Social media has been a buzzword across all business platforms for the past 10 years, and while most producers know that being active on certain sites is important, a new report from Putnam Investments reveals that one tool is bringing in more clients—and more revenue—than others.
The study, which surveyed more than 300 financial advisors, found that the typical social media user in the financial sector is male, in his 40s, working as an independent broker and relies on commissions and fees to make a living.
While respondents reported using Google+, Facebook and Twitter, it is clear that one social media site is dominating these three: LinkedIn.
According to the report, 95% of financial advisors—including producers—used LinkedIn in the past year for business purposes, such as improving their referral network, building brand identity, and expanding their professional network.
And when it comes to finding new clients, 66% of respondents said LinkedIn was their go-to tool, as most of their target audience is active on the site.
Thanks to LinkedIn’s effectiveness, 85% of advisors said they permit employees to access it at work. It’s no wonder, too, as Putnam reported 49% of users acquired new clients through their social media activities, leading to new assets valued at $1mn or more for 29% of users.
The top LinkedIn activities for advisors and producers include accepting and requesting connections, listing their firm name, joining groups, and posting content updates.
That’s not to say other social media tools don’t play an important role for financial professionals. Facebook led the other three prominent social media sites when it came to cultivating and enhancing current client relationships.
Twitter also ranked fairly highly in acquiring new referrals, with 28% of respondents saying regular tweets helped gain clients.
Google+, meanwhile, ranked near the bottom in all categories and experienced the lowest rate of usage growth among financial professionals.