3 Reports To Cite In Your Next Go-Round With The Social Media Skeptics

Three reports surfaced in the last week that may help your “evangelizing” about social media and even the impact of digital communicating in general.

Changes In Advisor Content Consumption

kasina shared some high-level findings of its annual "What Advisors Do Online" research and facilitated a conversation with two marketers—Liesl Leach, JP Morgan head of digital marketing and advertising, and Catherine Heron Carroll, Allianz Global Investors’ senior vice president and director of digital marketing, during an audio Webcast Thursday. Fortunately for us all, the Webcast was made available on demand and I’ve embedded it below.

You’ll want to watch/listen to all of it. Here are just a few of the random notes that I took from what was presented and said: 

  • The surge in advisor reliance on mobile was the top finding this year, according to Steven Miyao, kasina CEO and co-founder. While less than 10% of advisors accessed advisor sites from mobile devices in 2010, nearly 40% of advisors in 2011 say they use smartphones or tablets to access advisor sites. Close to one-quarter use apps developed by asset managers.
  • There’s updated data on the argument for content syndication—less than 20% of advisors surveyed said they did their online research on asset manager advisor sites. In other words, they’re researching on sites that mutual fund and exchange-traded fund (ETF) firms need to be present if not active on.
  • Apps offer a superior user experience, according to Carroll at about the 20:55 mark. Contrast the experience required of an advisor using a password-restricted advisor Website with an app. “If you go in there and download an app and answer just a couple of questions, you’re going to have such a better experience than you’d have on the Website,” Carroll said. The app can be tailored to the user’s interests and the content can be accessed when the user is offline.
  • An audience question triggered a good discussion about the ROI of social media. It starts with Miyao’s response at 37:30. But at 39:30 you’ll hear Leach discuss the importance of reaching influencers and the media. “If one just focuses on advisors and home offices you may be missing the point.” 

Documenting The Movement

You’ll see some similar themes—tablet use, digital content development and structural changes needed to leverage digital strengths—in “Social Media and Financial Communications Mid-Year 2011 Report," a 12-page report prepared by Rebecca Neufeld, senior account executive, Financial Communications at Edelman in Chicago. And, she blogs about it here.

Neufeld’s work is an excellent resource, especially if you need to draw on recent examples of experience and survey data including asset managers in the United States as well as other financial services companies and in other countries. Believing as I do that social media and financial services are an unstoppable combination, I think Neufeld’s premise and subtitle (“The Train Has Left The Station”) is especially apt.

Social Media And Financial Communications Mid-Year 2011 Report: “The Train Has Left The Station”

View more documents from Edelman Insights

Even the New York Fed Has Decided To Listen

The third report I want to mention is not like the others. And, it’s only tangential to asset management work. Still, this request for proposal (RFP) from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York is a public sign of the building acknowledgement that a)online conversations are taking place that large financial institutions may need to at least "listen" in on and b)their tedious and bureaucratic processes and procedures notwithstanding, many institutions are finally mobilizing to do something about it.

It’s quite possible that other Federal Reserve Banks already have monitoring systems in place, I just happened to see this thanks to a tweet by @JesseFelder.

Here’s an excerpt from B. Background and Scope (page 9): “Social media platforms are changing the way organizations are communicating to the public. Conversations are happening all the time and everywhere. There is need for the Communications Group to be timely and proactively aware of the reactions and opinions expressed by the general public as it relates to the Federal Reserve and its actions on a variety of subjects.”