July 2015: Social Media Recap

Our July Mutual Fund Monitor – Advisor report assesses the LinkedIn and Twitter accounts of coverage group firms. We look at how firms brand and market themselves through social media channels and provide a holistic overview of how each firm participates in this space. Aside from LinkedIn and Twitter, our research also notes Facebook, YouTube and Google+, but does not assess these platforms in detail. We analyze general corporate accounts for the firms that lack advisor-specific social media accounts. Our report serves as a catalogue of the current landscape; therefore, no grades were distributed. This is the first time we have explored this topic in our report series. We review the following when examining firms’ social media pages:

  • Accessibility
  • Platforms used
  • Messaging focus

Social media is an integral marketing component, and asset managers are well aware of its impact on how a company is perceived. Based on our assessment, we found that 100% of firms offer their asset management-facing audience LinkedIn accounts, and 94% hold active Twitter accounts. We found that 84% of firms manage YouTube accounts, while 73% have Facebook. Fewer firms – only 33% – offer Google+ accounts, and 78% employ additional social media channels such as blogs. Most social media accounts are publicly viewable; however, one firm’s advisor-specific LinkedIn is private, and requires moderator approval in order to gain membership.

Our research reveals that only one firm offers both LinkedIn and Twitter accounts specifically intended for financial professionals only. When it comes to Twitter, around 47% of firms offer some level of advisor messaging content. All of these firms employ hashtags to garner advisors’ attention, such as #advisor or #financialadvisor. In terms of LinkedIn, only 21% of firms provide content specifically for advisors. A small portion of firms (15%) offer a designated page for outlining their social media presence.

Our analysis reveals that verified Twitter accounts are not common, and only seven firms currently hold this attribute. A majority of firms – 84% – offer disclosures and disclaimers outlining guidelines and regulations for interacting on all social media platforms.

Among the coverage group firms:

  • 94% of firms offer Twitter accounts
  • 66% use images and charts to supplement text when tweeting
  • 47% of companies offer viewers some advisor content on Twitter
  • 21% of firms position content on LinkedIn for advisors
  • 84% of firms post their social media disclaimers