There are some occupations for which social media is a vital cog in the operation.
The medical field is not necessarily one of them.
Perhaps it is because they do not use social media much in their professional lives, doctors do not seem to have much of an appetite for social media in their financial lives either.
That’s the takeaway from Spectrem’s Professional Series study on Doctors. In most cases, physicians simply don’t make social media a large part of their social lives. This information is useful to financial advisors who work with physicians, because many of their clients in other occupations consider social media outreach to be an important role of a financial advisor.
“In terms of social media usage and physicians, advisors must be aware that their clients who are doctors are likely going to want to get their financial information in some other form, likely newsletters or articles in financial publications,’’ said Spectrem president George H. Walper Jr. “It’s not that physicians are behind the times. Social media usage requires some time element, as well as a feeling that social media matters to what they are doing, and in both cases, physicians may not have the interest in participating.”
The Spectrem Professional Series is a special study looking at the investors who are usually aligned in Spectrem studies as “Professionals’’. They include doctors, lawyers and accountants.
Asked what social media platforms they use, the responses from doctors was demonstrative in indicating they don’t use social media much. Only 44 percent of doctors use Facebook for example; Facebook has 54 percent of the general population of investors.
The difference is even more stark with LinkedIn; only 14 percent of doctors use the business-social website compared to 35 percent of all investors.
In fact, 39 percent of doctors say they do not use social media at all, compared to 30 percent of the general population.
In terms of how doctors get their financial information, they are just like everyone else: 58 percent read articles. But doctors are more likely to watch financial videos than others, and in fact, doctors have a greater use of YouTube than other investors (33 percent to 29 percent) which may be in indication they go to that site to watch videos on financial topics. Doctors are much more likely to watch videos on current financial events, and on stock tips, than other investors.
Physicians do like to read financial articles, and that includes blogs. Doctors are more likely to read blogs on the website of their financial advisor than do other investors, and less likely to do so on the websites of major financial networks such as CNBC or Fox Business. In fact, doctors may be more likely to read blogs that are pushed their way by their financial advisor, even if it is not on the advisor’s website.
“Online articles, links sent from my financial advisor, articles about savings and retirement,’’ said one doctor in the study when asked about how he gets his financial information.
Considering all of the record-keeping involved in the medical field, it is not surprising to find out that doctors much prefer getting their financial account information in hard copy than electronically (78 percent to 62 percent of other investors). That may also be why doctors worry much more about having a major online hack occur, and why they want their records printed out.
Top Takeaways for Advisors
Just because doctors don’t use social media much doesn’t mean advisors can stop posting. Other investors are on those sites. What this study shows is that physicians are one type of investor who is not going to be satisfied with social media as a communication device, and that must be considered when advisors determine how and why to communicate with each individual investor.
The other key takeaway is that doctors like videos on financial information, and that is not unique to that profession. Advisors should consider creating their own informational videos or finding a source for such information to provide their physicians clients with online video material they can peruse at their leisure.
©2017 Spectrem Group