Just under three quarters of plan participants use Facebook, although 40% also said they are interested in getting financial information and advice through LinkedIn.
These clients are looking for general information and education as well as information on their own accounts. Spectrem Group president George Walper notes that the financial industry tends to associate social media with young people.
But a quarter of participants use their smartphones to correspond with their financial advisors.
Walper says all financial firms need a well-developed plan for using social media.
He advises making apps for smartphones and tablets that allow clients to access their accounts.
Tablet apps should offer more than apps for smartphones. Use videos to educate participants about their pension plans and about how to take out a loan.
Men are more likely to use LinkedIn than women, Twitter is viewed as more of a news source, and Facebook posts should be more informal.
Google+ and Pinterest are also important channels and should not be ignored. They are growing in usage and advisors should keep an eye on them and also for new networks that spring up over the next few channels.
Walper compares it to investors who use Apple products over Android. Apple may be the most popular but that doesn’t mean people are not using Android.
As social networks become greater sources of education and information for clients, advisors and firms can no longer afford to ignore their use by clients of all ages and asset levels.

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