May 18, 2011

The top 5 social media leaders in asset management are Vanguard, Fidelity Investments, TIAA-CREF, i-Share and The Hartford, according to a new study by strategy consulting firm Kasina.

While social media usage is pervasive among investment managers and insurance companies, what distinguishes the top firms is their willingness to listen to and engage with audiences, integrate social media sites and develop novel, useful and varied content.

While a year ago, Kasina’s research found that only 48 percent of asset managers were active in social media, in 2011, 80 percent of asset managers are active. But the quality of firms’ social media efforts varies widely, and clear leaders are emerging, according to today’s release summarizing the study.

While the average firm scored 56 on the Kasina Social Media Index, the top five scored much higher — Vanguard (80), Fidelity Investments (80), TIAA-CREF (79), iShares (78) and The Hartford (77), showing how far the “Top 5” have separated from the pack,” notes Kasina in the release.

“Asset managers that started learning about social media early are reaping the rewards now,” commented Julia Binder, a Kasina senior research snalyst and the report’s author, in the release. “They engaged company stakeholders in developing processes and benchmarks to unfold successful strategies for communicating with key customers.”

Kasina also ranked firms based on the five major social media sites. For blogs, iShares ranked as No.1, while Fidelity Investments was NO.1 for Facebook; MFS Investment Management was the tops for Linkin; TIAA-CREF scored the highest for Twitter; and Vanguard took first place for YouTube.

The report delivers insights and analysis dram from evaluations of the social media initiatives at 45 leading asset management and insurance firms. It also provides examples and best practices for key social media venues.

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Ivy is Editor-at-Large for Advanced Trading and Wall Street & Technology. Ivy is responsible for writing in-depth feature articles, daily blogs and news articles with a focus on automated trading in ...