When it comes to branding, social media tactics are integral to leveraging a business strategy. When it comes to leverage, the hedge fund industry at large prides itself on disciplined use of strategies and risk management tools to enhance returns for investors. When it comes to brand awareness and leveraging social media tools to enhance their own brand recognition, most hedge funds (as well as other financial industry members) have remained cautious, simply because financial industry regulators and respective compliance officers are still unclear as to rules of the road.
Those who have spent more than 15 minutes in and around the world of finance (as this writer has) might find this state of affairs ironic when considering that many hedge funds (including the most-respected) are the same folks pouring billions into social media-centric start-ups at valuations that jump off the page, notwithstanding most of these companies are barely out of the start-up gate and are still entrenched in the no-profit stage.
But, when it comes to hedge fund industry brand strategies, it is clear that the social media tide is turning. As noted in a JLC Group December 23 post, there is an unmistakable trend change taking place. We know this first hand consequent to engagements that our firm has been enlisted for by financial industry firms, including initiatives on behalf of a hedge fund industry service provider (who has 1000+ leading finance industry professionals following his Twitter feed) and who was recently nominated as a candidate for Institutional Investor’s 2015 Hedge Fund Industry “Rising Star”award.
The increasing use of social media ‘story’ seems to be resonating, as evidenced by yesterday’s ‘main stream media’ article by financial industry outlet “Investment News.” Because we were so inspired that an industry publication is advancing discussion of this trend, we decided to extract elements from their article “Hedge fund managers testing the social media waters…Lifted advertising ban and pressure from liquid alts drive secretive managers into the open..”
Here’s the extract (link to the full story is below):
Hedge funds, long known for restricting investor access to complex and secretive strategies, are ever so slowly coming out of the shadows and embracing social media.
It’s still a far cry from your favorite celebrities tweeting out what they had for breakfast, but it shows that the alternative investing universe is starting to tap into the Internet for basic marketing and communication purposes.
“If you go to hedge fund conferences now, you’ll see people tweeting out the information, which is something that would have been unheard of a few years ago,” said Thomas Walek, president of capital markets and financial services at Peppercomm, a public relations and market research firm.
According to a study released earlier this week from Peppercomm, 91% of the 100 largest global hedge funds now have websites, a concept that was virtually unheard of just a few years ago.
In terms of proactive social media activity, the study found that 66% of hedge funds have LinkedIn accounts, with an average of 2,300 online connections.
Twitter, which is considered to be more social than LinkedIn, has been embraced by about 10% of hedge funds, the study found. Those hedge funds average 15,000 followers each.
The primary tipping point for the hedge fund industry, according to Mr. Walek, has been the JOBS Act, which went into effect in September 2013 and lifted many of the marketing and advertising restrictions on private investment products.
To continue reading, please visit InvestmentNews.com
Hedge Fund Marketers Bid On to Social Media Tactics For Brand Awareness