With over 150 million users, LinkedIn is the largest professional networking site. But many firms previously dismissed LinkedIn as a job posting board favored by Human Resources to recruit and find potential candidates. The big question for e-business, marketing, and social media executives is whether LinkedIn provides value to departments outside of talent management.
American Century Investments recently released a study on financial professional social media adoption. The study revealed, among a sample of 300 advisors, that a LinkedIn Group was the most important social media offering an asset manager could provide to them. Pat Allen, Principal of Rock the Boat Marketing expressed skepticism about the results from that data point.
In the past two years, LinkedIn has made big changes to become more “social”, providing valuable opportunities for brands to connect with customers and prospects (e.g. Group pages and Status Updates, a Products & Services tab). Advisors can interact directly with asset managers. Wholesalers can connect with advisors to share the firm’s latest whitepapers and market commentaries. Unfortunately, few firms capitalize on the opportunities afforded by LinkedIn, and those that do take advantage of new capabilities are not seeing results. Just 20% of firms use the Products and Services tab to promote their firm and only a handful of asset managers have created LinkedIn groups for clients and prospects. The few firms that do have LinkedIn groups see little valuable engagement beyond self-promotional spammers. This is not a limitation of LinkedIn itself, but a result of many firms not prioritizing the platform.
WHAT ASSET MANAGERS AND INSURERS ARE DOING ON LINKEDIN
In our new whitepaper, Getting Results from Social Media: Leaders and Best Practices, we outline a number of strategies that firms can utilize to kick-start their LinkedIn presences. Just some of the many things firms can do to increase engagement on LinkedIn is to employ a community manager to spark debate and steer discussions with advisors. When the Group has reached a certain threshold, firms can benefit from actively encouraging clients and prospects to join the Group and further the dialogue. Additionally, experiences outside of the industry show that LinkedIn thrives when a firm’s employees are active and visible in industry groups.