“Social channels could unlock new opportunities for investment firms”

Budgets and human resource dedicated to social media are increasing in the asset management industry, says the Social Media Study from PwC and Caceis. By now, they are an integral part of the asset manager’s marketing mix.

The number of active social media users now exceeds 2.3 billion, approximately 30 percent of the global population. Social media are a common part of everyone’s personal and professional life. In addition to serving as a communication platform, social media platforms can be used to promote products, provide customer with information and raise brand awareness. In their joint study “Asset Management in the Social Era”, PwC and Caceis investigate the importance of social media platforms for assets managers.

Compared to the study pursued in 2013, asset managers are increasingly present on social media and make use of them to enhance their brand and reputation as well as to provide information to end-investors, distributors and financial advisors. Moreover, asset managers also make use of social media channels to inform institutional investors, of which about a third makes investment decisions based in information provided on social media platforms. Moreover, 44 percent of institutional investors educate themselves using such channels and 33 percent research asset manager here.

Compered to 2013, the percentage of asset managers not using social media has dropped from 40 to 11 percent. While thus only a tenth of asset managers is not using social media, the share of inactive managers has increased from 9 to 21 percent. However, two thirds (68%) of asset managers are still active on social media platforms. Thereby, LinkedIn has surpassed YouTube as the most used social media platform. This is potentially due to the fact that recruitment and investor education are the most popular topics on social media.

Finally, the report outlines what lies ahead for the asset managers:

  • Account management via social media: In asset management, the report identifies the opportunity to distribute funds over social media, although such a solution is challenging to implement.
  • Customer service on social media platforms: Asset managers can answer customer questions raised on social media and identify trends important to their clients.
  • Testing for product development practices: Make use of online survey to gather feedback on potential product launches such as new funds and strategies.
  • Listening to profile clients: Gather insights into customer expectations and sentiments to initialise product development and help reputation building.