Monday, August 31, 2020 Stamford, CT USA — Financial advisors are dramatically stepping up their use of social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter. 

With the COVID-19 crisis keeping markets volatile, clients jittery and most professionals cooped up at home, financial advisors are adopting social media as a way of keeping themselves informed and in touch with clients and prospects. 
More than half the financial advisors participating in a new study from Greenwich Associates have increased their activity on LinkedIn and/or Twitter in the past year. Thirty-eight percent of the advisors expect their usage of LinkedIn to increase further over the next year, and 32% expect their usage of Twitter to increase (although 12% expect to slow their usage of Twitter). 

At a time when COVID-19 restrictions have all but eliminated in-person meetings, the Internet and social media are providing financial advisors with a lifeline. Since the start of the pandemic, nearly two-thirds of financial advisors have spent more time in virtual meetings with clients. About half of financial advisors now are using social media to research and learn more about investment products and services. Equally important is the role social media can play in prospecting and networking during the pandemic. Overall, 57% of financial advisors say their primary source of new clients is referrals. 

“Social media provides an opportunity for financial advisors to keep up the interaction and engagement that drive referrals,” says Dan Connell, Head of the Market Structure and Technology at Greenwich Associates and co-author of The Changing Role of Media for Financial Advisors.

Which Social Media Platforms Will Be Important to Retail Investors and Their Financial Advisors? 
More financial advisors expect to increase their use of LinkedIn more than any other platform over the next two years. While Twitter was the second most-cited media source platform financial advisors expect to use more, it was also the top-cited platform on the list of sources financial advisors plan to use less.

There is a notable self-awareness from about a quarter of advisors that they do not know how to use the platforms effectively. For those financial advisors who are not tech-savvy by nature, this can be daunting.  Going forward, however, the most successful financial advisors will learn how to use social media to tap into a huge and highly engaged client base, particularly those sought-after millennials.

“Social media plays a pivotal role as young people start thinking about creating a nest egg for the future,” says Brad Tingley, Market Structure and Technology Analyst at Greenwich Associates and co-author of the report. “To reach this younger population, financial advisors will have to meet them where they live—on social media. Otherwise, they will be left behind.”