A Photo Album To Showcase Mutual Fund/ETF Adoption Of Social Media

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, this post sincerely flatters Kevin Dugan, a digital marketing and public relations professional whose accomplishments include the Bad Pitch blog.

I happened to hear in Monday’s For Immediate Release podcast that Dugan had created a Flickr group to track Signs of Social Media. The group’s purpose, according to the description of Dugan’s Flickr set, is to “show how retail, food and other brands are reaching out to consumers and asking them to follow on Facebook, Twitter and the like.”

Hmm… Given the pace of social media adoption in this industry, mutual fund and exchange-traded fund (ETF) marketers don’t yet need to focus on making sure that their physical presence supports their online social presence. But a Flickr group could serve a need that Rock The Boat Marketing has been wrestling with lately. In our continuous surveillance of investment companies on the Web, we often see examples we’d like to share with you but don’t have enough to say to devote a blog post to.

Flickr is the perfect site to showcase the examples in a much better way than we could do in a blog post (or on our Best Practices page, which we’ll be sunsetting. Details on that at a later date.) Oh and we use Facebook favorites and YouTube subscriptions to track firms on those two mega social sites.

As you’ll see in the slideshow, the set of photos we’re launching with represents a range that includes: American Century, Deutsche Bank and DWS, Fidelity Labs, Franklin Templeton, iShares, MFS, Navellier, Lord Abbett, Oppenheimer, Prudent Bear, The Principal, Putnam, RidgeWorth, Rydex, T. Rowe Price, Van Eck, Vanguard and Wells Fargo Advantage Funds.

We recommend that you click on the icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the player to view the collection in full-screen mode. Click on Show Info in the upper right-hand corner to read a brief comment and to get the URL. (The construction of many of these URLs shed some light on investment companies’ struggle in ranking in search engines.)

But, there’s no way that the 20-odd images in our first set capture everything that’s going on with mutual fund and ETF companies and social media today. We’ve made them available in a Flickr group (Investment Firms & Social Media) so that you and others can add to the collection and, if your Compliance officer allows, comment. Note that you can subscribe to the RSS feed to keep up with any discussions.

These really are the early days, and I’m already thinking about how nostalgic we’ll be when scrolling through this photo album in a year or two. The number of views, downloads, etc. published by the social sites and viewable in these screenshots taken in July 2010 are low in all cases.

But as you review them—maybe as a resource for helping you make the case for your own initiatives—we’d submit that the return in terms of pick-up is not what’s relevant today. Unreported is the experience and insights that these companies are gaining. These are the good, ole days—perfect for experimenting and refining.