Social media confessional: Do you have something you need to tell us?
By Paul Wilson
Social networking and technology are becoming more prominent every day, and are steadily expanding into nearly every part of our lives.
Until recently, the insurance industry has been notoriously slow to adapt to this new business environment. Yet despite this reluctance, more financial professionals are beginning to take advantage of social media. Eighty-four percent of advisors use social media for business purposes, with more than half claiming that it has made a positive impact on their business, according to Socialware. Further studies have documented a similar thawing out among asset managers, financial representatives, and other financial professionals.
Insurance companies and other organizations are also starting to come around, as social media’s capabilities and potential become harder and harder to ignore. It’s estimated that more than 90 percent of insurance and annuity providers now use social media.
And there are some very compelling reasons to join the movement. A recent study by Spectrem Group found that advisors who don’t maintain a presence on social networking sites are viewed as “behind the times,” while researchers at Celent found that wealth managers who ignore social media risk losing relevance.
Yet even as more advisors and insurers begin to recognize the positive impact that social media can have on their businesses, a significant number still have serious concerns. Compliance weighs heavily on the mind of many advisors, and prevents some from participating at all. Other obstacles that come up time and again include an inability to archive data, time constraints and a perceived lack of ROI.
So be honest, where do you rank on the social media scale? Do you know your Twitter chat from your TweetDeck? Your LinkedIn group from your Facebook like? If you’re not sold yet, what’s holding you back? Do you find the whole thing tedious or intimidating? Got a case of the compliance blues? Let us know what’s troubling you and maybe we can help. Don’t worry, you’re among friends.
On the other hand, maybe you have this whole social networking thing figured out and find yourself reaping the benefits every day. If so, it’s time to proselytize.
Either way, we want to hear your thoughts. One thing’s for sure: social media’s here to say. It’s time to get on board or get left behind.