The CISIs Wealth Management Forum tackled the issue head on recently, and found that financial services firms are wildly behind the curve with only 64% using Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook. But what can social media do for them?
The CISI’s Wealth Management Forum tackled the issue head on recently, and found that financial services firms are wildly behind the curve with only 64% using Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.
That’s unfortunate, the St Paul’s based meeting heard, because there has been a paradigm shift over the past generation. Business development used to be about identifying the market, message and media, but nowadays it is about listening, and social media makes that easier than ever as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn all allow wealth managers to monitor HNW concerns and then target their services accordingly.
From McKinsey, Social Media and Organisations, Nov 2011
At this point, some audience members opined that social media was redundant on the grounds that HNWs crave privacy and are repelled by online fora which give their secrets away. But stats were presented which proved them wrong: the next generation is currently the most active segment and the over 65s are the fastest growing.
First, you have to select your medium. Twitter is the most likely to rank on Google’s first page, while LinkedIn is the personal networking tool of choice. Facebook, the meeting was informed, is better for products than services.
As effective as the media are, there are risks to using them. To start with, once you start you can’t stop as dormant accounts look worse than not having one at all. Then, you have to monitor what you say. The experts recommend that you shouldn’t Tweet a statement if you wouldn’t shout it across a party, and you shouldn’t Facebook a photo if you wouldn’t show it to your work colleagues.
These warnings sound alarming and will put some wealth managers off. Yet there is potentially greater danger in inertia because not claiming your identity online leaves you open to impersonators which can be very hard to shake off, as proven by fake celebrity accounts on Twitter – like @oprahwinfry – having tens of thousands of followers even after the genuine accounts have been authenticated.
Bottom line: HNW expectations are set by their experiences of all markets, so wealth managers are not only judged against their fellow wealth managers’ social media presence, but against savvy luxury brands like @Dior and @Burberry who are gigahertz ahead.
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