August 15, 2012 09:00 ET

SEI Survey: Advisors Start to Realize the Business Benefits of Social Media

Nearly 1 in 5 Say They Have Secured New Clients Through Social Media Activity

OAKS, PA--(Marketwire - Aug 15, 2012) -  Despite the fact that most advisors are only beginning to understand how to most effectively use social media, some are already reaping real business benefits from it according to an SEI (NASDAQ: SEIC) Quick Poll released today. While nearly 80 percent of advisors surveyed said they have some business presence on social media, more than half (56 percent) said they were only "tiptoeing into it." Despite this apparent lack of a systematic approach, nearly one in five respondents (18 percent) said they have secured a new client as a result of their social media activity. The results point to the increasing value that social networks can provide, even as a majority of advisors have been slow to implement comprehensive strategies.

The survey, completed by 185 advisors, indicated that while most are using social media in some way, they also realize they have more to learn. While nearly 1 in 4 (24 percent) said they were "mildly active" and 19 percent said they still have no social media presence, nearly all of those surveyed (94 percent) said they plan to increase their use of social media in the coming year.

"Savvy advisors are beginning to realize social media is as much a business development tool as it is a communications vehicle," said John Anderson, Head of Practice Management for the SEI Advisor Network. "What the survey shows is that advisors have the opportunity to see real business returns if they can begin to put social media plans, processes, and policies in place, rather than just using it sporadically."

The survey also revealed some of the issues that might be holding advisors back from fully embracing social media. When asked what their biggest challenges or concerns were with social media, respondents identified "Coming up with frequent and relevant content" as the top issue (37 percent). Meanwhile, nearly one-third (30 percent) said "broker-dealer" concerns and 15 percent cited the "future regulatory environment." 

"Most advisors have moved past their initial concerns about social media," said Tim Shanahan, CEO of Compass Capital in Braintree, Massachusetts. "We, like many advisors, now realize that social media is a powerful tool that can help us target specific groups and individuals to uncover business opportunities -- especially, younger clients."

The survey was conducted as part the SEI's Monthly Practice Management webinar series for financial advisors. The recent webinar was called "Success. Go Social" and featured Stephanie Sammons, founder and CEO of Wired Advisor, and John Anderson from SEI as presenters. For more information on topics discussed during the webinar and other materials related to social media please visit

About The SEI Advisor Network
The SEI Advisor Network provides financial advisors with turnkey wealth management services through outsourced investment strategies, administration and technology platforms, and practice management programs. It is through these services that SEI helps advisors save time, grow revenues, and differentiate themselves in the market. With a history of financial strength, stability, and transparency, the SEI Advisor Network has been serving the independent financial advisor market for more than 16 years, has over 4,900 advisors who work with SEI, and $31.7 billion in advisors' assets under management (as of June 30, 2012). The SEI Advisor Network is a strategic business unit of SEI. For more information, visit

About SEI
SEI (NASDAQ: SEIC) is a leading global provider of investment processing, fund processing, and investment management business outsourcing solutions that help corporations, financial institutions, financial advisors, and ultra-high-net-worth families create and manage wealth. As of June 30, 2012, through its subsidiaries and partnerships in which the company has a significant interest, SEI manages or administers $424 billion in mutual fund and pooled or separately managed assets, including $182 billion in assets under management and $242 billion in client assets under administration. For more information, visit