By Cyril Tuohy
Financial advisors lag behind the general population in adopting social media for business purposes, despite there being no “overwhelming reason” preventing advisors from adopting the exploding channel, a new survey finds.
Advisors say the biggest challenges preventing them from being more active on social media channels are: broker-dealer concerns (29 percent), coming up with frequent and relevant content (25 percent), the future regulatory environment (21 percent), and time and cost (15 percent), the survey found.
“Whether it’s a lack of time, resources or expertise, it’s clear most advisors haven’t fully committed to social media yet,” John Anderson, head of Practice Management for the SEI Advisor Network, said in a statement.
A majority of Americans are using social networks and insurance industry surveys have found that social media are great prospecting tools rather than outright sales channels.
Institutions have proceeded more cautiously into social media as negative, derogatory and even racist comments from individual users have been widely publicized.
“I think many advisors want to use social media more, but they’re just not sure how to do it effectively and what resources to dedicate to it,” Jill Caccarelli Rapps, partner and financial advisor at Ciccarelli Advisory Services, said in a statement.
While a majority of Americans are using social media – including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and Pinterest – very few have sold a policy or created a financial plan solely using social media.
A June 24 live online survey of more than 500 webinar attendees sponsored by SEI, for instance, found that 86 percent of participants had not secured a single new client as a result of social media activity.
Social channels are, at their core, a way to conduct dialogue, and therefore a way to build relationships with potential clients, according to social media experts. Online chatter can progressively turn an online acquaintance into a “hotter” prospect so long as advisors remain in touch through one or more social channels, experts say.
“Research shows that the majority of Americans are using social networks; if advisors can reach that audience effectively there is an opportunity for them to reap tangible business benefits,” Anderson also said.
Cyril Tuohy is a writer based in Pennsylvania. He has covered the financial services industry for more than 15 years. He can be reached at [email protected].
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