A New Report from Aite Group : Financial Advisors’ Use of Social Media 2011: The Bloom Is Off the Rose

Advisors are seeing limited or diminished returns from their use of social media, but most have unrealistic expectations or fail to use it correctly.

Boston, December 20, 2011 � A new report from Aite Group analyzes financial advisors’ use of and attitudes toward social media. The fourth in a series of reports based on a Q1 2011 Aite Group survey of 437 U.S. financial advisors, this report compares current advisor views of social media with advisor views from Aite Group’s December 2010 report on financial advisors’ use of social media.

What benefits have you seen from your professional use of social media?

Evidence suggests that advisors are seeing limited or diminished returns from their use of social media. The most frequently cited benefit-reaching new prospects-was mentioned by only 19% of social-media-using advisors surveyed in 2011, and that percentage is barely more than half of what it was when Aite Group surveyed advisors in 2009. The percentage of advisors who have used social media to differentiate their practice from competitors’ practices declined from 21% in 2009 to 9% in 2011, and advisors who have seen an increase in revenue or fees from using social media declined from 16% in 2009 to 6% in 2011. While social media does possess beneficial applications for financial advisors, it must be used correctly and with realistic expectations.

“The absence of benefits provided by social media may be muting advisors’ views of the potential impact of social media on business objectives,” says Ron Shevlin, senior analyst with Aite Group and co-author of this report. “It’s hard to criticize advisors for aggressively going after new clients, but many seem unwilling to admit that social media may be better suited to communicating with existing clients than to finding and acquiring new ones.”

The report profiles the following vendors, all of which provide tools and services to help wealth management firms effectively use social media: Actiance, eMoney Advisor, Financial Social Media, Social Volt, Socialware, SocMediaFin, SunGard, Thomson Reuters, and Wired Advisor.

This 20-page Impact Note contains 15 figures and one table.

About Aite Group

Aite Group is a leading independent research and advisory firm focused on business, technology and regulatory issues and their impact on the financial services industry. It was founded by leading industry experts in Banking and Securities & Investments. Aite Group brings together a team of business strategy, technology and regulatory experts to deliver comprehensive, timely, and actionable advice to financial institutions and technology vendors. It seeks to become a true partner, advisor, and catalyst by exchanging ideas and challenging basic assumptions to ensure that our clients always stay one step ahead of the competition. http://www.aitegroup.com/