SOURCE: Socialware

Socialware

September 19, 2011 10:00 ET

Socialware 2011 Advisor Survey Shows Social Media as High Priority Business Tool for Firms

60% of Responding Advisors See Positive Business Impact From Social Media

AUSTIN, TX--(Marketwire - Sep 19, 2011) - Socialware, the leader in social business for financial services, today unveiled new survey results of nearly 150 financial advisors on their use of social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Of those surveyed, more than 84 percent use social media for business purposes, increasing from just 60 percent in last year's survey.

More than half of the respondents answered that social media has made business impact ranging from positive to even massive impact. "We want to grow our firm 20 percent annually for the next five years. We find social media to be an incredibly cost effective way of achieving that," commented one advisor.

"With 700 million people on Facebook and Google + gaining 10 million in such a short period of time, it's safe to say social networking has become a staple of our society," stated another survey respondent. "... keeping us from using it is basically saying we don't want to give you the tools to build a business."

Socialware conducted a similar survey in 2010, and the difference in results from just one year ago indicate that social media is quickly becoming a key part of marketing, sales and client retention plans at many financial services firms. In 2010, only 57 percent of respondents were aware of whether their company even had a social media policy. Fast-forward to 2011, and 80 percent of respondents replied that their firm had a policy in place.

While it is clear that social media use is rapidly increasing, 38 percent of respondents agreed that there were still significant hurdles to adopting social media for business purposes; specifically, inability to archive data, understanding the compliance issues, and time constraints. A common frustration voiced by advisors taking part in the survey was that their company did not have effective solutions in place for monitoring and archiving, putting advisors in danger of violating rules set by FINRA and other regulating bodies. Others noted that uninformed policies were detrimental to business, with one advisor indicating "the social media policy at my current company is one major reason I am leaving it."

The full survey report is available through Socialware Insights, an integrated Social Intelligence service that continuously supplies Socialware customers with industry-specific data and tools for optimizing their social deployments.

"Just implementing technology does not safely open the social media gates for firms. Social networks are in a constant state of change, so education and access to real-time data and information on the status of these networks is critical," said Chad Bockius. "We created Socialware Insights to provide customers with helpful information and training opportunities including policy templates, advisor boot camps, quick start programs and current stats about social media use at more than 100 financial services firms."

An executive summary of the survey report from Socialware is available immediately for download here: http://www.socialware.com/resources/research/social-media-use-by-financial-advisors-across-north-america/

To join the conversation on social business topics, visit the SocialTurns community http://www.socialturns.com/. For more insight and commentary on the effective and compliant use of social networks, please visit http://www.socialware.com.

About Socialware
Based in Austin, Texas, Socialware provides software that empowers financial services marketing and sales to profitably build valued business relationships. With unmatched expertise drawn from over 100 clients, Socialware is the trusted standard for social business management in financial services industries. You can find out more about Socialware at www.socialware.com, as well as on Twitter: @Socialware. You can also read their blog: http://blog.socialware.com.

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