New kasina Research Spotlights the Top 5 Social Media Leaders in Asset Management and Insurance

iShares, Vanguard and Putnam earn the highest rankings. Leaders take unique approaches to reach advisors using social media, providing valuable content, listening and facilitating two-way conversations.
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May 16, 2012 - PRLog -- A new research report from kasina delivers an in-depth, quantitative assessment of how asset management and insurance firms are using social media platforms and programs to strengthen relationships and drive new business opportunities with advisors. The research report, Getting Results from Social Media: Leaders and Best Practices, ranks the top social media leaders across five social media channels, and arms executives with critical tools to optimize their social media efforts, budgets and staffing. The new report shows that despite compliance concerns, the number of firms participating in social media has grown sharply over the past two years, rising from 48% in 2010 to 86% in 2012. Leading firms‟ social media initiatives are targeted at building brand awareness, syndicating content, and creating new ways to listen to and communicate directly with advisors.

“The era of social media experimentation is over. Virtually all top asset managers and insurers have crafted social media strategies and are seeing results,” says Lee Kowarski, Principal and co-founder of kasina. “Sets of best practices are emerging and firms are focusing on social platforms with the greatest potential to reach their target audiences. By understanding these best practices and looking at what the leaders and innovators are doing across the various social venues, firms that aren‟t where they want to be with social media today can easily kick-start new programs that will likely be very effective.”

As its title indicates, the report identifies the social media strategies the Top 5 firms are using to differentiate themselves and their offerings, and which specific social venues each of these firms is focusing on in order to build new lines of communication with advisors, retail investors and the media. The Top 5 social media leaders in asset management are: iShares, Vanguard, Putnam, Russell Investments, and OppenheimerFunds. Following are some of the strategies and programs the three top-ranked firms are now using to make their social media initiatives augment their digital strategies and drive business results:

#1 – iShares leapfrogged the competition to take over the top spot in this year‟s report. The company has taken a proactive approach, hiring a dedicated staff which has mastered:
-  Development of timely and informative thought leadership
- Two-way communications and social listening

#2 – Vanguard continues to earn high marks for being a social media pioneer that other firms look to for ideas and inspiration. With its Twitter and Facebook efforts in particular, Vanguard:
- Humanizes investing by creating a personal connection with followers
- Uses social media to effectively communicate the firms‟ value proposition

#3 – Putnam emerged into the Top 5 with impactful content specifically geared to advisors and by offering one of the most fully integrated social experiences in the industry. Putnam earned high scores with:
- Providing relevant and impactful third-party content by essentially acting as a content curator
- Best-in-class digital integration of all social media channels

The new report from kasina also examines the industry‟s social media usage from the perspective of five of the leading social media platforms. Researchers looked at emerging best practices for blogs, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube and ranked leading firms‟ usage of each of these channels. Findings include:

Blogs – Top firms using blogs utilize a branded voice and perspective, promote sharable content and integrate their blog efforts across all of their social media channels.

Twitter – Leaders use Twitter effectively to target content to specific audiences and actively interact and communicate with followers.

LinkedIn – Leaders are leveraging LinkedIn‟s improved social features to better „connect‟ their brands with customers and prospects for easier sharing of whitepapers, market commentaries, etc.

Facebook – Leaders have actively embraced Facebook‟s new “Timeline” design to create a compelling brand story and to schedule interactive events that boost engagement with advisors and investors.

YouTube – Firms using YouTube most effectively are leveraging its video capabilities to simplify complex concepts and products, and to personalize the brand via professionally produced videos.

For this report, kasina surveyed and interviewed e-business and marketing executives representing a diverse set of 29 asset management and insurance firms. The survey component was conducted using a comprehensive, Web-based questionnaire. Firms ranged in size from 41% with AUM greater than $100 billion, 34% between $30 and $100 billion and 25% less than $30 billion.

The report‟s results were partly produced using the innovative and proprietary kasina Social Media Index (kSMI) scoring system. Unique in the industry, the kSMI scoring model is based on a careful weighting of numerous criteria for usage of the various social media sites and overall program integration. The kSMI is a proprietary methodology developed by kasina based on its industry expertise and understanding of advisors‟ online behaviors. High kSMI scores are a reflection of a firm‟s level of innovation, focus and best practices adoption with social media.

About kasina
kasina's commitment to innovating distribution in the financial services industry has made it one of the most influential strategy consulting firms in its sector. kasina works with a wide variety of clients from five continents, including firms representing 90% of the total assets under management in the US. An overview of services offered by kasina is available at
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