Financial Advisors Still Learning to Navigate Social Media

Posted by adaniels in Blog on January 6, 2012

Some financial advisors are dipping their toes into the world of social media. But instead of worrying about accumulating massive numbers of Facebook friends and Twitter followers, says some social media experts emphasize quality over quantity. 

“I’m telling them to connect to people they know already, then pick and choose who the right people are,” Lauren Boyman, who is Morgan Stanley Smith Barney’s director of social media, tells the publication. “We’re telling them to do this in a methodical way. But we’re not instructing them to try and connect with Maria Bartiromo and see if that helps.”

 The idea is to find people who financial advisors may be able to do business with, not just adding friends, acquaintances, and family members for the sake of numbers.

For example, LPL Financial is asking its representatives to write targeted messages instead of drumming up marketing. “Content needs to be memorable and appropriate,” Melissa Fox-Foley, a vice president at the firm, says. “We’re not going for mass appeal.”

Firms are still grappling with the social media world, tracking how much it helps the bottom line, and coming up with ways to use social media in their businesses. And different financial advisor firms have very different rules on social media. Some allow their employees to have a little bit of freedom with what they write, while others require preapproval of tweets and comments.

In addition, there is the concern about what regulators will allow. But much like email used to be more strictly controlled by companies, experts like David Ballard of Advisor Group says that “there will be adjustments” as time goes on.

Written by Lisa Swan


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