Why Institutional Asset Managers Must Become Social Media Savvy
If your firm isn’t using social media in its marketing mix, you’re missing out on a valuable, cost-effective resource institutional investors are increasingly relying on to aid in their investment education and due diligence processes.
Four Out of Five Institutions are “Social Media Savvy”
According to a Greenwich Associates study, 79% of institutional investors use social media at work. And one third say that the information they access through social media influences their investment decisions.
What do they use it for? According to Greenwich Associates, the most common institutional investor uses for social media are for getting news and market updates (48%), researching industries (47%), and viewing manager commentaries (44%). And 38% use it to learn about investment products and services and 36% use it to research asset management firms.
Social media can deliver timely information to institutional audiences and serve as a way of making your firm a thought leader.
The quality of an asset manager’s social media presence is also becoming a due diligence “proof point” for institutional investors who are assessing a firm’s trustworthiness, transparency, and technological expertise.
A Channel that May Succeed Where Others Fail
Many institutional investors won’t open emails or direct mail or answer phone calls from firms they aren’t working with. A robust social media presence, however, provides another way for your firm to be identified by the one third of institutional investors who proactively use it to research asset managers.
Many institutional investors evaluate an asset management firm’s social media presence as part of their due diligence checklist. Firms that have a presence on Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter and frequently refresh the content on these platforms are perceived as more transparent and trustworthy than firms don’t use them.
Using LinkedIn Networks Effectively
While some institutional investors find asset managers’ social media resources and online content on their own, the majority relies on recommendations from their peers who are followers of these firms.
If your firm isn’t one of the largest or most well-known asset managers, building a community of institutional followers organically can be an arduous and time-consuming process. One strategy is to leverage the many professional communities that already exist in your firm — your employees’ Linkedin networks.
According to Greenwich Associates, institutional investors use Linkedin at work more than any other social media platform, and 85% of Linkedin users visit it at least once a week. If all of your employees with institutional investors in their networks “shared” or posted a link to one commentary or article entry on your website each week, it could appear in the Linkedin newsfeeds of potentially thousands of institutional professionals.
Turning Followers into Leads
Ideally, those who have found your content will decide to become followers of your firm.
For truly value-added lead-generators like white papers, require them to fill out a request form first. Those who fill out the forms can be moved into your pipeline for direct contact via email and phone calls.
Qualified institutional investors should be cultivated as warm leads by your sales team, who should seek to move the conversation from online to phone calls to appointments.
Track the Results
Promoting your firm and its content through social media posts and followers is only half of your strategy—the other half is measuring the results. Use your web analytics tools (Google Analytics is free) to find out which social media platforms are generating the most views of your content and which kinds of content (insights, commentaries, videos, white papers, etc.) and subject matter (performance information, market updates, manager commentaries, research white papers, etc.) are most popular.
Overcoming Social Media Obstacles
Most boutique asset managers understand the importance of social media, but many don’t have the resources or knowhow to leverage its potential. They may also face resistance from legal and compliance departments who may be unfamiliar with the regulatory issues involved in using social media.
Fortunately, a number of firms now offer services to enable these asset managers to overcome these obstacles. Smarsh, for example, provides comprehensive social media compliance solutions and best practices for asset managers. And many financial marketing firms take on the role of “outsourced social media partner” to develop social media strategies, execute and distribute posts, and measure results.
A Tool You Can’t Afford to Ignore
In today’s competitive institutional marketplace, every positive online impression counts. Firms that use social media effectively may find that it paves the way for more serious consideration of their investment management capabilities.
China's Push Toward Excellence Delivers a Global Robotics Investment Opportunity
Written by: Jeremie Capron
China is on a mission to change its reputation from a manufacturer of cheap, mass-produced goods to a world leader in high quality manufacturing. If that surprises you, you’re not the only one.
For decades, China has been synonymous with the word cheap. But times are changing, and much of that change is reliant on the adoption of robotics, automation, and artificial intelligence, or RAAI (pronounced “ray”). For investors, this shift is driving a major opportunity to capture growth and returns rooted in China’s rapidly increasing demand for RAAI technologies.
You may have heard of ‘Made in China 2025,’ the strategy announced in 2015 by the central government aimed at remaking its industrial sector into a global leader in high-technology products and advanced manufacturing techniques. Unlike some public relations announcements, this one is much more than just a marketing tagline. Heavily subsidized by the Chinese government, the program is focused on generating major investments in automated manufacturing processes, also referred to as Industry 4.0 technologies, in an effort to drive a massive transformation across every sector of manufacturing. The program aims to overhaul the infrastructure of China’s manufacturing industry by not only driving down costs, but also—and perhaps most importantly—by improving the quality of everything it manufactures, from textiles to automobiles to electronic components.
Already, China has become what is arguably the most exciting robotics market in the world. The numbers speak for themselves. In 2016 alone, more than 87,000 robots were sold in the country, representing a year-over-year increase of 27%, according to the International Federation of Robotics. Last month’s World Robot Conference 2017 in Beijing brought together nearly 300 artificial intelligence (AI) specialists and representatives of over 150 robotics enterprises, making it one of the world’s largest robotics-focused conference in the world to date. That’s quite a transition for a country that wasn’t even on the map in the area of robotics only a decade ago.
As impressive as that may be, what’s even more exciting for anyone with an eye on the robotics industry is the fact that this growth represents only a tiny fraction of the potential for robotics penetration across China’s manufacturing facilities—and for investors in the companies that are delivering or are poised to deliver on the promise of RAAI-driven manufacturing advancements.
Despite its commitment to leverage the power of robotics, automation and AI to meet its aggressive ‘Made in China 2025’ goals, at the moment China has only 1 robot in place for every 250 manufacturing workers. Compare that to countries like Germany and Japan, where manufacturers utilize an average of one robot for every 30 human workers. Even if China were simply trying to catch up to other countries’ use of robotics, those numbers would signal immense near-term growth. But China is on a mission to do much more than achieve the status quo. The result? According to a recent report by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), in 2019 as much as 40% of the worldwide market volume of industrial robots could be sold in China alone.
To understand how the country can support such grand growth, just take a look at where and why robotics is being applied today. While the automotive sector has historically been the largest buyer of robots, China’s strategy reaches far and wide to include a wide variety of future-oriented manufacturing processes and industries.
Electronics is a key example. In fact, the electrical and electronics industry surpassed the automotive industry as the top buyer of robotics in 2016, with sales up 75% to almost 30,000 units. Assemblers such as Foxconn rely on thousands of workers to assemble today’s new iPhones. Until recently, the assembly of these highly delicate components required a level of human dexterity that robots simply could not match, as well as human vision to help ensure accuracy and quality. But recent advancements in robotics are changing all that. Industrial robots already have the ability to handle many of the miniature components in today’s smart phones. Very soon, these robots are expected to have the skills to bolster the human workforce, significantly increasing manufacturing capacity. Newer, more dexterous industrial robots are expected to significantly reduce human error during the assembly process of even the most fragile components, including the recently announced OLED (organic light-emitting diode) screens that Samsung and Apple introduced on their latest mobile devices including the iPhone X. Advancements in computer vision are transforming how critical quality checks are performed on these and many other electronic devices. All of these innovations are coming together at just the right time for a country that is striving to create the world’s most advanced manufacturing climate.
Clearly, China’s trajectory in the area of RAAI is in hyper drive. For investors who are seeking a tool to leverage this opportunity in an intelligent and perhaps unexpected way, the ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index may help. The ROBO Index already offers a vast exposure to China’s potential growth due to the depth and breadth of the robotics and automation supply chain. As China continues to improve its manufacturing processes to meet its 2025 initiative, every supplier across China’s far-reaching supply chains will benefit. Wherever they are located, suppliers of RAAI-related components—reduction gears, sensors, linear motion systems, controllers, and so much more—are bracing for spikes in demand as China pushes to turn its dream into a reality.
Today, around 13% of the revenues generated by the ROBO Global Index members are driven by China’s investments in robotics and automation. Tomorrow? It’s hard to say. But one thing is for certain: China’s commitment to improving the quality and cost-efficiency of its manufacturing facilities is showing no signs of slowing down—and its reliance on robotics, automation, and artificial intelligence is vital to its success.
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