Nearly half of advisers (46%) have
a social media contact into a real customer, according to American Century Investments' Seventh Annual Financial Professionals Social Media Adoption Study.
Most of the new deals reached
were small, with 23% of all advisers saying they posted a deal via social media
pathways valued at less than $1 million. Just 4% report winning a deal valued
at more than $5 million for the business through social media connections.
A majority of advisers (55%) feel that being connected with
an individual or company on a social media network increases the chance of
doing business with that entity in the foreseeable future. Forty-three percent
feel there is little impact, and just 2% suggest pre-existing social media connections make
establishing a business relationship more difficult.
As advisers might expect, the research shows Facebook is
more popular for personal use, while LinkedIn is more popular for business-related
use. Interestingly, slightly more advisers (24%) report using Facebook for both
personal and business purposes, compared with 21% who use LinkedIn that way.
Advisers cite a laundry list of benefits seen from embracing
social media for business purposes, although generally only about one-quarter of
advisers cites each of these: “Increased my visibility in the marketplace; enhanced
my profile with clients; enhanced my business knowledge; improved my referrals or
opened a door that otherwise had been closed; shared insights with clients and
prospects; attracted new clients; and retained clients more easily.”
Firms cite ancillary benefits from social media engagement in
the form of gaining better access to expert commentary/insights, viewing more
news/content relevant to clients, and getting to know prospects in a more
personal way. Important to note, however, 23% of firms say they are not seeing
any positive business changes attributable to using social media.
The American Century Investments research goes on to suggest
relatively few advisers feel compelled to invest in paid marketing services offered
by Facebook, LinkedIn and other sources. A whopping 75% of advisers do not use such services,
and another 5% are unsure to what extent their firm is paying for social media
An infographic summarizing key findings is available for