Questioning Social Media

As social media is growing in the business community one industry at a time, the finance industry is a sect of the business world that still has yet to capitalize on the benefits of social media.  While many firms have made the transition to implementing a social media presence to some degree, the strategy (and therefore the benefits) are lacking amongst many wealth management firms.  In an industry with a strong regulatory environment and a necessity for quantifying success, accepting social media is not always the route that wealth managers wish to take.  Especially with recent security breeches amongst well-known brands on sites such as Twitter, controlling reputation and content is a big concern for an industry in which trust is of the utmost importance.  The question that remains then is, what are the benefits?


Customer Service and Target Audience

One of the demographics most in need of financial advisement, and often less informed when it comes to making financial decisions, also happens to be the Millennials that are taking social media by storm.  Recently graduated young professionals are often just starting to develop a wealth management portfolio, and are a key target audience to reach.  A wealth management firm that can meet their needs through social media can gain a strong competitive edge in the marketplace.  The “I Need It Now” generation demands customer service at a moment’s notice, and social media can provide that.  By creating this extra channel of communication you can build a community and provide clients with access to key financial advice right on a Twitter feed or get an immediate response to a financial question.  This will allow you to build your reputation while also connecting to your audience, building that trust that is essential for client relationships.  According to onwallstreet, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney’s financial advisors have been able to bring in new assets from new connections on LinkedIn and Twitter.


Ease of Access

Mobile apps are also a key tool for appealing to clients.  You can access your bank account, stocks, and more through apps, so wealth management should be able to be done through these as well.  If your company has not taken advantage of this technology yet, it certainly should, as ease of access is another way to meet client demands.  Advisors can also leverage this technology in client meetings, providing a unified front end through which reports, trends, buying, selling, etc. can be channeled into one screen.  Mobile apps can certainly act as valuable tools for an advisor’s responsiveness and ability to meet client’s needs on the spot.   You can view the top ten iTunes finance apps here to see what works and how your firm’s app can measure up.


Social Media Analysis

Not only is social media a valuable asset for reaching out to new demographics, but also for monitoring which demographics and what kind of content you have the most success with and capitalizing on that.  You can assess what has the most relevance in your social media community, whether it be discussions about a 401k plan, family plan funding, money markets, etc. and tailor your material to become a valuable part of the conversation and gain credibility in that area.  You can also use social media analytics tools to track your strongest demographic, use that information to create content based on milestones usually occurring in that demographic, and track responsiveness to that content to measure performance and maximize your impact and platform strategy.


Exploring Further

To learn more about the benefits and challenges of social media for wealth management firms, check out our follow-up post covering the Business Development Institute’s Wealth Management & Social Media Leadership Forum on April 2, 2013.  Topics such as technology, compliance, and marketing will be discussed as well as how to scale social media beyond the pilot program.  Case studies and solutions will be provided.  Social2B International, LLC is a proud sponsor of this event.

By Jess Spar