InvestmentNews INsider

The INsiderblog

InvestmentNews reporters offer their take on intriguing or controversial articles from around the web.

Forget the slideshow: There's only one reason advisers need social media

May 9, 2012 @ 9:08 am

By Mark Bruno

Here's a surprising stat from our 2012 survey of independent broker-dealers: 79.5% of independent broker-dealers permit their reps and advisers to use social media for professional purposes. (See the list here.)

It would be simple to look at this figure and conclude that social media is a widely accepted — and frequently used — distribution and communication tool for the advice industry.

But we're the media. So allow me to flip this stat on its head: 20.5% the largest broker-dealers still do not allow their reps to use social media to officially market themselves or communicate with clients.

Granted, there has been some progress. Last year, 73.4% of IBDs we surveyed allowed for social media use.

But by August, Facebook should have an estimated 1 billion users. Twitter is on track for 500 million.

Clearly your clients are there. And based on our data, four out of every five IBDs you compete with are there.

What's keeping you on the sidelines? Yes, compliance is an issue — but clearly less of an obstruction than you think if most of your peers are participating in the conversation.

To be clear, advisers who don't — or can't — use social media are not just losing the opportunity to engage with existing clients, or position themselves as experts on a local and national level. This is not about leaving assets on the table.

This is about one thing.


Just like the traditional media world has evolved and has been forced to adapt, invent and innovate — advisers and the brokerage industry will be forced to do the same.

In the news business, content will always be king. But if no one reads it, does it matter?

In your business, quality advice and trust will always rule. But there are now many more voices in the conversation. And if you don't have a voice — how can anyone listen?

There have been dozens of articles, columns and blogs written ad naseaum about the 700 reasons advisers need to embrace social media

We'll spare you that slide show. There's just one reason advisers need participate in social media: Relevance.


What do you think?

View comments

Recommended for you

Featured video


What can advisers learn from the first female fighter pilot?

Pressure is pressure. Whether you are taking off from an aircraft carrier or dealing with the unforgiving movements of the market, you need to have a plan. Carey Lohrenz, the world's first female F-14 pilot, has some advice for advisers.

Latest news & opinion

10 least affordable U.S. cities for renters

Based on average salaries and rents, here are the least affordable U.S. cities for renters, according to

10 countries where your clients should consider retiring

These countries offer the greatest security for their retirees, according to the 2018 Natixis Global Retirement Index.

10 most affordable U.S. cities for renters

Here are the U.S. cities that are most affordable for renters, according to Business, which compared the cost of rent to average salaries.

9 best - new - financial adviser jokes

Scroll through for nine new financial adviser laughs.

Captrust, prominent 401(k) advice firm, ramps up its wealth management business

Captrust wants to grow annual revenue from wealth management to 50% from 30% over the next five years.


Hi! Glad you're here and we hope you like all the great work we do here at InvestmentNews. But what we do is expensive and is funded in part by our sponsors. So won't you show our sponsors a little love by whitelisting It'll help us continue to serve you.

Yes, show me how to whitelist

Ad blocker detected. Please whitelist us or give premium a try.


Subscribe and Save 60%

Premium Access
Print + Digital

Learn more
Subscribe to Print