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9 things to know about the 'truth' concerning RIA use of social media

Results of a new Pershing-Aite study show advisors really are using social media -- and making more money by doing so

Author Brooke Southall July 21, 2010 at 2:53 AM
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Ron Shevlin: The message is: Get more aggressive about marketing in general.

Pat Allen


Kim Dellarocca


Ron Shevlin

Bill Winterberg

Bill Winterberg

July 21, 2010 — 3:57 AM

Facebook is nearing 500 million members worldwide, not 300 million, according to many sources including this article from msnbc.com: <a href="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38310046/ns/technology_and_science-tech_and_gadgets/" rel="nofollow">http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38310046/ns/technology_and_science-tech_and_gadgets/</a>

Bill @ <a href="http://fppad.com" rel="nofollow">FPPad.com</a>

Andrew Woolley

Andrew Woolley

July 22, 2010 — 7:46 PM

Anyone unsure about whether social media is a “fad” or deadly serious may well be helped by looking at this presentation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIFYPQjYhv8&feature=player_embedded

We use social media extensively and 70% of our high net worth clients come via our website as a result: http://www.family-lawfirm.co.uk/

If divorce lawyers can get clients from social media and the Web then IFAs surely can?



July 23, 2010 — 4:44 AM

This study seems to rely on correlation data, but I wonder if there’s a true cause-and-effect thing going on, or if this is go-getters just doing more of what go-getters do. The advisor who spent 20 hours blogging sounds familiar. If you’re going to do this, you’ll need a real plan and some real help.

Brooke Southall

Brooke Southall

July 23, 2010 — 2:13 PM

Hi Ben,

There’s certainly not a clear cause and effect and — to be fair — the study’s author was not trying to say that there was one, as you can tell from his photo caption.

Here’s one of Ron Shevlin’s quotes that [I didn’t use in the article] that drives home the point:

“The RIAs that are most successful are aggressive about how they market and use whatever tools help them; they just see this as one more set of tools to [gain], retain and maintain client relationships.”

So it’s nuanced. Successful RIAs use social media but it’s not, so it seems, necessarily the overarching reason for their success.




July 23, 2010 — 5:14 PM

I wonder, if the title had been “9 things to know about the 'truth’ concerning RIA use of portfolio management software” or “9 things to know about the 'truth’ concerning RIA use of virtual assistants” or “9 things to know about the 'truth’ concerning RIA use of alternative investments”, would the stats still break out the same way?
Basically, I’m wondering, is this really news? Or another headline grabber for folks who “help advisors grow their businesses”.

Stephanie Sammons

Stephanie Sammons

August 2, 2010 — 10:37 PM

There is no doubt that developing a professional blog and optimizing social media profiles followed by engagement and participation in social networks can do 3 things for a financial advisor: Create awareness in their target markets, differentiate them from the competition, and enhance their professional credibility. All of these are important to gaining introductions and referrals, and ultimately success will come from these efforts if done the right way.

You can’t just go out, throw up a few profiles and hope for the best. There is no doubt that you need a plan, a strategy, and a system to maximize your results and minimize your time spent!

Elmer Rich III

Elmer Rich III

July 22, 2011 — 9:04 PM

As marketers we have done a lot of market research and “We are easily convinced by data.” However, these figures stand out as very different from other professional social media data.

<ul> <li> “Forty-three percent of RIAs use LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, blogs and other social media to support their businesses.” That is very high compared to other stats. How was the sample recruited? This is basic question. The sample size is also too low to generalize stats across the whole RIA segment.</li> </ul> <ul> <li> The mistake on the FB number also suggests either a typo of lack of familiarity with social media research and data. </li> </ul> <ul> <li> “One in five advisors say they increased revenues and fees from clients through social media efforts.” !? We do this kind of work, successfully, for a living and see nowhere near those kinds of results. Is this research suggesting “only” social media caused these reported results? 1/5 of which advisors? The whole study sample or just the one who are heavy social media users.</li> </ul>

A reality check is in order. For example, data shows that 90% of social media users don’t post but are purely passive observers. 60%+ check Linked In once a month or less, etc.

Posting a link to the study report will allow more useful information to be uncovered.

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