Social Media Can be a Communication Opportunity


Defined contribution plan participants are active users of social media, and it is important for retirement plan providers and advisors to incorporate usage of these tools into their marketing and customer service strategies. 

A significant portion of DC plan participants are on social media, according to Spectrem Group’s “Wealth Segmentation Series” report, Using Social Media and Mobile Technology in Financial Decisions. The five most popular social media networks are Facebook (78 percent), LinkedIn (49 percent), YouTube (39 percent), Instagram (28 percent) and Twitter (26 percent).

If you think social media is a young person’s game, guess again.  While it is true that Millennial DC plan participants comprise the largest percentage of social media users across all platforms, 70 percent of Baby Boomer plan participants are on Facebook and roughly 40 percent are on LinkedIn, while just over one-third are on YouTube.

How often are DC plan participants on social media? It depends on the platform.  According to Spectrem Group research, they are most likely to check Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter multiple times per day. These are so-called “real-time” sights and offer plan sponsors and financial advisors opportunities to share breaking news or otherwise directly communicate.

LinkedIn, Pinterest and YouTube are most likely to be frequented by DC plan participants less than once a day.

Not everybody uses social media. Eleven percent of DC plan participants indicate they do not. Nearly three-fourths of those consider these programs as a waste of time, while just over four-in-ten worry about the privacy of their information.

As to engagement, with the exception of YouTube, which DC plan participants indicate they use for observation only, these investors are most likely to occasionally interact and share than be active and frequent participants. But on a scale of 0-100, on which 100 equals “very likely”, LinkedIn and Twitter scored highest when DC participants were asked the likelihood of using social media to obtain financial and investment information.

“Retirement plan providers and advisors must take advantage of social media to develop long-term relationships with retirement plan participants,” the Spectrem Group report concludes.  For many participants young or old, their retirement plan is their biggest asset.  Social media represents an opportunity to provide them with relevant, timely, and easy-to-use information    

Top Takeaways for Advisors and Providers:

· Identify how often participants are responding to your company’s tweets or Facebook posts. Make sure they know you are on various platforms and ask them to “follow” or “like”
your page.

· Customize your content to each social media channel.   Be consistent in posting so users get into the habit of checking for new material and information from you.

· While articles remain the preferred avenue for obtaining financial information, there is a growing contingent of DC plan participants who like to watch video.

· Answer plan participants concerns about the security of their information by pushing out articles and blogs on this topic.



©2016 Spectrem Group