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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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