Despite the fact that social media is critical for marketing and growth of financial advisory practices, a significant number of advisors are still concerned about using social media for compliance reasons, according to a Peak Advisor Alliance survey released on Wednesday.

Over half of the 200 respondents see social media as beneficial, but view the compliance risk as daunting. Yet 55% of those polled think their biggest marketing challenge is differentiating their practice and generating new business, for which social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, are critical.  

Strikingly, 66% of respondents are not engaged in any form of social media to promote their business, according to the survey. LinkedIn seems to be the platform advisors think can be the most helpful for their business. Forty percent of those polled reported that they know how LinkedIn can help their business, with over 60% using the service either personally or for their business. Meanwhile, 88% of respondents are unsure as to how to utilize Twitter to help their business. Only 10% use Twitter to monitor news.

As much as advisors want to use social media for their businesses, 57% believe FINRA’s reaction to the use of social media by advisors is appropriate.

“Social media is a hot topic in our industry, and we want our members to realize that it’s here to stay,” said Steve Sanduski, Managing Partner of Peak Advisor Alliance based in Omaha, Nebraska, in a press release.  “Now more than ever the use of these platforms are crucial in helping advisors to market and grow their practices.

Social media is even more important for the younger generation who have grown up with these tools and platforms. “Social media is a key way the next generation will communicate, and advisors will need to understand it to reach this audience,” said Peak Advisor Alliance Founder, Ron Carson.