A new social media research report from kasina places iShares, Vanguard, Putnam, Russell Investments, and OppenheimerFunds as the Top 5 social media leaders in asset management.

Specifically, iShares has taken over the top spot in this year’s report with its development of timely and informative thought leadership and two-way communications and “social listening”.

Vanguard took second place for its Twitter and Facebook efforts, which “Humanizes investing by creating a personal connection with followers”.

And Putnam earned high scores by “providing relevant and impactful third-party content by essentially acting as a content curator” and its “Best-in-class digital integration of all social media channels.

The report, Getting Results from Social Media: Leaders and Best Practices, also revealed that despite compliance concerns, the number of firms participating in social media has grown sharply over the past two years, rising from 48% in 2010 to 86% in 2012.

“The era of social media experimentation is over,” stated Lee Kowarski, Principal and co-founder of kasina. “Virtually all top asset managers and insurers have crafted social media strategies and are seeing results.”

kasina surveyed and interviewed e-business and marketing executives representing a set of 29 asset management and insurance firms. Firms ranged in size from 41% with asset under management greater than $100 billion, 34% between $30 and $100 billion and 25% less than $30 billion.