EY - How to use social media in asset management

How to use social media in asset management

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For asset managers, the barriers to using social media are falling away quickly.

Firms now address social media-related compliance issues with software and other processes to manage risk. Meanwhile, the SEC ruled in April 2013 that social media, subject to certain conditions, is an acceptable venue for companies to disclose material information to investors.

The objective for asset managers now is developing an effective and sustainable social media strategy to reap the benefits of tweeting, trending and friending.

Put a human face on information

Getting started

All too often, the asset management industry thinks communication is one-way only—all talking and no listening.

Before your firm becomes active in social media, you must take the time to listen to the market, particularly in these areas:

  • What people are saying about your brand
  • What people are saying about your executives and other company spokespeople
  • What key audiences are saying about issues on which your firm is focusing
  • What key audiences are saying about issues on which your firm is not focusing—and perhaps should be

To spread your firm’s thought leadership (and brand), it’s crucial that your experts take part in the professional online communities discussing related issues. People want to connect with individuals, not advertisements or impersonal, one-way accounts.

For younger professionals in particular, social media has become a key way to enhance reputation and make a mark in the asset management industry. They view active participation in social media as a core business communication strategy.

Build trust with your audience

Social media gives executives an opportunity to demonstrate expertise rather than simply proclaim it. Building a reputation as a go-to resource is extremely valuable.

More and more, customers judge companies and leaders based on their social reputation. Asset management firms that engage in genuine conversation will set themselves apart as new leaders in the industry.

Use social media’s reach to save money

The advantages of enhanced reputation are notoriously hard to measure. Fortunately, social media offers some tangible benefits as well.

Given its scalability and efficiency, tactical use of social media can reduce spending on advertising and promotion. Rather than flying across time zones for television interviews, for instance, executives can host a Twitter chat and reach a similar (and arguably more interested) audience.

Listen to your market

Here’s another potential cost-saver: social media’s unmatched capacity for helping you understand your market. Focus groups and surveys can be reduced simply by listening to what is being said online about your firm’s brand, executives and areas of expertise.

Even if your firm or executives aren’t actively participating in social media, the online conversations of your clients and target audience offer insights into building effective marketing and communication strategies.

Listening to your market could even identify new business opportunities. When your target audience reveals not just a quest for information, but the need for a new product or service, you’ll know social media has paid off.