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Friday, November 18, 2016

How Social Are Asset Managers?

Reported by Katy Golvala

A recent report from Greenwich Associates reveals that 68 percent of asset managers are using social media as a tool to increase client engagement.

Dan Connell
Greenwich Associates
Managing Director
The clear channel of choice amongst asset manager CMOs is LinkedIn, with all firms that use social media indicating that they use the site. Twitter is the second-most popular, with 74 percent of CMOs using the channel, mainly due to its broad reach and real-time access to users. Though YouTube and Facebook are gaining traction, they are most useful when targeting retail clients.

Menaka Thillaiampalam, head of North America financial services marketing at LinkedIn, tells MFWire that asset managers are "able to find their most important audiences on our platform."

The platform's widespread use is also due to its reputation as the channel with the best ROI by far, with 72 percent of respondents saying that it offers the best value. Runner-up Twitter only had 28 percent of the vote. And in third? 13 percent of CMOs say that none of the channels provide a notable ROI. Though Dan Connell, managing director at Greenwich Associates, says that this is likely because measurement analytics have not been fully developed and that social media adoption is still in its early stages.

"It's new and it's going to take some time before you get a measurable benefit from it," Connell tells MFWire.

Social media has proven that it's a marketing channel that's here to stay, but not all asset managers are getting on board just yet—32 percent report that they do not currently market on any platform, and nearly three quarters of them have no plans to start in the near-term.

This hesitation stems mostly from compliance concerns. Regularly advertising on social media requires a level of compliance engagement that many firms don't see as worth the trouble. Respondents noted lack of management buy-in as another reason for resisting the social media trend.

However, Connell and his team have observed that asset managers who use social media find that compliance isn't as big of a hurdle as they initially thought.

"The concern over having to engage with compliance in social seems to be worse than the bite. The experience we've heard has been pretty positive," says Connell.

Social media might not be for every asset manager, but for the firms that still want to get into the game, it's certainly not too late. Industry players that are currently active haven't been using it for many years, and late-adopters have an opportunity to learn from what others have done.

"Make it a part of your overall marketing channel," Connell says. "It's not the most important piece, but it is a piece."


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