Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Personal Finances and Social Media

As we all know, social media has been the norm for most young adults for much of their lives. This audience seems comfortable sharing deeply personal information across networks in a way previous generations never did. Nothing apears to be out of bounds.

Which is what makes a recent study sponsored by AARP so interesting. It is entitled "Personal Finances: The Final Frontier for Social Media". It is available on AARP's LifeTuner website, which they describe as "an online personal finance community site born out of a growing recognition that young adults need to take a much more active role than previous generations in planning and preparing for their own financial security."

If you are in the financial services industry, it is well worth your time to read. It says a lot about how this demographic, the 18-34 year olds, feel about personal finances. Their two top priorities are managing day to day expenses and putting money into savings. However, they are more likely to turn to their parents or friends for advice than to use their expanded social networks.

I think the implications are pretty clear. We can't just assume that by entering the social media channels we will gain their trust. They aren't necessarily looking for financial advice through this avenue. We should, however, provide tools to help them more effectively manage their finances. That could (and should) make us more relevant in their lives.

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