DC plan participants indicate increased usage of Facebook and YouTube to gather financial information.
The more financial advisors know about clients' social media usage, the better able they will be to tailor messaging and information to more fully engage them. Which social media outlooks are DC plan participants most likely to use to gather financial information? This information becomes more crucial to plan participants as the transition from Defined Benefit to Defined Contribution plans in private sector pensions has shifted investment responsibility and risk from the employer to the employee.
Defined contribution plan participants are active users of both mobile technology and social media, our research finds. And while usage of social media for financial activities and related research is thus far lagging, it is gradually increasing.
Using Social Media and Mobile Technology in Financial Decisions, a Spectrem Group report, finds a growing interest in obtaining financial information, products and services through social media.
Sixteen percent of DC plan participants do express interest in their financial service firm providing information via social media through apps they could access on a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet. This is on par with last year.
But the 2015 report shows an increased likelihood of DC plan participants accessing social media platforms to read a financial blog. Last year, just over half of respondents (53 percent) indicated a likelihood of reading a financial blog on the website of a financial media out. This year, on a scale of 0-100, where 100 equals “very likely”, responded reported a score of almost 60.
Similarly, the reported likelihood last year that DC plan participants would read a financial blog on another financial website or the website of their financial provider also increased from 53 percent and 51 percent, respectively, to 57 and 59 on the 100-pt scale.
The likelihood that DC plan participants would use professional networking site LinkedIn and Twitter as outlets for financial information is basically unchanged from last year, our report finds. But it has increased for Facebook (from 20 on a scale to 100 to 30), and YouTube (from 25 to 33).
Watching videos on financial websites is not necessarily the province of the youngest DC plan participants, the Spectrem Group report finds. Those ages 50 and over are just as likely as Millennials ages 35 and under to do so, our report finds. But male plan participants are significantly more likely than women to watch a finance-related video (34 percent vs. 21 percent).
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.