While the vast majority of these firms use social media to connect to consumers, a few utilize Facebook and Twitter to reach out to financial advisers as well, the company said.
In 2008, Corporate Insight found that asset management firms were less likely to use social media than banks, credit card issuers and brokerage firms. At the time, just 13% of mutual fund firms and 17% of annuity issuers had a corporate-sponsored Facebook presence. However, of the 41 asset management firms tracked, 17 now feature company-sponsored pages on Facebook and 16 are now on Twitter. In addition, four firms have launched blogs.
Corporate Insight said that FINRA’s Regulatory Notice 10-06, helping to clarify a firm’s responsibilities with regard to social media tools, has inspired some firms to begin to use Facebook, Twitter, blogs and other interactive features.
James McGovern, vice president of consulting services at Corporate Insight, said in a press release that even as asset management firms are dipping into social media, “many of the firms we track do not appear to have a clear strategy for gathering fans and followers and leveraging these social media efforts.”
Of the 16 firms Corporate Insight tracks that are using Twitter, roughly one-third are using their profiles to interact with their followers on a regular basis. Despite the growing number of banks, brokerages and credit card issuers who now use Twitter as a customer service channel, only two asset management firms have used their accounts to provide customer assistance, and even these firms have done so in a very limited capacity. The majority employ a single, general interest profile on Twitter and Facebook to drive traffic to their websites via links to market commentaries, educational articles and tools, according to the press release.Corporate Insight’s new report, “To ‘Friend’ Is the Trend: Social Media and Financial Services Today,” which will be published in October 2010, will offer detailed research regarding asset management companies and other financial services firms’ evolving use of social media tools.