Putnam Social Advisor 5.0: Ahead of the Curve Overview

Putnam Study

Recently Putnam Investments released its yearly Social Advisor Survey results for 2017. This is the fifth year for this study, and no shock to anyone (at least, I hope it isn’t), social media remains a disruptive medium for advisor marketing. Specifically it found “Advisors report that social media has disrupted how they approach prospects, convert leads, and conduct business.” Halleluiah!

That social media is here to stay is no longer up for debate, but there were some really interesting points that came out of this year’s study. Things that may not be top of mind while you’re trying to run a firm, stay in front of clients, and attract new business.

86% of advisors report gaining business from social media

Back in 2013, this number was just a 49% blip on the marketing radar. A lot has changed, and it looks like advisors are finally embracing social, and can reap its benefits. Most encouraging for me, the shift in thinking from ‘social is for selling’ to ‘social is for networking.’ Gone are the days when most advisors pitched their services online. The focus has been shifted to relationship and trust building. In fact, 88% of advisors said social media has directly impacted relationships with clients.

Putnam Study

Source: 2017 Putnam Social Advisor Survey

The big three have some company

While Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter remain the top used social platforms for advisors, finserv is starting to branch out and make use of other mediums. Yelp, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest are sneaking up on their heels. That makes sense! These platforms are becoming much more appealing to younger users, and advisors are getting out there to meet these potential younger clients where they are spending their time (i.e., watching videos, sharing pictures, and consuming more lifestyle-type reviews and content.)

Putnam Study

Source: 2017 Putnam Social Advisor Survey

Sisters are doing it for themselves

To me, the most interesting call out in the research showcases the gender divide: women advisors are leading the charge in social media usage and success.

  • Women are more active on social than their male counterparts, particularly on the lesser-used social platforms such as Yelp and Instagram
  • 89% of women advisors reported gaining assets via social media (vs. 84% of men)
  • Women are 10% more likely to say that social media is a significant element to their overall marketing plan
  • Women advisors also feel more strongly that using social media has improved efficiency in their practice (65%)

So where are you on the curve?

I encourage you all to do a deep dive into the full Putnam survey results. There is much more than what I’ve touched on. What can you learn? Consider planning to expand your social strategy. Remember, you can’t stay ahead of the curve, if you aren’t on it already.

Please check with your legal and compliance department before implementing a social strategy.

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Heather Wilson

Heather Wilson

Heather Wilson is the social media contributor for Practically Speaking and social media manager within the SEI Advisor Network.

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