4.9 Million Reasons for Advisors to Use Social Media

Median AUM gain through social media at $1.9 million

Social media use by 401(k) advisors is definitely something to like.Social media use by 401(k) advisors is definitely something to like.

Maybe Sheri Fitts is wrong.

The popular social media marketing (social selling) expert in the 401(k) space routinely decries the Luddite tendencies that advisors possess.

But a new study from Putnam Investments on the industry’s use of social media provides eye-opening stats. Among them, 85 percent of advisors—up from 75 percent in 2014—are actively using social media in their day-to-day work, and they continue to become more sophisticated in their use of multiple social networking platforms.

In addition, the number of advisors that are gaining new clients through social media has grown from 49 percent in 2013 to 80 percent in 2016, and 85 percent of advisors agree that social media has shortened the time to close when compared with traditional approaches.

Consider:

  • 80 percent of advisors using social media say it helped them gain new clients
  • The median AUM (or asset) gain through social media is $1.9 million, with the average gain at $4.9 million.
  • 56 percent of advisors report that social media has improved their efficiency a great deal
  • For advisors with AUM of $100 million or more, 35 percent report that social media plays a very significant role in their marketing efforts and 82 percent have used social media to gain clients, with a median gain of $4.7 million and an average gain of $8.3 million.

“The use of social media by the financial advisor community has matured to a level where it is ingrained in how business is conducted and how professionals communicate with their clients and prospects,” William Connolly, Putnam’s co-head of global distribution, said in a statement. “In our ongoing dialogue with financial professionals, it is eminently clear that social media’s role as a critical conduit for advisors in reaching the marketplace is going to continue to deepen and evolve for the foreseeable future.”

The firm specifically pointed to the continued growth of the more “personally-focused Facebook platform,” which is being accessed by advisors in their ongoing work with clients. Facebook’s usage for business among advisors has risen from 36 percent in 2014 to 54 percent today, while usage of LinkedIn for business has grown from 64 percent in 2014 to 73 percent this year.

Attributes of a Social Advisor:

  • 43 year-old advisor working at an independent broker-dealer
  • Has 10 years of experience
  • Runs a book of business of $92 million (median)
  • Active on social media networks daily

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