Yes, Social Media is Relevant to Asset Managers
Social media is no longer optional, even for managers of private funds
We hear plenty of objections from asset managers about why they don't think social media is relevant to their business. For example:
- "Our target market isn't on social media." Oh really? You may be surprised to hear that the fastest growing demographic on twitter is the 55–64 year age bracket, and the 45–54 year age group is the fastest growing demographic on both Facebook and Google+.
- "Compliance won't let us." True, compliance doesn't want you bragging about your performance or directly soliciting investors. Good news! Nobody on Twitter wants you to do that either. Social media is not about promoting your funds or actively courting capital, it's about tuning in and contributing to the conversation that is already happening about the issues that affect your business.
- "We don't have time." The most successful managers - and not just those with billions in AUM - understand that you need to work on your business as much as you work in it. Strategic initiatives, like investing time into your online brand, pay long-term dividends that your day-to-day activities do not.
There's a great video at the bottom of this post featuring Baldwin Berges of BD-Insider. He neatly lays out the opportunity that fund managers now have, as a result of the decentralization of media. As we've seen in recent years, social media unites like-minded people around the world, to share, collaborate, and even overthrow governments. For the first time in history, you can have a 1:1 relationship with millions of people at the same time.
Once you decide to make social media a priority, there are there are a few simple steps to get started:
1. Build your identity and your content
This initial step is what keeps many firms from even starting. Before you start communicating, it's important to think about the message you want to convey. What sort of 'voice' most accurately represents your brand? How can you share your expertise in a way that positions you as a thought leader without being totally self-serving?
2. Earn their attention by adding value (in bite-sized bits).
Investors are people, too. In the end, investing is both an analytical and emotional decision. As humans, we're naturally curious about what other people are up to. By appealing to this natural human drive, you have a better chance of earning the opportunity to communicate your message by providing value up front.
3. Don't expect perfection.
Mastering social media is a process of trial and error. Trying out a new social platform can be, well, awkward until you get the hang of it. The trick is to stay genuine to your core message and not take yourself (or your brand) too seriously.
4. Factor in a budget.
As Berges points out, online marketing (including social media) is infinitely scalable, but it isn't 'free' when you consider the time that must be allocated toward developing an identity and fostering relationships on various social platforms. Consider the expense you might normally allocate to traditional advertising, and think about investing a portion of that into your social media initiatives.
Social Media Relevance in Asset Management