While a host of studies and surveys indicate professionals have had success when using social media to generate business, a new poll suggests the platforms aren't all they're cracked up to be.
According to a recent survey conducted by financial research and consulting firm Aite, a considerable number of respondents said they have had limited success with business stimulation through websites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
For example, two years ago 21 percent said of respondents said they had success in differentiating themselves from their competitors by using social media. In 2011, just 9 percent reported success. In addition, 16 percent said Facebook and Twitter resulted in increased revenue compared to 6 percent this year.
"The absence of benefits provided by social media may be muting advisors' views of the potential impact of social media on business objectives," said Ron Shevlin, senior analyst with Aite Group and co-author of the report.
He added that social media may be better suited for businesses communicating with existing customers rather than attracting new ones.
However, 36 percent of respondents said they had success in reaching new prospects this year through social media compared to 19 percent in 2009. This may help explain why so many agents use the platforms to target insurance leads.