Social media usage among defined contribution plan participants is significant, and their interest in using social media to communicate with their financial advisors is growing, a Spectrem Group study reveals.
Almost three-fourths of plan participants are on Facebook, and more than 40 percent are on LinkedIn and YouTube. As might be expected, younger participants are more involved in social media than their older counterparts, but even two-thirds of the participants 50 years of age or older are on Facebook.
Nineteen percent of plan participants say they rely more on social media to communicate than they do traditional forms of communication such as the telephone. Fourteen percent admit they get their information more from social media than traditional places like newspapers or television.
If looking for a new financial advisor, 13 percent of plan participants said they would look closely at how much a financial advisor or provider used social media to communicate with customers and market their products. Eleven percent said they were more inclined to use a financial product that had been seen or discussed on some type of social media.
Both of those numbers drop as the size of investment in a 401(k) account grows. For instance, only five percent of investors with over $100,000 in their defined contribution account claim to get their information more from social media than from newspapers or television.
There are similar numbers in terms of plan participants who want to communicate with their financial advisor through social media. Twelve percent said they would “follow” a trusted advisor through Twitter if the advisor had an active Twitter account, and 11 percent said they would be interested in a financial advisor who used some type of social media to communicate with clients.
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