Advisers all a-twitter over online networking? Hardly, IN survey reveals

Only a handful of advisers are sweet on “tweeting”, according to a poll by InvestmentNews

Sep 3, 2009 @ 3:29 pm

By Sam Ali

While millions of people have recently taken to Twitter, members of the financial-advisory community are still reluctant to “tweet” their thoughts away online, according to a new InvestmentNews survey.

According to the survey, a mere 14.9% of financial advisers say they communicate with clients or colleagues through Twitter, a microblogging website that allows you to send updates, or “tweets,” in 140 characters or less, informing your circle of "followers" what you are doing or thinking.

Meanwhile, only 44.9% and 43.8% of advisers say they use LinkedIn and Facebook, respectively, the survey found.

So why aren't more financial advisers using social-networking sites to develop relationships with clients and get the word out?

Compliance issues currently present the biggest hurdle for many registered representatives subject to Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. regulations, according to Kristen Luke, a marketing consultant to independent advisers for Wealth Management Marketing of San Diego.

Typically, reps must first get the green light from their broker-dealer compliance departments before posting anything on the Internet, as any posting is considered advertising. And that includes anything they might say on real-time websites such as Twitter or Facebook, Ms. Luke said.

"It's not that advisers don't see value in social networking," she said. "It's that their compliance departments are saying no at this point.''

The survey, conducted online Aug. 24-25, was based on responses from 238 financial advisers.

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