Despite years of industry hype about how social media can be a valuable marketing tool for advisors, especially among younger prospects, millennials don’t actually want to communicate with financial services firms on social networks. Only 0.03 percent of millennials want firms to contact them via social media, according to a new study by BNY Mellon and a team of undergraduates at the University of Oxford.
“This idea that they can form a relationship with customers over Twitter will just end in tears,” said one millennial who responded. “It’s just a prime example of banks trying to appear friendly, close and pally, but they just want a professional relationship.”
Millennials would rather use social media to engage with their friends, the study found.
Forty percent of millennials prefer website/email as the main form of contact with financial services providers. Meanwhile, 23 percent prefer face-to-face contact, 18 percent prefer the phone, 5.4 percent like letters, and 3 percent prefer to be in contact with firms through their parents. Only 1.4 percent would prefer a smartphone app.
The study, called “The Generation Game: Savings for the New Millennial,” is based on a survey of about 1,200 millennials on their attitudes toward insurers and other financial services providers.
Despite the findings, the report recommends that firms consider social media campaigns that don’t damage credibility and are not too flighty or light-hearted.
“Millennials are also not comfortable with the idea of their personal information being used in a financial context through social media, viewing personal finance as a private matter that should stay private,” the report said.