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Advisors, Stop Posting Baby Pictures on Social Media

33% of advisors use social media for business purposes - but what presence and behaviors are actually important to investors?

FTI Consulting found more than one-third of financial advisors now use social media for business purposes, and many financial service firms are ramping up efforts to give advisors more visibility in the space. Theoretically, their presence in the social space improves relationships with customers, encourage clients to reach out with questions, and generally creates value for the business.

This all leads to one very important question: What kind of social media presence and behaviors are important to investors?

Finect, a compliant social media service for advisors, asset managers and investors, set out to discover just how a industry professionals can leverage their social media presence.

Finect's 3 month survey pooled results from 232 US investors that hold various investment products including futures and options, real estate, college savings, hedge funds stocks, and more. 25 percent are high net-worth individuals (above $1 million in investments), another 25 percent are mainstream (under $100k) and the remaining 50 percent are emerging affluent investors ($100k-$999k). 71 percent of respondents are male with an average age range of 35-54. 87 percent of respondents are using social media.

Here are some of the survey's key findings:

Likelihood to Connect

Nearly half of investors want to connect with advisors on social but cannot find them (27%), or have concluded they do not have a social profile (22%). 38% don't find the social media connection relevant or meaningful.

Emerging affluent investors use social media more than other groups. Females are 11.5% more likely to connect with advisors on social media, as are investors under the age of 44.

Sorry, Nobody Cares

Investors do nor care about their advisors' personal life, finds Finect, so keep those baby pictures, vacation status updates and funny YouTube videos to a bare minimum.

Similarly, Investors also responded they do not want to see promotions or sales pitches on their advisors's social media page.

Make it Count

Respondents connected with advisors on social media tend to be "satisfied" with their level of access to advisors, finds Finect. The most important interaction was listed as sharing of trending investments, personal finance news, educational articles and research.

Quality of responses also ranks as more important to investors than the quantity of posts or speed of responses.

Choosing an Advisor

The number of followers an advisor has is the least important factor for an investor when choosing an advisor on social media. The most important element is the availability to answer question.

Additional behaviors of interest that affect investor's decision when choosing an advisor include investment performance, such as a track record and transparency of portfolio results. Proof of their ability to outperform the market and accounts of financial acumen with clients also made the list.

Personal recommendations and strong endorsements also impact investor decision. Similarly, while it does not matter how many people follow the advisor online, it helps if someone reputable (ex: Warren Buffet types) are following and reviewing the advisor. Strong educational credentials, online reviews, unique insights, and excellent customer service also rank as attractive features. Becca Lipman is Senior Editor for Wall Street & Technology. She writes in-depth news articles with a focus on big data and compliance in the capital markets. She regularly meets with information technology leaders and innovators and writes about cloud computing, datacenters, ... View Full Bio

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IvySchmerken
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IvySchmerken,
User Rank: Author
3/28/2014 | 7:58:23 PM
re: Advisors, Stop Posting Baby Pictures on Social Media
I agree that investors want to engage with advisors who seem human. In terms of what they can post on social media, that is all going through compliance. According to this Finect survey, investors don't care about an advisor's baby photos, vacation plans or latest Youtube video.
Kelly22
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Kelly22,
User Rank: Author
3/28/2014 | 3:30:16 PM
re: Advisors, Stop Posting Baby Pictures on Social Media
They should be able to, to a certain extent. After all, the main point behind having an account is to improve customer relationships. I feel like people would be more likely to engage with an advisor if they knew more about them. To me, the occasional picture of family or out-of-work activities would help with that - they may even find they have something in common.
Greg MacSweeney
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Greg MacSweeney,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/28/2014 | 10:22:01 AM
re: Advisors, Stop Posting Baby Pictures on Social Media
The key to everything in life is moderation...like Girl Scout Thin Mints.
Greg MacSweeney
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Greg MacSweeney,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/28/2014 | 10:21:32 AM
re: Advisors, Stop Posting Baby Pictures on Social Media
I still prefer a picture of a pet or a baby over a picture of food. :)
Becca L
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Becca L,
User Rank: Author
3/27/2014 | 9:30:35 PM
re: Advisors, Stop Posting Baby Pictures on Social Media
Perhaps the key is to post all these things in moderation. If you're going to overdo the baby pics, take the excess to a photo sharings site. Food to instagram, funny videos to a tumblr, etc.
Becca L
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Becca L,
User Rank: Author
3/27/2014 | 9:27:45 PM
re: Advisors, Stop Posting Baby Pictures on Social Media
I agree it's important to keep advisors human enough - nobody wants to follow a robot. But I agree with the results of this survey, I can barely tolerate the pet and baby pictures from my close friends, it wouldn't take much for me to block offending advisors from my newsfeed, and then I'd miss all the important fiance posts too.
Greg MacSweeney
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Greg MacSweeney,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/27/2014 | 7:31:28 PM
re: Advisors, Stop Posting Baby Pictures on Social Media
Also, i think posting a few personal items on a social profile is
important. I want to know that my advisor is a real human, not some corporate account that is managed by a corporate social media manager. If you meet
your advisor in his office, she/he will likely have pictures of family
on his desk. So why cant he have them on his social media profile?
Greg MacSweeney
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Greg MacSweeney,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/27/2014 | 7:30:49 PM
re: Advisors, Stop Posting Baby Pictures on Social Media
OK, so if advisors don't post baby pictures, funny videos, vacation pics or sales pitches, what are they supposed to put on social media? Pictures of food?

Advisors can't really post financial trend information, because that might attract regulatory scrutiny (did the advisor recommend a certain sector because of the post?).

Absent all of that information, what is left to put on social media?
IvySchmerken
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IvySchmerken,
User Rank: Author
3/26/2014 | 3:40:27 PM
re: Advisors, Stop Posting Baby Pictures on Social Media
Baby pictures are a distraction from what investors should care about. The more complicated, non-fun stuff such as the adviser's investment performance, track record and where they stand against a benchmark, matter a lot more than baby pictures.
Becca L
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Becca L,
User Rank: Author
3/26/2014 | 2:58:58 PM
re: Advisors, Stop Posting Baby Pictures on Social Media
I'd argue you could definitely not post pictures of your kid online if you were so inclined. This is also food for thought if deciding to have both a personal and work account, or if you're willing to pull back on the personal posts (and spam friends and family with industry news) for a combined account.
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
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