There is a split developing in how people use different social media sites for work.

Where as once Facebook was reserved for fun and LinkedIn for business, the two are increasingly overlapping — with Facebook beginning to come out ahead.

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Though most wealth managers still do not use social media to handle and respond to client queries, they have started to recognise the value of social platforms, particularly Facebook, when promoting their brands. However, private bankers themselves prefer LinkedIn over Facebook.

Verdict Financial’s Global Wealth Managers Survey found differences between the way social media is used at the relationship manager (RM) and company level.

When asked what is your company’s preferred social media platform for promoting your brand, 38 percent of RMs and senior executives said their company chooses Facebook.

The service of first choice for most wealth managers is Facebook, which is much preferred over LinkedIn. On a global level, 72.6 percent of wealth management companies working with high net worth (HNW) clients use social media to promote their brands.

In a recent article in Private Banker International (PBI), Stephen Light, executive director of digital private banking at Coutts, said that the Facebook uptake he has seen has been a surprise — giving the private bank three times more traffic and engagement back to its other web services than Twitter.

Contrary to this observed trend, the RMs and other senior executives prefer LinkedIn for business and to build a trusted community but reach out to people initially on Facebook.

When asked what the main social media platform used by relationship managers is when contacting prospects, a surprising amount opted for Facebook.

Local platforms provide significant brand-promotion opportunities as well, and this is the case not only in markets such as China (where access to global platforms might be restricted), but also, for instance, in Switzerland. Country-specific platforms are also widely used by RMs to build their own personal brand.

shutterstock_443693995Regardless of the preferred platform, the use of social media generally is forecast to increase in the future.

As 78 percent of consumers with investments browse through social media platforms at least once a day, wealth managers have no choice but to engage with this audience.