Some advisers still not following social media movement

As many in the industry endorse the merits of online networks, some are bucking the trend by eschewing LinkedIn and Twitter altogether

Feb 11, 2015 @ 1:26 pm

By Alessandra Malito

Social media may be trending for some financial advisers but others aren't “following” the movement.

While a stream of new advisers are looking for their Twitter handle names and finding creative ways to describe themselves in their LinkedIn profiles, there are still those who purposely choose to avoid social networks like Twitter and LinkedIn.

Gil Armour, a financial adviser at SagePoint Financial in San Diego, said he's had little return on using his LinkedIn profile.

“I know social media is all in the news now,” Mr. Armour said. “But nothing would ever happen with it.”

For his business, social media isn't particularly necessary. His clients are in their 40s to 70s and never ask him to connect on the Internet. Only a few years from retirement, he said there's no use implementing it into his work now. If he had a decade, though, he'd probably delegate time to it, and said advisers trying to attract a younger crowd may find more of a benefit than he does.

“With a couple years to go, in my case it just doesn't make sense,” Mr. Armour said. “I don't think it's hurting my business. There might be some opportunities out there I'm missing, but I don't see that as a major hindrance to my business.”

Scot Hanson, a financial adviser at EFS Advisors in Shoreview, Minn., agreed. He too questioned if he was missing opportunities and said that his clients didn't use social media. Instead, he chooses to email or speak on the phone with his clients, who are mostly multi-generational.

Using email or speaking on the phone adds a personal touch, advisers said.

“What I'm doing seems to be working,” Mr. Hanson said.

He said that although common wisdom holds that older advisers should teach newer advisers the ropes, he thinks it should be the opposite with social media. And if he had someone to do social media for him, he would consider working on it. Either way, he's still learning.

“A lot of it is work,” he said.

And if the posts are not fruitful and meaningful, they may not be worth it.

That's what Don Wilde, owner and financial adviser at W Financial in Gilbert, Ariz., said.

“Do I just want to flood the Internet and social media with content they can get anywhere?” he said, adding that flooding a person's social media feeds could lower the perception of that brand. “You want your brand to be held at a high standard, kind of like Donald Trump says. His brand is all about quality and luxury and that's all he wants his brand to be known for. I think advisers should follow suit.”

One big concern among advisers who choose not to use social media is compliance. Advisers note that social media posts have to go through pre-posting approval and they fear doing something wrong by accident.

Mr. Hanson said while he didn't want to post too much, he also didn't want to make a mistake.

"That might be short-sighted but we have seen too many examples with people going down in flames on social media," Mr. Wilde said.


What do you think?

View comments

Recommended for you

Featured video

Gadget Girl

How Tamarac’s new platform will help advisers better engage with clients

Tamarac recently announced the launch of the Tamarac platform for Registered Investment Advisors. What can advisers expect from the completely redesigned platform?

Latest news & opinion

Raymond James executives call on industry to keep broker protocol

Also ask firms to pay for the administration of the protocol to 'ensure its longevity and relevance.'

Senate committee approves tax plan but full passage not assured

Several Republican senators expressed reservations about the bill, and the GOP cannot afford too many defections.

House passes tax bill, focus turns to Senate

Tax reform legislation expected to have more of a challenge in upper chamber.

SEC enforcement of advisers drops in Trump era

The agency pursued 82 cases against advisers and firms in fiscal year 2017, down from 98 the previous year.

PIABA accuses Finra of conflicts of interest

Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association report slams self-regulator over its picks for board of governors.


Subscribe and Save 60%

Premium Access
Print + Digital

Learn more
Subscribe to Print