Introducing A Social Media Directory Of Asset Managers, Broker-Dealers, Financial Advisors And Media

Today we're publishing the start of a social media directory for the asset management industry. We've aggregated what we can and now we turn to you for your contributions.

As described in our recent eBook "Who Says You Can't? 5 Friction-less Ways Investment Management Marketers Can Take Part in Social Media," (published in May 2009 but removed from the site pending an update) social media is a mixed bag for those involved in the manufacture, packaging and distribution of investment products. It's trendy and seems like fun but for some, it's too new, too transparent, too unstructured. Overall, social media is too much for many highly regulated investment companies to be comfortable with yet.

As you'll see on the Mutual Funds and ETFs Social Media and Twitter directory pages, only a handful of investment product providers have seized the opportunities in communicating on YouTube, Facebook or Twitter. (The broadest definition of social media includes blogs and the availability of RSS feeds, and our recent eBook does discuss them. For this directory we've elected to list companies and individuals that are participating off their domains. Let us know if you disagree.)

We hope that we've missed some in this first airing of the list of social media-active asset managers and we hope you'll drop us a note about any omissions at your earliest convenience. The same goes for the even sparser listing of broker-dealers using social media.

Why even bother with a directory at this time? Because in the investment product distribution chain, it's the financial advisor (your product distributor, if you will) who's closest to the investor, your end-user. The advisor does the lion's share of communicating, and lately that's been a make or break part of the job description. Independent financial advisors are showing interest in leveraging social media tools. And, this interest is notwithstanding their significant compliance considerations--our Financial Advisors Social Media directory page cites several excellent articles describing the guardrails.

In social media, advisors see ways to enrich conversations they're already having. Our position is that these tools present asset management marketers with opportunities to have conversations (listen, then talk) that were never before possible.

A listing of Twitter-using advisors can serve as a quick-start to know who to follow as a means of understanding what's important to them and as a step toward enhancing the relevance of your marketing, including communications and customer intelligence. This will be to the mutual benefit of your company and the advisors. We expect the Twitter and social media directory of individual advisors to build quickly, and its organizational structure will evolve, as well.

Finally, there's the media. As our Investment Media Twitter directory pages show, the media are out there on Twitter, listening and interacting. You and your PR support can learn from their 140-character comments and, if you're talking, you'll be part of their input, too.

So, check the directory pages out and let us hear from you on what we can do to enhance this as a resource as you and your company inevitably contemplate social media.