Despite significant barriers to use, not the least of which is the compliance office, three-quarters (76%) of financial advisors now report using social media for business-related purposes. Only 7% say they do not use social media at all, while an additional 17% do so, but for personal reasons only. These and other findings are currently posted in Advisor Media Consumption™, an online data collection and reporting tool that continuously tracks advisors’ media consumption preferences and behaviors. Advisor Media Consumption™ and its companion—Investor Media Consumption™—were launched in January of 2015 by Cogent Reports™, the syndicated division of Market Strategies International.
According to Cogent Reports, among all advisors, about one-third (34%) of total time spent on social media relates in some way to their profession, a figure that increases to 41% when isolating advisors who report using social media for business. Furthermore, on average, business users access more platforms than personal-only users, 2.75 platforms versus 1.5, respectively.
“We know that use and reliance on social media has been increasing among advisors for years, but it was surprising even to us to learn that today there are over 228,000 advisors actively using social media for professional reasons,” says John Meunier, managing director at Cogent Reports and expert in financial services industry research. “Even more surprising is how representative social media users are of the total advisor population. This is not just about younger, tech-savvy advisors.”
74% of advisors report using LinkedIn for professional reasons, and a majority (59%) consider it their primary social media platform for accessing business and financial news and information. And while fewer consider these other platforms to be their primary social media source for business and financial news and information, significant proportions of advisors are also leveraging YouTube (75%), Facebook (65%) and Twitter (32%) in some professional capacity.
“As a prospecting tool, networking platform and online business card, LinkedIn has long been a favorite of advisors,” continues Meunier. “But with half of Twitter users now identifying that platform as their primary social media business and financial news and information source, Twitter, to use social media parlance, is definitely trending.”
About Advisor Media Consumption™
Cogent Reports collects data via an online survey among a representative cross section of 350–400 registered financial advisors on a rolling monthly basis. Survey participants are required to have an active book of business of at least $5M, and offer investment advice or planning services to individual investors on a fee or transactional basis. The data are weighted by AUM, channel, age, gender and region to reflect the overall advisor universe as identified by the Discovery Data Financial Services Industry database. Cogent interviewed 1,390 advisors during the first quarter, with a sampling error of +/- 2.6%. Market Strategies International will supply the exact wording of any survey question upon request.
Director, Syndicated Marketing