Advisors may still feel a bit awkward as well as worried about compliance when they use social media, but they’re definitely using it to build their brands and businesses, according to a new study by SourceMedia, publisher of Financial Planning, On Wall Street and Bank Investment Consultant.

A majority (51.4%) of nearly 900 independent, wirehouse and bank advisors surveyed say they rely on social media for both business and personal use. RIAs are the most enthusiastic users, with 52.7% saying they use it for business and personal reasons, followed by 46% of bank advisors and 37.8% of wirehouse and regional firm advisors.

They don’t feel they’re experts, with only 11.7% of those surveyed claiming they have extensive social media experience. Still, 45.6% of advisors say they have moderate experience, with bank advisors in the lead at 64.7%, followed by RIAs at 43.4% and wirehouse advisors at 34.9%.

Advisors are using social media for two main reasons: To research clients, prospects and contacts (69.6% use it either “somewhat” or “most” for this); and to build their brands and promote their businesses (45.6% say they use it “somewhat” or “most” for these purposes).

Most advisors’ firms (71.5%) have a social media policy. Almost all wirehouse advisors (90%) say their firm has a policy, followed by 78.4% of bank advisors and 69.8% of RIAs.

But social media policies alone don’t stop advisors from being nervous about compliance, with 55% citing regulatory or compliance issues as their biggest concern about the likes of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Danielle Reed writes for Financial Planning.

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Financial Planning content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access