A study of defined contribution plan participants shows that their social media participation is high but not completely pervasive.
Spectrem Group’s DC Participant Insight Series study Using Social Media and Mobile Technology in Financial Decisions shows that among plan participants, Facebook is the most widely used social media site, with 72 percent of participants saying they use it. LinkedIn is actually second on the list at 52 percent, followed by YouTube at 36 percent and Twitter at 30 percent.
Eleven percent of plan participants say they do not access any social media sites.
As expected, usage among plan participants is highest among those under the age of 35, but even older plan participants are involved. Among those 50 years of age and over, two-thirds are on Facebook and almost half have LinkedIn accounts.
The frequency of usage varies widely depending on the social media website. Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat have a large proportion of users that visit the sites multiple times per day, but 80 percent of LinkedIn users and YouTube users visit those sites less than once per day.
There are social media users who just observe and those who participate, and among plan participants, Facebook, Pinterest and Snapchat have the most active participation. LinkedIn and YouTube have the highest percentage of plan participants who just observe.
Social media sites are not just for fun any longer. Overall, 20 percent of plan participations use social media to communicate more than they use traditional channels such as the telephone. Among plan participants under the age of 35, 37 percent say they use social media as their main mode of communication.
In terms of using social media as a source of financial information, it just is not happening among plan participants. Only 12 percent say they have used social media sites to research financial information.
They are also unsure whether social media is the best place to store their financial information. Over 60 percent of participants said they would worry about the security of their account information if it was on a social media platform. Forty-two percent said recent increases in computer and online hacking would make social media feel even less secure in terms of its use for financial information storage.
For more information on DC Participant social media usage, click here