Unlocking Real Value Blog

Financial Services Pros Still Don’t Get Social Media

Well, I do … but it seems that despite some gains, financial services professionals remain reluctant to incorporate social media into their business models. A recent poll in FundFire (A Financial Times Service) among financial services professionals found that 60% found that social media had either no impact or was risky, 30% found that it was moderately helpful and only 11% felt that it provided a boost to their businesses.

Surprising is that 11% is down from 17% in a similar poll taken last year by the same organization. Now, we all know that voluntary polls like this are not too scientific, but it is surprising that this number went down given the same potential audience of respondents, especially since a number of sponsor firms, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney for one, have expanded their efforts in this area.

I believe that the most rational explanation for these results is that some of my fellow “Type A” financial services professionals are just not being patient enough to see results. It takes time! Additionally, while everyone would love to get new business from their social media efforts, and eventually this may come, the more immediate impacts are harder to quantify and gauge, namely greater brand awareness and client servicing.

I understand that many in the industry cite compliance reasons for not participating in social media, but advances in understanding and software have alleviated many of these concerns. Granted, if you work for a firm that does not allow or limits social media, there is not much you can do. But if you are the decision-maker, or can influence the decision, remember to take a longer-term perspective.

Social media allows people to get to know you on their terms – which is how people want it these days.

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