This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Financial Firms Take to Facebook, Tweeting

Stocks in this article: GOOG AXA NFS JNS HIG

Franklin Templeton, Putnam Investments, The Hartford (HIG) and Vanguard offer blogs. A growing number of asset management firms may use Facebook and Twitter profiles to target clients and prospects, but Janus (JNS), MFS Investment Management and New York Life go the added step to direct their posts toward financial professionals.

Despite initial steps into the medium, McGovern says many of the firms they track "do not appear to have a clear strategy for gathering fans and followers and leveraging these social media efforts." The majority of firms employ a single, general-interest profile on Twitter and Facebook to drive traffic to their websites via links to market commentaries, educational articles and tools.

Of the 16 firms Corporate Insight tracks that are using Twitter, only one-third use their profiles to interact regularly with their followers. Despite the growing number of banks, brokerages and credit card issuers using Twitter as a customer service channel, only two asset management firms have used their accounts to provide customer assistance, and even then in a limited capacity.

One area where asset management firms are innovating, however, is with blogging. Mutual fund companies, in particular, have embraced the medium, McGovern says.

"Blogging makes a lot of sense for mutual fund firms," McGovern says. "Many leading fund managers have clear and strongly held views on the investment prospects of specific markets, industries and companies. Investors and financial advisers might find a lot of value in reading these views, especially if they're updated on a regular basis in response to events."

Although strict regulations may hold a firm liable for information published on its website, asset management firms have worked within the parameters of regulatory statutes to allow users to post comments, retaining the social nature of a blog, McGovern says. Putnam and Vanguard allow users' comments with pre-approval, publishing remarks from investors and advisers only after the firm reviews and grants their approval.

Rather than offering a generic company profile, AXA (AXA) and Nationwide (NFS) have taken the more offbeat approach of using "spokespeople" from advertising campaigns in their social media outreach. The "World's Greatest Spokesperson" Facebook page from Nationwide and the "@AXA_Gorilla" Twitter profile try to stand out from their peers by using humor.

McGovern sees the growing pull of social media as "marketing 101."

"You want to go where your customers, and your potential customers, are," he says. "Facebook passed Google (GOOG) in March of this year as the most visited website in the country and it has 500 million registered users, which is about 10% of the planet's population. It is also no longer just a Generation Y thing. It is increasingly popular with older investors , with grandparents as much as it is with college kids. Companies have a reason to think a little harder about whether it is still safe for them to turn their noses up at this and treat it like a fad. If you look at the top 20 websites in the U.S., by traffic, nearly half of them, in some way, are related to social media."

-- Written by Joe Mont in Boston.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Joe Mont.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to

>To submit a news tip, send an email to:


Get more stock ideas and investing advice on our sister site,

2 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,804.80 +26.65 0.15%
S&P 500 2,070.65 +9.42 0.46%
NASDAQ 4,765.38 +16.9840 0.36%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs