Older investors are getting more comfortable using Facebook for financial activities
With more than 750 million active users, Facebook is far and away the social network of choice and with the highest awareness. Currently, it is more a place to make connections, but companies are seeing Facebook’s vast potential as a place to conduct and promote business and forego it as their peril. Nearly 60 percent of investors are familiar with Facebook and 55 percent use it, according to a Millionaire Corner 2011 mobile technology and social media usage survey of investors with a net worth between $100,000 and $1 million, not including primary residence.
Facebook usage jumped 26 percent among these investors between last December and June. It is currently used more by younger investors ages 54 and under. Facebook’s pervasive presence has not translated to widespread use for financial activities. Just 3 percent said they used the social network for this purpose.
Again, younger investors are driving interest in this untapped category. Almost a third said that they are relying on social media to communicate with others than they do more traditional channels as the telephone. Financial providers who are not hip to Facebook run the risk of losing these potential or even existing customers, who may consider them out of touch.
Twelve percent of those age 55 or under said they anticipate using Facebook and other social media such as LinkedIn to a greater degree for researching or accessing financial information. Sixteen percent said they would want their financial service firm to provide information on Facebook through apps for their tablet computer or smartphone. Ten percent said they would be more inclined to use a financial product or service seen advertised on Facebook.
But older, less tech-savvy investors are also getting on board. Ten percent said that use of Facebook to communicate with customers and market their products would be a consideration in choosing a new financial service advisor or provider.
Having a Facebook page, though, is not enough to attract or maintain customers. A common social media business faux pas is putting up a page and letting it stagnate without regular updates. On the other hand, posting too much runs the risk of alienating users.
Experts also caution against not replying to comments in a timely manner. This is akin to not returning phone calls or emails, which is cited as the primary reason to switch advisors.