LIMRA Study: 90% of Financial Services Companies Use Social Media

Norah Denley, Senior Research Analyst at LIMRA, released the results of a study last week on the growth of social media in the financial services industry. Among the study’s findings:

  • 9 in 10 financial services companies were using social media in 2012
  • 87% of companies using social media are on three or more social media sites
  • More companies consider themselves “actively using” social media
  • LinkedIn and Facebook are expected to be used by virtually all financial services companies engaged in social media
  • Companies are providing their sales teams content, training, and other support

Denley provided additional insights in podcast interview last week.  She shared that while financial services companies have been seen as late to the social media party, most often because of compliance and regulatory issues, that situation is changing.  Companies are now expanding their presence on social networks, going broad (multiple networks) and deep (lots of quality engagement with customers).

The reason for the shift? They’re finding these networks to be invaluable sources for both positive and negative feedback, as well as a venue for providing answers to customers’ questions. Their primary goals are shifting from merely generating brand awareness to building communities and engaging with customers.

I’ve found that our clients in the financial services industry are experiencing the same positive growth and maturation of their social networking activity, especially on LinkedIn.  Compliance alone is dead as a strategy. The industry has realized that there is so much more to be gained on the sales and marketing fronts from a smart and proactive presence.

At the end of the podcast, Denley mentioned an upcoming report on financial services companies’ usage of the “Big 5” social networks – LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google+.  I’m anticipating that report will show deep levels of engagement that extends across functional areas like marketing, sales, customer service, and HR.  It’s an opportunity that just can’t be ignored.