For most of the world, excepting probably other regulated industries, Twitter is a wide open platform. What companies have Twitter accounts? Who is a corporate account following and who’s following it? Those questions are easily answered.
But pose the question: “How many financial advisors follow asset managers' accounts on Twitter?” and we have to hem and haw. Here’s how we pursued an answer.
Our related site AdvisorTweets.com follows U.S.-based financial advisors using Twitter for business purposes. So, we thought, we’ll just compare the names that @AdvisorTweets follows against the list of each investment manager account’s followers. We used TweepDiff.com to run the match against each account.
Consider these qualifications as you review the table below:
- We compared the accounts against AdvisorTweets’ universe of 417 advisors using Twitter for business purposes. We are aware of other advisors on Twitter but they’re using their accounts for personal communications. Since AdvisorTweets doesn’t follow those accounts, they wouldn’t be counted in this analysis.
- Just about every asset manager account has followers with standard issue avatar, no tweets and/or a lock beside it.
Those accounts could belong to financial advisors not yet able or ready to fully participate—in other words, their bios doesn’t identify them as advisors and so AdvisorTweets wouldn’t have found them online. Their following isn’t reflected in these totals. Russell Investments last week, by the way, said they believe that advisors are listening on Twitter if not using it for client communications.
- Some advisors may have added an investment manager account to a Twitter list but are not explicitly following the account. The Twitter lists pages—showing the lists that an account created and the lists that others placed the account on—can be seen on each account's page. Unfortunately, there’s no tool that we know of that compares Twitter lists against Twitter accounts.
Having said all that, of the 32 active investment manager Twitter accounts that we track on the @RockTheBoatMKTG investment manager Twitter list, it looks as if only seven have more than 10 financial advisors, as matched against the AdvisorTweets’ database, following them.
The firms at the top of our list of seven is no surprise. The @Pimco and Vanguard_Group Twitter accounts are among the oldest and newest, respectively. Pimco and Vanguard are well followed offline. If you were concerned that advisor fatigue would set in as asset manager tweets fell flat (as I have been), Vanguard’s success in winning 28 followers since its late July launch provides some hope. But the stat remains that the industry leaders have attracted at most 10% of known Twitter-using advisors.
No investment manager brand has broken out on Twitter. We think AdvisorShares, a small ETF firm with a friendly tweeting style, may be one to watch. Where are the other ETF providers? It continues to amaze that you product innovators aren’t experimenting with social communicating.
Even given the qualifications above, we’re publishing this data because it's consistent with what we see day in/day out monitoring the AdvisorTweets and investment managers’ Twitter streams. There's very little overlap.
What are your thoughts? Do you trust what the data apparently points to—low advisor interest in what asset managers have to say on Twitter? Would you have expected more advisors as followers? Do the low counts dampen your interest in using Twitter? What do you attribute the low interest to—the channel or the tweets?