By Cyril Tuohy
ING Financial Partners, Voya Financial’s registered broker/dealer, announced it has expanded its social media program for affiliated financial advisors and registered representatives to help them communicate with prospects and clients.
The social media program is available with single sign-on capabilities to 2,400 financial advisors and registered reps in the ING Financial Partners network, the company said.
In addition, the company said the program will allow advisors to access social media sites through the company’s cloud-based customer relationship management system.
Advisors and reps will have access to “financial and retirement-focused content” that is “compliant for posting on Facebook and LinkedIn,” the company said.
“It's clear that social media has emerged as a powerful tool for financial advisors; however, in the regulated industry that we operate, the appropriate guideposts must be in place for them to take advantage of this channel," Tom Halloran, president of ING Financial Partners, said in a news release.
Financial advisors have shied away from using social media to its fullest extent, although many advisors see social media as a tool with which to connect and build relationships.
The 2013 Curian Advisor Survey of 2,088 advisors found that 56 percent of advisors said they do not use social media as part of their business strategy.
Only 6 percent of respondents in the Curian survey ranked social media as one of their top-three sources of new leads.
A separate survey of 400 advisors by Accenture last year, however, found that 48 percent of financial advisors interact daily with clients through social media.
Advisors who don’t consider themselves social media progressives don’t necessarily deserve all the blame.
Many employers have been reluctant to use social media because of the liability and reputational risks stemming from erroneous tweets and incendiary postings, and that has slowed the learning curve of advisors.
Halloran stressed the importance of developing social media content in a “compliant manner.”
With younger advisors slowly replacing retiring industry veterans, social media is making inroads as a legitimate sales and communication channel within the profession.
A news report said that Morgan Stanley Wealth Management had authorized its financial advisors to tweet their own content via Twitter on “firm-approved” accounts.
Voya said its social media program will also serve as a platform to communicate the broker/dealer’s new brand, Voya Financial Advisors, in September.
Cyril Tuohy is a writer based in Pennsylvania. He has covered the financial services industry for more than 15 years. Cyril may be reached at [email protected].
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