By Jacqueline Sergeant/ FA-Mag.com
A majority of financial advisors are using social media for business development and enhancing client relationships, according to a survey released Monday by global money management firm Putnam Investments.
The survey, which polled 1,021 financial advisors across the U.S., revealed that 83 percent are using social media for business purposes. Sixty-one percent describe their skill level as “expert,’’ up from 46 percent last year. Overall, 98 percent use social media.Trending Articles: The 10 States With The Highest Property Taxes • The World’s 11 Most Expensive Cities
The number of advisors using social media to make initial contact with their clients jumped to 57 percent, compared with 52 percent last year, the report said. Ninety-two percent, versus 86 percent last year, used it to acquire new clients and increase assets under management.
Advisors who use social media saw an average AUM gain of $15.3 million over the past year, compared with $4.3 million for all advisors surveyed, according to the report.
“Social media is helping advisors to build and deepen their relationships with clients. This is happening much faster,’’ said Mark McKenna, head of global marketing for Putnam Investments. “I think that it’s pretty clear that social media is here to stay and it will be a powerful tool for asset managers.”.
Seventy percent of advisors say social media makes it easier to share information with their clients; More than two-thirds (67 percent) say they have more frequent communication with clients; 44 percent note that they connect with their clients less often by phone or in person than before; and 57 percent say decision-making is faster and easier.
LinkedIn continues to be the platform of choice for advisors (72 percent), according to the survey. “The regularity of information is there,’’ McKenna said, adding that advisors are using it for business development, connecting with financial professionals and enhancing and cultivating client relationships.
Sixty-two percent of advisors tap into Facebook; 52 percent use Twitter; 41 percent use YouTube; 38 percent use Instagram; and 22 percent use Snapchat.
Fifty-eight percent of advisors say social media plays a very significant role in their practice.
The survey also suggested that millennial advisors are not necessarily more plugged into social media than their older cohorts.
“While the largest successful group skew in that age range, it’s pretty well distributed, McKenna said.
“We are seeing a maturity in ages of new users,” said Jayme LaCour, Putnam’s director of social media, adding that the average age of advisors using social media has jumped in five years to 44.
Among the 17 percent of advisors not using social media, 28 percent said they were “absolutely certain” they would start using it for business in the next three years, according to the survey. That figure is up from 9 percent last year.