There’s no doubt that social media is a top priority for many financial services firms and advisors. Today, social media is a key way to connect and engage with clients and, by sharing education and thought leadership to help clients navigate their financial journeys, it can help grow business.
In a joint study by LinkedIn and the Financial Planning Association (FPA), nearly 70 percent of advisors said they saw a direct or indirect link between social media activity and new client acquisition, compared to 30 percent of advisors who saw no connection. Of those, eighty-three percent of advisors share content to build credibility, 76 percent share to raise awareness of their business, and 70 percent share content to deepen relationships with existing clients.
The report, entitled “Communication Evolution: Financial Professionals and the Future of Thought Leadership and Social Media”, explores how financial advisors are using social media to engage clients and prospects and how the most successful advisors are using thought leadership as a way to educate consumers.
Here are some key takeaways and slides from the report:
- Client behavior is driving activity or advisors to provide on-going education and thought leadership delivered through social media
- Client engagement drives referral growth, and there is an appetite for financial planning content
- Prospects are doing more and more research on advisors before meeting with them, or to validate their decision afterwards
- Younger prospects (those under the age of 44) are four times as likely to use LinkedIn before meeting with an advisor, compared to 33 percent of clients age 65 and older.
- Three-fourths of advisors see the use of social media as an important way to target younger clients
- While seventy percent of advisors share content with clients and prospects in order to build credibility, raise awareness and deepen relationships with existing clients, they still use mostly traditional methods of distributing that information (such as email)
- Over half of the advisors in the survey who use social media said they added new clients directly as a result of the use, averaging five new clients and $3.5M in new assets in the past year
- Advisors are more likely to measure the effectiveness of social media based on positive feedback from prospects and clients or the level of engagement from friends/followers than on the number of new client
Clearly, social media use and thought leadership among advisors is here to stay, especially for those who want to attract and retain clients, deepen relationships, and grow their business. Perhaps the best strategy for increasing engagement is to be present (and active) on a full range of social networks, and tailoring your activity based on your and your client’s particular needs.
Download the full report for more insights.