% are also using LinkedIn and 60% are on Twitter. Those naming LinkedIn as primary were least likely to use another social network, with only 27% of the group using Facebook and 29% using Twitter.

Success takes work

The implication for advisors is that “more is more” when it comes to attracting new assets via social media. At least one activity per week—along with cross-use of professional networks, such as LinkedIn and a Facebook business page and with more personal networks like a personal Facebook page and a Twitter account—can help advisors find new clients and new assets.

Industry may be an impediment

For much of the industry, however, this is problematic as business use of social media at large brokerages and wirehouses is typically restricted to one or two networks, while certain functionality, such as posting content and commenting, is prohibited outright. According to the survey, only 27% of advisors whose primary network is LinkedIn have posted a network update.

View these results in Tableau and filter by Channel, Gender, Age, Tenure, and other variables.

All data is from the 2014 Putnam Investments Survey of Financial Advisors’ Use of Social Media, which was conducted in partnership with Brightwork Partners LLC, and surveyed 729 advisors nationally who have been advising retail clients for at least two years. The online study was conducted in late July 2014.