Social media can be something more than just posting vacation photos or telling the world what kind of crackers you ate with lunch. For financial planners, it can be a great way to network yourself with fellow planners and to market your business. Now, if only more planners used social media for such professional purposes.
According to a survey released today by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc., roughly 73% of certified financial planners use social media but only about 45% do so for professional purposes. The main inhibitors to social media use in the office include compliance prohibitions and limitations, compliance and regulatory concerns, and lack of time.
In tandem with the survey, the CFP Board is also promoting its new Social Media Guide for CFP Professionals now available on its website. The guide aims to help financial advisors use social media more effectively for business purposes.
Among other things, the guide provides tips for using four major social media sites—LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+—for networking, branding and the like.
It also discusses compliance issues and provides links to social media guideline documents from the SEC and Finra.
The survey of more than 3,500 CFP holders found that LinkedIn was the most popular social media site for professional purposes (81.9%), followed by blogs (71.8%), Twitter (45.9%), Google+ (34.5%) and Facebook (19.6%).
The main reasons for using social media for work-related reasons were networking with other financial planners (44.8%), staying current with professional news and trends (43.1%) and marketing and business promotion (33.1%).
Seventy percent of respondents said their company currently has a social media policy, and that the major issues most frequently addressed include procedures for monitoring social media usage by compliance departments, limits on what can be shared or discussed on social media, and providing prior approval for all outgoing communication on social media.
Regarding social media sites most frequently ruled off-limits by compliance departments, the top no-no destinations were Facebook (33%), Twitter (29.4%) and YouTube (28.7%).