Financial advisors take note: The rich--and even the very, very rich--now know how to post and tweet.
While the brave new age of virtually perpetual electronic chatting may have been pioneered by teens and then quickly emulated by their adult parents, a new socio-economic group has signed on to social networks Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter: the rich.
According to the Spectrem Group report Social Media and Affluent Households released on Tuesday, the percentage of U.S. millionaires using the social network site Facebook in 2011 has nearly doubled compared to 2010. Spectrem defined millionaires as having a net worth of $1 million to $5 million. None of Spectrem's net-worth totals include primary residences.
Meanwhile, nearly 50% of ultra-high-net-worth investors (net worth of $5 million to $25 million) queried say they've also jumped onto the Facebook social network bandwagon this year, while 55% of the mass affluent ($100,000 to $1 million in net worth) say they're surfing Facebook.
"Led by Facebook, the social media era has finally arrived for the nation's wealthiest investors, with nearly half the nation's millionaires now logging onto the social network," said George H. Walper Jr., Spectrem Group's president.
"The message is clear," added Walper. "Learning how to effectively use social media and financial blogs is critical to the future success of financial services firms. Providers who fall behind run the risk of frustrating their investors and losing customers."
Blogs rank as another good way to reach the wealthiest Americans. Roughly one-third of ultra high net worth investors say they either read or would read blogs by trusted financial advisors. The percentage is 20% for millionaires and 21% for the mass affluent.
Wealthy investors are also interested in reading blogs by trusted financial advisors, the Spectrem report said.
LinkedIn is also popular among wealthy investors, with 19% of millionaires, 26% of ultra high net worth, and 22% of mass affluent adults using the service. Twitter usage was smaller, with 3% of millionaires, 6% of UHNW investors and 5% of the mass affluent using this service.
Spectrem's report is based on online and telephone surveys of the financial decision-makers of 1,294 households with a net worth of $1 million to $5 million, not including primary residence, 439 households with a net worth of $5 million to $25 million and 1,269 households with a net worth of $100,000
- Jim McConville