The facts as it relates to FA utilization of social networking as part of their firms practice marketing mix are compelling. For starters, the technology for monitoring and archiving social media activity to comply with the books and recordkeeping guidelines is available, affordable and proven. Secondly, FINRA has done a great job on providing guidance on social media compliance, with Regulatory Notice 10-06. While the SEC has been less forthcoming, representatives have loosely endorsed FINRA’s approach in various public forums.
With this as a backdrop, is it any wonder that FA use of social media has increased dramatically over the last year. According to a recent Cerrulli Associates study released in July, 2011, 70% of FAs are using some form of social media as part of their marketing efforts. Importantly, of those advisors utilizing social networking, 43% were generating 16+ leads per year in 2010 according to an FPA study. Add to the growing body of evidence on the efficacy of social networking for FAs is Spectrem Group's recent survey of 2,500 affluent and wealthy investors. The findings indicate that their, adoption rates for social networking sites and blog usage have increased over 2010 levels.
So, what are you waiting for? The fact is that the time has never been better to leverage the accessibility and cost efficiency of social media marketing to extend your message reach, build firm awareness, drive traffic to the firm’s website and to generate quality leads. Further delays will simply result in lost opportunities and increased share gains for your competition.
If you have compliance concerns, take a conservative approach in constructing your firm’s social networking policy. Educate your advisors on how they should conduct themselves to gain adherence to that policy and the regulatory guidelines that are in place. Train your FAs on how to improve their comfort and competency with social networking to enhance the firm’s client acquisition efforts. Social media, while regulated, is not prohibited. The opportunities are real and far outweigh the risks associated with integrating this important communications forum into your marketing mix. Time is of the essence. … Read More