Consumer Reaction to Advisor Use of Social Networking

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1 Consumer Reaction to Advisor Use of Social Networking Presentation for LIMRA Marketing & Research Conference May 2013 Mathew Greenwald & Associates

2 BACKGROUND: Multi-Sponsor Surveys & Greenwald Research The fourth annual Gen XY Use of Tech in Financial Decision-Making study was comprised of two 15-minute online surveys with consumers of 21 and 47, incomes of $25k if single and $50k if married Use of Technology with 1,001 respondents Financial Attitudes & Outlook with 500 respondents Greenwald follow-up survey Consumer Reaction to Advisor Use of Social Networking with 500 consumers White paper to release in late

3 PUTTING IT IN PERSPECTIVE ROLE OF SOCIAL IN FINDING AN ADVISOR FORMING CONNECTIONS WHAT TO POST? IMPLICATIONS 3

4 Use of social networking by Gen Y and X is high, but online conversations are not financial in nature. 68% are daily users of social networking sites, Facebook and Twitter. 9% use professional networking sites daily. 91% use Facebook 36% use LinkedIn 36% use Twitter How often, if at all, do you do each of the following on a social networking website? Often Sometimes Rarely Never Read an article or blog posted by your/a financial advisor or insurance agent 5% 23% 23% 46% Read a post or look at a picture posted by your/a financial advisor or insurance agent 5% 19% 22% 50% Follow or like an insurance, investment, or other financial company that you were working with 4% 15% 17% 62% Make a comment about wanting a new financial advisor or insurance agent 6% 14% 76% 4

5 Social networking presence is not a must-have at the company level. Thinking about the type of financial services company you would like to do business with, which of the following attributes are important for that company to demonstrate? Extremely important Allows you to call and reach a live person 62% Very important 24% 86% Updates account info and responds to requests within 24 hours 54% 34% 88% Relevant smartphone apps 26% 24% 51% Has live online chat on its website allowing you to communicate with an advisor or customer service rep 24% 25% 50% Relevant ipad or tablet apps 20% 22% 42% Allows you to video-conference or Skype with an advisor or customer service rep 7% 11% 19% Available to interact via social networking sites 9% 10% 18% 5

6 Social networking is not critically important at the advisor-level either. Traditional communication is still widely preferred. When communicating with financial advisors or insurance agents, how important is it that you are able to communicate or interact with him or her in the following ways? Extremely important Very important Somewhat important Not important By telephone conversation 50% 33% 15% In-person 50% 26% 19% 6% By 47% 32% 17% Top 2 Important Through tools on the advisor's or agent's website 17% 26% 37% 20% Gen Y Gen X 54% 36% Through online video-conferencing or face-to-face calling 7% 11% 26% 57% Through a social networking website, like Facebook or Twitter 7% 19% 71% Gen Y Gen X 16% 6% Through a professional networking website, like LinkedIn 8% 22% 67% Gen Y Gen X 16% 7% 6

7 PUTTING IT IN PERSPECTIVE ROLE OF SOCIAL IN FINDING AN ADVISOR FORMING CONNECTIONS WHAT TO POST? IMPLICATIONS 7

8 Younger generation consumers are drawn to companies that provide an opportunity to build a relationship with an advisor. Are you more or less likely to do business with a company that can offer you a dedicated financial representative that you can build a one-on-one relationship with? Much more likely 42% Somewhat more likely 38% Less Likely 1% No Difference 20% 8

9 If shopping for an advisor, in-person contact with the candidate is highly desirable, followed by offline, private conversation with friends & family. If you were trying to find a financial advisor or insurance agent to work with, how important would the following be in your research? 1. MEETINGS ARE A MUST 2. CONVERSATIONS HAPPEN OFFLINE 3. ESP FOR GEN Y, ONLINE REVIEWS MORE IMPORTANT THAN Q&A IN SOCIAL 17% of Yers and 12% of Xers say they have asked about the reputation of an advisor or agent on a social networking site. An in-person meeting with agent or advisor Offline or private conversations with family or friends Online consumer reviews The locate an advisor/agent feature on a financial The advisor s or agent s personal website A smartphone or tablet app that helped locate advisors or Answers to questions you post on Facebook, Twitter, or other The advisor s or agent s Facebook page or Twitter Information you found on LinkedIn Extremely important 23% 21% 14% 14% 37% 12% 18% 6% 10% 16% 4% 10% 14% 31% 26% 5% 9% 14% Very important 30% 33% 34% 46% 40% 34% 56% 55% 71% 9

10 PUTTING IT IN PERSPECTIVE ROLE OF SOCIAL IN FINDING AN ADVISOR FORMING CONNECTIONS WHAT TO POST? IMPLICATIONS 10

11 Consumers recognize the business need to use social networking, and suggest focusing on Facebook. Which of the following do you think your/a financial advisor or insurance agent should be using to share information with you and other clients or prospective clients? Which one do you think would be the best to focus on? Financial advisors and insurance agents would be smart to use social media to connect with clients and build relationships Base: 2013 Total (n=1001) Strongly disagree 10% Somewhat disagree 16% Strongly agree 24% Somewhat agree 50% Facebook LinkedIn Twitter YouTube Google Plus Yelp Instagram Pinterest Reddit Tumblr FourSquare Other None of these 26% 34% 6% 23% 3% 19% 2% 15% 2% 9% *% 7% 1% 5% *% 5% 0% 4% 0% 2% 0% 16% 11% 48% 48% 61% Should use to share information Best to focus on 11

12 There continues to be limited interest in engaging with financial advisors or insurance agents through social media. How likely would you be to "friend," "follow," "like," or connect with your financial advisor or insurance agent on a website like Facebook or Twitter if he or she was active there? Extremely likely Very likely Somewhat likely Not likely 2013 Total (n=1001) 7% 12% 28% 53% 2013 Gen Y (n=488) 9% 13% 30% 48% 2013 Gen X (n=513) 5% 11% 27% 57% How often, if at all, do you follow or like your/a financial advisor or insurance agent on a social networking website? Never 63% Often 4% Sometimes 14% Rarely 17% 36% want financial education, information & tips 17% want to bond 12

13 PUTTING IT IN PERSPECTIVE ROLE OF SOCIAL IN FINDING AN ADVISOR FORMING CONNECTIONS WHAT TO POST? IMPLICATIONS 13

14 Consumers would feel better about connecting to an advisor or agent is they knew content had been preapproved. And content should focus on educational info. I would be more likely to connect with a financial advisor or insurance agent through social media if I knew their company had approved everything they posted Strongly disagree 21% Somewhat disagree 30% Strongly agree 13% Somewhat agree 36% Tips on saving and investing Reminders about finance-related events, like changes to payroll tax How interested would you be in seeing the following types of posts from a financial advisor or insurance agent that you work with? Very interested 27% 45% 44% Somewhat interested 37% 72% 82% Financial news and market commentary 23% 44% 67% Videos explaining his or her services 18% 41% 59% Information about jobs at his or her company 16% 34% 51% Information about charitable events he or she is involved with 13% 36% 49% 14

15 Financial services companies should be cautious about responding to social networking posts publicly. When asked about companies in general, about half suggest that responses to social networking posts should be done privately. But the rules are different for financial services companies, as six in ten indicate that these types of companies should not respond to posts on social networking sites. A (company/financial services company) should always respond to social network posts privately, not through social networking sites A COMPANY IN GENERAL A FINANCIAL SERVICES COMPANY Disagree Strongly agree 22% 17% Somewhat agree Neutral 32% 28% Disagree 13% Strongly agree 27% Neutral 33% Somewhat agree 27% Base: 2013 Split Sample A (n=255), Split Sample B (n=259) 15

16 It is appropriate for advisors to share professional, finance-related information. How would you feel if your/a financial advisor you worked with did the following using a social media website like LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter? Very appropriate (5) Somewhat appropriate (4) Somewhat inappropriate (2) Very inappropriate (1) 68% 32% 37% Shared information about how to save for key financial goals 6% 56% 31% 25% Shared posts and links that were pre-approved and written by the company he or she works with 10% 47% 30% 17% Shared recommendations for other professionals, like lawyers or accountants, who could help with financial planning needs 9% 9% 18% 48% 31% 17% Saw that you had just gotten married or had a baby and privately sent you a link for financial tips for newlyweds or new parents 8% 13% 21% Base: Total (n=442). Neutral not shown. 16

17 It is less appropriate to get personal, and actual networking is seen as inappropriate by most. How would you feel if your/a financial advisor you worked with did the following using a social media website like LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter? Very appropriate (5) Somewhat appropriate (4) Somewhat inappropriate (2) Very inappropriate (1) Mixed to moderately negative reactions to getting personal 26% 18% 8% 16% 12% 4% Shared information about his or her personal life Commented on a picture of you and your friends 16% 20% 16% 33% 30% 50% Predominantly negative reactions to networking 14% 8% 5% 8% 6% Reviewed your list of online connections and asked if someone on that list would be interested in his or her services After connecting with you, began sending friend or connection requests to people in your network 21% 16% 39% 52% 60% 68% Base: 2013 (n=442). Neutral not shown. 17

18 KEY FINDINGS & CONCLUSIONS How much is enough? The current consumer demand for social networking interaction with financial services companies and advisors remains low But some are on cutting edge Is 2 in 10 worth the effort at the company level? At the producer level? Rules for financial services seem different Belief that responses should be private, not on social networking site Posting needs to be professional and educational, not personal Counter intuitive: Do not use social networking for business networking Social networking is the new newsletter add value by providing education Consumers are open to receiving educational information through social networking sites Consumers feel more comfortable if content is approved Companies should provide content. Must think about both loss & gain, risk & reward Potential for appeal has to be weighed with potential to turn-off There s little desire to actually network or have any type of back and forth communication As always, advisors must understand clients preferences. Reduce risk of offending by asking permission offline to connect online. 18

19 ABOUT GREENWALD & ASSOCIATES Full-service public opinion & market research for over 25 years Specialized in financial services, employee benefits, & healthcare industries Online & phone surveys Focus groups & in-depth interviewing Customer satisfaction Advisor, broker & employer research Consumer attitudes & behavior Communications testing Product development Thought leadership & PR For more information about this or other studies, contact Lisa Schneider at (202) or 19

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