An undeniable truth… you'll certainly agree – Part 2

05 September 2019 Myra Knoesen

There is no doubt that social media is an effective tool in promoting businesses and as such, marketing experts often recommend using social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to reach consumers.


The fifth edition of Putnam’s Social Advisor Survey finds the distinctions between social media and traditional communication effectively blurred. In part one of the article we looked at social media use by advisers. In part two we take a look at how advisers are using multiple social media platforms for different functions and how to position yourself.


Platforms of choice

As social media use matures, advisers are using multiple social media platforms for different functions. LinkedIn is overwhelmingly the network of choice of advisers for their business, with 73% reporting they use LinkedIn, compared with 56% who use Facebook and 46% who report using Twitter for business. Use of other platforms for business is also growing: 42% of advisers indicate they use Yelp, 39% use YouTube and 34% use Instagram for business. Although LinkedIn continues to be the leading business site, advisers report they use Facebook with the greatest frequency for business — an average of 22 times per month, versus only 16 for LinkedIn.

“Over the past five years, we have found that LinkedIn’s share of net business use has flattened among advisers while the use of every other network for business has grown. LinkedIn remains a critical tool, as its user demographics and rich, indexed data are unique compared with the other leading social media platforms. LinkedIn provides a concentrated network of college educated and relatively affluent users, making it the best place to qualify leads, obtain referrals and begin the process of converting prospects. However, advisers are conducting day-to-day social media business on other platforms,” said Mark McKenna, Head of Global Marketing, Putnam Investments.

Adviser social skills

Although social media use is widespread and 86% of advisers say that social media has helped them gain clients, advisers report a range of social media skill levels:

  • Nearly half (46%) of advisers claim to be social media “experts”;
  • 41% say they “just get by”;
  • 5% are just getting started; and
  • 2% would like to get started but need help.

The study yielded other notable findings:

  • One-third of advisers (34%) say social media plays a very significant role in their marketing efforts, up from 29% in 2016;
  • Nearly two-thirds (65%) of women advisers (and 57% of men) say that using social media has improved their efficiency a “great deal”; and
  • Advisers with three to 10 years tenure in the industry are the most likely to gain assets with social media use.

Be well positioned

The point to remember is that to have the competitive edge in this ever-evolving industry of ours, companies should capitalise on the capabilities and opportunities that this changing environment presents in order to be well positioned.

Even though there are companies who are reluctant to use technology, they will eventually have to adapt at some point. The sooner we start to understand the digital world better by learning what works and what does not work, the quicker we can start the process of transformation.

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