Unlocking Real Value Blog

AK In The News: Industry Remains Skeptical About Social Media

But I don’t!

Ignites, a Financial Times Service, just completed a poll of readers on social media, and surprisingly the results, which are negative overall, are pretty much the same as similar polls taken by Ignites the past two years: 33% or respondents said that social media is “useful only for certain roles and business functions,” while 29% voted that the hype is “a lot bigger than its usefulness.”

Only 10% of respondents thought that social media was a game changer, and 24% said that it was “important” and that “everyone should use it.” These results are in contrast to most other studies I have seen lately, which show the industry beginning to embrace social media.

For example, kasina is about to report that 87% of asset managers and insurers are using social media. The results of this study complement my comments in the Ignites article – while firms are seeing increased brand awareness and engagement with clients and prospects, few are seeing increased sales.

This lack of sales is probably what accounts for most of the skepticism. But I don’t think it is warranted. First, it takes time – a long time to get actual sales from social media. Be patient. And second, increased sales is not the best and only indicator of social media success.

As I said in the article, “It is evident that there still might be a misunderstanding in the financial services industry about just where social media fits. Unlike some other industries, where more tangible products are involved, social media is not just about getting new business, it is also about providing added value content and client servicing. Since the benefits of such strategies are harder to measure, perhaps that is why there seems to be frustration among the respondents.”

In addition, “Clients are increasingly adopting the mantra that they want what they want, when they want it and delivered how they want it. This is what social media allows you to do. It does not replace other things one does, like face-to-face communications, but complements it.”

Finally, part of social media success is having a conversation with your clients – not just a one way conversation. Firms that do not feel the they are having social media success might not be engaging clients and prospects the right way.

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