Most American workers don't turn to tweets, Facebook messages or LinkedIn updates for information about their retirement-savings plans — but they might be missing out by not doing so.
As saving for retirement becomes an increasing worry, companies are using social-media sites as an additional way to reach young workers and supplement information that is on their website and other traditional channels.
In a survey of nearly 2,100 American workers eligible for an employer-sponsored defined-contribution plan, just 6% reported using social media to glean advice about their retirement savings plan. But younger age groups did so at more than twice that rate, which may provide an opportunity for firms looking to spread the word on savings to the Gen Y and Gen X crowd.
“There's a tremendous increase in the 30-plus zone in using social media,” said Elaine Sarsynski, executive vice president of Massachusetts Mutual Insurance Co.'s Retirement Services division, which conducted the survey. “These years are critical years of savings.”
The survey also found that saving for retirement was the No. 1 financial worry on respondents' minds, ahead of keeping up with monthly expenses.
To help with these worries, MassMutual has a dedicated YouTube channel, Twitter feed and other outlets, sharing everything from articles about how to make college more affordable to campaigns on the importance of life insurance. The company is focused on reaching consumers at a young age to get them on a savings trajectory toward a comfortable retirement, Ms. Sarysnki said.
“It's critical to understand how a participant or consumer likes to receive their information,” Ms. Sarsynski said. “We need a whole variety of ways to communicate with people so we can get them to take the next best step toward their retirement savings.”
MassMutual's social-media survey uncovered other trends, such as women's preference for Facebook and men's greater use of LinkedIn and Twitter. The survey also found that participants who are contributing toward their workplace retirement plans are more likely to use social media than those who are not.
Ms. Sarsynski said MassMutual is taking these gender and demographic trends into account when developing ways to spread information about saving.
“We're trying to overcome the inertia with behaviors that we see frequently with our employee participants and really interact with them in the way that will help them take the next steps,” Ms. Sarsynski said.