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MacroMonitor Market Trends Newsletter May 2020

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Use of Social Media for Financial Purposes

For most households, social media is an essential tool that informs, educates, entertains, and keeps friends, family, and colleagues connected. In fact, as we go to press (30 April), with shelter-in-place guidelines in effect, we posit that social media—along with other online applications—has been, and will continue to be increasingly important tools that help the majority of citizens cope with daily life successfully.

Between 2014 and 2018, the proportion of households (HHs) using social media increased from 82% of all HHs in 2014 to 90% of all HHs in 2018. During the same time period, HHs' use of social media to learn about financial services, institutions, or professionals has also increased—from 14% to 23%. Different content than what is currently present would help to grow social media use for your institution.

Figure 1: Trend: Households' Use of Social Media in the Past Two Years

The MacroMonitor gathers data about thirteen social-media websites by name. The greatest share of HH visits in the past two years are to Facebook, 81%; YouTube, 62%; Pinterest, 33%; and LinkedIn 26%. Because two years is a lifetime online, we reference MRI/Simmons (Fall 2019 study) to corroborate. The percent of adults visiting each of the four sites in the past 30 days are in skew: Facebook 65%, YouTube 53%, Pinterest 21%, and LinkedIn 13%. Only some sites lend themselves to use for financial purposes. For example, one can watch financial gurus Jim Cramer or Dave Ramsey on Facebook, but Pinterest doesn't include financial matters or personalities.

In a world of online-transaction increases, opportunities exist for large financial providers to make better use of social media by understanding which HHs use social media to learn more about financial products, institutions, and intermediaries, and how they can do more than simply provide links to their regular website.

Additional deliverables are available to MacroMonitor subscribers:

  • The May Segment Summary: Households Use Social Media for Financial Purposes
  • The underlying set of data for this Segment Summary (by request)

The MacroMonitor provides fact-based information to identify, profile, and understand household populations better. For more information, please contact us today.