August 2014: Social Media

This report reviews the social media campaigns and strategies utilized by the Broker Monitor coverage firms. We specifically focused on three social media sites – Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. We also focused on official, corporate pages exclusive to U.S. wealth management or retail investors. We commence our review with noting the positioning of social media sites from public websites. We then explore the content that is posted, the frequency of updates and the number of different platforms utilized on each social media site. The report also discusses the interactions between firms and followers on their social media walls, pages and feeds, with an emphasis on user engagement. More specifically, this report focuses on the following:

  • How accessible are social media links on the firm’s public site?
  • What type of content and how frequently does a firm post to its social media accounts?
  • Does the firm engage with its social media visitors in a meaningful and constructive way?

Of the brokerage firms that maintain corporate social media accounts, every firm makes these pages accessible from either their homepage, public site footer or some combination of the two. Twelve firms provide quicklinks to Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn pages directly on their public site homepage. Additionally, 10 firms make their social media accounts accessible from their public site footers, ensuring easy access throughout the whole private site. Interestingly, no firm chooses to house social media links within their public site header. 75% of full service firms and 80% of discount brokerage firms in our competitor set provide active, official, corporate Facebook pages. Similarly, all full service firms save one have some sort of presence on Twitter, while 80% of discount firms maintain an active corporate Twitter account.

Additional key findings include:

  • Two firms provide a Facebook page that encompasses the firm’s global reach, at the expense of a dedicated U.S.-centric Facebook page.
  • 87% of full-service firms offer active LinkedIn pages, while only 40% of discount brokerage firms are equally active.
  • Six discount firms have LinkedIn pages that only provide job postings or are inactive.