60% of Financial Advisors in North America are Using Social Networks to Drive New Business: Study

2 September 2010

By Contributor



SocialwareAccording to a survey by Socialware, over 60% of financial advisors in North America are using social networks to drive new business and build better relationships with customers. The survey consisted of over 30 questions and was completed by a total of 196 financial advisors; 44% of the respondents have an average account size of $300K and more than 53% of them have over 100 clients.



  • In addition to the 60% who are already using social networks for business, 11% more plan on using them in the future.
  • Of the 29% with no plans to use social media in the future, 85% of them are prohibited by their firms.
  • The average number of social networks employed is 1.8.
  • Linkedin is the most popular social network used.


  • 100% of the respondents believe that social media has a positive or neutral impact on their business’ reputation.
  • Over 60% agree that there is business value in adopting social media as it allows them to gather information on the clients without having to meet them face to face.
  • 47% have identified one or more referral from their social media activity.
  • 36% have acquired new customers through social media.
  • 10% stated they identified over 21 new referrals.


  • 57% are aware that their company has a policy in place.
  • 11% were unsure if a policy existed.
  • 40% believe that the firm’s social media policy is a detriment to performing one’s job successfully.

Click here to download the executive summary and key findings

Socialware’s findings are in line with a survey conducted by Ledermark Communications in March of this year which found:

  • LinkedIn was the top social networking site used for business and Facebook for personal use; however, both social networks allow them to be more visible, have a platform for questions and answers, and reconnect with old friends, introductions and referrals — all cited as how social media helped bring in business.
  • Respondents agreed that social networking will be an important business tool within five years.
  • None of the respondents claimed that social media wasn’t worth their time.

Here is presentation that conveys the findings:

One of the big questions that Investor relations officers have about social media is the ROI of using these channels as part of their IR communications strategy.  Both of these studies convey the power in using social networks to make new business connections and build better relationships with customers.  These are two compelling reasons why public companies should consider when pondering using social networks for investor relations.



Susan Curry

10 years ago

Very insightful blog! Enjoyed reading it as it is directly relates to what we are doing right now with our firm. You can find us at http://www.facebook.com/prwealth or follow us at http://twitter.com/ProWealth1 . We are Proactive Wealth Management Group, Inc. http://www.prwealth.com Please feel free to visit and explore our site. PWMG has been using the social media outlets on a regular basis now for over a year and we are continuously experimenting with numerous ideas on how to evolve in new and interesting ways. Specifically, our advisor, Mark F. Scribner, CFS, is dually working on his passion as an Ironman in conjunction with growing our wealth planning firm – an interesting challenge. Read more about Mark on his Ironman for cancer blog http://ironmanforcancer.blogspot.com where he raises funds and awareness through his training. Mark’s unique ability to employ the same motivation for his passion as an athlete, as he does for his commitment to the firm, is very inspiring! We welcome your interest and would be happy to be a contributor at any time.

Feel free to contact me directly at 1-888-699-5556 ext. 2 or sue@prwealth.com

Susan R. Curry
Client Relations Manager

Paul Gallagher

10 years ago

Social media usage among financial services professionals is tightly restricted for a very good reason: social media dramatically expands the avenues for the next generation of Bernie Madoffs to ply their trade.
Social media do not by themselves create or enhance fraud, but they make it much easier for those who commit fraud to mask their intentions and disguise their role in its distribution. The vast majority of market manipulators and marketers of fraudulent financial products are using social media to create online personae at variance with their true identities.
Financial services marketing must be controlled and monitored for the good of the investing public, and the legitimacy of the honest and ethical participants in the markets.

Darrell Heaps

10 years ago

Hi Paul, thanks for your comment. I understand your concern, however Bernie Madoff did not use the web to create his massive pyramid scheme, he used good old fashioned personal relationships. I think the use of the web and social media for fraud is in fact easier to track and report on because everything is “on record” and traceable. See this latest case: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Facebook-Twitter-used-in-rb-2737934109.html?x=0

Having said that, I completely agree that financial services marketing should be controlled and monitored for the good of the public. To do so they need to incorporate the web and social media into their rule making. Which FINRA (to my understanding) has been doing.

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