Where Things Stand Right Now in Financial Social Media

The following article is based on a recent survey by DAI Partners and Tools, Inc. on the status of Social Media in Financial Services.

"In a newly released survey by DAI Partners and Tools, Inc, “Social Media Marketing in the Financial Services Industry: Where Things Stand Right Now,” nearly every financial services company is using or thinking about using social media to increase brand awareness, promote products and services, enhance credibility and recruit staff. At the same time, not a single financial firm expects to see any material return on their social media spending in the foreseeable future."  -PRWEB Newswire

The DAI Partners and Tools, Inc survey was conducted through personal and in-depth telephone interviews with eight financial services companies and written responses from two others.   The individuals contacted are responsible for social media marketing within their organizations and no compensation was received for participation.

Although the result of the survey validated much of what I already knew or suspected on the status of social media in financial services, the following points were of interest to me, and hopefully to you as well:

  • No more than 20% of the companies in the financial industry have an infrastructure already in place adequate to achieve their social media ambitions with another 20% having done little more than study the possibility of using social media in the future

  • Although LinkedIn is the default favorite social media service, all would like to figure out how to use Facebook

  • Respondents using QR codes report web traffic increases of 10-15%

  • Respondents expressed a great deal of interest in using social media in the very area they are currently using it least: to distribute information and ideas

  • Fear of and confusion over regulations and "older executives" are stumbling blocks in social media use

  • Social media usage policies vary widely and no single approach is favored in the financial services industry

  • There is a great deal of strategic planning underway with a focus on the impact social media will have on their brands 3-5 years from now

  • Not a single respondent expects to see any material return on investment for years.

(You can see the entire report and get a pdf printout at http://www.daipartnerspr.com/social_media/index.html )

What I find encouraging in this survey is that we are clearly beyond the "why" of using social media and now entering the "how" stage.  Advisors no longer need to be convinced that they should have a strategy and instead are shifting the focus on how to do it. Social media use is a process and it takes time to nurture and develop.  It would appear that the ROI question is being tempered, at least with this group, with a more realistic time frame to gauge success.

Victor Gaxiola is the Owner/Social Media Strategist of Red 7 Marketing. He is a frequent commentator on Social Media in the Financial Services Industry and was recently selected to serve on the Advisory Board of linkedFA, a Social network for Financial & Insurance Professionals.   With over 17 years of experience in Sales, Marketing, and Project Management, Victor worked at Westin Hotels, United Airlines, and Wells Fargo Advisors.

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