News, Vision & Voice for the Advisory Community


9 things worth knowing from Schwab's newest advisor study

Social media is not catching on with big advisors but alternative investments are

Author Brooke Southall August 25, 2010 at 12:50 PM
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Pat Allen

Pat Allen

August 25, 2010 — 3:52 PM

Hey Brooke, thanks for the full coverage of the Schwab study but you know that we’re going to key in on the social media findings.

You note the data in this article. But we think that the pie chart in Schwab’s second social media slide was instructive: 66% of advisors describe themselves as tentative users of social media at the minimum. While 34% are social media skeptics, two-thirds are not. We think that’s pretty significant given that a year ago, a high percentage of advisors (the survey included more than RIAs) told kasina that they’d never been to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or YouTube.

We pay homage to your work and show both charts on the AdvisorTweets blog. http://bit.ly/9JPOSJ

Brooke Southall

Brooke Southall

August 25, 2010 — 6:57 PM

Hello Pat,

I would have been disappointed if you hadn’t lent your perspective to this article!

Schwab’s Outlook studies have some survey questions with responses that can be compared to previous iterations and others that are new. I believe this one was new so I offered my own reaction to the findings.

RIABiz is to some extent a social media kind of entity — and we depend on Twitter, blogs, LinkedIn and even Facebook for traffic — so I like to believe the whole world is either ensconced in social media or well on its way. To find that only 13% or so are “eager” and that so many RIAs are “tentative” jumped out at me and colored my thinking in a half-full way.

You’re right to remind me that social media is still very much in its infancy and that these findings need to be looked at in that light as well.


Blane Warrene

Blane Warrene

August 25, 2010 — 7:49 PM

The statistics are revealing – not only as to sentiment – but also to the continued need for education and advocacy. A higher percentage of advisors use social media (LinkedIn) than do suggest that they are curious, interested or excited….

The shift is evident, as Pat notes, from 2009 surveys. We see that as well from implementations. Certainly the larger the advisor and institution – the slower pace of working through the hurdles of policy, procedure and scheduled implementation – but there is no shortage of hunger for clarity and guidance – a sign toward the adoption curve tailing up.

What is curious is the blog response – as blogs are an ideal platform for longer form content where an advisor can share (and showcase) well-researched ideas and advocate for their business.

Jeff Spears

Jeff Spears

August 25, 2010 — 9:40 PM

I was dissapointed to read that such a low % of RIAs were writing blogs. This is a HUGE missed opportunity in my opinion as our (RIAs) wirehouse competitors are not allowed to write blogs due the their “lowest common denomitor” compliance policies.
As a blog writer, I will admit that to reap the benefits of a blog does take time to attract subscribers and to write the blog itself, but it is worth it.

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